Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Alan Jackson – Jim and Jack and Hank

I’d rather hang out with Jamie and Johnnie and Jack


Patrick St. Michel: We all cope differently, but did the world really need another song where booze and old country singers help cover up anger and loneliness?

Brad Shoup: God, what an achy breaky fart.

Alfred Soto: For a guy whose philosophy in 1991 was don’t rock the jukebox, he sure sounds weird railing against stuff for ladies like grey Mercedes and apple martinis — he’d rather be where the boys go. To confuse things, the chords suggest “Bang a Gong.” Becase it’s Jackson he don’t know homosocial from homoerotic. But now that Brad Paisley has given up the irony undergirding the amiable doofus mugging of, say, “I’m Still a Guy,” Jackson’s eschewed irony as usual and written a treblier and jagglier number than the younger bros scoring the country airplay hits.

Anthony Easton: I don’t believe him, but it’s charming enough and sounds rockabilly enough that it almost convinces me. The canon near the end, where he mentions who’s who in country music, is even more interesting- — Jackson makes no point, though the sound is updated ever so slightly, to think about what country means post-1980. One could imagine that Brantley Gilbert might sing this. It could also be sung with some amount of ease by Eddie Cochrane. Extra points for rhyming “Mercedes” with “ladies.”

David Sheffieck: If you’re going to write a song sticking three vague reference points in the title, this is how you do it: with something grounded in specific, real, lived experience. A few laid-back hooks won’t help either.

Thomas Inskeep: Jackson wrote it, and it’s as good as any uptempo record in his catalog you care to name and better than plenty of ’em. Keith Stegall, who’s been working with Jackson for 25 years, produced with the solid hand he’s provided all the way back to Here in the Real World. This is traditional country that doesn’t sound old, boogie-ing like it’s still the ’90s (a golden age for mainstream country), while Jackson sounds supremely confident and like he’s having a helluva lot of fun; you can practically hear his grin. Because this kiss-off song is all about who Jackson is at heart: “take your string bikinis, your apple martinis,” he tells his ex, “I don’t need you, I’ve got Jim and Jack and Hank” – and Jose [Cuervo], Captain Morgan, George [Jones] and Tammy [Wynette]. This is one of the happiest breakup songs you’ll ever hear, and one of the most fun as well. And with friends like those, who can blame him?

Katherine St Asaph: More actually misogynist — not just fratty, not just annoying — than any bro-country song to date. It is a crafted sort of misogyny: words for stuff for ladies are frippery like “bikinis,” “martinis,” “Mercedes,” nothing like the plosive manliness of JIM and JACK and HANK. The chorus is deliberate but predictable, the rest is unpredictable but sloppy — Jackson rhymes “sad” with “dad,” uses “again it hit me” as a cheap way back to the chorus, thinks tanks bark. The music is equally retrograde: invokes Willie, George and Tammy, achieves only Billy Ray Cyrus. I don’t need this shit. I’ve got wine and Vulnicura.

W.B. Swygart: Innit great how easily the lyrics can be changed to “have a massive wank” instead? That’s the second-best thing about this ode to how alcohol is better than ladies because ladies are stupid and they smell weird, behind wondering what will happen when Alan hears about this.

Reader average: [6] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Alan Jackson – Jim and Jack and Hank”

  1. Controversy!