Sound — 8
Unless you've been living underneath a rock, you probably heard about Staind frontman Aaron Lewis starting a solo career as a country artist. On Town Line, we get the first taste of what Aaron can do as a country artist. Although there are seven songs total, there's only three completely new songs. There are three versions of his smash hit single Country Boy (the album version featuring George Jones and Charlie Daniels, the radio edit sung exclusively by Lewis, and an acoustic version). There is also a re-done version of Staind's song Tangled Up In You. On this EP, you notice immediately that the sound is very much older outlaw-style country. There's little evidence of rock-sounding guitars, and most of the album is Lewis with an acoustic guitar, drums, pedal-steel guitar from Paul Franklin, and Aaron's good friend Ben Kitterman on dobro. The sound is very refreshing compared to most country music today.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are very country-ish. On the first song, The Story Never Ends, Aaron intermingles touring life with the place he lives. On Country Boy, Lewis gives us an autobiography of his life, beginning with his childhood, moving onto when Staind were signed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst (he basically refers to Durst as the devil, with George Jones singing the next few lines as the devil), then Lewis talks about hunting and his vehicles, finally ending with his views on the government. Ending with Massachusetts, Lewis reps his home state. As we all know, Aaron Lewis is a great singer, and puts passions & emotion in every vocal performance. Since Lewis wrote these lyrics himself (whereas many country artists have people write lyrics for them), the listener gets a much more personal feeling from listening to the songs.
Overall Impression — 8
My main gripe with Town Line is that it is too short. I was hoping for a full-length album, but with Staind recording their new album and touring for the next couple years, I guess I'll have to wait for Aaron Lewis's next country album. Now, I know people will complain because Town Line isn't skull-bashing hard rock, but I personally love it. I think Aaron Lewis is one of the most talented musicians to come out in the last decade or so, and I will support him in anything he does. If you give Town Line a chance, it will grow on you. The most impressive song for me is Country Boy. I think it is becoming a new country anthem. I love everything about Town Line except for the fact that there are only seven songs. To answer the question, if anyone stole this, I would hunt them down and run them over with a diesel truck! If I lost it, I'd tear my house apart looking for it! And if I had to, I'd go to the ends of the Earth to replace Town Line!