In Defense of 'Endless Summer'
I love Aaron Lewis' music, but I am not a Lewis apologist. I cannot stand the song Northern Redneck (and I'm a Northerner), and even though I do like the song That Ain't Country, I can understand that people don't like the pandering lyrics. However, the one song I do not understand why it receives so much hate is Endless Summer.
"The first is he name drops Jason Aldean of all people. That’s right, designer jeans fashionista Jason Aldean is now cool enough to name drop in a song when you’re a struggling, aging rocker grasping, clawing for any tiny bit of mainstream relevancy or attention. And then after Aaron says how proud he is that his girls sing along to Jason Aldean, he calls out Miley Cyrus, saying, 'It makes me smile just a little bit because it’s not a Miley Cyrus song.'” - Saving Country Music
When Endless Summer was released in March of 2012, Fly Over States was Jason Aldean's current single. It's a great song talking about how the fly over states are more than their title implies. The album Night Train wouldn't be released for another half of a year. Sure, My Kinda Party had not one, but two terrible songs penned by Brantley Gilbert, but overall, it was a pretty good album. Jason Aldean was still an artist that I respected. His career hadn't yet completely jumped the shark into the bro country realm in which he thrives. If Lewis penned the song today, I'm sure he would mention another artist.
The Aldean namedrop aside, the song is a happy one, which is automatically a red flag for some traditionalists (for some reason). It's a song about spending time off with his daughters who are on summer break. I think there's a difference between listing "country" activities that prove you're country and explaining how you're spending summer days and nights with your daughters. The activities mentioned in Endless Summer are typical of a summer day spent as a father of three daughters.
Aaron Lewis is a country artist with a rock past. His songs are country. Sure, he may pander to his crowds to elicit cheers, but that does not change the fact that his songs have heart and soul behind them. This song will always be on my summer playlist, cranked up loudly on my radio as I drive with the windows down.