Jeffrey Steele

Gold, Platinum, No Chrome and More Steele, Greatest Hits Vol. II – 2008 (Three Ring Circus)

Reviewed by Jessica Phillips

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CDs by Jeffrey Steele

Jeffrey Steele's first greatest hits album, "Gold, Platinum, Chrome and Steele" (3 Ring Circus, 2006) featured several chart-toppers by Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins, and Rascal Flatts, and its successor digs through much the same Steele-mine. The track listing for this could have been lifted straight from a "Now That's What I Call Country" compilation, as his latest collection features no less than three radio hits each recorded by Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry.

Listening to Steele's versions of Gone , Something to Be Proud Of, and Hell Yeah," it's easy to see why Montgomery Gentry picked these songs. Steele's got a rough and tumble attitude, love of Southern rock beats and gritty voice almost matches singer Eddie Montgomery. If MG ever decides to become a trio, they know who to call.

Steele does a fine job emoting the honest lyrics in Every time I Hear Your Name . His vocals are not as pristine, and the track is decidedly less polished than Keith Andersen's version, but the sincerity comes across load and clear. Brand New Girlfriend shows Steele clearly in his element with this flirty, fun-loving, tongue-in-cheek tune.

Steele is less successful when he takes on his Rascal Flatts hits. These sound too manufactured and pretty for Steele's raw, soulful vocals. With the exception of the pleading, soul-wrenching beauty of What Hurts the Most , he simply sounds as if he's holding back on the other Flatts tracks. He tries too hard to mimic Gary Levox on My Wish, and even this powerhouse rocker can't save the ridiculous Me and My Gang .

Save a few hits and misses, this is a solid set of songs, sung by the master.