Alan Jackson Blessed Us All 17 Years Ago Today Dropping the ‘What I Do’ Album

by Clayton Edwards

Alan Jackson dropped his twelfth studio album on September 7th of 2004. What I Do debuted at the top of Billboard’s 200 as well as the publication’s Top Country Albums chart. For those keeping score at home, that was his third album to top the Billboard 200 and seventh to top the Country Albums chart. The RIAA gave the album a Platinum certification in October of the same year. In short, Jackson’s fans loved the album.  

What I Do is full of great music. Alan Jackson flexed his considerable songwriting skills on five of the album’s twelve tracks. The record also included two songs written by The Wrights. That duo also added background vocals to a couple of the album’s tracks.

Alan Jackson released four singles from What I Do. However, none of them reached the top of the singles chart. In fact, this was Jackson’s first album to not produce at least one chart-topping single. However, when we look at the record’s sales and chart position and listen to it from start to finish, something becomes clear.

The lack of a chart-topper had more to do with the state of country radio in the early 2000s than any real failing on Jackson’s part.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at two of the singles from What I Do.

Alan Jackson’s Underrated Singles

“Too Much of a Good Thing”

Alan Jackson penned “Too Much of a Good Thing,” and it’s a great example of his neotraditional country style. The song is packed with fiddle and steel guitar. The lyrics feel personal. The song is a celebration of a happy relationship, which is familiar territory for AJ.

Lyrics like “You look in my eyes and see my thinking. / I know when you’re happy, and when you’re sad. / Some would say it’s too perfect. / But I don’t think what we have is so bad,” make this the perfect song to dedicate to that special someone. It peaked at number 5.

Award-winning songwriter Dennis Linde penned “The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues,” and Alan Jackson brought it to life. Lyrically, the song tells the story of a songwriter who has to haul his car to the shop. The mechanic lays out a list of nonsensical problems and quotes a hefty price.

Then, he insists on playing a song for the protagonist and asks for his opinion. This gives the songwriter a chance to get some justice. He tells him everything that is wrong with the song and quotes his own price to fix it.

“The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues

Sonically, the song is a combination of talking blues and traditional country. Upbeat guitar and soaring steel lay down the backdrop for the mostly spoken-word track. However, Alan Jackson sings the chorus, setting the hook of the song deep in the ears of listeners. This incredibly fun gem of a tune peaked at number 18.