American Man: Greatest Hits, Vol. II
When Trace Adkins unleashes his purring rumble of a voice, even a party tune takes on a certain gravitas. This husky country icon has enjoyed an enviable run of high-charting singles since the mid-‘90s and shows no signs of slowing down. Greatest Hits, Vol. II: American Man (2007) is a solid best-of collection, spiced up by a trio of freshly-recorded tunes. Fans will devour the new stuff, especially “I Got My Game On” (a battle cry for barroom romeos) and the title tune (an ode to unsung working stiffs). The rest of the album stretches back to 2001’s “Chrome” and includes recent smashes like the swaggering girl-watcher’s anthem “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” Together, these tracks frame a portrait of Trace as a tough yet amiable romantic who savors the tender moments as well as the wild times. His warm, smoothly-rolling baritone is equally able to deliver rowdy crowd-pleasers (“Ladies Love Country Boys”), nostalgic narratives (“I Came Here to Live”) and poignant odes to fallen heroes (“Arlington”). To his credit, Adkins rarely goes for bombast and makes even lightweight fare sound like a slice of real life. American Man is another notch in his extra-wide belt’s worth of hits.