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Album Review: “Now That’s What I Call Country”

August 28, 2008

Now That's What I Call Country

Well it was bound to happen. The infamous “NOW” series, which usually compiles the biggest hits among several different youth related genres and presents them in numbered packaging (the latest is the 28th collection), has finally compiled a disk of all country hits in their attempt to trump the “Totally Country” series and earn some credit among the genre’s endless supply of fans.

The “Totally Country” series of country music mix disks acted like they knew hits. They posted several huge flops on their albums and claimed them to be former #1 tracks, however half of them hadn’t even hit the top 40 and many that did never hit #1. This collection does not sink so low to earn its attention. In truly captures the essence of country music over the past year or two to give both current and prospective fans a taste of what country music can offer.

Although many could criticize that a mainly pop/rock/rap based series wouldn’t do much justice to country music, this collection actually pulls in some very decent hits including some of the years biggest #1 hits. The lead off track, “All-American Girl“, is a former #1 from superstar Carrie Underwood earlier this year. Also in the mix are the #1 hits “Letter To Me” by Brad Paisley, “I Saw God Today” by George Strait, “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins, and last years huge #1 “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney. These songs are landmark songs from the past couple years having become some of the most successful #1 hits in this projects time frame of song selections.

When it came to including non-chart topping hits the producers were also quite intelligent in their inclusions. This years underdog hit “What Kinda Gone” from Chris Cagle was added in along with other more popular top 10 hits like “Picture To Burn” by Taylor Swift and “All My Friends Say” by Luke Bryan. It is in this aspect of the album that we some very wise inclusions as some of the most popular overlooked artists and some more popular sensational breakthroughs get their chance at bragging about being included with the likes of Chesney and George in a collection such as this.

However this album does not shine completely. In a project plaiming to be a collection of big hits, some choices are quite questionable. Kellie Pickler’s single “Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind” was added in after its slightly less popular run over her more memorable hit “I Wonder” and Josh Turner finds himself with a song on their, but not his top 5 hit “Firecracker“, but his top 20 hit “Another Try”.

The other place this collection fails is in what it missed. This album has missed some serious hits that have surfaced over the past two years. One huge example is “More Than A Memory” by Garth Brooks, the only single to debut at #1 on the country charts. Other overlooked entries are such fan favorites as “If You’re Reading This” from Tim McGraw or “Small Town Southern Man” which proved to be much bigger and more memorable tunes than half the songs included here.

I congradulate the “Now” series for putting together and much more conceptual and appropriate collection than its predicessor “Totally Country”. This album acts as a great starting point for those who are wishng to take their first steps into country music and is an awsome collection for current fans as well who ave failed to gather some of this years projects. All in all the collection is well done, but it has some gaps that needed to be filled and some of the tunes they tried to fill them with were just a little to small.

 

3.5 Stars

 

Tracks:

  1. All-American Girl
  2. Winner At A Losing Game
  3. Watching Airplanes
  4. Because Of You
  5. Everybody
  6. Stay
  7. Love Don’t Live Here
  8. Picture To Burn
  9. Trying To Stop Your Leaving
  10. All My Friends Say
  11. Letter To Me
  12. I Saw God Today
  13. That Song In My Head
  14. As If
  15. Don’t Blink
  16. You’re Gonna Miss This
  17. What Kinda Gone
  18. Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind
  19. Another Try
  20. Alyssa Lies
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