Alan Jackson laments the passing of traditional country music in “Where Have You Gone,” the title song of his upcoming album. Jackson reiterates his position as country music’s most important traditionalist with the song, which laments the death of old-school country music while simultaneously breathing new life into it.
Jackson is the sole writer on “Where Have You Gone,” the title track and first song on his upcoming 21-track album of the same title, which is due on May 14, 2021. The mournful country dirge celebrates the steel-and-fiddle-soaked sound of classic hardcore country, and Jackson cleverly makes the listener think it’s a lost-love song about a woman before revealing his true intent in the chorus:
“Soft steel guitar, oh how I’ve missed you / Words from the heart, let me hear you again / Sounds from the soul, fiddle I need you / Sweet county music, where have you gone / Sweet country music, please come back home,” he sings in an aching vocal over a stone country arrangement.
Jackson doubles down on his commitment to keeping his music country on the new project, which features 15 of his own self-penned songs. He enlisted longtime producer Keith Stegall to bring the tracks to life.
“It’s a little harder country than even I’ve done in the past,” Jackson says in a press release. “And it’s funny, I was driving and listening to the final mixes Keith sent me, and I started to tear up. I was surprised to get so overly emotional, but I just love this kind of music.”
Jackson dropped “Where Have You Gone” early Friday morning (April 2) alongside two other new tracks, “Way Down in My Whiskey” and “Things That Matter.”
Where Have You Gone is currently available for pre-order. It’s Jackson’s first full album since Angels & Alcohol in 2015.
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