Jason Aldean Looks Back on Bro-Country’s Pros and Cons

When New York Magazine music critic Jody Rosen first coined the term “bro-country” in a 2013 article on Florida Georgia Line, there wasn’t much opinion expressed on the phrase from the bros making the music.

Back then, Rosen defined the music popularized by acts like FGL, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean as, “music by and of the tatted, gym-toned, party-hearty young American white dude.”

In last week’s keynote interview at Nashville’s Country Radio Seminar, Aldean expressed his thoughts on his music being associated with the phrase.

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“I always heard myself, Luke and FGL — we were the ones that got mentioned in that a lot,” he said. “And my thing is we’re singing songs about what we know: trucks, girl and parties. That’s what we all grew up doing.

“But I also thought if you listen to the rest of my records, you would see songs that had that subject matter. There were a couple, but there were also a lot of songs that didn’t.”

He added he agreed that the sound they popularized brought in a younger demographic to country music.

“What we were doing not only helped us, but it helped the whole format in general,” he said. “I’ve never recorded a song that I thought was ‘Hey Jude.’ I cut things I think are cool and things I want to go out and play. Hopefully, there’s an audience that likes what I’m doing and will come along for the ride.”

He added that it’s never fair to put artists in creative boxes anyway.

“My whole thing is if you’re going to take a few songs and categorize me as something after listening to a few songs, so be it,” Aldean said. “But if you take the time, and you listen to the whole albums, every song we’ve done, I think you’ll see that your assessment is a little off.”

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.