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Trace Adkins

Greatest Hits Collection, Vol. 1 – 2003 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins' career retrospective (so far) offers up 12 hits from this long-legged and deep-voice singer and 2 new cuts. And although Adkins is a skilled vocalist, his best songs are usually the ones where the arrangements leave an especially lasting impression upon the listener. For example, if you listen closely to "I'm Tryin'," you might notice how it's got a violin thing going on that hearkens back to old Beatles ballads. And with "Chrome," Adkins' voice rides like a Harley over its bumpy, fat and blues-y guitar work.

In contrast, a straightforward ballad like "The Rest Of Mine" tends to simply drag along since there's not a whole lot going on in the mix to keep the listener's attention. It's the kind of song that might have been a vocal showpiece for either a Jones or a Haggard, but adds up to very little in Adkins' hands. One of the new songs, "Then They Do," is relatable meditation about watching children grow up and leave the nest. But the other one, "Welcome To Hell," is a nasty and strident rage against foreign terrorists that belongs right at the bottom of the barrel along with Toby Keith's annoying brand of patriotism.