Various Artists

Let Freedom Sing [Capitol]

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Capitol's Let Freedom Sing collects three decades' worth of patriotic songs from some of country's biggest artists, including Tennessee Ernie Ford, Chris LeDoux, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The collection kicks off with Charlie Daniels' "America, I Believe in You," which, even with lyrics like "Well, I believe in helping everybody/But when it comes to all them foreign loans/I think we ought to remember that charity begins at home," is still a more nuanced and complex look at America's foreign policy than Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" Fortunately, every song on this collection is better both musically and lyrically than that single, even if most of them share the philosophy "my country, love it or leave it," which is best expressed here by Merle Haggard's "The Fightin' Side of Me." Let Freedom Sing is more or less evenly divided between songs about loving America and songs about fighting for America, both at home and abroad. Chris LeDoux's "I Believe in America" and Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." are examples of the former, while Eddy Raven's "Somebody's Tearin' the Flag," Wanda Jackson's "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and Tyler England's "Travelin' Soldier" define the latter. Glen Campbell's "Galveston" might be the best and most beautiful song on the album, but overall Let Freedom Sing is a solid, and solidly patriotic, collection of country artists paying tribute to their country.

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