Jason Aldean has a new single out, called, “Lights Come On.” If you’ve heard it, you know it’s not exactly an artistic stretch for him. It might be easy for you to write it off as “just another Aldean song,” but that would be a mistake. You see, there’s always something to learn from a successful song. After all, this song is on the radio. Is yours?
I don’t know the backstory of why he cut this song (written by Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Jimmy Robbins, Jordan Schmidt, Brad Warren, and Brett Warren). I’m not in his inner circle, but here are some elements of the song which probably made it appealing to him…
1. The song sings to the listener.
Aldean gets to sing directly to his audience- and he identifies them as HIS audience. That’s a good way to build your relationship with them and their loyalty to you. Fans want to connect with the artist, and the artist wants to connect with this fans. Talking to them through the lyrics is a good way to do this.
2. The listener is the hero.
Not only does Aldean talk directly to the listener, he’s complimenting them. They’re the hero of the story. The listener is the hardworking guy or the cool girl who deserves a good time. he makes them feel good about themselves, which of course, makes them feel good about the singer. (Don’t we all tend to like people who compliment us?)
3. The singer is Yoda.
Complimenting the listener automatically casts a positive light on the singer, but the song doesn’t stop there. It’s not just “you deserve a good time.” No, it also says, “and I’m the guy that’s hosting the party!” The listener is Luke Skywalker, and Jason Aldean is Yoda. The listener is the hero, and the singer is the hero’s helper.
4. The song fits the brand.
The song perfectly fits Aldean’s image as a rocking, partying good-time loving country boy. Sonically, it fits right in with what he’s done time and again. Lyrically, it definitely fits his artistic voice. If the Florida Georgia Line guys (Tyler and Brian) hadn’t been writers on this, I’d have sworn it was written specifically for Jason.
5. It’s built for “live.”
Most artists make their money by selling tickets. And this song is a three-minute commercial selling you on coming to a Jason Aldean concert. It’s positive, fun, and loud. It’s something to get the crowd pumped, let them know they’re in for a good night… and hopefully, get them to the merch table.
6. The power of imagery.
When Aldean is telling the male listeners that they are awesome, hardworking men, he doesn’t just say, “you’re an awesome, hardworking man.” No, he paints the picture of strong coffee, a power stroke diesel engine, backhoe, etc. And he doesn’t just say, “you’re coming to a show,” he shows them hanging speakers over the crowd. That kind of imagery makes the lyric a LOT more interesting.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think we can learn from this song? Maybe you disagree completely and think there’s nothing to learn. Either way, please leave a comment!
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God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.