Freight Train by Alan Jackson

After 14 albums and more than 20 No. 1 songs, Alan continues to build upon his legacy as a “singer of simple songs,” and elegant ones at that.

Songs like “True Love Is a Golden Ring” (co-written with Roger Murrah), “Tail Lights Blue” and “Till the End” (a gorgeous duet with Lee Ann Womack) all sound like instant country classics. As always, he pays homage to the working-man—here with “Hard Hat and a Hammer—and to country living with “That’s Where I Belong.”

“After 17,” the coming-of-age story of a young woman, is the only odd choice here, sounding more like a fit for Taylor Swift than for Alan. “I Could Get Used to This Lovin’ Thing” is one of the strongest cuts on the album. The intro recalls the rockabilly flavor of Alan’s early hit “Mercury Blues,” while the steady bass line harkens back to vintage Johnny Cash. He gives his banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar players room to do some fine chugging of their own in “Freight Train.”

The moon comes out at night, the sun brightens the day, and Alan Jackson makes quality country music. It’s just that way.

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