There was a time, early in Jason Aldean's career, when success meant album sales. After the release of his self-titled freshman album in 2005, which included the chart-topping single, "Why," his sophomore Relentless record failed to have a No. 1 hit on it, and the Georgia native feared his career might already be over. Of course, Aldean was just getting started, and his third project, Wide Open, solidified Aldean's place in country music, with multi-platinum tracks like "She's Country" and "Big Green Tractor."
Since then, while Aldean has remained a mainstay at country radio, topping charts and scoring platinum-selling records, the music industry has changed into more streaming, less full projects, which means how Aldean defines a successful album, especially with the recent release of 9, has changed as well.
"I remember making the Rearview Town album and just feeling like, 'Man, this is a really good record,'" Aldean recalled on Apple Music’s Beats 1. "To me, it's just going in and recording the best songs I can find and putting together a body of work that I'm really proud of. I think singles and those kinds of things are going to take care of themselves. I think radio has proven to us that if we give them something worthy of play, that they're going to support us. So I think that's all you can ask for there.
"I think fans, at this point, know what to expect from us," he continued. "As long as we're giving them something that's good, I think they're going to support it. So I don't really worry too much about that. I still want to go cut the records that I want, that I want to cut. On the Rearview Town album, I thought it was a really, really good record and I was excited about that one, and this is the same thing with this one. It's just like I feel like this is the best record I could make right now."
Aldean, who has vowed to keep making full-length projects, even as the music industry keeps evolving, is proud of every song on 9, and wouldn't change anything on the record.
"Right now. That's all I can worry about is right now," said the singer. "I feel like this is an album that is really good. If I go back and listen to an album and I start going, 'Man, I wish maybe we wouldn't have cut that one,' or I start second-guessing some songs, which I have done that on some past albums. But I feel like if I can listen to an album and think that everything we cut was great and there's not one of those songs I would have left off the album, that's a pretty good feeling.
"That's how I feel about this one," he added. "So I think that's all you can do is do the best you can do right now."
Order 9 at JasonAldean.com.
Photo Credit: Getty / Mat Hayward