High Mileage Enhanced
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Alan Jackson's eighth album for Arista has nothing to prove, no broad statements to make, no shocking musical switch-ups. In laying back into acoustic shuffles like "Right on the Money" and pedal steel- sweetened ballads like "Gone Crazy," Jackson disarms with subtle delivery and a back-to-country-basics band. He penned half the album, and remarkably, his compositions are so strong one wishes he'd handled the entire record. The best non-original is a Kieran Kane's I'll Go On Loving You, the sexiest thing Jackson's ever recorded, with an elegantly dark string arrangement, and a deadly serious spoken delivery; the worst is "What a Day Yesterday Was," a slice of proud-to- live-in-the-past schmaltz. Even without A-level material, Jackson's gut-deep drawl, his continued commitment to traditional country sounds, and his unfailing avoidance of pretension number him among mainstream Nashville's most convincing voices. He's no maverick and this record holds few surprises; still, in Jackson's case, consistency will quite nearly suffice. --Roy Francis Kasten --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Another great song is Little man, a song about what a town used to be like in the old days - another song with a tinge of sadness but philosophical acceptance. There are happier songs here too, like Right on the money and I'll go on loving you. Alan reflects on the past and also looks to the future in What a day yesterday was, hoping that life will continue to be just as good. The tempo picks up a little on Hurting comes easy and a bit more on Another good reason, but even this track, while fast by the standards of this album, is slow compared to many of Alan's classic up-tempo songs. The closing Amarillo, like all the songs here, is an original song and should not be confused with Emmylou's song of the same title.
On this album, Alan gives the impression of being comparatively at ease with the world - nothing to get too excited about, but nothing to get too sad about either. It is exactly the kind of album that Don recorded in the seventies and eighties, albeit with a contemporary production. I like this album a lot. It does not show the full range of Alan's capability but there are times when this is just the kind of album I want to listen to.