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High Mileage

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Album Review

Six albums and nearly a decade into his career, perhaps it could be said that Alan Jackson was beginning to rack up the miles in 1998 when he released High Mileage, but he surely doesn't sound ragged or rickety on this typically stellar affair. As always, one of the most impressive things about Jackson is that he never seems forced — he always sounds relaxed and natural, especially on the lazy Western swing of the opener, "Right on the Money," which starts the album off on an appropriately unhurried note. This is a mood that Jackson sustains throughout High Mileage, which is by far the most relaxed album he's made to this point, with even the livelier numbers — such as the skipping Bakersfield redux of "Another Good Reason," a particularly funny drinking song — being a little bit subdued, carrying some of the mellow vibe of this ballad-heavy album. This may be long on slow tunes and laid-back melodies, but that doesn't make High Mileage dull. There's a certain level of introspection to the songs, a meditative quality, that gives the album depth, but the songs (half of which are originals) are strong and Jackson's delivery, as ever, is warm and compelling, making High Mileage a startling, rewarding departure from his previous records and proof of his depth as an artist.


Born: 17 October 1958 in Newnan, GA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson was the most popular male country singer of the '90s. An heir to the new traditionalist movement of the '80s, Jackson's approach was rooted in classic honky tonk yet remained comfortably within the contemporary mainstream. Jackson's hallmark was consistency -- he wrote many of his own hits, and his way with a hook was part of the reason he never really hit a commercial dry spell, even into the new millennium. He also projected a modest, wholesome, down-to-earth image...
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High Mileage, Alan Jackson
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