Despite his long run of hits, Gene Watson remains one of country music’s most underrated talents. Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits is a long-overdue retrospective that finds the legendary Texas singer re-recording his most famous songs from the '70s onward. The years have been kind to Watson’s warm, supple voice, and the album’s arrangements stick close to those of the original recordings, with longtime Watson sideman Sorry Garrish adding steel guitar on numerous tracks. Gene’s masterful way with romantic material gets full exposure with heartfelt treatments of “Love in the Afternoon" (his 1975 breakthrough hit), “Where Love Begins," and “This Dream’s on Me.” Storytelling tunes like “Paper Rosie” and the autobiographical “Pick the Wildwood Flower” are delivered with a mellow style rivaling Merle Haggard at his best. “You’re Out Doing (What I’m Here Doing Without)” is a standout honky-tonk number, while “Don’t Waste It on the Blues” displays a suave, jazzy touch. Best of the Best is both a must-have collection for fans and a fine introduction to this classic country artist’s work.