The second part of the Macon/Georgia double-album project from Jason Aldean is, for most intents and purposes, not that different than the first. Aldean still finds himself relaxed in the groove he minted back in 2014, when he had a number one hit with the slow-burning R&B-inflected jam "Burnin' It Down." He spins this sound into love and heartbreak songs, much like he did on Macon, but where that 2021 platter found space for some brighter moments -- there was a cache of drinking songs, plus the insistent soft rock of "This Bar Don't Work Anymore" -- Georgia rolls along at the same slow tempo. Even a piece of purported swagger like "Rock and Roll Cowboy" plods along at a steady gait, its attitude derived from volume, not energy. The relentless midtempo march creates a bit of a monotonous feel, particularly because Aldean doesn't vary his vocal attack much; he's stuck at a simmering glower, letting some conspicuous AutoTune deliver a new emotion on "Ain't Enough Cowboy," but otherwise relying on his reliable tricks. That he sounds comfortable ensconced in his wheelhouse is almost beside the point: maybe Aldean delivers what fans want, but he has no ambition greater than ensuring that Georgia is a relatively polished piece of crowd-pleasing product.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine