Terri Clark

Greatest Hits 1994-2004

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Canadian singer Terri Clark is often compared to Shania Twain mainly because the two are Canadian, started around the same time, and began their careers in country music. But while Twain went on to uber status with a mainstream merging of country and pop and rock, Clark slowly built her career on Nashville's Music Row and its contemporary yet safe country sound. This collection featuring her better moments starts with "Better Things to Do," a standard country-pop tune that has the singer opening up vocally from the onset. The only thing that perhaps sets it apart is her ability to pull off the song effortlessly, as if she was born to do these songs. "When Boy Meets Girl" isn't all that different, although Clark carries it equally strong with the country-tinted Brooks & Dunn-like melody. Unfortunately, some of the tunes that are radio-friendly aren't always the greatest. This is true of the slower play-by-numbers country ballad "If I Were You" that is accented by the pedal steel guitar. But this is followed by a terrific cover of the late Warren Zevon's "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" that suits her Western Canadian twang to a tee. The ebb and flow of the album takes another downturn with the poppy, up-tempo but rather bland "Emotional Girl," which sounds somewhat like a Carlene Carter B-side. Just when you think it's heading downhill she dusts herself off with the tight and catchy "You're Easy on the Eyes" and "I Wanna Do It All," both of which bring Mary Chapin Carpenter's early days to mind. This song takes on a roots groove as does "Everytime I Cry" which is introduced with a mandolin. Clark's niche is radio-friendly country music that never pushes the envelope judging by "I Just Wanna Be Mad" that falls alongside Toby Keith's material. The collection concludes with a well-crafted "Girls Lie Too" and a live version of "No Fear." It's the first of perhaps several good collections to come.

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