Single Review: Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”

Jason-Aldean-Burnin-It-Down“Burnin’ it Down”

Jason Aldean

Written by Rodney Clawson, Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley,  and Chris Tompkins

Country music isn’t historically prudish. It covers the topical gambit of love, drinking, cheating, murder and, yes, even passion. Conway Twitty, Alabama, Charlie Rich, even Alan Jackson ,as well as many others,  haven’t shied away from memorably singing about sexual intimacy. But their songs maintained a respect for the intimacy, which Jason Aldean’s “Burnin” it Down” grossly fails to do. Instead, the song is high octane graphic with no sense of real intimacy and nothing left up to the imagination.

There’s a line between a passionate love song and a passionless song. There’s a line between a sexy song and a sex filled song. And there’s a line between a classy, passionate love song and a classless, passionless sex filled song. “Burnin’ it Down” crosses the line to the latter categories on all accounts.

What’s more, I know that readers will tell me that I shouldn’t have been surprised at this point, but it’s been so long since I’ve turned to a mainstream country radio station that I was still dumbfounded by how decidedly non-country this song sounds, especially the intro! It’s something that would fit perfectly on a pop station and might even sound good there, but it’s way too low rent in the context of country music. With that, it’s no surprise that Florida Georgia Line is connected to this smoldering piece of dreck. I think I’ll pull out some wholesome Conway Twitty to cleanse my mind now!

Grade: D



  1. Nothing is sacred anymore. Nothing left to the imagination. It’s like a window to Jason’s marital affair. But it’s moving like a rocket up the charts. Not surprised one bit.

  2. Given it a few listens, still not sure if I like or dislike it. But I do know that I do not want his upcoming album to sound like this. I’m sure it won’t, as Aldean lead singles are often the exception not the rule when it comes to his albums.

  3. Can’t imagine how long it took to record this song. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes just listening to it. The lyrics sound like something a 12-13 year old boy would write.

  4. This is genuinely depressing to listen to this song. It captures the adolescence of “men” in country music today — and in the culture at large. Aldean and FGL should be ashamed for putting this together, but they do not even realize their own immaturity. I do not mean to criticize all younger men today — I am 31 years old, after all — but I see this perpetual adolescence among my peers and it’s sad.

    It seems that country music is just reflecting the broader culture, but art is suppose to humanize us, not dehumanize us.

  5. If it makes you feel better, this surprised me, too. I wasn’t surprised that Jason cut a terrible song, “Dirt Road Anthem” and all the implications that came from its existence makes it the worst song of the decade this far, but the melody and “naked in my bed” line genuinely threw me. I cannot support a song this overtly sexual.

    Leeann, this review is perfect. You found a way to demonstrate your immense dislike of the song by staying classy and not going into a rage. There is no way I could exhibit the same restraint. It’s so good to see you writing again.

  6. In an attempt to follow Leeann’s lead, and not get worked into a foaming rage, I will just say that this ranks right down there with Guns N Roses’ butchery of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” in terms of recordings that make me want to puke, and leave it at that.

  7. Subtlety Jason, subtlety. You didn’t have to say yes to this mess. If the 4 guys who collaborated on this garbage can’t do better, there are plenty of good writers available.

  8. I’m not prudish so the overt sexuality doesn’t especially bother me, but this is just a lousy song. Other than to reference to “old Alabama”, there is nothing country about this song; not the production, song structure or the melody

  9. Paul,
    I actually wonder if I would be less icked out by the lyrics if the song structure and production was different. I think the way the lyrics are framed (including admitted “druggy” references from one of the songwriters) makes the song more adolescent, frenzied and dirty seeming. I’m typically not prudish either, but something about this song makes me feel like I need to listen to something more “wholesome” to feel like I’ve got a semblance of class again.:)

  10. It’s like a window to Jason’s marital affair.

    As I said before elsewhere, that’s a novel, interesting take, and one not without merit. The song is just even more tasteless when one looks at it from that angle.

