“Lights Come On”
Written by Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Jimmy Robbins, Jordan Schmidt, Brad Warren, and Brett Warren
Perhaps this is a song best heard in its proper context.
“Lights Come On” seems written for the sole purpose of kicking off a Jason Aldean concert. It’s all very meta, and easy to picture the audience saying, “Hey! He’s singing about us! Cool!”
As a standalone song, it’s a typically calculated bit of hackery, the lyrical equivalent of the car Johnny Cash put together “One Piece at a Time.”
But that’s every Jason Aldean song these days, isn’t it? Soulless, monotonous, assembly line records that are interchangeable with one another and forgotten as soon as the song ends.
Maybe it’s better in concert, under the influence of a screaming crowd and presumably quite a bit of alcohol. But listening to in a quiet space without any of those distractions is a miserable experience.
One more song written by a Nashville committee (of six, for crying out loud), and a committee of Bromeisters, for a fellow Bromeister. I just have to shake my head….
Perfect score! A song only his fans could love.
Agreed. Maybe it sounds better if you find yourself falling-down drunk at an Aldean show (I wouldn’t know and don’t plan to find out), but it’s an odd choice for a single.
Last Aldean song I liked was “Laughed Until We Cried” and before that, “Amarillo Sky”. One of the best Warren Brothers writing efforts imho was “Blank Sheet of Paper” with Don Schlitz for Tim McGraw. Will they make more money for “Lights Come On” with 4 other writers? They do have a sense of humor. Their last 2 albums were titled “Well Deserved Obscurity” and “Barely Famous Hits”.
When it comes to his radio singles, that definitely rings true.
When it comes to deeper cuts, however, I still consider Aldean above-average in relation to his male A-list peers. Tracks like “Don’t Change Gone”, “Too Fast”, “Old Boots, New Dirt” and “Two Night Town” from his most recent release demonstrate why he’s well superior in relation to chart rivals like Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Chris Young, Keith Urban and Thomas Rhett when it comes to song selecting.
Eric Church and Tim McGraw are really the only male A-listers, in my opinion, that continue to clearly outdo Aldean in terms of the quality quotient when putting albums together. Dierks Bentley definitely has as well, though “Black” has certainly resembled a big step backwards for him at least in the temporary sense.
Obviously when vocal performances and charisma are factored into the equation, Aldean loses a lot of ground to his competition. But I’m still convinced on the basis of song selection alone, Aldean rarely gets the credit he deserves when one willingly wanders beyond his radio singles aside from “Amarillo Sky”, “The Truth” and “Tattoos On This Town”. And, gauging by the track listing of his forthcoming album, it’s looking like that disconnect between what makes it to radio and what fills the rest of his albums will continue.