"This record, to me, was really just getting back to what it is that I do best," Aldean tells Radio.com.

By Brian Ives

Jason Aldean’s new album, They Don’t Know, opens with one of the singer’s signature sounds: aggressive electric guitars. The album is led off by “Lights Go On,” which is also the first single. And Aldean says that that was a very deliberate choice.

“I think the one thing about this record, to me, was really just getting back to what it is that I do best,” Aldean tells Radio.com. “To me, that’s big uptempo [songs] with big power chords, and also stripping it down for some country things. [I’m] Paying a lot of attention to lyric and melody on this record. But obviously one of our calling cards, and one of the things that I love the most, is those big country-rock anthematic songs. And I think ‘Lights Come On’ is one of those songs.”

His ability to merge country and hard rock has been the thing that makes him stand out from the pack. “‘She’s Country’ and some of those songs, when the guitar riff comes in, it’s loud, it’s obnoxious, but you know exactly what song it is,” he says. “To me, that’s always been one of our staples. That kind of song is really hard to find a lot of times. When you do find one, and you put it out there, it works and it works in a big way. Because you don’t find those types of songs every day. So when you get one, you get in there and start recording it, you know that there’s something special about it. And I knew immediately with that song that it was going to be one of those songs that just was gonna be one of those big rockers, great for the live show, obviously great for the record.”

Aldean’s last album, 2014’s Old Boots, New Dirt was introduced with an R&B-flavored jam, “Burnin’ It Down,” And while that song topped the country charts, it seems that radio was just as happy to hear Aldean turn it up to 11. “From the time that we cut it to the time that it was at radio, it was three weeks, four weeks… it was pretty quick.”

They Don’t Know, featuring “Lights Go On,” is out Friday September 9.


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