Alan Jackson, “I Still Like Bologna”

alan jackson bolognaJeez, talk about your “Good Artists Gone Bad.” Alan Jackson’s latest manages to take two things I really like – honky-tonk music and silly song titles – and make them seem duller than a bad Learn-To-Type program.

It’s almost the kind of song Tim McGraw’s “Back When” once poked fun at, actually, except the subject matter here is the progression of technology, and this doesn’t even feel like enough of an effort to warrant spoofing. I mean, there’s not much to say about a song whose first three minutes basically break down to, “I kind of like my plasma T.V….but also, I kind of like whippoorwills.”

The underlying point that we shouldn’t forget life’s simple pleasures is valid, of course, but there are better ways to spell it out than by musing on things your audience hopefully already knows (“they’ve got music on the internet now!”) and spouting off a “Chicken Fried”-worthy list of cliches about what makes the simple life so good (sunsets, a good woman’s love, country roads…but where is the six-pack of Lite and Sunday morning full of Grace?). It’s not completely unlistenable, but coming from someone with Jackson’s talent and track record, it is pretty embarrassing.

Written by Alan Jackson

Grade: D

Listen: I Still Like Bologna



  1. Wow, has “Sissy’s Song” already made its run? That and “Small Town Southern Man” have been the only good releases from this album. I would have preferred his duet with Martina be the next single. It’s silly, but has charm. This is just one of those filler songs that I’m actually surprised they released.

  2. I actually haven’t been as impressed with the majority of his output from this decade as his work from the 90’s. “Monday Morning Church,” “Too Much Of A Good Thing,” and “Sissy’s Song” are exceptions. I might be in the minority, but I also like what came out of the “Like Red On A Rose” project. That’s about it, though.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m still a fan of his. I just wish he’d put out stronger material again like “Between The Devil And Me,” “I’ll Try,” “There Goes,” etc.

  3. After my last comment, I do have to say that I really like the country sound of this record, and the lyrics should be very relatable to 50 and 60 something midwesterners. Like it or not, he has succeeded here in doing what he does best- using common speech to sum up the feelings of “everyman.”
    But there’s no excuse for you, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”….

  4. Really? I think it, though a list song, perfectly captures the conflicting/tumultuous feelings of that day and the ones that followed. Maybe it wouldn’t have worked so well if someone else had written or performed it, but I feel it came from a very honest and pure place and was at least a little cathartic for a lot of people.

  5. I agree, Leeann. There’s raw honesty in that song, and I don’t think any other artist could have pulled it off like he did.

  6. It’s basically taking the worst of “Welcome to the Future” and “Chicken Fried” and combining them together. (I realize “Welcome …” was written/released after Alan’s album came out.) Arista is basically competing with itself by releasing this song and “Welcome …” at the same time.

  7. “Welcome to the Future” is one of the. worst. things I have heard in I don’t know how long.
    Paisley and Jackson have become definite channel-changers for me.

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