Take the subtitle of King of the Hill: Music From and Inspired by the TV Series King of the Hill to heart. Most of the music on this purported soundtrack hasn't been heard on the television show; instead, it was written and recorded specifically for this album. And, like many soundtracks in the "inspired by" vein, King of the Hill has snatches of dialogue from the show's characters, plus a couple of novelty tunes, to make it seem more like an official soundtrack. It's a ploy that doesn't always work, but it does here, more or less. The key to the record's success is that it's as unpretentious and laid-back as the show itself. That may mean that there really aren't any standout tracks, but that's not really a detriment, since there's really not anything that doesn't work either. Sure, to anyone that's not a fan of the show, the dialogue and tracks by the characters may get a little annoying (especially the Baz Luhrmann parody "Mow Against the Grain"), but the straight songs are solid. Sheryl Crow and Barenaked Ladies contribute new songs that are good, albeit unremarkable, while the covers, either country songs by rock artists or rock songs by country artists, are all enjoyable, particularly Trace Adkins' "I Know a Little" and Tonic's "East Bound and Down." All of which makes King of the Hill a fairly entertaining listen, even if it's rather lightweight.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine