Album Review: Alan Jackson - Precious Memories

A review of the country legend's first gospel album

Alan Jackson Precious Memories album cover
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This is one of the most reflective gospel albums we've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Alan Jackson compiles the perfect, complementary collection of songs, and the arrangements are outstanding. If you like gospel music, this is a definite must-have.

No singles from Precious Memories were ever released, but the platinum-selling album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on Billboard's country albums chart. The album's massive success led to a performance of all 15 songs at Nashville's legendary Ryman Auditorium. The concert was taped and a DVD of Jackson's performance, Precious Memories: Live at the Ryman, was subsequently released.

Album Review

Alan Jackson grew up in a religious family, listening primarily to gospel music. His mother had always encouraged him to release a gospel album, but he never did. 2006's Precious Memories, Jackson's 13th studio album, started out as a Christmas present for Jackson's mother. He sat down and recorded some of her favorite gospel songs. After the project was completed, friends and family encouraged him to officially release it, and it was a surprise hit.

The album has a very stripped down sound, with only an acoustic guitar, a piano and an organ. The songs are all very reflective, and it's a soothing listen to the entire way through. Jackson's voice is rich and smooth, and he soars in songs like "Blessed Assurance," "I Love To Tell the Story" and "Standing On the Promises." Two of my favorite gospel songs appear on the album as well: “The Old Rugged Cross” and the classic “How Great Thou Art.” The fifth track on the album, "'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" is particularly special: Jackson's wife, Denise, and their children, Mattie, Ali and Dani, sing background vocals.

Precious Memories is wonderful to listen from start to finish. It is incredibly relaxing and calming to listen to, and the vocals are beyond reproach. The songs are truly sung from the heart and it shows. We highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys gospel music, as it's comprised of all the hymns you know and love. Make no mistake, it's definitely a country album, but don't let that deter you if you aren't a fan of the genre. Jackson's voice and the instrumentals are simply undeniable, and they just might change your opinion.

Track List

  1. Blessed Assurance
  2. Softly and Tenderly
  3. I Love To Tell the Story
  4. When We All Get To Heaven
  5. 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
  6. In the Garden
  7. Are You Washed In the Blood
  8. I'll Fly Away
  9. What a Friend We Have In Jesus
  10. Standing On the Promises
  11. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
  12. Leaning On the Everlasting Arms
  13. The Old Rugged Cross
  14. How Great Thou Art
  15. I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You