Freight Train (album)

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Freight Train
Studio album by Alan Jackson
Released March 30, 2010 (2010-03-30)
Genre Country
Length 43:30
Label Arista Nashville
Producer Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson chronology
Songs of Love and Heartache
(2009)
Freight Train
(2010)
34 Number Ones
(2010)
Singles from Freight Train
  1. "It's Just That Way"
    Released: January 4, 2010
  2. "Hard Hat and a Hammer"
    Released: May 3, 2010

Freight Train is the thirteenth studio album by American country music artist Alan Jackson. It was released on March 30, 2010.[1] The album's first single, "It's Just That Way", was released on January 4, 2010.

Background[edit]

Freight Train is the last album in Jackson's contract with Arista Nashville, the label to which he has been signed since 1989. He told Great American Country that, even though it is his last Arista album, he has no plans to retire.[2]

On January 11, 2010, Linda Ryan of "Rhapsody Blog" posted an article named "Most Anticipated Country Albums of 2010", where she included Jackson's Freight Train saying "There are few things in this world more sublime than Alan Jackson singing a slow-burning love song. With his deep, buttery voice, Jackson sounds exceptional when extolling the virtues of love; his new single, "It's Just That Way," is a three-and-a-half-minute slice of romantic bliss. A new Jackson release is always good news for country music lovers, and if the songs on his upcoming album are half as good as this one, the singer will have hit another home run".[3]

Reception[edit]

Commercial[edit]

Freight Train debuted at number seven on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number two on the Top Country Albums, selling 72,000 copies in its opening week.[4] It's his first album since 1999's Under the Influence not to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. As of July 3, 2010, the album has sold 168,547 copies in the U.S.[5]

Critical[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]
BBC Music (mixed)[7]
Billboard (favorable)[8]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[9]
Country Weekly 4/5 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly B-[11]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[12]
The New York Times (average)[13]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[14]
The 9513 4/5 stars[15]

Upon its release, Freight Train received generally positive reviews from most music critics.[16] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 68, based on 10 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[16]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine with Allmusic gave it a three star rating, saying that Freight Train "rolls along comfortably, never pushing at the edges of Jackson’s comfort zone; [it] doesn’t offer a sustained romantic mood along the lines of 2006’s understated gem Like Red on a Rose. Instead, it’s the sound of a major star gently easing away from the spotlight, deciding that he’s so comfortable in his old clothes that there’s no reason to try something new".[6] Randy Lewis with the Los Angeles Times gave it a three star rating, saying "this isn’t as consistently deeply moving nor as stylistically outside-the-box as his Alison Krauss-produced 2006 collection Like Red on a Rose, just down-the-middle country by one of the most dependably rewarding artists that genre has to offer".[12] Dave Heaton with PopMatters gave it an eight star rating saying it "felt like an LP" and continuing saying "as an Alan Jackson album, Freight Train is so consistently likable that it makes me imagine that he might keep getting better over time, as well".[14]

Jessica Phillips of Country Weekly gave the release a four star rating, calling it "quality country music", saying that the album "continues to build on his legacy as a 'singer of simple songs'".[10] Stuart Munro with The Boston Globe called it "a record of slow and midtempo songs", saying "there isn’t anything revelatory or strikingly different here — just the solid, precise craftsmanship of an artist now deep into his career".[9] Ninian Dunnett with BBC Music gave it a mixed review, saying "Buoyantly produced, it finds the singer leaning a little too comfortably on the conversational Georgia drawl of his baritone, and the writer coming up a little shy on the sort of detail and wordplay that lifts a cliché [...] The eight originals compare poorly to the 17 on 2008’s Good Time".[7]

