A new hit piece out from National Review has put Jason Aldean on blast for his new no.1 hit single “Try That In a Small Town,” complaining that although the song accurately identifies real crime issues that are plaguing the United States, it is “responding to poison with more poison,” thus rendering it “remarkably and alarmingly cynical.”
At the article’s start, author Kathryn Jean Lopez correctly notes that the Country Music Channel has refused to play Alden’s music video over its alleged “threatening nature,” and that his support of former President Trump likely plays a major role in the controversy.
Lopez then opines that “it’s not that simple” before bringing up John Mellencamp's "Small Town" from 1985, and quoting a passage in which it discusses the plight of being a hopeless romantic. Lopez argues that, unlike Aldean’s production, the song pushes people towards positivity.
The song Lopez brought up was sung by John Mellencamp, a self-described socialist.
She then noted that “Jason Aldean is singing about the violence that is happening in urban America,” and agreed that “It’s real.”
“Aldean captures some of what is undeniably going on: ‘Sucker-punch somebody on a sidewalk, / Carjack an old lady at a red light. / Pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store. / Ya think it’s cool, well, act a fool if ya like.’”
Despite her acknowledgment that the issues that Aldean is discussing are “real,” it appears she thinks he should not even bring them up in the first place. In the piece, every single lyric by Mellencamp that is highlighted in order to justify Lopez’s point has absolutely nothing to do with issues of crime or violence.
Lopez thanked Mellencamp, saying that although she and him “have different politics,” she is “grateful to that socialist for inserting some gratitude into our culture in an aspirational way.”
She concluded her piece by taking yet another swipe at Aldean, writing, “I hope that Republican Aldean in future songs can find himself encouraging people toward the good, rather than adding anger and violence, which are already a plague of our time.”
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