Alan Jackson - Freight Train

Like that favorite blanket or pair of old jeans, Alan Jackson continues to make music that is comfortable. Freight Train is comfortable but are there any moments that find Alan Jackson stretching and challenging himself?

“Every Now And Then” is one of those songs as it finds Alan talking about certain things that take him back to an old romance.  The instrumentation, which is guided by Alan’s friend and long-time producer Keith Stegall, suits the song.  “Till The End” is Alan’s tribute to the late Vern Gosdin and if there was ever a vocal event in the making it is this song as Lee Ann Womack joins Jackson in a duet that is stone country to its core and it’s quite amazing to hear Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack working together.  The title track has a jovial melody (with some great ‘chickin pickin’) and a sing-a-long worthy chorus that instantly pulls you in.  This song is one of four songs that don’t feature Alan’s pen and like “Till The End” it is a cover, this time a Fred Eaglesmith tune. 

Ultimately this record is neither groundbreaking nor is it lacking in future radio hits as Jackson, still one of their favorites, sings hits like “It’s Just That Way,” “That’s Where I Belong” the 90’s-like “True Love Is A Golden Thing” and “After 17.” While many artists are always constantly changing their sound, Alan remains true to what made him a star in the first place.  Freight Train may not win Alan many new fans but it’s unlikely to lose him any and in an era when the genre is getting more rock-n-roll and pop, Alan is remarkably retro or ‘traditional’ here.

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