After nearly six years, Alan Jackson is back with a full-length collection of new music through his 14th studio album, Where Have You Gone, available now, May 14th on all streaming platforms. Take a look as we discuss maintaining country roots, the beauty of less being more & the grace portrayed by this esteemed country music veteran.
With ample subheaders emerging from the development of country music, it is indeed a breath of fresh air to be shipped back to the roots. The worn-down cowboy boot, wide-legged jean, and slow-dancin’ in your living room to the record type of country. It’s like a long-overdue return back home. Alan Jackon’s 14th studio album, Where Have You Gone is a time capsule that has been unchained at a seemingly stand-still yet fruitful moment in time.
In fact, the title track, which simultaneously acts as the album intro song, lays an intensely beautiful violin arrangement over a pining, wistful-eyed vocal component that speaks truth to the re-emergence of traditional country.
“It’s been way too long since you slipped away // I just can’t forget, I can’t pretend it’s okay // No other one could ever replace you // So I’ll keep on believing and dreaming of you…”
“Merle and George and Hank, A lot of young people liked that music when I was growing up, but it felt like nobody was making it. Somebody had to go to Nashville to make that kind of country,” Jackson explains in a recent press release. “Randy (Travis) did and was great. But real country music is gone. It feels like 1985 again, and somebody has to bring it back.”
Though, Jackson does not solely want to wear dusted off yet incredibly well-suited boots. “I Can Be That Something” suggests, rather subtly hints at, the versatility within this GRAMMY-winning, Entertainer of the Year that holds an outstanding record of thirty-five #1 hits as well as well-maintained classics such as “Remember When”, “Chattahoochee” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Jimmy Buffet.
“But I can be that whiskey in your bottle // I can be that smile that takes away your tears // I can be the place you just want to run to // I can be that something to get you through…”
While Where Have You Gone politely yet sternly requests a return to country music origins while widening the scope to incorporate a desirable taste for any occasion, Jackson has stayed true to himself. “I never felt the need to chase anything different than I did,” Jackson confesses. “I just did what I liked and was lucky enough to connect with people who love the same kind of country music I do. My heart was in the real country music, that was what I wanted to do.”
The new album showcases a broad range of “Things That Matter”, a song that teeters on a similar wavelength as his 2003 single “Remember When”, which climbed to the top of the charts and remains a timeless, responsive piece. From the raw sentiment of writing a song for his daughter’s wedding, flirting with an excess of bourbon, a manual on making love last in “The Boot” and a farewell to his mother who passed in 2017, this only scratches the surface of the complete collection of music released by this astounding and unwavering entertainer.
“I know I’ve changed, but I’m still pretty much the same person who came to Nashville all those years ago,” Jackson simplifies. “I still eat beans and cornbread.”
Jackson has indeed brought country “Back” where it belongs with his hat and boots in tow.
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Where Have You Gone is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.