Black Music Matters Festival

Alan Jackson

When Somebody Loves You – 2000 (Arista)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

The lead-off song is "Meat and Potatoes Man." And that about sums up the rest of the album - this is meat and potatoes Alan Jackson. So that, of course, means great singing from the son of George Jones whether on a slew of ballads (the acoustic-based title track) or more uptempo songs ("The Thrill is Back"), lots of fiddle and traditional country instrumentation and a barb or two in a genre increasingly reluctant to tackle any sort of issues.

Jackson is even able to able to merge the modern and the traditional with his humorous first single, "www.memory" where the sound is pure country, while he takes a dig at modern love in the world of the Internet.

Jackson, who gave us "Murder on Music Row" with friend George Strait, follows that with the closing "Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Uptempo Love Song." Direct hit on the Nashville establishment for being afraid to stick to its traditions. With high quality oozing out in song after song, it's easy to see how and why Jackson can get away with it. This is meat and potatoes country music served to perfection.