Precious Memories was originally intended as a private gift for his mother, but I am so pleased that Alan Jackson decided to share this “gift” with the public. Jackson and his wife have assembled an excellent lineup of classic hymns, which he wanted to represent his own personal experience of these songs and the influence they’ve had on his life from childhood to the present. Precious Memories simultaneously debuted at number one on the country album chart while topping the Billboard Christian music chart and landing at number four on Billboard’s album chart. The album’s success seems to reflect a hunger in this country for more faith-based music in the marketplace.
Jackson has a fitting title in Precious Memories, as the CD contains many of the great songs I remember from the church I grew up in, and many of which we still sing today in our home church. Jackson takes a very simplistic approach with only acoustic guitars, a piano and an organ, and his smooth vocals flow very well with each song.
While this is a county album featuring classic hymns, the tone of these songs is more reflective, rather than foot-stomping southern gospel. His voice makes this album very soothing to listen to from beginning to end. Jackson’s wife Denise and daughters Mattie and Ali provide background vocals on “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” His daughter Dani provides additional backing vocals while longtime AJ producer Keith Stegall plays piano for “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
Some of my favorite tracks from this album include “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “How Great Thou Art” and “Softly and Tenderly.” Some other outstanding songs include “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” “In the Garden,” “Blessed Assurance” and “I Love to Tell the Story.”
Whether you’re a Christian, or a person who just loves good country music, a die-hard Alan Jackson fan or all of the above, you’re going to love Precious Memories. It’s a great CD to listen to on a reflective, peaceful Sunday afternoon. This album is an absolute joy to listen to, much like Randy Travis’ Worship & Faith album. Travis has gone to the Christian music industry and signed with Word Music, one of the world’s largest Christian music labels. I don’t expect that from Alan Jackson, but I would love to see him record a follow-up to Precious Memories someday. This is an excellent album, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.