All-Time Greatest Hits
In the eleven years since the release of LeAnn Rimes’ first Greatest Hits package, she’s certainly released enough material to fill out a second installment. But the song selections of her new All-Time Greatest Hits clearly position it as a replacement rather than a continuation, with 13 of its 20 tracks having already appeared on her original 2003 retrospective.
Rimes has typically had more consistent success at retail than at radio, and thus would likely be ill-served by compiling songs based on chart position alone. All-Time Greatest Hits kicks off with Rimes 1996 debut hit “Blue”, and from there runs down the hits in chronological order, with a selection of lesser known singles and album tracks also included. Her early hits mostly show a young artist still learning to use her voice effectively, and some are mired by production arrangements that have aged poorly, but such an arrangement does offer an interesting chronicle of Rimes’ gradual growth and development as a selector and interpreter of material.
It’s just a shame that the albums pays so little attention to the era that has seen Rimes blossom into the accomplished, compelling creative force that she is today. The twelve years since the release of 2003’s Greatest Hits are represented only by the final four tracks of All Time Greatest Hits. The album is rounded out by Rimes’ final trio of Top 10 hits from 2005’s This Woman (“Nothin’ ‘Bout Love Makes Sense”, “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way”, “Something’s Gotta Give”) and her most recent Top 20 entry, 2007’s “Nothin’ Better to Do.” That means that much of her best material is left on the cutting room floor. Her two most recent studio album – 2013’s career-best Spitfire and 2011’s excellent covers set Lady & Gentlemen – are both completely ignored.
It’s disheartening that the album goes beyond the chart hits, but includes disposable covers and forgotten filler in lieu of gems such as “What I Cannot Change”, “What Have I Done” and “Borrowed.” I generally applaud a collection displaying a more eclectic approach than hits-only, but in this case the benefits are lost. Taken purely as a listening experience, All Time Greatest Hits is enjoyable enough, but as a summary of Rimes’ unique and varied career, it’s a missed opportunity.
Track listing: 1. Blue 2. One Way Ticket (Because I Can) 3. Unchained Melody 4. The Light in Your Eyes 5. How Do I Live 6. You Light Up My Life 7. Amazing Grace 8. On the Side of Angels 9. Commitment 10. Nothin’ New Under the Moon 11. Big Deal 12. I Need You 13. Can’t Fight the Moonlight 14. But I Do Love You 15. The Right Kind of Wrong 16. Life Goes On 17. Nothin’ Bout Loves Makes Sense 18. Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way 19. Something’s Gotta Give 20. Nothin’ Better to Do