CD REVIEW OF
"Everything I Love"
(Arista Records, 1996)
by Sandra L. Toney
It's no secret I love Alan Jackson! To me, he is the best thing
that's happened to country music since Hee Haw went off the air.
That's why I continue to be baffled by WHY he seems to always
put at least one goofy song on each of his latest albums.
Remember "Tall, Tall Trees" and "I Don't Even Know
Your Name?" True nightmares ... Jackson's latest album, EVERYTHING
I LOVE, includes a new goofy song, written by Tom Hall, "Little
Here are the lyrics for the chorus, "Well, it's all right
to be little bitty/A little hometown or a big old city/Might as
well share, might as well smile/Life goes on for a little bitty
while." Even as ridiculous and irritating as I think the
song is, there's something I've never told anyone . . . until
I keep hearing the song over and over in my head. What that means,
unfortunately, is that the song must have something that's memorable
or else why would I keep hearing it? Although I didn't think I
liked the song, my subconscious won't let me forget it. I guess
that means the song isn't that bad after all.
The rest of the album, however, doesn't irritate me (well, maybe
the Alan Jackson/Jim McBride written song, "Buicks to the
Moon" does a little bitty (SORRY, I couldn't resist), which
is the third song on the release).
The title song, "Everything I Love," is classic Alan
Jackson. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't written by Jackson, but
by the duo of Harley Allen and Carson Chamberlain. The song opens
with a convincingly solemn Alan crooning, "Coffee keeps me
up and I can't sleep/And when I drink too much then I can't eat/Losing
you has led me to believe/Everything I love is killin' me."
Those words most likely strike a chord in most of us who've loved
something or someone who wasn't "good" for us . . .
The album in its entirety is heavier and more sober than Jackson's
previous releases. Such downers include "Walk on the Rocks,"
the title song, "Between the Devil and Me," and the
tearjerker, "A House With No Curtains," which is one
of my favorites on this latest Jackson collection.
The song tells the story of how love can die in a relationship,
but the couple just keep hanging on even though everyone else
can see the truth as if their relationship is a house with no
curtains, "We still wear our rings/We still say I love you/We
both play the part oh so well/But everyone knows/It's just a sad
show/And we're only foolin' ourselves."
Hard to believe the same duo, Jackson and McBride, are the same
duo who wrote "Little Bitty." Jackson final single on
the album, written solely by Jackson, is one of the first "attitude"
songs I've heard Jackson perform. "It's Time You Learned
About Good-bye" finds an upbeat, spirited Alan Jackson turning
the tables on the love who's hurt him one time too many as he
belts out the following verse, "I've stood behind you/And
I've laid beside you/But I won't do that anymore/'Cause I'm tired
of bein' just here when you want me/Tonight I'm walkin' out that
As someone who owns everything Alan Jackson has ever done, I'm
not sorry I bought his latest. If you're not a true blue Jackson
fan, you could probably live without it. Of course, maybe a little
bitty part of you will want to buy it anyway because everything
you love is killing you . . .
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