Everything I Love
Alan Jackson is well-known for consistent and crafted songwriting, but Everything I Love might be his most fun and clever collection of songs. A rendition of Tom T. Hall’s “Itty Bitty” sets the album’s tone. The song’s motif is its ricocheting wordplay, but beneath that Jackson conveys the humanistic worldview that is always at the center of Hall’s songs. The same treatment is given to “Everything I Love,” “Buicks to the Moon” and “Must’ve Had a Ball,” which delight the listeners with turns of phrase, then engage them in the emotion of the storytelling. The album’s two ballads take a break from wordplay and instead focus on single images. The “House With No Curtains” becomes a metaphor for a marriage turned loveless. In “Walk On the Rocks” an estranged father visits his son and offers these words: “Life's like a river and the water is deep / Cross it with care or you'll end up like me / Let my mistakes be your stepping stones / And walk on the rocks that I stumbled on.” No flash, no gimmicks, just one powerful image used to symbolize a lifetime of trial and regret.