Alan Jackson - Like Red on a Rose
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Like Red on a Rose (Arista, 2006)

Alan Jackson

Reviewed by Rick Bell

We've seen it before; superstar male country artist decides to break out of his shell and try something different. This time, it's Alan Jackson. The result? It's a compelling listen, yet that ton of bricks never quite falls.

Don't label Jackson's teaming with bluegrass superstar Allison Krauss, who replaced Jackson's longtime partner Keith Steagall in the producer's chair, a failure. "Where Do I Go from Here" absolutely shines, as Jackson weaves the lyrics with Stephen Foster's standard "Oh Susanna." The title cut is a gem as well (both written by Robert Lee Castleman), while Herb Pedersen's "Wait a Minute" is a song any performer can relate to.

As individual songs interspersed on most any Jackson album, they'd be a welcome relief from his recent love affair with all things Parrothead. In fact, that's what makes the record so intriguing. It's different.

Still, the album never gains a head of steam. The tempo is static. Unlike a Krauss album, it's not a musical masterpiece. It's tough to gain entry. The songs never completely play to Jackson's or Krauss' strengths, and a musical lineup including Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, jazz drummer Bernard Purdie, Michael McDonald and Riders in the Sky accordionist Joey Miskulin are essentially non-factors. Being acoustic, moody and mellow is one thing; plodding and dull is another.

That said, Jackson took a risk, and even though he doesn't quite succeed, try it again, Alan. More country stars should take such a gamble. If nothing else, it sure beats being a Parrothead.


CDs by Alan Jackson

Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story, 2015 Angels and Alcohol, 2015 The Bluegrass Album, 2013 Precious Memories Vol. II, 2013 34 Number Ones, 2010 Freight Train, 2010 Good Time, 2008 Like Red on a Rose, 2006 Precious Memories, 2006


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