Black Music Matters Festival

Jason Aldean

Relentless – 2007 (Broken Bow)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean roars into his sophomore album with the rocking tale of rebelliousness, "Johnny Cash." Sure, the title's going to get attention, but the only connection with the legend is the music that's playing in the car. Aldean's first album had a rural pride theme, but half of these 12-songs appear to have a common thread of a man looking back at a failed relationship.

There's the 'question song' ballads, "Do You Wish It Was Me?" and "Who's Kissing You Tonight?" Then, "My Memory Ain't What It Used To Be" finds the singer forgetting why the relationship went wrong. Another ballad, "Back In This Cigarette" has the singer admitting that rekindling the romance would be "like trying to put smoke back in this cigarette."

Ironically, the best song - "Laughed Until We Cried," a sentimental song about good times with family and friends - is a ballad that fits outside the theme.

Aldean's able to show off his versatility with "I Break Everything I Touch," a Mellencamp-like song co-written by David Lee Murphy, and the southern rocker, "Not Every Man Lives."