His first album is still one that I thoroughly enjoy listening to, to this day. A good chunk of the songs on here were co-written by him, Rodney Clawson, Vicky McGehee, and Big & Rich. The album kicks off with his debut single "Hicktown" & it just gets better from there. No wonder this album sold well. When you have great singles like "Hicktown", "Why", and "Amarillo Sky"...no wonder people ate this up like candy. Even the album cuts are rock solid. "Lonesome USA", "She Loved Me", and "You're the Love I Wanna Be In" kick ass. Even Blake Shelton took it upon himself to record his own version of "Asphalt Cowboy" for his 2003 album The Dreamer, before Aldean cut his version of the song.
Aldean's debut album was great from top to bottom. I still wonder where he went wrong after his first three albums and when the songs became inconsistent or filler just to pad out the album. I'm not a fan of his later work, but when he hits the sweet spot and he's on the money like he was on here, hes a force to be reckoned with in mainstream country music. I wish he'd go back to singing about matters of the heart & the everyday man's struggles in life. That's what he excels at & it shows up here in spades. Maybe one day, he'll realize the mistakes he's making on his later records & do a complete 180 and come back. Until then, it's wishful thinking & at least we have his early work to comfort us. I give his 1st album 4.5 stars out of 5.