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What I Do

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Alan Jackson makes it all sound so easy: staying rooted in tradition while sounding utterly contemporary. His songs and cover selections are memorable yet effortless, full of clever wordplay and sharp observations, and he employs his warm baritone in the most affecting ways. That's as true as ever on What I Do, which kicks off with three of his strongest original songs to date. A lilting ballad marked by buoyant optimism, "Too Much of a Good Thing" suggests that a person can't overdose on love. With his tender vocal out front, Jackson lays out a real heartbreaker in the spare "Rainy Day in June," its reflective twist being the narrator's vow to retain "a hopeful heart" ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Alan Jackson makes it all sound so easy: staying rooted in tradition while sounding utterly contemporary. His songs and cover selections are memorable yet effortless, full of clever wordplay and sharp observations, and he employs his warm baritone in the most affecting ways. That's as true as ever on What I Do, which kicks off with three of his strongest original songs to date. A lilting ballad marked by buoyant optimism, "Too Much of a Good Thing" suggests that a person can't overdose on love. With his tender vocal out front, Jackson lays out a real heartbreaker in the spare "Rainy Day in June," its reflective twist being the narrator's vow to retain "a hopeful heart" in spite of his current misery. A twangy guitar and mocking pedal steel lines set the tone for "USA Today," a witty, self-deprecating take on loneliness, with a confounded Jackson chewing up the scenery as "the loneliest man in the USA today." "Monday Morning Church," a cover, is a gut-wrenching ballad about loss of faith in the wake of devastating personal tragedy, rich in telling detail and featuring Patty Loveless adding tear-stained harmonies. Jackson kicks out the jams a bit on "Burnin' the Honky Tonks Down," his ebullient vocal backed by gospel-style responses from the Oak Ridge Boys' Richard Sterban. Jackson closes out the disc with "To Do What I Do," an autobiographical ballad recorded live that takes an introspective look at a road to success paved with perseverance and love. Amen to that work ethic, and to AJ for being real, many times over.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Alan Jackson had been a star for a long time before he released Drive in 2002, but that album turned him into a superstar, largely because it had the post-9/11 anthem "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning," a crossover smash that made Jackson a household name. Unlike some of his peers, he didn't embrace this opportunity to become an omnipresent celebrity, he turned out a second greatest-hits album in 2003 -- complete with another crossover hit in the Jimmy Buffett duet "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" -- before returning with the full-length What I Do in September of 2004. Filled with straightforward, unadorned honky tonk and gentle, rolling ballads, What I Do makes it clear that Jackson doesn't have the slightest interest in becoming a full-fledged, crossover country-pop star. This is the purest country album he's cut in a long time, but what makes it one of his very best albums isn't its purity, it's how it's delivered with a quiet confidence, a big heart, and a sly sense of humor. Jackson has backed away from any big social statements -- there is a song called "USA Today," but far from being a comment on either the state of the world or his celebrity, it merely tells the tale of "the loneliest man in the U.S.A. today" -- and sings about love, heartache, churches, fixing cars, and wishing "If French Fries Were Fat Free." As that last song suggests, he's learned from his idol George Jones that even songs about heartbreak can be just as effective if delivered with a sense of humor, but the best joke here is "The Talkin' Song Repair Blues," where Jackson haggles with a mechanic who fancies himself a songwriter. Despite these moments of levity, much of What I Do is heavy on ballads. While it's true that the loping drinking song "Strong Enough" and rip-roaring "Burnin' the Honky Tonks Down" are so good it's hard not to wish Jackson threw a few more ravers into the mix, each of these ballads works splendidly, whether it's the sweet "Too Much of a Good Thing," the gently supportive "There Ya Go," or the aching "Rainy Day in June." Given the preponderance of ballads and the laid-back delivery, What I Do has an intimate, relaxed feel, the polar opposite of a sequel to a blockbuster like Drive usually is. But instead of feeling like a retreat, What I Do feels like one of Jackson's most assured and best albums, proof positive that he's the best mainstream country singer of this decade.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2004
  • Label: Arista
  • UPC: 828766310320
  • Catalog Number: 63103
  • Sales rank: 386,087

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Too Much of a Good Thing
  2. 2 Rainy Day in June
  3. 3 USA Today
  4. 4 If Love Was a River
  5. 5 If French Fries Were Fat Free
  6. 6 You Don't Have to Paint Me a Picture
  7. 7 There Ya Go
  8. 8 The Talkin' Song Repair Blues
  9. 9 Strong Enough
  10. 10 Monday Morning Church
  11. 11 Burnin' the Honky Tonks Down
  12. 12 To Do What I Do
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alan Jackson Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Patty Loveless Background Vocals
Matt Rollings Piano
Lloyd Green Steel Guitar
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers Drums
Stuart Duncan Fiddle, Mandolin
Robbie Flint Steel Guitar
Paul Franklin Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Danny Groah Electric Guitar
Brent Mason Bass, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar
Hargus "Pig" Robbins Piano
Bruce Rutherford Drums
Tom Rutledge Acoustic Guitar
Richard Sterban Background Vocals
Bruce Watkins Acoustic Guitar, Banjo
Roger Wills Bass
Glenn Worf Bass, Bass Guitar
Dave Gaylord Fiddle
Mark Fain Bass, Bass Guitar
Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson Harmonica
Monty Parkey Piano
Monty Allen Background Vocals
Tony Stephens Acoustic Guitar
Dave Kelly Mandolin
Shannon Wright Background Vocals
Adam Wright Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Dan Hill Composer
Billy Burnette Composer
Dennis Linde Composer
Shawn Camp Composer
Emory Gordy Engineer
Alan Jackson Composer
John Kelton Engineer
Kooster McAllister Engineer
Keith Stegall Composer, Producer
Stan Dacus Engineer
S. Wade Hunt Art Direction
Mellissa Schleicher grooming
Matt Rovey Engineer
Greg Langford Engineer
Shannon Wright Composer
Adam Wright Composer
Tim Johnson Composer
Brent Baxter Composer
Erin Enderlin Composer
Tom Davis Audio Production
Hank Williams Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful -- from a non-country & western fan

    I have never purchased a country & western album before but when I heard Alan Jackson sing "If Love Was a River" on the Today show, I was spellbound and had to get the album. Many of the songs are beautiful and not too country, and all are worth listening to again. I'd highly recommend this album, but my best advice is to go to track 4 right away!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Alan Jackson has made another wonderful album

    I love every song on this new cd.Alan has such a sweet and tender voice. He is just the BEST!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Love It!!!

    I love "If Love was a river" When I first heard the Music I was in another room away from the tv. It was Alan Jackson Singing " If love was a river" The Song was so Profound, Buetifuly written. The sound reminded me of Johnny Cash flavered Buetifuly

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews