Anyway, Almost-All-Country Almost-Wednesday, e’erbody!…
Chuck Eddy: I’m sitting in Starbucks a week or two ago, this girl comes in, college freshman age or so; her look, I’d say, is “light alternative,” maybe even “Hot Topic mall goth,” and she’s wearing this elaborately lettered black concert T-shirt, so naturally I’m curious about what young folks are listening to nowadays. Figured it might be Evanescence, My Chemical Romance, somewhere in there. But nope, when she walks closer to my table turns out it’s Jason Aldean. Which is another reason, as if I didn’t have enough already, to want to like the guy. And this song’s got a mall-alt connection too, right? “Crazy Town” even kind of makes sense as a title, since you could almost sing “Come my lady, come come my lady, you’re my butterfly, sugar, baby” to it if you tried real hard. Except I’m not buying his brown-nose of Nashville this time, and the stuff about bending strings ’til Hank comes out is baloney — Aldean’s aesthetic has always been about strings bent ’til Bad Company comes out. Fine with me — but here, none comes out after the start of the song. It’s clever when he shakes off his where-you-came-from dust, and songs that go Bang Bang Bang deserve the benefit of the doubt. But this one doesn’t bang enough.
Martin Skidmore: This sounds like an attempt to do a Big & Rich number without quite understanding. The music lumbers along, the analysis of Nashville is hackneyed, and I felt like it was trying to bludgeon me into liking it. It failed.
Doug Robertson: This is what would happen if Nickelback ever wrote a song called “Country Star” and, even though it’s all very rabble rousing and ticks all the right boxes, it is still essentially Nickelback gone country, and that’s never going to be an appetising prospect, no matter how much catsup you pour over it.
Michaelangelo Matos: I swear I’ve heard that chorus in about fourteen other songs, but probably not. In any event, a song about (gosh) what a hard place Nashville is for up-and-coming talent, rocks sturdy and stiff, not especially compelling vocally either.
Katherine St Asaph: As a Southern rock crowd pleaser, this pretty much accomplishes what it sets out to. I do wish the guy behind “Hickville” put a bit more crazy into this town. As it is, I keep waiting for Jason to mention the lack of stilettos.
Jonathan Bogart: If the song’s supposed to be about Nashville, why does it sound like the Sunset Strip in 1988? This isn’t really a complaint — just, acknowledge your actual roots. Quit invoking Hank on shit he’s too old and dead to understand.
Alfred Soto: Nashville may be “Hollywood with a touch of twang”, but surely Aldean was looking at himself in the mirror too. Not terrible, not terribly distinctive. Less crazy town, more Crazy Town, please.
Anthony Easton: Aldean — I am quickly losing my patience with you. Go away for a few months.