    But even disregarding the ick factor, “Burnin’ it Down” is by far the worst thing Aldean’s done yet, and considering “1994” that’s really saying something. It’s so disappointing. I mean, he’s no Haggard or Strait even on his best day, but he’s capable of so much better than this.

  11. Some sexy songs I prefer listening to:
    Just Got Started Lovin’ You – James Otto (Jim Femino, D. Vincent Williams & James Otto)
    Gettin’ You Home – Chris Young (Cory Batten, Kent Blazy & Chris Young)
    Your Man – Josh Turner (Chris Stapleton, Chris DuBois & Jace Everett)
    Let Me Touch You for a While – Alison Krauss (Robert Lee Castleman)
    It – a fun, uptempo album track from Kellie Coffey’s 2007 “Walk On” cd, (Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick & Kellie Coffey)

  12. Since there’s never been a time that I’ve been especially impressed by Aldean’s music, I’m not really disappointed in his music choices. It’s people like Blake Shelton and Joe Nichols who disappoint me, since their earlier albums showed how really good they can be.

  13. Josh Turner’s “Find Me A Baby” doesn’t even chart.

    Jason Aldean’s “Burnin It Down” is burning (haha) up the charts.

    Just a sad window into the failing pillars of America’s moral standards.

  14. Since there’s never been a time that I’ve been especially impressed by Aldean’s music, I’m not really disappointed in his music choices.

    Fair enough. :D Not that I was particularly impressed with songs like “Amarillo Sky” and “The Truth,” but I did think they were good songs nonetheless — miles ahead of this dreck, to be sure.

    Shelton’s and Nichols’ early stuff was definitely much, much better than what they’ve been doing as of late.

  15. Great review Leeann. But the most obscene part of the song is the reference to Alabama. I hate when these guys try to gain country street cred by referring back to a great country artist. It is as if Aldean, and those juvenile morons known as Florida Georgia Line, really think that a song, with no country connection, will be filled out by taking Alabama’s name in vain. That insults me even more than the line about his singing making her feel like an angel- which makes no sense at all. And once again the girl ( never a woman or a lady) is only useful for the man-child’s pleasure. She is not a real person. And in this song she might as well be a hooker for all the affection she gets.

  16. I was surprised to find that Aldean’s longtime producer, Michael Knox, produced this. When I first head this, I got the impression Aldean also sought out Joey Moi for at least this cut in that it sounds reminiscent of Florida-Georgia Line’s own “Dayum, Baby”.

    But, lo and behold: it name-drops BOTH Jack Daniels and “Old Alabama”. Therefore, it’s unimpeachably country, damn it! ;)


    To me, what’s most off-putting about this is the same factor behind his lead singles in general: his overt self-serious delivery. This sounds more like a fatally misfired attempt to pen a melancholic soliloquy for the twenty-first century than something that would make you want to dance between the sheets to. The way he mumbles: “You’re stirrin’ up dirty, in the back of my mind…” sounds more like he’s tearing in his Old Milwaukee at Tai’s Til 4 than feeling aroused. The way he says: “Let’s hit the lights and let our shadows dance, and light it up like it’s our last chance!” sounds more like a funeral procession than organic ecstasy.

    Then, yet again, we face the idea that you have to get liquored up to enjoy sex. I’ve never understood that. A glass of wine or one beer wouldn’t hurt, but mixing hard alcohol with intimacy is often a recipe for disaster if the goal is to enjoy consensual intimacy. Trust me: sober sex as opposed to “altered” sex is much more pleasurable.

