I bought my first Alan Jackson record five years ago. No matter what song or album Alan puts out, it turns into a hit. Alan's latest record, What I Do, is another strong performance.
"Too Much Of A Good Thing", Alan's current hit, is about a guy who can't get enough of the one he loves. It's rapidly climbing the charts. "If Love Was A River" is a song about taking the opportunity to build a relationship("If love was a river and I was a drowning man/Would you go in the water, would you lend me a hand"). "There Ya Go" is another song with that same theme("There ya go, you're doing fine/Take each day like a step/One at a time"). Of course, Alan has his usual dose of heartbreak and lost love. "You Don't Have To Paint Me A Picture", "Rainy Day In June", and "Strong Enough" are all strong "heartbreak" numbers, with the speaker saying in "Strong Enough": "Mexico, you don't make tequila/Strong enough to get her off my mind." In "USA Today", the speaker tries to put a positive spin on his breakup. He won't have to worry because the newsman called and told him that "they're...puttin' me on the cover of the USA Today". "Monday Morning Church", though, tops them all. Trying to cope with the loss of his wife, the man won't go anywhere, even to church, since "they took all that he believed and laid it in the ground". The closing number "To Do What I Do", which was recorded live, could very well be Alan's celebration of his career. As he sings, I think it's obvious that Alan is enjoying himself: "There's so much joy this music can bring/So I count my blessings when I step up to sing/'Cause there's so many people that would give anything/To do what I do."
Alan, however, always has room for the upbeat on his records. This record has a couple of strong toe-tappers. In "Talkin' Song Repair Blues", the guy takes his car to the garage to get it fixed. After the mechanic gives the car owner the estimate of how much the job will cost, they get to talking and realize they're both songwriters. When the mechanic plays his song, the owner of the car gives him his opinion and tells him how to fix the song. They both break out in laughter. The toe-tapping "Burnin' The Honky Tonks Down" is about a woman who gets even with her husband for going out to the bars by following him to the bars and torching them. There's a lot of humor in those songs. However, I think Alan finally put a song that's a "miss" on one of his records. In "If French Fries Were Fat Free", the guy is talking about how life would be if he hadn't lost his love. The song is great--until you get to the chorus: "If French fries were fat free/And you still loved me." These lines kind of spoil the effect of the song. Instead of feeling heartbreak, I think some people would laugh at these words. On a record where any one of the songs could be a hit, Alan stumbles here. However, even though it's not quite up to the level of music we expect from Alan, What I Do is another great album from this award-winning singer. This record has already produced one huge hit and will without a doubt have several other hits off it.