Alan Jackson’s New Song ‘Back’ Partly Inspired by Justin Timberlake

Alan Jackson is bringing country music back. On Friday, May 14th, his first new album in some six years arrives, and all indications are he means business. Delivering 21 songs of country music goodness, he offers up some drinking songs, some heartbreak songs, and few sentimental songs for his mother and daughters. But he also takes the time to rattle the cage a little bit.

The title track for Where Have You Gone has already been released, and presents as a lament about the state of country music, and how many of the influences and sounds that are so important to the music have gone away.

But that’s not the only song Alan Jackson has on the new album broaching the state of country music. There’s another song simply titled “Back” that has made some curious. It’s a bit hard to glean what the song solely written by Jackson (one of 15 from the album) is about just from the title, but in a recent interview with The Tennessean, Jackson revealed it and was inspired partly by Justin Timberlake.

“My kids, a few years ago, they said something about that old Justin Timberlake song ‘I’m Bringing Sexy Back,’”
says Jackson. “I teased ‘em one day and said, ‘Yeah, alright. I’m bringing country back.’ I wrote it as a joke for them and everybody liked it.”

And now it’s Track 11 on the new album. Some lyrics from the song read, “I’m bringing country back/ Back where it belongs, back on track/ I think ‘ole Hank would like it like that.”

Alan Jackson also says in the interview, “I’m such a fan of country music. I just feel like it’s fading away, the real roots. It’s always been up and down but usually there’s just a little bit of it hanging on. Now I just feel like it’s getting further and further away, and it’s makin’ me sad.” 

Jackson also calls himself “about half-retired” in the interview, though he is planning to get back out on the road this summer for some long delayed tour dates. “I ain’t gonna lie to you, it gets old going out there, travelin’. But when you walk out there and people are standing on their feet and singing just about every word to all my songs—happy and holding up a beer one minute, crying the next—it makes me feel like I’ve made some music [that’s] really touched people.” 

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