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Gretchen Wilson - All Jacked Up
CD Review by Jim Moulton

Gretchen Wilson has hopped to success quicker than any artist in recent memory. From Pocahontas, Illinois growing up in cornfields and trailer parks and working as a bartender, Wilson moved to Nashville in 1996 to fulfill her dream of becoming a country singer. She sang for four years with no results until one night in a Nashville bar, Big Kenny and John Rich walked in. Rich asked her why she didn't have a record deal yet, she thought he was just another phony and ignored him as he kept trying to get in touch with her. The two finally got together and Rich showed her the ropes, she started singing demos and the rest is history. 

Her new CD All Jacked Up, which I first heard her sing on CMT on an unplugged special, takes a more country turn than the hard hitting Here For The Party. In fact, Rolling Stone Magazine only gave it two stars saying it wasn't up to to snuff with her first CD. This reviewer takes a totally different opinion after hearing two versions of each song, Gretchen really sounded good with nothing but acoustic guitars, dobros, fiddles, acoustic bass and some background vocals. By the way, I wish I had a CD of the unplugged versions. She has a real country voice and is the real thing, a redneck. I think that is why she has been so successful, people can really relate to her as the girl next door and a real country girl.

After listening to the full CD, this is a really good country recording. The title track "All Jacked Up" sort of takes off where the previous CD leaves you. It's a real Charlie Daniels type southern rocker drinking song with some great fiddle. After that, the disc settles into a more traditional country mode. 

I heard her sing "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today", both on the Opry and CMT's unplugged show. She hopes this song will be a hit for her. It is a real beauty of a country heartbreak song, slow tempo with a great melody and a great vocal delivery and harmonies.

"California Girls" is a knock at Paris Hilton and the blond Hollywood stereotype. "Ain't You Glad We Ain't All California Girls" - Good song with some comical lyrics. 

"He's Not Even Cold Yet" - Another slow heartbreak song about a guy who doesn't realize that it's over. 

"One Bud Wiser" - An upbeat honky tonk drinkin' song that really moves well with a traditional bent. 

"Politically Uncorrect" - A song that she had been kickin' around awhile and wanted to do it on this CD. It was great on the unplugged show and also very good on the CD version. It's a real good country song with her singing about the things that she believes in which have become politically incorrect recently. 

The CD ends with "Not Bad For A Bartender", which is a great song and a true song she wrote about herself. 

Wilson's sophomore CD is not a slump affair, in this guy's view, she has taken a big step ahead, there should be several hits from this CD and many sales too. 

www.gretchenwilson.com 

But It Now!

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Real People Reviews

I love this CD! I have "Here for the Party" and I love it and still listen to it regularly, but I think "All Jacked Up" is even better. I didn't think it was possible to outdo her first CD, but I think she has.
~ Gina

I personally did not like this CD!! The first release was a terrible song and the release she has out nowÖ.. "I Donít Feel Like Loving You Today" sounds like she is struggling to sing parts of the song. I guess Iím just not a fan of drinking, dipping Skoal, and the other things Gretchen sings about. Guess Iím not a true redneck. I really have never understood her popularity, but guess thereís more people that like here than not. She just got too popular too fast and shoved in your face by promoters. I am so glad that people like Sara Evans, Faith Hill, and LeeAnn Womack have come out with new songs. Maybe thatís the best thing Gretchen did was wake these great singers up and Iím glad she did that. Every time Iíve seen Gretchen live she sounds like she is singing karaoke. Just my opinion!!
~ Gsmith 

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