My Kinda Party

My Kinda Party

After conquering the country airwaves with 2009’s Wide Open, Jason Aldean followed up his best-selling album to date by going even bigger: heavier guitars, arrangements tailor-made for huge venues, and a duet with pop star and American Idol icon Kelly Clarkson. But it didn’t take any big switch-ups style-wise; 2010’s My Kinda Party deploys Aldean’s signature country rock, but does so on a grander scale than he ever had before. Wide Open’s major success had cemented the Georgia singer as highly bankable, and he had his pick of some of Music City’s best songwriters’ top-tier offerings. Fellow Georgia singer and songwriter Brantley Gilbert took the reins on two of the album’s singles. He’s the brains behind the hard-rocking title track about blowing off a little steam at the end of the workweek. His hand also delivered “Dirt Road Anthem” (with an assist from Colt Ford), which finds Aldean enmeshed in the grooves and cadences of hip-hop, rapping verses about small-town life and getting nostalgic about tailgate parties, a move that put him in league with the burgeoning bro-country style that was on the rise. David Lee Murphy (of “Dust on the Bottle” fame) helped pen the gratitude-laden love song “Just Passing Through,” and country star Thomas Rhett gets a credit on “I Ain’t Ready to Quit.” The duet with Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” caters to a gift both performers have: the ability to pull off arena-sized melodrama. The event in question—that moment when two people are trying to decide where a night is going—is brief but rings huge when rendered in Clarkson’s soaring soprano. Aldean’s embrace of pop and hip-hop—filtered through his tried-and-true country-rock sound—helped turn My Kinda Party into a commercial triumph, going four times Platinum. Of course, his commitment to his roots keeps fans coming back, too. On the album’s final single, “Fly Over States,” Aldean takes a couple of first-class travelers on a cross-country flight to task for trashing life in America’s heartland.

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