After the less-than-spectacular sales of his 2008 album Relentless, Jason Aldean has made up quite nicely with Wide Open. The album’s first two singles — “She’s Country” and “Big Green Tractor” – have become his biggest hits ever, both rocketing to #1. “The Truth” is certainly an interesting choice for a single, as it finds him following up a mid-tempo with another mid-tempo, but it’s certainly a solid single in its own right.
In contrast to his amped-up rock anthems such as “She’s Country,” “Johnny Cash,” and “Hicktown,” Aldean’s slower material usually sticks a little closer to a more traditional sound. The production is dialed down considerably, staying out of the way of Jason’s distinctive voice, and the melody has the easygoing smoothness of a Terry McBride composition; it probably could have been a hit for McBride & the Ride (whose “Amarillo Sky” Jason has covered) during their sadly too-short peak.
The lyrics are fairly similar in theme to “Anywhere but Here,” which had separate renditions by Brice Long and Chris Cagle both stall in the 50s only a year apart. This song doesn’t dig nearly as deep into the emotional meat, but at the same time, it’s not trying to. While “Anywhere but Here” is the lament of a man who’s irrefutably downtrodden, the central character comes off as perhaps a bit more reluctant to show just how much her leaving has affected him — indeed, that reluctance comes off rather clearly in Jason’s delivery.
Aldean has made a name for himself on meat-and-potatoes midtempos and overdriven rock anthems, forming a distinctive musical persona that is a great fit for his voice. Fueled by the meteoric success of his last two singles, “The Truth” should prove to be another big hit for a man whose career is now experiencing a rather strong second wind.