Old Boots, New Dirt

Old Boots, New Dirt

by Jason Aldean

CD

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Overview

It's hard not to ascribe some meaning to the title of Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean's sixth album. Edging into his second decade as a star, Aldean's boots are getting a bit worn; he's no longer an upstart, he's a veteran who could almost be seen as an institution thanks to his long commercial track record. Stars have less reason to take risks -- why upset the apple cart if it's still generating revenue -- but there's some freshness on Old Boots, New Dirt, which means the second half of the title isn't just talk. Aldean and producer Michael Knox, who has been with him since the beginning, accentuate the singer's arena country with some decidedly modern electronics: splurting synths propel "Sweet Little Somethin'," while the slinky "Burnin' It Down" simmers to a skittering rhythmic loop. Usually, such electronic digressions indicate a bolder, even stylish, change in direction but that's hardly the case here. Despite the occasional four-on-the-floor pounder -- "Sweet Little Somethin'," "I Took It with Me," "Gonna Know We Were Here" with its gangly Keith Richards chords, all seemingly deliberately scattered through the record so it doesn't drag -- Old Boots, New Dirt is all ballads, slow burners, and midtempo anthems existing in a land that's a far cry from either "Hicktown" or "Crazy Town." Truth is, beneath that exaggerated swagger -- a macho strut he was always eager to emphasize -- Aldean's strength has been slower songs, whether it's the romantic "Why" or the mildly goofy "Big Green Tractor." He leans toward the romantic on Old Boots, New Dirt and he actually benefits from the extra layer of gloss Knox layers upon the album; even when he croons, Aldean retains a slight nasal edge in his voice and the electronics complement this characteristic well. This delicate balance is the greatest indication that both singer and producer are now old pros, knowing how to slyly underscore his star appeal, knowing that Aldean doesn't need to chase the sunny good times of bro-country. This casual, almost steely, assurance is appealing and even if the record goes on far too long at 15 tracks (18 in editions exclusive to certain retailers), this focus coalesces Old Boots, New Dirt, turning it into one of his best records.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/07/2014
Label: Broken Bow
UPC: 0697487105726
catalogNumber: 71057
Rank: 14210

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jason Aldean   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Tony Harrell   Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Keyboards,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Russ Pahl   Steel Guitar
Neil Thrasher   Background Vocals
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Perry Coleman   Background Vocals
Adam Shoenfeld   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,E-bow
Kurt Allison   Electric Guitar
Tully Kennedy   Bass
Shelly Fairchild   Background Vocals
Chris Stapleton   Background Vocals
Rich Redmond   Percussion,Drums
Danny Rader   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bouzouki,12-string Guitar,Hi String
Charlie Judge   Hammond B3
Mike Johnson   Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Brett Beavers   Composer
Peter Coleman   Engineer
Tim Nichols   Composer
Rhett Akins   Composer
David Lee Murphy   Composer
Neil Thrasher   Composer
Brett James   Composer
Tom Shapiro   Composer
Wendell Mobley   Composer
Michael Dulaney   Composer
Glenn Sweitzer   Art Direction
Mickey Jack Cones   Vocal Engineer
Hillary Lindsey   Composer
Chris DeStefano   Composer
Adam Shoenfeld   Composer
Ross Copperman   Composer
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Michael Knox   Producer
Rodney Clawson   Composer
Andrew Pates   Composer
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Marv Green   Composer,drum programming
Chris Stapleton   Composer
Rich Redmond   drum programming
Ben Hayslip   Composer
Dallas Davidson   Composer
Tony Martin   Composer
Jaron Boyer   Composer
Chris Tompkins   Composer,drum programming
Tyler Hubbard   Composer
Brian Kelley   Composer
Michael Tyler   Composer

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