Matt Bjorke with Roughstock gave the release 3½, saying "Ultimately this record is neither groundbreaking nor is it lacking in future radio hits; while many artists are always constantly changing their sound, Alan remains true to what made him a star in the first place. Freight Train may not win Alan many new fans but it’s unlikely to lose him any and in an era when the genre is getting more rock-n-roll and pop, Alan is remarkably retro or ‘traditional’ here".[17] C.M. Wilcox with The 9513 called it "the first ‘regular’ Alan Jackson album since 2004′s What I Do", and gave it fours stars out of five.[15] Jon Caramanica with The New York Times called it "calm" and said "Freight Train is filled with songs that are mature but not wise".[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Alan Jackson except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Hard Hat and a Hammer"     2:50
2. "Every Now and Then"     3:49
3. "After 17"     3:52
4. "It's Just That Way"   Vicky McGehee, Kylie Sackley, Keith Stegall 3:26
5. "Freight Train"   Fred Eaglesmith 4:41
6. "Taillights Blue"   Jay Knowles, Adam Wright 3:47
7. "I Could Get Used to This Lovin' Thing"     3:21
8. "Till the End" (featuring Lee Ann Womack) Cathy Gosdin 3:04
9. "That's Where I Belong"     3:51
10. "Big Green Eyes"     3:30
11. "True Love Is a Golden Ring"   Jackson, Roger Murrah 3:35
12. "The Best Keeps Getting Better"     3:44
Total length:
43:30

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Charts (2010) Peak
position
Australia Albums Chart[18] 25
Canadian Albums Chart[19] 8
Norwegian Albums Chart[18] 2
Swedish Albums Chart[18] 32
Swiss Albums Chart[18] 65
U.S. Billboard 200[19] 7
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[19] 2

End of year charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Year-end
2010
US Billboard 200 194[20]
US Billboard Top Country Albums 34[21]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country US
[22]
CAN
2010 "It's Just That Way"[23] 16 103
"Hard Hat and a Hammer"[24] 17 107 99

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ALAN JACKSON’S FREIGHT TRAIN IS COMIN’ DOWN THE TRACKS MARCH 30". Alan Jackson.com. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  2. ^ Roland, Tom (8 March 2010). "Alan Jackson mulls his future in music". Great American Country. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Most Anticipated Country Albums of 2010 - Rhapsody SoundBoard". Rhapsody. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  4. ^ "Usher Scores Third Straight No. 1 On Billboard 200". Billboard. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  5. ^ "CMA Fest & CMT Awards Impact Album Sales This Week". Roughstock. 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  6. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Freight Train - Alan Jackson". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  7. ^ a b Dunnett, Ninian (2010-03-24). "BBC - Music - Review of Alan Jackson - Freight Train". BBC Music. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  8. ^ Jessen, Wade (2010-03-19). "Alan Jackson, "Freight Train"". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  9. ^ a b Munro, Stuart (2010-03-29). "Alan Jackson, ‘Freight Train’". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  10. ^ a b Phillips, Jessica (2010-04-12). "Freight Train : Alan Jackson - Country Weekly Magazine". Country Weekly. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  11. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (2010-03-24). "Freight Train Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  12. ^ a b Lewis, Randy (2010-04-06). "Album review: Alan Jackson's 'Freight Train'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  13. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (2010-03-28). "Critics' Choice - Alan Jackson’s ‘Freight Train’ Erykah Badu’s ‘Return of the Ankh’ She and Him’s ‘Volume Two’ - Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  14. ^ a b Heaton, Dave (2010-03-31). "Alan Jackson: Freight Train". PopMatters. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  15. ^ a b Wilcox, C. M. (2010-04-08). "Album Review: Alan Jackson – Freight Train". The 9513. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  16. ^ a b "Freight Train Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  17. ^ Bjorke, Matt (2010-03-30). "Alan Jackson - Freight Train". Roughstock. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Alan Jackson – Freight Train – World Charts". Ultratop 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  19. ^ a b c "Freight Train - Alan Jackson". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  20. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  21. ^ "Best of 2010 - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 435. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 
  23. ^ It's Just That Way- Alan Jackson, Billboard, retrieved 2010-12-05 
  24. ^ Hard Hat and a Hammer - Alan Jackson, Billboard, retrieved 2010-12-05