Over a year after Jason Aldean’s “Relentless” album was released (May 29, 2007), new singles are relentlessly hitting the airwaves an revealing an emotionally responsive performer. Sure, there are still the tough lyrics we associate with Aldean, such as “Johnny Cash,” wherein he “flipped off the boss, took my name off the payroll,” and demands that his baby don a sundress and wait out by the road to throw her suitcase in the back, “blastin’ out to Johnny Cash,” and never coming back. The following track, “Laughed Until We Cried,” is softer but retains a more typical writing style that links verses relating simple life-changing memories to complex emotions.
Afterwards, the album’s tone immediately shifts to scorn mixed with raw tenderness. Shadowy bass lines skulk beneath warning signs of gloominess, but Jason manages to avoid hackneyed rhymes and metaphors- although he comes dangerously close in “Grown Woman,” when he compares himself to old lipstick that is used up and thrown away. In light of most of this album’s content, I wonder why he chose “Relentless” as the title track.
Perhaps the album is titled as such because the hopeful song, “Relentless,” seems to stand out amidst slightly more dismal nuances that lend a connotative theme to the project as a whole. But even those optimistic verses speak of something overwhelming and inescapable: “I can’t outrun it/ just keeps comin’/ girl, your love is relentless.” Jason is no conformist, but a record like this allows listeners to capture the heart of a country boy while he’s not too busy rocking out or rallying a crowd into civil disorder.