Greatest Hits: Decade #1
Hits compilations have become an odd thing in the digital age, as they give both hardcore and casual fans little reason to purchase. The new tracks can be downloaded if you’re interested. The hits that you would’ve wanted, you’ve probably downloaded anyway.
So kudos to Carrie Underwood for putting together a collection that’s worth purchasing in physical form, with beautiful artwork and liner notes, and for putting together a track listing that doesn’t cut corners in any way. Every single hit is included, and she’s had a ton of them so far, all consistently good and quite a few that have been great.
Completists who may have missed the Randy Travis duet version of “I Told You So” or her #1 hit duet that was on Brad Paisley’s album can find them here, along with interesting writing demo sessions for three of her hits, and a showstopping live performance of “How Great Thou Art” with harmonies by Vince Gill. If you’ve got all of her studio albums already, there are still a lot more goodies here than just the compulsory new material.
But what’s really exciting is how compelling that new material is. “Something in the Water” has already become her longest-running #1 country hit, thanks to those new chart rules, but it’s worthy of all the success it’s been receiving. The other new track, “Little Toy Guns”, is even better, a powerful number about the lingering effects of verbal abuse on everyone in earshot, not just the intended targets of those missives.
Together, the two new singles are outstanding examples of what’s made Carrie Underwood so compelling an artist over the past ten years. She’s a top-notch singer, to be sure. But it’s her deep empathy for the human experience, based on the rock-solid foundation of her compassionate faith, that inform that top-notch singing. She’s one of the best country artists working today, and as this document of the past decade supports, she’s been one of the best all along.
Recommended Tracks: “Little Toy Guns”, “Something in the Water”, “How Great Thou Art” (with Vince Gill)