Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville
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Clay Walker

Greatest Hits – 1998 (Asylum)

Reviewed by Walter Allread

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Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville

CDs by Clay Walker

Nine Number 1 hits, two Top 5's, one Top 10 and two new, value-added tracks make this set a best buy for HNC consumers. Like Walker's music, the marketing lingo may be off-putting to more traditional country fans. Some might say, pardon me, this music's more "pun-try" than country.

But that's missing the point. Like Collin Raye, Clay Walker is a technically gifted singer with a feel for mainstream values. With James Stroud, he's produced some of the most finely crafted pop-country of the last five years, a period during which Walker, alone among HNC acts, placed in each of Billboard's year-end Top 10 lists.

Depending on which line you're in, new songs "You're Beginning To Get To Me" and "Ordinary People" are either the latest slick, high-concept HNC products or further examples of Walker's knack for uncomplicated testaments to love, virtue and modesty. With those homespun qualities intact, fans even accepted the steel drums and faux-Jamaican jive in Walker's Jimmy Buffett-styled "Then What?" So, what are you in line for?