Building on 2016’s strong They Don’t Know, Jason Aldean released another solid entry this year with Rearview Town. Singing better in the studio than he has since his 2010 breakout My Kinda Party, Aldean delivers a satisfying mix of radio-ready country music. The title track is a defiant kiss-off to a go-nowhere dot on the map, lead single “You Make It Easy” is an R&B Number One, and the Miranda Lambert cameo “Drowns the Whiskey” commands attention for its double dose of star power. But it’s the stunning, vulnerable “Better at Being Who I Am” that captivates, with Aldean lamenting a relationship that was doomed from the moment he tried to be something he’s not. The Georgia native may be known as the genre’s preeminent hard-rocker, but he’s at his best when he’s letting down his guard. J.H.
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