WITH "Pass It on Down," country music's mega-selling , Alabama hops aboard the eco-bandwagon and, sure enough, steers it right down the middle of the road: "Now we're told there's a hole in the ozone/Look what's washing on the beach/And Lord, I believe, from the heavens to the seas/We're bringing Mother Nature to her knees."

Not a new sentiment, to be sure, but given Alabama's enormous radio clout, it's likely to have a far greater impact than Madonna's concern for the rain forests.

"Pass It on Down" is also likely to be remembered as one of the few tracks from the album of the same name that stands out in any shape or fashion. After all, apart from the band's environmental awareness -- further evidenced by the use of recycled paper in packaging the album -- the music is bereft of surprises or even small departures. The harmonies are tight as ever, Jeff Cook adds some tasty guitar and fiddle touches here and there, and the songs consist of incurably romantic (and bland) love songs ("Here We Are"), crowd-pleasing party anthems ("Moonlight Lounge"), trademark homages to rural life ("Down Home") and classic elbow-benders ("Jukebox in My Mind") better left to George Jones.