Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Jason Aldean – Burnin’ It Down

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s another attempt at country-R&B!…


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[4.85]

Hazel Robinson: This guy sounds like such a geek. Who romances with Jack Daniels after the age of 12? It’s friggin’ adorable, especially because the narrative of the song seems to switch between them being in a bar with a dubious fire safety record to him lying on his bed imagining the whole thing. Would buy a drink for, bless’m.
[6]

Anthony Easton: Aldean’s skills are mostly in constructing narratives — often not very smart ones, but he is not the kind of person who works through a single line over and over. I didn’t think he’d be lazy enough to chuck out “just doing our thing” or “rocking it out all night”, and for all of the lauded musical innovation — I just don’t see it.
[2]

Leela Grace: This is what leveling up sounds like. None of Jason Aldean’s previous singles indicate that he wants to go any deeper than wistfulness when it comes to love but here it is anyway, lyrics that feel lived-in and disarmingly intimate, a vocal with no winks. That Florida Georgia Line are among the writers is even more baffling. I can’t wait for the R&B covers.
[7]

Dan MacRae: If this gets you horny, the more power to you. For me, it’s the welcoming neon bar sign glow of the production that’s the most seductive element of this track. Jason Aldean’s unbuttoned denim come-ons? Not so much. “Baby girl, will you rock it out with me?” Oh Jason, you honeydripper you.
[5]

Alfred Soto: The drum machine and guitar-in-a-cavern production come from R&B or maybe, I dunno, a Chris de Burgh song, and the singer happens to sing with an accent. But Aldean, who approximates the act of believing the banalities written for him, sings about girls and trucks and shit as if this were just another dirt road anthem. Call it “Lady in Denim.”
[4]

Josh Love: There’s some genuinely good pillow talk here (“Let’s hit the switch and let our shadows dance,” “We’re about to get a little tangled up right about now”) but sadly Aldean can’t keep it up for more than a few seconds at a time before succumbing to mood-killers like “You’re stirrin’ up dirty in the back of my mind” or simply pronouncing “naked” as “nekkid,” which is sometimes funny but never sexy.
[3]

Ashley Ellerson: Wait. That is a lowkey hip hop beat playing here, the same beat your wannabe rapper cousin used for his first song. The most country thing about this is Jason’s voice and mentions of “cold Jack Daniels” and Alabama. I’m the furthest from a country music expert, but I see this appealing to non-country fans. Its downfall is repetition, and if the bridge sounded any different from the rest of the song, it could’ve been better.
[6]

Luisa Lopez: A love song sans teeth, defanged in the presence of its title: the inferno that never was. (Though there is some good mystic build-up in those verses, so you could do worse than have it humming as you make your midnight way up north.)
[3]

Thomas Inskeep: Jason Aldean’s a strong singer whose best singles have typically been uptempo (“Dirt Road Anthem,” “The Only Way I Know”). He’s also, semi-unfairly, become seen as one of the poster boys for bro-country. Florida Georgia Line, co-writers of this song, are kinda the epitome of bro-country. The combination of FGL and Aldean should by no means result in an oddly R&B-ish country record that’s also Aldean’s best ballad-ish single, and it certainly shouldn’t come off this honest-to-goodness sexy. I suspect most of my colleagues will disagree with me (much as they did on FGL’s “Dirt,” which I think is their best one yet), but this left turn is about the smartest thing Mr. Aldean could’ve done at this point in his career, and it’s also one of the best things he’s ever released. 
[7]

Brad Shoup: I love the pop/dance touches; at their speed they work well with the sunset-on-blinds vibe: paralyzed dissolution, staying in as a form of leisure protest. Great timbres, from the pitched-up figure to the slabby low-end; he could have kept it going for a lot longer. 
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: It’s a low bar, but every time a radio-country song essays the slightest sonic innovation, like the bass putters and M83 grinding in “Burnin’ it Down,” I’m cheered. Granted, this is pretty weak, the sort of electronic beats that used to get singer-songwriters called out for “department-store techno.” And given the scenario, its inclusion probably says less about musical direction than Aldean fucking to Purity Ring, not Alabama (and I know it’s a reference, but yeesh, “Old Alabama”). Overall, thoroughly foreplay.
[4]

Megan Harrington: “Burn it down!” is something I yell when I’m mildly disgusted and mostly interested in changing the subject. It suits the spirit of this slow and scenic bedroom romp. Aldean’s visions of wild sex are anything but, challenging us to find in-bed nudity eye gogglingly risqué. Instead, it’s pleasant, generic, and tame. 
[5]

Will Adams: “Over and Over” smoldered. “Burnin’ It Down,” despite the similarly R&B-country mashup production, talks and talks about lighting it up but has as much spark as a wet match.
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Reader average: [5] (2 votes)

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