The Greatest Hits Collection II
The second volume of hits from Brooks & Dunn’s career covers the period between 1998’s If You See Her and 2003’s Red Dirt Road. If the duo’s pre-1998 hits show them conquering Nashville, then the songs included here aim for an audience beyond country radio. “Red Dirt Road,” “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You,” and “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk” belong to rock and pop as much as they do country. Meanwhile “Only In America” has such broad appeal that it was used by Presidents from two different parties. It was George Bush’s campaign song in 2004, and was played again when Barack Obama accepted his nomination at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Brooks and Dunn can create hits with enormous appeal, but some of the best songs on Greatest Hits Collection II are the ones that slipped through the cracks. “Independent Trucker” is a throwback to the highway anthems of Red Simpson and Dick Curless, while “That’s What She Gets For Loving Me” (from Red Dirt Road) has a soulfulness worthy of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham.