NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For an upbeat guy, Alan Jackson (search) sure sings a lot of sad songs. About half the 12 tracks on his new album "What I Do," (search) set for release Tuesday, deal with lost love or loneliness.
"It just happened that way," said Jackson, who speaks in the same lazy drawl that he sings in. "It wasn't anything planned. Even some of the lighter songs are about that same subject. But that's always been my favorite kind of song anyway."
"What I Do" is Jackson's 14th album and follows the triple platinum "Greatest Hits Volume II" collection.
Long after most of his contemporaries have faded, he remains one of Nashville's biggest stars. He snagged a leading seven awards nominations last month from the Country Music Association (search), including one for Entertainer of the Year.
The new album, on which Jackson wrote five of the 12 tracks, is often melancholy. He sings about a failing relationship in "You Don't Have to Paint Me a Picture," learning to love again in "There You Go," and the pain of losing a loved one in "Strong Enough."
Jackson is heartbroken, but still funny on "If French Fries Were Fat Free," singing in the chorus, "If french fries were fat free and you still loved me/ What a wonderful world this would be."
"My wife makes fun of me because I have a lot of songs with food. But I say write what you know, and I know about food, cars and broken hearts," he says.