Review – Jason Aldean’s “Lights Come On”

Jason Aldean Lights Come On

It’s 2016 and Jason Aldean is still producing absolute shit. One of the things that has allowed Aldean to not only survive, but thrive for so long is his chameleon-like ability to flawlessly appeal to the current popular sound. At the same time he sprinkles in just enough quality on his album cuts to make you not completely hate him. In other words, he perfectly plays the audience. It says a lot when he only made the round of 16 in our Worst Country Artist Tournament, when this is an artist who helped introduce rap to the genre and cranked out bro country with glee. Once upon a time Aldean was a solid artist. Then he went to rap country then bro country then metro bro and now he’s back to making rock music that sounds like country with his new single, “Lights Come On.”

I said above that Aldean loves to appeal to what’s popular, but he doesn’t do that with “Lights Come On” because I don’t hear any club beats or something disco-y. That being said it still isn’t country music. This is just pure arena rock. The blaring guitars and the loud drums populate this song throughout. It’s like a bad Brantley Gilbert from five years ago. As for what the song is about and what it’s trying to say….I got nothing. This song doesn’t say anything. It’s just a bunch of words thrown together with the loud production and Aldean’s boring vocals. I find it hard to focus to even listen to the song, as it just bores me to tears. Just look at the chorus:

When the lights come on, everybody’s screaming
Lighters in the sky, yeah, everybody’s singing
Every word to every song to a girl to take it home tonight
When the lights come on, everybody’s feeling
A hallelujah high from the floor to the ceiling
Yeah, the drink that we’re drinking, the smoke that we’re smoking
The party we throw, it’s going all night long
When the lights come on
When the lights come on

If any of you are up to it, please let me know in the comments what exactly the theme is here. And how many writers did it take to write these genius lyrics? If you’re answer is 6, you’re right. The team of Jimmy Robbins, Jordan Schmidt, Brad Warren, Brett Warren and Florida Georgia Line wrote these lyrics. How in the hell does it take six people to write lines like this:

You’re a crack-of-dawn, Monday-morning, coffee strong
Poured everything you got into a paycheck Friday night
You’re a Powerstroke diesel, backhoe-riding king of beers, 18-wheeler
Driving, living life in between the lines
Of clocking in and quitting time

There’s nothing else to say about a song that has nothing to say. “Lights Come On” is just noise that fills space, nothing more and nothing less. There is absolutely nothing fulfilling or moving about this song. It’s sole purpose was to net radio play and endorsement deals from the likes of Bass Pro Shops and Pepsi. This is worse than terrible music because at least terrible music makes me feel rage and anger. I just want to passively loathe Aldean more after hearing this. But hey I’m sure Aldean fans will love this after drinking about ten overpriced beers at some overpriced music festival this summer. “Lights Come On” is the equivalent of a light, nagging headache. Just avoid it or have some aspirin on-hand after hearing this song.

Grade: 0/10

30 thoughts on “Review – Jason Aldean’s “Lights Come On”

  1. Amanda April 8, 2016 / 11:16 am

    This song isn’t nearly as bad as “Burnin’ It Down”, but gosh, it’s still bad. Hard to believe this is the same guy who sang “Hicktown”, “Amarillo Sky”, “Asphalt Cowboy”, “Do You Wish It Was Me”, “Lonesome USA”, “Back in this Cigarette”, “Relentless”, “Who’s Kissing You Tonight”, and “The Truth”. On my opinion, Jason Aldean hasn’t had a good single since “The Truth”. “Fly Over States” was okay, I guess, but not what I’d consider good, just boring and harmless. Everything else has been complete and absolute shit.

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  2. Derek Hudgin April 8, 2016 / 11:28 am

    “Let’s write a song about what our drunk, dumb fans should do while they are at our concerts. They’ll love it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda April 8, 2016 / 11:43 am

    Honestly, I didn’t even get through the whole thing. I shut it off after the first chorus and resumed listening to Alan Jackson.

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  4. Louis Knoebel April 8, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    I don’t get why the lights need to come on? So we can see Aldean wearing blackface?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Jill April 8, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    “everybody’s singing
    Every word to every song to a girl to take it home tonight”

    Gosh, nothing turns me on more than a studly Powerstroke Diesel getting drunk and slurring Jason Aldean lyrics at me then referring to me as an “it”. He couldn’t even say “take HER home tonight”???

