I'll admit straight away that I generally prefer Alan's early albums, but this is still a magnificent album well worthy of listening to if you`re a country music fan. We should also remember that among country music's so-called class of `89, Alan Jackson is the one who has shown the greatest staying power, even though the attention back then was focused more on Clint Black and Garth Brooks than on Alan. That said, the first two singles off this album (it's just that way, A hard hat and a hammer) failed to make the top ten in the American country charts, so maybe those country radio stations are losing interest in Alan`s music now.
The opening track (A hard hat and a hammer) gets the album off to a good start, paying tribute to ordinary workers everywhere. It bounces along nicely, though Alan might have rocked a little harder on this song in his early days. Most of the album is fairly mellow, but among the other highlights are the duet with Lee Ann Womack on a cover of Vern Gosdin's classic country song, Till the end, and the outstanding True love is a golden ring.
The title track is a curious oddity where Alan wishes he were a freight train that didn't have a heart. In this, he seems to have confused his locomotives slightly, as he sings about a diesel locomotive (maybe the one pictured on the album cover) but mentions things that are associated with a steam locomotive. A minor point, but it perhaps illustrates how far trains have slipped out of the everyday lives of most people, particularly in America.
I'm very pleased to own it, especially at the bargain price I paid for it. I still think his debut album Here in the Real World is his absolute best original album, but this one certainly has plenty to offer country music fans.