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Bruce Robison

His Greatest – 2009 (Premium)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Bruce Robison

Fortunately, Bruce Robison doesn't use the word "hits" in naming this package of 10 songs. Some actually were hits, only not for him. Instead, Robison re-records songs he previously released, in effect, in order to get ownership back of the songs. Robision released several albums through Sony before striking out on his own. His greatest success came as a songwriter, and his enormous skills are on display here.

The tall Texan does not have the emotional delivery of Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks (who does?), but Robison does capture the emotion of "Travelin Soldier," a very visually sad song with a great story line. Robison doesn't outdo George Strait either on Desperately, but he again turns in a credible performance. While Robison can't quite measure up - that's understandable - these songs point to the fact of what an honest (Angry All the Time), insightful writer Robison has been.

He stands out on songs less well known and not in need of any artistic comparison. The bouncy, uptempo Poor Man's Son is quite enticing. With solid new takes on Red Letter Day and the closing Rayne, Louisiana, Robison shows that these songs are great, whether hits or not.