Single Review: Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”

I’m no purist, but there should be a lot more distance between what we call country music and this:


Kelly Clarkson’s got some powerful pipes, and she brings this track to life.  Aldean acquits himself nicely. But the sheer volume of noise that invades the track with the first chorus takes us straight into Monster Ballads territory.

This isn’t country music.  It just isn’t.

Written by Andy Gibbons, Paul Jenkins, and Jason Sellers

Grade: C

Listen: Don’t You Wanna Stay


  1. I love Kelly Clarkson and this song. I do not care if it is called country music or not. Her voice is amazing, and I will listen any chance I get to hear her voice!

  2. I totally like this song BECAUSE it reminds me of the all the late 70s, early 80s rock bands I listened to before I discovered Country.

  3. I, like most, agree this isn’t country but I’m happy that Kevin praised Kelly’s vocals because she is probaly one of three (Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey) people who can still have hits and sing in pop music and she does genuinely make this song better then your typical Jason Aldean song.

  4. I’m not quite sure on the comparison, but I have to ask, am I supposed to like the Ozzie/Lita song that was posted? I’m listening to it and like it quite a bit. As for the Aldeen/Clarkson song, it’s just like all the others, ok, if forgettable.

  5. …i read monster ballad, clicked on it and there it was – a monster sounding, like devin pointed out earlier, 70/80ish and putting a big smile on my face. nice bullseye on one of my not-country soft spots.

    jason aldean is not one of my favourite country acts, but his voice is quite special and with the right material it delivers sometimes remarkably pleasant surprises. writing something about kelly clarkson’s vocal chops is like pointing out that the empire state building is a skyscraper.

  6. I caved and bought this last night, only because K. Clarkson kills it. I think I’d actually love this song if someone other than Aldean sang the male part – he makes it less sultry for me, just because I find his voice (and him) so unappealing.

  7. I’m with the side that likes it ok. Clarkson is the reason it works at all, but Aldean sounds fine, too. But it is too loud even for the aesthetic it was going for, and the song is forgettable.

  8. I generally love duets and occasionally I like a power ballad. I couldn’t take this one because of, to quote Kevin, “the sheer volume of noise”.

  9. Ben Foster: No kidding! I don’t think anyone would like it as much without Kelly. I know I wouldn’t. I’m a huge Jason Aldean fan and love the song to begin with, but Kelly just takes it to a whole new level. And personally, I don’t have a problem with the noise level, nor do I think the song is forgettable. With those vocals, how could it be?

  10. I’ve been reading this site for quiet sometime. At this point I’m not sure if you really like music at all or just enjoy seeing the words that you write on a website.

    Seriously, do you pick the songs that you review or are they given to you. You rarely like anything. I think this is a valid question.

    What’s playing on Country Radio might not be your cup of tea, but obviously it has it’s audience. It begs to question whether you are giving fair consideration to the songs that you review. It seems like anything ‘popular’ leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

  11. First, to the topic at hand, I love this song, but I am also as much a fan of pop music as I am of country music. My blog carries all the evidence to convict me on that. Having said that, why isn’t this country? Some of the songs that hit the country charts in the 80s and 90s were even more unabashedly pop than this song is. Does adding Kelly on make it pop? I don’t think this is any less country than Lady Antebellum’s more popish songs.

    But to Heather’s point, it’s very clear that this site does not agree with all the programming choices that country radio makes, and that’s why I keep coming back. However, if you look at the top 10 songs from last year posted a few weeks ago, most of them were radio hits, so it’s not a bias against what’s on the radio. We can disagree on critiques of songs without questioning the integrity of the entire blog or one specific writer.

  12. I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews on this site, many of which were of mainstream releases. It seems to me that there just happened to be a cluster of negative reviews over the past week or so.

  13. Its much more country than reba’s turn on the radio. Plus, talking about bad reviews, even though i like the song, If i were a boy is reba’s new single, so im gonna get ready for Kevin’s review since we all know his dislike of the song from the album review lol

  14. “Three things in life I’ve learned to stop debating. They are: politics, religion, and the question ‘what is country music?”. – Ralph Emery

    I like this song well enough myself. I think Clarkson does most of the heavy lifting though.

  15. I do like this track, it is loud, but most of Aldean’s are….but Clarkson does well, and places this single above most of the crap on country radio at this time.

  16. going into rage mode. this song is awsome. and i just fond this site today and every review ive found seems to be hatin’ on aldean. :(

  17. I just can’t get myself to agree that Kelly Clarkson’s voice fits anywhere in country music. Maybe that makes me sound like a country “purist” but her voice belongs in the pop genre where she can sing as many runs and hit as many high notes as she wishes. But that’s not why I like country music. I turn to country to get away from that. Do I like her voice? Yes. Do I like her in this song? No. I could’ve handled Aldean by himself in this track… then again, the song is also kind of boring.

    Sorry for the negativity! Just sharing my thoughts.

  18. Stop da hating n take a chill pill people!!!! Hello does any1 know wer Jason Aldean is @ on the COUNTRY CHARTS right now…..guess…he is on TOP!!!! This song is good….is a good duet..ok. But everybody has an opinion of course…n here is mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOve Jason Aldean not a big fan of Kelly but I like this song w her n cutie Aldean.

  19. Hurray for Kelly’s second Billboard Hot Country #2 hit. It’s not very country, but hey. I love Kelly, anything she does that has a positive result is ace in my book.

    I’d suggest she do a country album at some point, but I’m not keen about being chased with torches and pitchforks. ;)

  20. J ason Aldean is GREAT! Luv his music! His song Big Green Tractor got me home when I went to N.C. for my 1st grandchilds birth! Weather was awful. Every time I heard the song, I calmed down. Been a fan ever since! Plus, my youngest son can pass for his double!!! Jason, YOU ARE #1 IN MY BOOK!!!!!

  21. I like the song (my girl and I sing it once in awhile at gigs) but I agree that it’s a little too power ballad-y. A lot of the producers and many writers here in Nashville came from the 80’s hair metal era, so it’s no surprise that a lot of tracks wind up sounding like the music they made in their heyday and/or grew up on.

    That said, I feel like, while Kelly’s vocals give this track the life, she also makes it more noisy. She, like many other pop singers in her vein, just don’t seem to have any sense of dynamics or “wait till the chorus to blow it up.” I never really cared much for her voice, but paired with Jason Aldean, it works somehow.

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