“1994” by Jason Aldean
Not every song needs to be Garth Brooks’ “Standing Outside the Fire” or Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” with big arrangements or social commentary. Sometimes they just need to have a toe-tapping rhythm and infectious groove—or a clever hook like Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie.
Jason Aldean has made no excuses for pushing the envelope in his career—rhythmically or lyrically—from as early on as “Hicktown” and “Johnny Cash,” to more recent cuts like “She’s Country” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” The release of “1994” only serves to further his penchant for upping the musical ante. The recitative nature of this tongue-in-cheek ditty may be off-putting to country music purists, but the song not only name-checks one of country music’s favorite stars, it also drops in titles of some of Diffie’s biggest hits, including “Honky Tonk Attitude,” “John Deere Green” and “Pickup Man,” as it tells a flirtatious story of young romance. The arrangement is also full of texture, from the tinkling banjo to the wacka-wacka electric guitar that rises and falls from chorus to verse.
And let’s face it: This song is pure fun. Just don’t think about the fact that gas was only $1.11 in 1994.