    I can’t see this enjoying much staying power in his live show setlist in relation to his other commercial hits. “Burnin’ It Down” just doesn’t strike me as that type of song I can envision hearing when Aldean hypothetically makes a “Greatest Hits” tour run fifteen years from now. It’s too slow, but just because a song is slow doesn’t mean it can’t work in a live setting. If a slower song is able to pluck heartstrings; either by means of conjuring nostalgia, touching on universal grief, triumph of the human spirit, speaking directly of a personal experience like losing a mother or grandfather, or even a love song for fans………it can vastly hold its own and often stand out as the most memorable moments in shows. But “Burnin’ It Down” fails to convey any real release as a slower song. It’s just a tepid “Check it out, imma just doin’ my thang with this hot chick!” boast that sounds more like it’s coming out of the mouth of a sexually frustrated outcast who lies about his sex life.


    Yes, I’d say D is the appropriate grade here.

    Some might argue it should get an F, and I did entertain the idea, but I concluded this is more an abject worse-than-average showing of mediocrity than an offensively flaming failure. Songs that earn the F grade also, in my mind, have to be so powerful that they can influence the genre and pop culture as a whole and be either utterly offensive or shameless sell-outs. Aldean is more just lazily following trends here, and so I’d say D is more fitting.

  17. Craig, you beat me to the punch with the Alabama reference. I actually feel bad for those guys…even though they took part in it, I thought Paisley’s “Old Alabama” was a lame tribute that was beneath them…that was mainly just a hodgepodge of their old song lyrics/references talking about a hot southern girl. To me, it seemed like Paisley just used them for nostalgia sake to get a hit. But, sadly that was far more reverential than this mess. I guess they’re now in good company with some of the other greats who have been name-dropped in terrible songs.

    Leeann, again, kudos on the review. I think you and most of the comments pretty much have hit the nail on the head here. The only thing I’ll add is…God, I wish FGL would’ve recorded this mess themselves. I’d probably laugh my head off through it, much like I did with “Stay”…it would be like a Weird Al parody of a bro-country love song. I think Aldean’s presence, for a lot of reasons, makes a really skeezy, witless song sound a lot more uncomfortable. But, I can’t even work up the anger to get mad at FGL at this point. Sadly, I look at them in the same way as I would a four year old that was caught fingerpainting on the wall…much like the kid, I don’t think they really know any better. The problem is…I don’t think anyone’s around to tell them that what they’re doing is wrong.

  18. I like to think of the lyrics as referring to the relationship between Aldean, FGl, and others of similar ilk and the country music genre: “we’re just hangin around, burnin it down”

  19. On a side note, anyone else surprised Coors Brewing Co. hasn’t already asked Aldean to re-record the chorus to this song, just as he did for the first verse of “Take A Little Ride”, just to name-drop their product as part of a promotional deal? ;)


    “We’re just hangin’ around,
    burnin’ it down,
    sippin’ on some ice cold Coors Light…”

  20. If I ever have to hear “Burnin’ It Down” again, I hope it’s in reference to his music studio. So tired of the Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, and Luke Bryan types destroying country music so they make money off of adolescents. These days I’m constantly clicking between radio stations because I do not want to hear rap in my country. Actually, these days country music isn’t even a genre. Think about it, when you hear a rap song you know it’s rap, the same with rock, hard rock, southern rock, etc. But when you hear a new country song, it’d hard to tell if it’s country, pop, or rap. So let me break it down for all the hacks in Nashville these days; if you can’t two-step to it, it’s not country. A rapper (bad rapper) in a cowboy hat is still a rapper. Join Taylor Swift, and seek life elsewhere. For me, this is obviously an F-

  21. I was never a huge Alabama fan. I know they have recorded some good stuff, “Old Flame,” “I’m in a Hurry” and “Song of the South” are personal favorites of mine, but I find it so strange that country artists drop their name to gain country credibility.

    To me, for the most part, Alabama was a country pop band that blew up because they made music inoffensive enough to easily fly up the country charts and was pop enough to appeal to 70s pop fans who drifted away from pop radio in the 80s. Out of their 30 or so number one hits, how many do people actually remember? How many of their 14 platinum albums do people know by name?

    And now, 30 years later, young artists get credibility for name dropping a country pop band? Does that mean in 2024 artists will be name dropping Rascal Flatts for credibility?

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