The Road by Aaron Lewis

Country music has very little to do with geography and a whole lot to do with lifestyle and lyric—even more so with authenticity. And Aaron Lewis is mostly on the mark with his first full-length country album, The Road. (He released the EP Town Line in 2011.)

If you liked The Road’s debut single, “Endless Summer,” you should be crazy for the rest of the album, because it goes way up from there. Not that Aaron was attempting to come up with an über-radio-friendly tune with “Endless Summer,” but he’s a better writer than that single reflects.

Songs like his chugging anthem to the road—yes, the title track—are testimony to that. It also demonstrates his impressive vocal range as he rattles an almost inaudible bass note at the end of each verse. But that cool, gritty texture in his voice takes on a soothing tone in songs such as the thoughtful, introspective “Lessons Learned” and the aching, brokenhearted “Anywhere but Here.”

But Aaron needs to be aware of a drawl that sometimes sounds a bit forced for the New England-born rocker.

Yet make no mistake, he is a truck-drivin’, gun-totin’ country boy. And while he has always said he would write his own songs, he surrendered a spot on this album to include the Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson tune “Grandaddy’s Gun.” For good reason. The song is beautifully written and speaks to the heart of fellow country folks.

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