Friday, February 09, 2007
Albums That I Love #11: The Hits
Those of you who know me probably know that I'm not a big fan of country music. I was pleased recently to be able to finally fill all 3 sets of preset FM stations on my radio with non-country stations. That said, I grew up in Grantsville, and hearing some country music was inevitable. And since I was able to hear it, I was able to develop some preferences and even have some favorite songs and artists. One of these artists is Garth Brooks, whose album "The Hits" does a great job of giving you the best of Garth. It has a great mix of his slower, pensive, emotional songs along with a great collection of his upbeat, dancin'-and-stompin', havin-a-good-time songs.
1. Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)
The albums gets off to a rockin' start with this guitar/harmonica combo.
2. Friends in Low Places
This was a song that I actually knew before I'd ever heard it on the radio. People around me were always singing it, and I thought it must be some old classic the way that everyone would just sing it. Turns out it was just a new classic.
3. Callin' Baton Rouge
One of my favorite Garth songs. Maybe its because I was born in Louisiana, but more likely its just the good fiddle and banjo music. That and Garth belting it out.
The first of the slower, pensive Garth hits to show up on the album. It gives the analogy of our dreams as a river and us as a boat on that river who is carried along by the dream.
5. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
This one is a nice song, but I had to listen to it twice while preparing this review to figure out what it was about. He's a rodeo cowboy on the road and his wife has stopped returning his calls.
6. Thunder Rolls
A song about a cheating lover coming home during a thunderstorm. She's waiting for him. And "he knows that she knows".
7. American Honky-Tonk Bar Association
Back to the more upbeat side of the album for this song about the blue collar, mid-American mindset.
8. If Tomorrow Never Comes
Back to the quiet emotional side of the album. This is a song about treating each day as if it were your last, and making sure you let people know that you love them.
9. Unanswered Prayers
A song that says "some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers". Probably a good point.
10. Standing Outside the Fire
A song about taking risks and putting yourself on the line, and not just standing on the sidelines of life, watching.
A good peppy song about the Rodeo and how those Rodeo cowboys are addicted to it. I like it.
12. What She's Doing Now
Thinking about an old lover, its not a good idea. This guy is pretty torn up wondering "what she's doing now?" He called her old number. Luckily no one there knew who she was. Stalker. :)
13. We Shall Be Free
Garth Brooks' anthem to humanity. "When the last child begs for a crust of bread, we shall be free." Free from what? Guilt? I digress. Its a good song.
14. Papa Loved Mama
Another song about a cheating spouse. This time its the wife and when papa finds out its not pretty. Papa was a truck driver see, and he rams his big rig into the motel where mama's cheating and to top it all off, "He never hit the breaks and he was shifting gears." Strangely this is a fun song. Not sure how it ends up like that, but I think its supposed to be fun.
I can never hear this song without thinking of my neighbor growing up and how he made a video for a girl he liked where he was singing this song. Clearly he was shameless.
16. Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House
Another honky-tonk song about getting your family started with his young loving wife. Get it? Two of a kind, working on a full house?
17. That Summer
Kind of a creepy song about a kid who goes to work on a ranch one summer and ends up "becoming a man" with the old woman who owns the place.
Along the lines of standing outside the fire, this is a song about how by living on the sidelines of life you might save yourself some scars, but then you miss out on the great memories as well. "I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I've have missed the dance."
Its rare to find a greatest hits album with this many great songs on it. Really not a bad one in the bunch. I'm sure some people prefer some songs to others, but definitely this is an album that you can listen to straight through and keep being amazed by the great songs on it.