Joe Diffie - Greatest Hits
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Greatest Hits (Sony, 1998)

Joe Diffie

Reviewed by Jon Weisberger

Diffie just doesn't seem to get much respect; he hasn't had much chart success lately, while those who like to talk about "NashVegas" generally hold that he's a lightweight. A listen to this album, though, reveals an artist of some depth wrestling with a musical split personality, aggravated by the constraints of country radio.

Nine of Diffie's biggest hits are here, together with three new cuts. Among the former are a couple of well-sung ballads ("Ships That Don't Come In," "So Help Me Girl"), a couple of well-crafted stories ("John Deere Green," "Home," "Bigger Than The Beatles") and a brace of Southern-rockin' honkytonkers, but as a whole, the collection doesn't make much of a case for taking him seriously. It's not that there aren't some clever songs and some just pure fun ones, but they don't leave a deep impression, and it's clear that Diffie's singing is stronger than most of the material. The selection including the new songs - will probably suit those who arealready fans just fine, but isn't likely to make many new ones.

CDs by Joe Diffie

Homecoming, 2010 Live at Billy Bob's Texas, 2009 The Ultimate Collection, 2009

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