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    • Derek Hudgin April 8, 2016 / 4:05 pm

      The lyric video says “the girl they’re takin’ home tonight” which isn’t any better. The implication that Aldean’s concert are a hook up place is trashy

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  6. Frank the Tank April 8, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    This is predictably awful. I’ve never understood the appeal of Jason Aldean. He’s always been awful, in my opinion. I agree that this song doesn’t say anything; I really don’t understand how stringing a bunch of phrases and words together can be considered sufficient for lyrics. The second set of lyrics quoted in this review just don’t make any sense.

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  7. OlaR April 8, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    The second time i listen to this bs & the second time my internet went down. Must be a sign.
    A part of the lyrics (according to “Taste Of Country”): “Yeah, we all the same cause we thinking the same thing / We on the same page ’cause we sipping the same drink / Here’s a little something to thank y’all for showing up / Aldean and the boys about to blow it up.”
    I know Baillie & the Boys…but who are “Aldean & the Boys”? Yes, Jason Aldean is singing about Jason Aldean.

    Music Row/CountryBreakout Chart:
    1 – Maren Morris – “My Church” (It’s not Billboard or Mediabase, but it’s a No.1.)
    The oldest song in the top 10 is “Mind Reader” by Dustin Lynch (24 weeks). Not 51 weeks (Chase Bryant, Billboard).

    Checkout/New Album: Gord Bamford – “Tin Roof” (Cache/Sony Cananda)
    Gord Bamford is an award-winning singer/songwriter from Canada. “Tin Roof” is his seventh album. The current single “Heard You In A Song” is No.8 on the Country National Airplay Chart. 15 tracks with a mix of traditional sounding ballads “Apples”, radio-friendly songs “Tin Roof” & country-rocker like “Come Kiss Me Boots”. Gord Bamford sounds good, Production & song selection is on the safe side. 8/10.

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  8. Fat Freddy's Cat April 8, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    I’m a novice songwriter, and I’d be embarrassed if I wrote that.

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    • Cobra April 9, 2016 / 12:12 am

      I’d be embarrassed to have gone to elementary school and shared a passing acquaintance with the person/people who wrote this garbage song.

      Like

  9. NoahHibiscusEaton April 8, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    Jason Aldean has always been frustrating in that, while you can count on him to deliver solid album cuts that rarely get released as singles on each of his albums………….you can also count on him to irritate you with his lead singles especially.

    And when you listen to each one of his lead singles……………they have one glaring thong in common. They sound like commercials.

    With “Hicktown”, it was Pall Malls and Broncos. With “Johnny Cash”, it was Pontiacs and Las Vegas tourism. With “Burnin’ It Down” it was Jack Daniels. And so forth.

    But here’s the thing: sometimes his commercials are more successful reads than others. I may have despised “Burnin’ It Down”, but I can’t deny that it was a very shrewd read of trends at the time of its release and it doesn’t surprise me it became, arguably, his second biggest hit after “Dirt Road Anthem” (which, itself, was a pretty accurate read of trends).

    But them he has obviously less successful attempts like “Take a Little Ride”, which obviously debuted strong off of frontloaded hype………….but then just bled momentum afterwards. And it’s not hard to see why. That song felt like a lazy retread, and why would consumers be enthusiastic about something that felt like a watered down “My Kinda Party”?

    Thus, forget artistic intent altogether, since this song is clearly lacking in that anyway. Let’s approach “Lights Come On” from a crassly tycoon-minded standpoint.

    Even there, “Lights Come On” sounds like a head-scratching decision. It clearly sounds like Aldean is on the defensive here and is more adamant about self-preservation than anything. I mean, it’s basically screaming with admission that radio is NOT where the money is at and that concert revenue (and corporate sponsors that constitute most of their financial backing) is where to go.

    But for a commercial all about the live concert experience and canaraderie, this feels surprisingly flat. Say what you will about “She’s Country’ and how awful it was as a whole, but at the very least you can admit it was a track that commands your attention in how heavy and in-your-face it was at the time of its release, and even now stands out above the vast majority of entertainers on the format impersonating rock heroes. The adrenal energy and riff-heavy bombast made it an understandably recognizable concert staple.

    We don’t get any of that here. Much like with “Take a Little Ride”, you can sense that they just want to breeze through the track in one take and that’s good. There’s nothing resembling a peak or valley here.

