Phil Vassar

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

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There are seven new recordings on Phil Vassar's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there are six brand-new songs. Most of these new songs are Vassar's versions of songs he wrote for other people: "Bye Bye" and "I'm Alright" were hits for Jo Dee Messina, "My Next Thirty Years" and "For a Little While" were cut by Tim McGraw, and Collin Raye recorded "Little Red Rodeo." They're joined by three brand-new Vassar tunes -- "Twenty One," "The Woman in My Life," and also "Last Day of My Life" -- on this generous 15-track collection, which does an excellent job of capturing Vassar's strengths as both a songwriter and a performer. Not that it features every one of his charting singles -- 2001's "Rose Bouquet" isn't here, and neither are "This Is God" and "Ultimate Love" from 2003, or 2005's "Good Ole Days" -- but they're not missed because of the presence of those aforementioned songs recorded by other artists. These tunes give a fuller picture of Vassar's talents, and explain why he needs a greatest-hits album a mere three years into his career. After all, his proper albums don't touch on these songs, which are among his best, and Vassar's versions match the original hit versions, helping to make Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 not just a good introduction to his music, but the most consistently entertaining album he's yet released.

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