Jason Aldean

The riff in Jason Aldean's latest smash, "She's Country," as far as I can tell, comes from AC/DC. He's easily got the hackiest cowboy hat in today's crop of country hunks, but what sets him apart are frequent hooks that don't just feel hard – they feel heavy. The first time I heard his 2005 debut hit "Hicktown," I thought of Black Sabbath; follow-up "Johnny Cash," amusingly enough, largely recalled mid-career Bad Company. The Georgia metalbilly's new Wide Open features nary a self-penned lyric, but the title opener about an underemployed gal "slingin' eggs and bacon with a college education" holds its own regardless.

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