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Alan Jackson - Like Red On A Rose  
Album Review By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

*Listening Room below, just click on the song you want to hear.

“I’m at a point in my life where I’ve lived through a lot, survived a lot, enjoyed a lot, had tears, and laughter and all of that…and a lot of these songs are that story.” 
Alan Jackson

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I heard that Alison Krauss was producing the new album by Alan Jackson; after all, I have always pretty much subscribed to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought for much of my life and I like Jackson just the way he is and always has been. It isn't that I think baritones and bluegrass don't mix but I didn't want anyone tampering with what I consider to be perfection. Don't get me wrong, I like Krauss too but it just seemed like an illogical musical pairing but despite my initial doubts I decided to reserve judgment until I heard the album and I'll be the first to say that I'm glad I did.

About half way through the first track I was pleasantly surprised that what I was hearing wasn't anything at all like what I was expecting to hear and while the second track, "Good Imitation of the Blues," was way more than a "good imitation," truthfully, it wasn't until "Like Red on a Rose" that I felt the warm fuzzies like you get when you hear from an old friend. It was all good from then on.

The pace is pretty slow throughout but this gives you time to really absorb the lyrics and Jackson is flawless in his delivery on every track. On a few songs he receives a little harmony help from Krauss, Lee Ann Womack and Cheryl White; not that he really needed it, it just makes the whole mix all the more perfect. One of my favorite cuts on the album is the only one written by Jackson; "A Woman's Love," from his 1998 High Mileage album and "As Lovely As You" is an easy flowing, harmonious waltz in 3/4 perfection. 

It is to his credit that the velvet baritone that sold nearly fifty million records, has thirty-one number one songs, and won close to one hundred awards to date, would be willing to let someone else Drive. Of course, letting twenty time Grammy winner Krauss take the wheel almost guaranteed a smooth trip was in store.

The final cut, "Bluebird," written by Leon Russell, is an absolute perfect fit for Jackson's extraordinary vocal depth and his rendition of this song had me hitting replay more times than I'll ever admit to. This track was brilliantly produced and eloquently presented. It epitomizes the phrase "elegant in its simplicity." This one song is worth the price of the album and clearly illustrates why Jackson is the most nominated performer in CMA history.

Related Links:
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