Review – Jason Aldean’s “Any Ol’ Barstool”

aldean-any-barstool

Remember when Jason Aldean cared? I know it can be hard to remember with all of the bro country hits and his brief dip into hick hop, but he used to release at least decent music. Now he’s pretty much mailing it in and his newest single “Any Ol’ Barstool” perfectly exemplifies this. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad song at all. But after listening to it I’m left wondering if this is really it. Of course this was the whole problem with his latest album They Don’t Know. Every song sounds interchangeable and vanilla. “Any Ol’ Barstool” is no different. The song itself is a breakup song with the man left drinking at a bar in the aftermath, telling us to ask any barstool what he’s been up to. It’s a perfectly fine theme, but it fails to standout because nothing is really expanded upon once we’re presented the story. Again, where’s the rest of the song? As a result the song just feels so generic and listless. Right after it ends I forget about it. The production is your standard Aldean sound. It’s drifting somewhere between banal arena rock and pop country sensibilities, although something extra is actually added this time with some lingering, soft pedal steel guitar in the background. It gives the song some warmth, but it’s not enough to cover up the songs flaws and issues. Maybe a few years ago he would have cared enough to make this song good, but he knows like the rest of us that he can mail in these average songs and watch country radio play the shit out of this all of the way to #1. Fans will continue to buy his music. Rinse, wash and repeat.

Grade: 5/10

Recommend? – Meh

Written by Deric Ruttan and Josh Thompson

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16 thoughts on “Review – Jason Aldean’s “Any Ol’ Barstool”

  1. For me I think it’s his vocal performance that’s failing to make me care about this that much. In the hands of even say, Josh Thompson (one of the writers), this could at least be good, however Jason just sounds so disconnected from the real emotion that should permeate a song about heartache such as this.

    I agree about the writing though, it’s why even though there isn’t any atrocious songs on his new album, I still don’t care for it much at all. A lot of the songs just felt underwritten, and the thing is, album cuts are honestly where Aldean shines!

    So yeah, definitely not as good as “A Little More Summertime” (for me), but nothing horrible. Just wasted potential.

    6/10

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  2. This song is allright I guess. The production and vocals sound so lifeless and bland, worst of all there is absolutely no melody at all so absolutely nothing grabs me. Overall it’s not bad but it could be better a lot better.

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  3. The song is ok. But 30 seconds too long. The voice of Jason Aldean & the production are bland & weak.
    (Billboard – #28 / Billboard Canada – #45 / Country Tracks Australia – X)

    Billboard Canada Country National Airplay (01/14):
    #1 – Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song”
    #2 – Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry”
    #3 – Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl”
    Top Track Canada: #8 – Aaron Goodvin – “Woman In Love”

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  4. I’m just glad he’s finally singing about something meaningful. The production itself never really impressed me, but he’s finally stepping away from bro-country and starting to sound more like 2009 Jason Aldean.

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  5. Can’t complain about this one too much.

    “This Plane Don’t Go There” and “Whiskey’d Up” would have been better selections in that Aldean sounds much more vocally engaged with the former, while the latter has some teeth to its production that had been lacking in many recent Aldean singles. But as a whole, I consider this Aldean’s best since “Night Train”.

    Yeah, I pretty much share the consensus criticism that is Aldean seems to be on auto-pilot as a vocalist here, and the production also strikes as “Been there, heard that!”. But I do genuinely like the lyrical conceit as well: which blends in with a long line of wry motifs in country music’s drinking song tradition. And I also appreciate how, in spite of the pedestrian production and Aldean’s lower energy, how it actually kind of works to the song’s advantage somewhat in that Aldean’s exasperated delivery either purposefully or accidentally offers ambiguity as to whether the narrator means what he is boasting, or if it’s all a facade to hide how washed up he actually is after the break-up.

    Again, I’d rather have the darker production of “Whiskey’d Up” or a superior vocal performance in “This Plane Don’t Go There”. But “Any Ol’ Barstool” is pretty decent. I’ll take it.

    I’m thinking a Light to Decent 6 out of 10 for this.

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  6. I at least applaud him for attempting to sing about heart break with this single, and A Little More Summertime. It’s not as good a heart break song as “The Truth” , but I will take this over his bro country concert anthems any day.

    6/10

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