Jackson Browne

I'm Alive

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Jackson Browne abandoned politics for the war between the sexes on I'm Alive. "I have no problem with this crooked world," he sang; "...My problem is you." The album detailed the ups and downs of a relationship, starting with the defiant post-breakup title track and then doubling back to describe irritation ("My Problem Is You"), devotion ("Everywhere I Go," "I'll Do Anything"), increasing tension ("Miles Away," "Too Many Angels"), separation ("Take This Rain," "Two of Me, Two of You"), forgiveness ("Sky Blue and Black"), and finally acceptance ("All Good Things"). Longtime fans welcomed the album as a return in style to the days of Late for the Sky, but a closer model might have been Hold Out, a complementary album concerned with the flowering of an affair rather than the withering of one, since Browne eschewed the greater philosophical implications of romance and, falling back on stock imagery (angels, rain), failed to achieve an originality of expression. Just as, in Hold Out, one wasn't so much inspired as informed that Browne had found love, on I'm Alive, one wasn't so much moved as told that he'd lost it. While it was good news that he wasn't tilting at windmills anymore, Browne did not make a full comeback with the album, despite a couple of well-constructed songs.

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