My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Alan Jackson – ‘Jim and Jack and Hank’

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11:  Alan Jackson performs at LP Field during day 1 of the 2015 CMA Festival on June 11, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 11: Alan Jackson performs at LP Field during day 1 of the 2015 CMA Festival on June 11, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

Without even listening to the song, most country music fans will know exactly who the Jim, Jack and Hank in the title of Alan Jackson’s new single are, and it’s not too much of a stretch to speculate that this is a break-up song. In the opening line, it is revealed that Jackson’s significant other has packed her things and is headed out the door. Instead of drowning his sorrows however, Jackson is calling her bluff:

Take your string bikinis, your apple martinis
Take what’s left there in the bank. Take your flat iron and your curlers
Your sparkling water and that damn perfume I never liked
Take your black Mercedes all that stuff for ladies
To me you’re just a total blank, go on and leave me Baby
I don’t need you, I got Jim and Jack and Hank

This self-penned composition is the lead single from Jackson’s forthcoming album Angels and Alcohol, his first full-length album in three years. It’s a catchy toe-tapper that is reminiscent of the line-dancing songs that were so popular back in the 90s. There is nothing revolutionary about it, nor does it rank among Jackson’s best work, but it’s a breath of fresh air in an era dominated by arena rock and bro-country. I did have a brief moment of dread when I first heard the intro, which has a beat very similar to “Achy, Breaky Heart”, which is on my short-list of all-time worst country songs. Fortunately it is only a superficial similarity and when the song gets underway, it’s actually much more in the vein of another Alan Jackson classic, 1991’s “Better Class of Losers”, which was a #2 hit for its co-writer Randy Travis.

This is a more combative Alan Jackson than we’re used to hearing. When his soon-to-be-ex packs up her Louis Vuitton luggage and frou-frou dog and heads for the door, he admits to being sad but doesn’t beg her to stay. Instead, he urges her to hurry up and go, convinced that he will be better off without her, though one has a sense that he’ll actually miss her a little more than he is letting on. Perhaps that will be addressed in a follow-up song when the album is released later this month.

Twenty years ago, this would have been a surefire monster hit. There’s no reason that it can’t be today, but radio’s bias against veteran artists will probably keep it from getting as much airplay as it deserves.

Listen to it here.

Grade: B+

One response to “Single Review: Alan Jackson – ‘Jim and Jack and Hank’

  1. Pingback: Album Review: Alan Jackson – ‘Angels and Alcohol’ | My Kind of Country

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