Music Article

Boxed Sets Too Much Of A Good Thing? How About A Hits Cd?

EW evaluates recent greatest hits albums -- Britney Spears and Shania Twain are among the stars who have released albums featuring old hits and new songs

EW evaluates recent greatest hits albums

What's a hits album without the customary new song? And which bonus tracks are worthy enough to stand alongside the old staples?

BRITNEY SPEARS Greatest Hits: My Prerogative
Two new additions: the likably pushy dance grinder ''Do Somethin''' and a remake of the Bobby Brown hit referenced in the CD's title. Whereas Brown was cocky, Spears, all robot-with-a-cold delivery, sounds merely petulant as she brays that she ''don't need permission/Make my own decisions.'' You go, girl — straight to career oblivion. ''Do'': B ''Prerogative'': C

SHANIA TWAIN Greatest Hits
Four new tracks, each targeting a different demo. For the country crowd, the stand-by-your-boor swing of ''I Ain't No Quitter'' and the gimmicky Billy Currington duet ''Party for Two.'' For Top 40, a smarmier version of the latter with Mark McGrath. For Lite FM desperate housewives, ''Don't!'' — which, despite Twain's continuing exclamation-point obsession, is more Dido than Shania. Each: C+

SEAL Best | 1991-2004
A glazed-over cover of ''Walk On By'' on the first CD. (Sorry, Seal, you're no Dionne.) Disc 2, meanwhile, comprises acoustic remakes of his signature tunes. An interesting move that backfires: Without their windswept orchestrations, hits like ''Prayer for the Dying'' are living on a prayer. New songs: B-

TOBY KEITH Greatest Hits 2
Three new tunes, each ignoring Keith's nod to Jesus in the liner notes in favor of questionable moral values. ''Stays in Mexico,'' his stab at brassy Phil Collins pop, chronicles a fling between a teacher and a married salesman — but never quite condemns it. The more trad country ''Go With Her'' relates his father's advice about following a woman who's dumped you (i.e., stalking her). And if there were an 11th Commandment, for Thou Shalt Not Exploit Thy Family, Keith would stand guilty for his karaoke-style ''Mockingbird'' with daughter Krystal. ''Stays'': B- ''Go'': B ''Mockingbird'': D

Originally posted Dec 01, 1979 Published in issue #796 Dec 10, 2004 Order article reprints

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