While his album may be named The Underdog, Texas country music superstar Aaron Watson couldn’t be further from the head of the pack. His twelfth album, a fourteen-track offering that successfully showcases his Texas roots, southern charm, and immeasurable talent, The Underdog has already soared to maximum heights on the iTunes chart on the morning of its release date.
From the first note to the last, Aaron’s album is a breath of fresh air in a genre that is ever evolving and beginning to straddle the lines of pop, rock, and R&B. Rather than conforming to the trends, Aaron plants his boots firmly into the foundation deep in the heart of Texas and emerges with an album that is the true definition of pure country music.
Already an iTunes hit, Watson’s lead single, “That Look,” was a song written about his loving wife. As we previously noted in our review dedicated solely to this outstanding ode to a partner,
Aaron’s musical devotion to his other half is a track about everything that a man loves about the woman with whom he is sharing his life. Whether it is the way she handles her stress, her ability to make him weak in his knees, or the certain something she has that melts him, his wife has Aaron won over. And, when she gets “that look,” she is simply irresistible to him.
With tracks like “The Prayer” and “Wildfire,” the leading two cuts on the album, Aaron immediately introduces the subject matter of his offering, which consists of family, faith, and a collection of eventual fan favorites. Complete with the simple instrumentation of country music from the days of yore, Aaron reminds listeners of the distance musical modesty can go when an artist relies on “three chords and the truth.”
Aaron also spotlights his playfulness and witty sense of humor on songs like “Freight Train,” “Getaway Truck,” “Rodeo Queen,” and “Fence Post.” This gathering of songs ranges from silver-tongued cleverness and quickly delivered lyrics to astute metaphors regarding life and love. Spotlighting his vocal control, “Freight Train” bares similarities to John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (Grundy County Auction)” in its speed and precision.
Highlights on The Underdog include its title track, “Bluebonnets,” “One of Your Nights,” and the aforementioned “Fence Post.” “The Underdog” is an inspiring song, encouraging fallen spirits to get back up again, no matter how difficult the task at hand may seem. The track emboldens listeners to keep the faith “when you fear, when you fail, when you feel you’re gonna fall, follow your heart and always believe in the underdog.” While providing a positive influence, Aaron also reminds listeners to always embrace their humbleness and humility by telling them to “keep your nose down when you win and your head up when you lose.” A valuable lesson indeed, “The Underdog” will leave you reevaluating your attitude and will serve as musical rejuvenation.
“Bluebonnets” is appropriately centered around the coming and going of Texas’s state flower, reminding fans in a slow, meaningful ballad to cherish all moments because they will not last forever. A resonating lyric, “pack light and love heavy,” is a reminder that life is a short ride, so carry little baggage, but weigh your heart down with an abundance of love.
“One of Your Nights” is a standout performer on the album because of its classic country, albeit somewhat bluesy, vibe and romantically crafty lyrics. Aaron sings of the suffrage related to a bad day and the need to put the day aside and center on a night with someone he loves. However, because Aaron’s songwriting is incomparably superb, he delivers his desires in the most canny of ways. Explaining that he has had “one of those days,” he then shares with his love that he will now need “one of your nights.” With a voice smooth as silk and a sentiment as warm as a fire-lit sky, the recipient of this musical dedication will surely melt and be available to help wash the bad day away.
The snarky finale to The Underdog comes to the tune of “Fence Post,” a song Aaron wrote to tell the tale of Nashville closing the door in his face and his feelings on the reception he received. An acoustic cut, Aaron uses his final track to inspire others to chase their dreams like he has, regardless of the opportunities that have not been made available to him during his pursuit. The song perfectly describes the artist Aaron has proven to be — one who needn’t compromise his own artistry or integrity to mold himself to the expectations of the industry. Instead, he revels in the fact that he loves what he does and will continue to make his kind of music, remaining “an old fence post in Texas, [rather] than the King of Tennessee.”
Aaron Watson’s newly released The Underdog is a compilation of uptempo, exciting songs and ballads of utter brilliance, remarkably enveloping the critical components of his life — family, friends, faith, and fans. The album transcends his releases of the past, indicative of immense growth in this particular artist throughout the duration of his career.
With this fourteen-track project, which has already soared to Number 1 on iTunes, Aaron proves he is far from being “the underdog.”