Various Artists

My Country: Smash Hits

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My Country: Smash Hits Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Stadium Entertainment’s 2010 My Country is a benefit album whose proceeds are donated to members of the U.S. military and their families. Fittingly, many of the songs -- all recorded between 2002 and 2009 -- have either a patriotic or sweetly melancholic undertow, celebrating home towns, America, or absent loves. It’s a proudly sentimental collection: the tempos never get too heated -- Randy Houser’s “Boots On” is the liveliest thing here -- and nobody shies away from big, sweeping melodies or productions, which unifies My Country, giving it consistency in tone and message (although there is a slight disconnect in having cartoonist Gary Trudeau contribute the cover art on an album that contains a special message from President George W. Bush, but that is just a minor point that has nothing to do with the music or message within).

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