Single Review: Aaron Lewis, “That Ain’t Country”

“That Ain’t Country”
Aaron Lewis

Written by Aaron Lewis

Rocker Aaron Lewis effectively schools current mainstream country radio on country music. By declaring that what’s being accepted  as country music isn’t actually country, he demonstrates what  country music is.

Backed by a straight up muscular nineties country production, which includes plenty of steel guitar, the sing-able “That Ain’t Country” notes that what  is being called country  these days, including “tales of good times and happy endings” isn’t like what his granddad used to play, which were songs “full of truths and consequences, all the things gone wrong” and “hard times and complications.” He observes, “Isn’t life like that?”

As a result, the lead singer of the rock group, Staind, concludes: “So I’ll keep listening to the old songs that my Granddad used to play/Full of pain and heartache and desperation and the ones that got away/ The ones that speak to me, the way I feel today.”

While Lewis  is no stranger to  causing some controversial ripples in his six years of dabbling in country music, including  pointed  and harsh criticisms of specific songs, “That Ain’t Country” is a relatively sharp, albeit simplistic, indictment of  country radio’s popular music. The song isn’t perfect, particularly his   awkwardly constructed  list of name checks, but the song effectively illustrates its valid point.

Grade: B+


  1. I also didn’t like “his awkwardly constructed list of name checks”. Good point. Otherwise, it’s a pleasant listen. The lyric about listening to the old songs his granddad used to play made me wonder what songs my granddad used to play. Since my dad was born in 1903 …Hmmm.

  2. The name drops are pretty much the only part of the song I didn’t like. Other than that I thought it was really good. Sonically it reminded me a lot of Randy Rogers’ & Wade Bowen’s “Standards,” which was one of my favorite songs from last year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.