I would love to be able to describe each song on here, but words fail me when you have an album of such quality on here. The electric guitars don't overpower the fiddles or steel pedal. The arrangements are understated yet complex & Stoney's raspy tenor shines on every track. Some of the standouts on here are lead single "First One To Know", second single "Golden Shackles", leadoff track "One And Only" and the rocker "Spitfire."
I happened to have gotten the deluxe version of Aviator & as most of you know, the deluxe version of most albums have bonus tracks that are sometimes instantly forgettable & bog down the album because they're filler and are there to pad out the record. In Stoney's case, this is an exception. The two bonus tracks, a cover of "Natural High (For Merle Haggard)" and "Studio A Trouble Time Jam" are both great songs that should've been on the standard version of Aviator. Besides, you have Ashley Monroe of Pistol Annies fame singing harmony vocals on "Natural High." It doesn't get much better with that!
Overall, Aviator is a bit loose than his previous effort Velvet. While I personally prefer Velvet, you damn sure can't go wrong with Aviator if you're just hearing about Stoney LaRue for the first time. If he continues to put out great albums like this, the sky's the limit for this talented musician, songwriter and artist. 4.5 stars out of 5.