Ronan Keating

10 Years of Hits

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10 Years of Hits boasts quite a title; at the time of its release, Ronan Keating had only been a solo artist for four years, and not one of his hits from the six previous years as lead singer for Boyzone is featured in its original form. The three Boyzone hits, re-recorded for this collection, were all previous hits for other artists -- "Baby Can I Hold You" by Tracy Chapman, "Words" by the Bee Gees, and "Father & Son" by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). If it is a misleading title, it is also a forgivable one, because 13 U.K. Top Ten hits are included in the collection, as well as duets with Yusuf Islam, LeAnn Rimes, and Lulu, and Bryan Adams's "The Way You Make Me Feel," on which he sings background vocals. It is a comprehensive collection of Keating's material up to 2004, and if one doesn't find anything of interest on it, one will probably not find much of interest on the individual albums, because he has a very set sense of style, and seldom strays from it. The other artists mentioned are an indication of that style, which reflect his love for country, pop, folk, ballads, and light -- very light -- rock. Signature Keating ballads include the U.K. number one "When You Say Nothing at All," which he recorded for the Julia Roberts film Notting Hill and began his solo career, a cover of Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes," which reached number one in the U.K., and his self-penned "The Long Goodbye," which reached number three in the U.K. and won him the BMI European Song-Writing Award. It was also covered by Brooks & Dunn in the U.S. and reached number one on the Billboard Country Chart. His other number one hit is the pop song "Life Is a Rollercoaster." The CD booklet offers a photo collage, scans of the singles covers, a letter by Keating, and track notes and thoughts. All in all, a respectable artist, and a respectable collection of songs.

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