I haven’t reviewed a country music album for a while, but even though I’m a traditionalist who naturally leans heavily toward classic country (big surprise), a new compilation featuring today’s country stars is still a pretty good listen.
Now That’s What I Call Country is from the same folks who have churned out a series of similarly titled albums, although this is their first country effort. A joint venture of EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and the Zomba Label Group, their previous albums have sold over 70 million copies, and with this release they hope to conquer the country music crowd.
Of course, the strength of any compilation album depends on its lineup, and many of the names here will be familiar to country music fans. Included among those are Sugarland, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Josh Turner and many others. (For a full listing, follow the album link.) As an added bonus, when you purchase the CD you will receive a key to unlock six additional tracks, for a total of twenty-six.
There is a lot to like here, and for those who haven’t quite caught up to some of the young country stars, the producers have included some veterans too. George Straight’s soulful “I Saw God Today” was one of my favorites, and Reba McEntire turns in a very nice duet with Kelly Clarkson on “Because Of You.”
As previously mentioned, Sugarland is included in the collection, singing their big hit “Stay,” as is Kenny Chesney, with the inclusion of his chart-topping “Don’t Blink.” Mega-hits from other stars include Luke Bryan’s “All My Friends Say,” and Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This,” a song that’s so modern it even includes the mention of a SUV in the first line.
All those and more — and don’t forget the bonus tracks, which include pieces by Eric Church, Emily West, and others. A good value and a nice collection for fans of contemporary country music.