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Like Red on a Rose by Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson first approached Alison Krauss to produce a bluegrass album for him. It was to be a change of pace from his mainstream-country comfort zone, abetted by the queen of the genre.

One listen to Like Red on a Rose and you’ll know that isn’t how things turned out. In fact, Rose carries nary a hint of bluegrass. Instead of anything as ordinary as a genre exercise, it’s a refreshing twist on Alan’s own crisp, laid-back brand of country. This is mature music, a suite of songs about grown-up love befitting a 48-year-old man looking back at the road that led him here.

Just as important as the lyrical emphasis is the production Alison constructs around Alan’s peerless voice. It’s a sensual sound with a pinch of blues and just a touch of 1970s soft-rock shimmer, a comfortable musical bed outfitted with silk sheets but firm enough to support the songs.

Like Red on a Rose is a bewitching argument that Alan should step out of his comfort zone a little more often.

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