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Alan Jackson, ‘Long Way to Go’ – Song Review

Long Way To Go
EMI Records Nashville

Alan Jackson‘s new song is called ‘Long Way to Go.’ It’s important to state that early and often, because country listeners nationwide will remember this three-and-a-half minute ditty as the “bug in my margarita” song, and that’s a terrible burden of a nickname. Either moniker does well to describe the country legend’s debut single on EMI Records Nashville.

So, Alan Jackson’s new song is called ‘Long Way to Go.’ It’s the next page in the same book from Jackson. After his last few singles (‘Hard Hat and a Hammer,’ ‘It’s Just That Way,’ ‘I Still Like Bologna’) failed to gather much attention on country radio, people began to wonder if he was saving his best material for his new label. Sadly, the answer so far is ‘no.’ While his musings of simple life were once charming and cozy, they now seem lazy and dated.

The first verse begins, “Well, I drove down to the ocean / Left my heartache way behind / But the rain won’t leave and the pain won’t ease and the sun don’t wanna shine.”

Ronnie Dunn recently talked about reinventing one’s self every album or two because fans will get bored otherwise. He should pay Alan Jackson a house call. ‘Long Way to Go’ is far too similar to ‘Hammer,’ Bologna,’ ‘Country Boy’ and even the venerable ‘Where I Come From.’ It’s the same tempo, same cadence, and aside from a few details, the same story.

During the chorus Jackson sings, “I got a bug in my margarita / Seems bad luck won’t leave me alone / I got a woman I’m tryin’ to drink away and I got a long, long way to go.”

Jackson even seems to be losing interest in his patter. He’s unable to conjure up an emotion that sells the story about losing a good woman and hard luck. Thirty-two years of marriage and a successful country career can do that to a man. If he’s hoping to return to the Nashville scene refreshed and reinvigorated, he’s got a long, ‘Long Way to Go.’

2 StarsListen to Alan Jackson, ‘Long Way to Go’

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