Nick Marino
September 17, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Alan Jackson isn’t the world’s most original country singer, but he sure can communicate. His new record, What I Do, reaffirms his position as one of the genre’s most believable balladeers (the heartbroken ”Rainy Day in June”) and, happily, provides him with a couple of chances to liven up. One number (”The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues”) gives an auto mechanic a sly comeuppance. Another (”Burnin’ the Honky Tonks Down”) is the barn burner its name suggests. Both are a hoot and a half.

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