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BY AMANDA ST. AMAND
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
ST. LOUIS--After five straight No. 1 singles from his last album, Jason Aldean might have worried about the fate of the first single from his new "Night Train" album, which came out Tuesday.
He shouldn't have. "Take a Little Ride" hit No. 1 after just 10 weeks on the charts.
"We made what I feel like is a great album," that should live up to expectations of fans, Aldean says.
Aldean knows a 15-song album like "Night Train" is a rarity these days, but he says it was a conscious decision. With many artists releasing "six-pack" collections, he says, "I would rather give them 15 songs for $12 than six songs for $12."
Several of the songs on "Night Train" pay homage to small-town people and upbringings, like "Water Tower," "Drink One for Me" and "This Nothin' Town."
Aldean doesn't write his own material, but as he digs through songs, he chooses those that reflect on his life --things he has gone through or is going through.
"'Water Tower' kind of sums up me leaving Georgia with the pursuit of a music career, and 'Drink One For Me' makes me think about the early days and calling back home and all those guys hanging out while I'm out trying to get my career going," Aldean says.
Of all 15 cuts, "1994" might quickly become a fan favorite. In a pitch meeting with Luke Laird, the songwriter said he had a "quirky" song for Aldean. Aldean listened, loved and included the tune, a tribute to Joe Diffie--a country singer whose popularity peaked in the early 1990s.
"I still think he was one of the best male vocalists we've had in country music in a long time, and I remembered all these songs," Aldean says. "From what I know about Diffie, he has a really good sense of humor, so hopefully he likes the song."
The singer was tight-lipped on what the next single would be.
"Ultimately, the singles kind of get picked by myself and the head of the label," he says. "Over the last few years, my track record has been pretty good at picking songs, so if I feel really strong about something that should be a single, they kind of go with that and trust me."
And what's Aldean's favorite song on the album?
Of course, he likes all of them but says "Staring at the Sun" might be his favorite.
"I think that's just a killer song," he says.