LeAnn Rimes

Greatest Hits

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Greatest Hits recaps LeAnn Rimes' time at Curb Records -- an era that began with enormous, surprising success and ended acrimoniously, with Rimes gunning for crossover success as the label churned out product. Released about a year after her teen-pop makeover on Twisted Angel, this collection is a bit like Rimes herself, perched between her country beginnings and pop crossover aspirations, wanting to be hip, but settling for the middle of the road more often than not. This comes through in the song selection, which has all the big hits that brought her steadily away from her classicist country beginnings with "Blue," and closer to the adult contemporary mainstream of "Can't Fight the Moonlight." While nothing major is missing -- and nothing should be missing, given its generous 19-track length -- there are no less than nine charting singles missing (including "Hurt Me," "Looking Through Your Eyes," most singles from Twisted Angel), with album tracks and new cuts, including a superfluous cover of "O Holy Night" tacked onto the end (the better to position the album for holiday sales), taking their position. Since all the major songs are here, it's a worthwhile collection, but the sequencing is not only hopelessly non-chronological, it develops no momentum and bogs down in the middle, suggesting that this was not so much compiled as it was thrown-together. That's the problem with this Greatest Hits -- it may give the hits, but its careless presentation means that it's much less than what it should have been.

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