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on July 18, 2001
Ever wonder what Alan Jackson would sound like on helium? If so, check out Tracy Lawrence. This high-pitched redneck was one of country's most reliable hitmakers from the time he emerged in 1991 with "Sticks and Stones." His Best Of offers a dozen chart smashes as well as two new singles.
Lawrence's best includes a few good ol' boy anthems ("Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues" and "If The Good Die Young") and a couple of tunes that tie his native Texas to honky tonkin' love songs ("Texas Tornado" and "Stars Over Texas"). Lost love is also a recurring theme, with our protagonist a bitter man ("Sticks And Stones"), gracious loser ("I See It Now"), and hopeful reconciliator ("Is That A Tear").
Every hit on this set has its moments - the most noteworthy and substantial being Lawrence's reflective odes ("Time Marches On" and "If The World Had A Front Porch"). The collection's only letdown is that Atlantic didn't find room for his seven other top-5 hits (particularly "Today's Lonely Fool" and "As Any Fool Can See"). All seven are worthy of inclusion.
The two new recordings on the set show the softer side of the Lawrence sound. "While You Sleep," which melodically brings to mind Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind," relates the story of a guy who forgets to tell his woman that he loves her until she is asleep, while "Her Old Stompin' Ground" delivers a more traditional (for country) ballad about a husband who dutifully waits for his cheating wife to return.
With his well-documented sordid private life overshadowing his music the past couple of years, Lawrence now faces an uphill battle at country radio (some stations banned his music and "While You Sleep" undeservedly bombed on the charts). Whatever the future may hold for Lawrence (his most recent album Lessons Learned had some great singles that also underperformed at radio), this collection serves as a reminder of his status as one of country music's top artists in the'90s.
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on March 17, 1999
I listened to this album over and over until I wore out the tape, so I'm buying the CD. Tracy has had one of the most successful careers in country music, and this album shows us exactly why. My favorite titles are "Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues", "Texas Tornado", and "Alibis".
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on April 21, 2004
This man is a great singer, and has quality lyrics to his music. Why is he banned from some country stations (And underplayed by others)? It is not because of his personal life. Guys like Hank Williams, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash had stormy lives, but were NOT neglected. Instead, the reason is, quality country is not rewarded these days (Check out how seldom you hear Sherrie Austin on the radio?).Lawrence is in the top 5 singers in country today (Along with Sherrie, George Strait, Toby Keith, and Alan Jackson). Songs like "Time Marches On", "Texas Tornado", "Stars Over Texas", "Sticks And Stones" and "Renegades, Rebels And Rogues" should be country classics, and the rest of the CD is not far behind. You cannot get a better single disk greatest hits CD (Except "Latest Greatest Straitest Hits"). This should be a must in your country collection.
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on November 8, 2005
Here is an artist that could have easily been swept under the rug, but whose music would never allow it. Tracy Lawrence is a true Traditionalist, with a voice like none other. While the likes of Garth Brooks was jumping around on stage with a Madonna-like headset, Tracy was doing straight-forward, hardcore, music that reached out through the speakers and grabbed you. Here was a singer that needed no gimmicks and you basically got what you saw; wish there were more like him, and I'm glad to see his return to the stage. This album is a collection of some of the best country songs of the '90's; and of course, they're all Tracy Lawrence. There are some true gems here, inlcuding the pure "Sticks and Stones", "Is That a Tear", and "Can't Break it To My Heart". There are also the more rowdy numbers "Good Die Young" and "Better Man Better Off"; all of which received their fair share of airplay in the last decade. I dont recall what happened, but Tracy appeared to have fallen off the edge of the earth in the late -90's, and his void was never filled. Perhaps it was the intro of the Mega Pop Star Garth, Shania, Faith & Tim Hill? In any event, this album is a chance to hear one of the finest "modern" voices of our music. A+
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on November 23, 2004
Tracy Lawrence is a fantastic live performer, but his studio albums are plagued by inconsistency. When he has decent material, he turns in a fine performance; when the material sucks, you start feeling a little sorry for him. This greatest hits is wonderful because it collects many of Lawrence's biggest hits on one disc. (ALL of the hits are not here, as another reviewer noted.) Lawrence uses his admittedly strange voice to good effect, and every song is a keeper, making this a very enjoyable listen. Many of these songs are modern classics. And if you like this stuff, check out his Live album -- one of the best live albums in the entire country genre.
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on December 14, 2000
This CD is one of the main reasons I like country music. This song is chock full of real, down-to-life songs like "If The World Had A Front Porch," "Alibis," "Can't Break It To My Heart," and "Texas Tornado." He knows how to have fun, too. Those songs are "Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues" and "If The Good Die Young." Then he also gets romantic on such songs as "Stars Over Texas," and "While You Sleep." He can also sing a good hurting song, like "Her Old Stompin' Ground," "Sticks And Stones," "Is That A Tear," and "I See It Now." There is also the hit "Time Marches On." There is also the hopeful "Better Man, Better Off." This is a rock-solid collection that any fan of true, traditional country music should have.
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VINE VOICEon October 20, 2006
I have enjoyed Tracy Lawrence's songs and videos on CMT and GMC for over 10 years, and this CD has his very best songs on it. Every song is excellent, especially Texas Tornado, I See It Now, and Alibis. For fans of Tracy Lawrence and country music, you can't go wrong with collection of his hits.
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on August 18, 2005
I love the entire CD and it isn't often you can say that! I can't get a radio station at work so I listen to CD's and this is one I listen to at least twice a week. Alibis and Texas Tornado have always been favorites of mine and they still are. I definitely recommend it for any Tracy fan.
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on July 10, 2000
Tracy should be rewarded by his fans for his excellent music. Everything he has ever done is great. He is one of a few artists that I rush out to by his cd's and I have never been disappointed. If you think this one is good just wait until you hear Lessons Learned. It is incredible!
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on June 27, 2012
This collection is OKAY,but it could have been a WHOLE LOT BETTER! It's missing too many of his big hits.It does include his debut single,in "Sticks and Stones",which is remixed and remastered to make it sound a bit more polished,but where are his other hits from that album?? Such as "Somebody Paints The Wall","Runnin' Behind" and "Today's Lonely Fool".Plus there are alot of other great songs missing too.Such as "As Any Fool Can See".The only positive side to this CD,is it does include one new song,which is "Her Old Stompin' Ground".On the back insert,it says that "While You Sleep" is a previously unreleased single.It's just a remixed/remastered version of the song that originally appeared on THE COAST IS CLEAR album.It doesn't sound any diffrent to me.The song "Can't Break It To My Heart" has also been remixed/remastered.It's a longer version.This CD is decent.But if you want a GREAT Tracy Lawrence collection,pick up THE VERY BEST OF TRACY LAWRENCE instead.It's got ALL of his great songs from 1991-2004.
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