Thirty Miles West

Thirty Miles West

Alan Jackson’s 17th studio album is the first released on his own ACR Records, giving him freedom from his former label’s wish that he'd keep up with the times. Thirty Miles West leans harder on the traditional side of Jackson’s new traditional sound. Things start with “Gonna Come Back as a Country Song”—a timeless-sounding tune with parlor piano, old-timey fiddles, pedal steel, and Jackson laying his drawl on extra thick. “You Go Your Way” is a classic Jackson love song equally rooted in boozy honky tonk and Southern rock ballads from the '70s. A country music veteran, Jackson's well aware of when to exercise vocal restraint and let the song work its magic (as evidenced on the Guy Clark co-penned “Talk Is Cheap”). Conversely, he knows when to let loose his soaring signature croons (as heard on the tearjerking gem “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Any More”). A guest appearance by Zac Brown helps things sounds nostalgic on the boot-stomping “Dixie Highway,” while “Long Way to Go” flirts with Jimmy Buffett-esque tropical twang.

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