Review : ALAN JACKSON - Thirty Miles West
Washington PostAlan Jackson opens his new album “Thirty Miles West” with a song suggesting that if reincarnation exists, he will return as a country song. No other artist of his generation deserves this destiny more, for no other has better represented the traditions of country music than this Georgia native.
Still, his songs are what set him apart. Those include the observational “Her Life’s a Song,” about a young woman passionate about a variety of music, and the touching “When I Saw You Leaving (for Nisey),” about his wife’s cancer diagnosis, which ends with the emotions he felt when discovering it had gone into remission.
As usual, Jackson handles both real-life drama and sly humor with laid-back grace — making “Thirty Miles West” another example of how to keep traditional country music relevant in modern times....full text
GACAlan Jackson is consistent. Over the years, each new album cranks up like the truck you’ve had forever and trust to get you through it all. After parting ways with longtime label Arista Nashville in early 2011 (loooong time label, as in AJ was actually their first artist signed in 1989), Alan issues his debut release under his own Alan’s Country Records in partnership with EMI Records Nashville. Thirty Miles West, in stores on June 5, is classic Alan Jackson, full of his trademark neo-traditional sound, contemporary production and laid-back delivery....full text
Rough StockOutside of his covers album Under The Influence, country music icon Alan Jackson has never recorded as many outside songs as he does on Thirty Miles West, his debut album for ACR/EMI Records Nashville. While he's had plenty of albums where 4-6 tracks were written by some of Nashville's best writers, Thirty Miles West finds seven songs coming from Outside writers, including the single slowly moving up the charts the week this album was released in 2012, "So You Don't Have To Love Me Anymore." In fact four of the first five songs are among the 13 track album's seven outside songs. And after listening to just those songs, it's easy to see why Alan Jackson chose the songs he did for this record....full text
All MusicSplitting from his longtime label Arista, Alan Jackson sets up his ACR Records imprint at EMI and releases Thirty Miles West, his 15th collection of new songs. Jackson doesn't use this opportunity as a rebirth but rather a continuation, stripping away the barest hint of extra fat left upon his 2010 Arista farewell Freight Train and delivering his leanest hard country album in years. Unlike his albums of the 2000s, which flirted with the digital age via cutesy novelties like "www.memory," this doesn't bother with the present and often looks toward the past, Jackson enlisting Zac Brown for a nostalgic trip down his hometown "Dixie Highway" and envisioning how he's "Gonna Come Back as a Country Song." There's a constant tugging undercurrent of comfortable regret flowing underneath Thirty Miles West, whether he's stoically playing the part of the bad guy on the dry-eyed ballad "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore" or seeing his lifetime love almost slip away on "When I Saw You Leaving (For Nisey)," the explicitly sad songs neatly balanced by breezy drinking anthems -- he's sipping margaritas, not beer, on "Long Way to Go" -- and rockers so cheery it's easy to overlook how Jackson is talking about how life keeps bringing him down. ...full text
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