To celebrate American Idol’s tenth season -- which isn’t quite the same as its tenth year despite the suggestion of the title 10th Anniversary: The Hits, Vol. 1 -- RCA issued this 12-track compilation in the spring of 2011. The idea is to round up the biggest post-show hits from the winners and runners-up, often ignoring the first hits from a singer in favor of the tunes that became new millennium standards, like Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” and DAUGHTRY’s “Home.” Of course, the compilers are sometimes stuck with singers who have bigger names than hits, so they opt for covers -- Ruben Studdard is represented by “Superstar,” Taylor Hicks by “Takin’ It to the Streets” -- or songs that nobody quite knows, like David Cook’s “Light On.” That means this isn’t wall-to-wall hits, yet the compilation gives a good indication of the fate of the Idol winners: some are stars, some are forgotten, some are pop culture curiosities, and only a handful cut singles that transcended the boundaries of the show.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine