After the complete crash-through success of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, a second Greatest Hits volume by Trace Adkins was a shoe-in. When was always a question, but on the tail of the release of his first book, Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Free-Thinking Roughneck, which was issued on November 13, 2007, it became necessary -- evidence for this is that his eighth studio album, "American Man," was temporarily shelved to release this second greatest hits with three new tracks, including the single "I've Got My Game On" which was the lead-off for the "American Man" record. That's not meant to sound cynical, it's simply marketing in the 21st century: everything has to have a tie in. If Celine Dion were doing this -- again -- nobody would bat an eye. Musically, the new material is similar to what he's been releasing since the beginning, but Adkins' confidence has given him a greater consistency and refinement of what it is he does so well and he hones in on it. Rockers with a semi-funky backbeat are plentiful on tunes like "Ladies Love Country Boys," "Chrome," "Rough & Ready," and "Hot Mama." Adkins is in his element with the rowdy style of contemporary country but he also has a sensitive side, as evidenced on one of the new songs, "You're Gonna Miss This," the deeply moving "Arlington," and "I Came Here to Live." The other new track here is the title cut for "American Man," giving listeners an additional sneak listen. Adkins is well rounded as a recording artist; his career has risen steadily over the last decade, and as evidenced by his regular rotation on radio, his near ubiquitous appearances on the aforementioned video channels, and his concert receipts show he is also a monster of a box office draw. Fans are gonna want this, even if they already have most of it, for the three new tracks. For those who don't know Adkins but are attracted to the big, rollicking guitars, the fist-pumping, anthemic, arena sounding drums, and the tales of patriotism and the All-American Wildman back to basics contemporary country-rock, this is for you, too.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek