Alan Jackson’s retrospective reminds fans of greatness

By Maddie Bernstein, Staff Writer

Country music superstar Alan Jackson celebrated the 20-year anniversary of his first Billboard Top Ten hit by releasing the album, 34 Number Ones, Nov. 22. The album is a compilation of all his number one songs, plus three additional blockbuster songs.
The songs on Jackson’s career-spanning double disc range from upbeat honky-tonk dance numbers to slow, heart-wrenching love ballads. The album includes 34 of Jackson’s chart-toppers.
Each track provides the listener with a different window into Jackson’s heartand mind, and efficiently covers all of his big moments since 1990. He also showcases his mastery of being able to work cohesively with up-and-coming artists such as The Zac Brown Band.
Even as an older performer, Jackson maintains his celebrity status by effectively relating to his fans through timeless ideas such as love, modesty and happy hour, while retaining his classic country sound. He sings about everyday struggles with an upbeat twist—telling fans that even though hardships exist, it is okay to let loose and be yourself amidst inevitable adversity.
Jackson displays his inherent love for family and moral values in the hit “Home” from his debut album, Here in the Real World. Although the title is generic, the principles outlined in the song are often hard to come by today. Jackson portrays his own family growing up without many material possessions—but he sings that they, “found [their] strength with faith in God and love of family.” This 1989 song reminds listeners that unlike superficial gifts in this holiday season, the time spent with family and loved ones is priceless.
One of the slowest and most melodic songs on the album is called “Remember When.” Jackson reminiscences about his life’s events—and ultimately talks of love prevailing over life’s trials. When he sings, “Remember when…we lived and learned life threw curves there was joy there was hurt,” he displays his softer, romantic side as opposed to  his persona as a rough and rowdy country boy.  This song discusses an important topic to Jackson’s fans, who look at his lyrics as a beacon of hope.
Although this album does not reveal any new songs, it provides a rare, multi-faceted look at Alan Jackson’s incredible 20-year career. A winner of 16 Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards combined as well as a GRAMMY-nominated songwriter, Alan Jackson has sold more than 50 million albums over the span of his career, and will no doubt continue to be a defining force in the music industry.