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Chris LeDoux

20 Greatest Hits – 1999 (Capitol)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Chris LeDoux

Chris LeDoux may be less famous than his duet partners (Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels, Jon Bon Jovi) on this 20 greatest hits collection, but this rodeo rider is probably more pure cowboy than this whole star-studded trio combined.

In truth, this is an album of favorites-instead of actual hits since very few of these 20 songs made much of a dent on the charts. It's an overview that presents LeDoux as a pleasant, yet unspectacular, country singer. "County Fair" comes off as overly sentimental, and "Hooked On An 8 Second Ride" fails to push the right dramatic affect buttons. But Springsteen's "Tougher Than The Rest" is perfectly suited for a tough guy like LeDoux, and "Dallas Days And Ft. Worth Nights" retains a kicking swing. Musically speaking, LeDoux oftentimes sounds about as country as his Jersey friend Bon Jovi. There are more electric power chords on these songs than there are strummed acoustics.

Although sincere, LeDoux will always be more of a marketing person's dream, instead of any serious country troubadour. He may not ever be a 'singer's singer,' but at least he's earned his hat and boots the hard way.