Gretchen Wilson - All Jacked Up

Music Reviews Gretchen Wilson
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Gretchen Wilson - All Jacked Up

Talented country singer’s sophomore effort spoiled by contrived, cornpone lyrics

When I popped All Jacked Up in the player I was immediately impressed by the music.

Track after track, Wilson belts like Bonnie Raitt while her band lays it down. Unfortunately—with half the album mired in embarrassing heartland clichés—the ‘Redneck Woman’ and her dozen songwriting partners seem like they’re mostly phoning it in. The few solid tracks are overshadowed by swill about girls who “ain’t afraid to eat fried chicken,” a jingoistic power ballad with a Merle Haggard cameo, and the real kicker—an ode to guys who dip snuff (“Don’t want a bunch of bling bling … only thing I need is a man with a Skoal ring”). It’s as if Wilson is saying to her audience, “I think you’re a bunch of moronic, country-ass stooges who’ll eat up any cliché-ridden bowl-a-cheez-grits I slop you with.” Music Row has always had its share of hokey gimmick tunes, but where are the great songwriters in Nashville today? Or, rather, why don’t the most high-profile artists in town have the sense to work with them?