Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, "Don't You Wanna Stay"

After country rocker Jason Aldean and pop diva Kelly Clarkson performed this duet on the CMA Awards telecast, the song soon entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart from unsolicited airplay.  Not surprisingly, "Don't You Wanna Stay" is now slated as the second single from Jason Aldean's album My Kinda Party.

This new single offering plants itself firmly in pop power ballad territory with an abundance of swelling strings and electric guitars build around one bigger-than-big chorus.  "Don't You Wanna Stay" is lyrically sparse, with two verses of only three lines each.  Repetitions of the chorus fill out the remainder of the lyric sheet.  Fortunately, however, there are no backwoods cliches or unnecessary Hank name-drops.

Though such a duet pairing may seem unlikely, Kelly Clarkson's presence turns out to be what makes this single.  Her powerful performance holds nothing back, and holds our attention despite a few rises in the loudness of the production.  Though she threatens to outshine the less-vocally-gifted Jason Aldean, he still holds his own, and he proves to be in fine voice.  As they blend their voices together on the chorus, we find that their voices compliment each other surprisingly well.

The set of lyrics is not anything special on its own, though it can claim one memorable line in "I don't want to just make love/ I want to make love last."  The song could have been deadly boring had it not been handled so deftly by the vocalists, who manage to breath life into the slightly subpar lyrics.  "Don't You Wanna Stay" might not be a particularly groundbreaking song, but the performance earns high marks nonetheless.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)