    And that’s baffling from a business standpoint. Even as a money-making decision, “Lights Come On” just seems like a glaring misread. And seeing that it has slid from #3 to #23 in the span of one week, this is shaping to have even less net impact than “Take a Little Ride”.

    *

    In the end, “Lights Come On” is certainly not among the worst tracks I’ve heard. Its main sin is that it’s boring, and the “Take a girl home tonight!” line in the chorus is quite off-putting.

    But I really can’t hate on this all that much because it also lacks a volume of cringe-inducing moments previous tracks like “Burnin’ It Down” and “1994” had. It’s just a lame formula tied to a tee but, ultimately, doesn’t make matters any worse than they already are.

    I’m thinking a Decent to Strong 2 out of 10 for this.

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    • Cobra April 9, 2016 / 12:16 am

      Hard to argue with a lot of what you said, however, let me point out the following:

      “But them he has obviously less successful attempts like “Take a Little Ride”, which obviously debuted strong off of frontloaded hype………….but then just bled momentum afterwards.”

      Personally, I find “Take a Little Ride” to be the most egregious of his commercialism songs. Others seem less blatant when you consider the fact that “Take a Little Ride” started out mentioning Shiner Bock. Then, all of a sudden, the song was completely re-recorded and re-released mentioning “Rocky Tops” after Coors Light sponsored him.

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      • NoahHibiscusEaton April 9, 2016 / 11:39 pm

        Oh, absolutely!

        The point I was making is that “Take a Little Ride” lacked a certain edge that made it forgettable and flat, in contrast to his other lead singles (besides this one).

        I dislike all of Aldean’s lead singles (though regard his album cuts much more favorably as a whole), but I can least admit there was something that made most of them stand out compared to most else that was released at each respective time.

        With “Hicktown”, there were some quirky descriptors in the verses (shingles, Laura Ingalls) and the fiddle was a nice touch blended in with the meat and potatoes guitars. Granted it came around the tail end of the MuzikMafia era, but it still stands out even if it’s loud and dumb.

        “Johnny Cash” was “out there” lyrically, too, for much the same reason: between the cursing and the histrionics in its coda. “She’s Country” stood out in that its production and riffs were notably among the heaviest at that time and had a sort of AC/DC-esque stadium testosterone to it. And “My Kinda Party” may have been an obvious watered-down version of “She’s Country” and was mostly unremarkable, but even that single had a lengthy guitar solo in its outro.

        “Take a Little Ride”, on the other hand, had nothing remotely distinctive about it. It was basically a compromise between the heavy riffs of “She’s Country” with a safe, slightly above mid-tempo production in line with much of radio at its time. The lyrics, too, played it completely safe in catering to bro-country backroad cliches.

        None of these singles were good, in my opinion, make no mistake. But most of his earlier lead singles at least sounded EVENTFUL. This, in contrast, joins “Take a Little Ride” in the uneventful camp.

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  10. Ron April 9, 2016 / 10:55 am

    Interesting that his mediabase spins have slowed considerably already while Luke and Kenny continue to make impressive airplay gains. Maybe it will stall out in the 30s and drop out…lol one can dream

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    • NoahHibiscusEaton April 9, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      I actually see “Noise” slowing down the most between the three songs.

      Either way, I expect this will be a fast riser followed by a fast plunger and all but forgotten about sort of release: similar to the fates of “Just Gettin’ Started” and “Gonna Know We Were Here”.

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  11. Horse April 10, 2016 / 2:55 am

    I agree this is absolute shit but I’ll have to say if it was surgill Simpsons new sellout noncountry supposedly country bs it won’t be criticized especially if ur name is trigger at scm..left multiple negative comments about simpson and he never let them post…if it’s Aldean u can say whatever

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    • NoahHibiscusEaton April 10, 2016 / 4:46 am

      Personally, I really enjoy Sturgill’s new album.

      Ultimately, all I ask for is effort, regardless of genre. To say his new album is quintessentially country would be a stretch I’d argue, but it still has plenty of elements and a narrative device that are consistent with the tradition. And even those that I’d say aren’t country sound pretty good as a whole, too.

      “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” remains my favorite solo album of his, but you won’t find me complaining about his new album just as you only saw me complain about the first half of “Old Boots, New Dirt”.

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      • Frank the Tank April 10, 2016 / 2:06 pm

        I really enjoy Sturgill Simpson’s new album as well. In fact, I think it is excellent.

        I’m really looking forward to seeing the reviews here and on SCM as I’m sure there will be plenty of discussion.

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