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Here in the Real World ()

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In 1989, country music honky tonk revivalist Alan Jackson scored his first number one hit with "I'd Love You All Over Again" -- not bad for being only his fifth single. Interestingly enough, it was a ballad, but a hard country ballad nonetheless. The songs sits somewhere in the no man's land between George Jones and Randy Travis, and floats uneasily seeking an edge. The title track is another hard country ballad, and with its sweet lonesome fiddle it was a more logical choice, but what the hell. The bottom line is that while Here in the Real World may not be Jackson's strongest record, it still stands head and shoulders over most of the competition, and that includes Curtain Shirt Brooks, that is, Garth. Producers Keith Stegall and Scott Hendricks understood that Jackson's country sensibilities are a boon, not a bane, in terms of putting his particular brand of new traditionalism onto the charts. Other winners are the honky tonkers such as "Blue Blooded Woman," "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," and "She Don't Get the Blues," which feels as much like Merle Haggard doing Bob Wills as it does new country. This is a solid effort and established the fact that Jackson was just beginning to come into his own. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi Hide synopsis

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