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Patty Loveless

Classics – 1999 (Epic)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Patty Loveless

The title of Patty Loveless' second greatest hits package is ambitious, but the queen of country easily lives up to the billing with the dozen songs.

Loveless has been a consistent performer for years, especially on the ballads where she lets her voice take control. She infuses them with just right sense of emotion (especially "Lonely Too Long," Nothin' But the Wheel") without ever overdoing it. The simplicity of the vocal delivery is also its beauty. Loveless' voice is distinctive, never seeking to imitate the rest of the pack. While better on the ballads, Loveless can deliver on the uptempo as well, playful at times ("I Try to Think About Elvis" and "Blame It On Your Heart," at least with its lyrical tongue twister).

Not every song works, especially the lead-off upbeat 'Can't Get Enough," which has nothing on the real classics here, and another new one, "I Just Wanna Be Loved by You." Loveless is clearly more in her element on the heart-tugging ballads.For some singers, "Classics" would be a stretch. For Loveless, it's the truth.