Tim McGraw Reflected: Hits Vol 2, his second collection of greatest hits. Showcasing a body of work bookended by 1994''s "Not A Moment Too Soon" and 2006''s "My Old Friend," it is a reminder of the consistency and depth that have made him such an icon. Several of the songs are drawn from two albums he recorded in a mountaintop retreat with his touring band, 2002''s Tim McGraw & the Dancehall Doctors, and 2004''s Live Like You Were Dying. Together, they sold seven million copies, and between them they produced hits like "Watch The Wind Blow By," "Red Ragtop," "She''s My Kind of Rain," "Real Good Man," and the ten-week #1, "Live Like You Were Dying," all of which are included here. The project also includes "Everywhere," from the CD of the same name, and "Grown Men Don''t Cry" and "The Cowboy In Me," from 2001''s "Set This Circus Down."
Tim McGraw''s second greatest-hits collection in six years is also his ninth consecutive debut at #1 on the Billboard country charts. That means he must be doing something right. But what, precisely, aside from keeping up his hunk factor, and maturing his voice? Well--choosing dynamic songs that resonate at the very core of most folks'' emotional center, for starters. So it''s no surprise that this 16-song package kicks off with "Live Like You Were Dying," his ten-week #1 crossover hit. In addition to chart-toppers dating from 1995 ("Not a Moment Too Soon"), McGraw fills the track list with two smashes that never appeared on his own albums: his Grammy-winning duet with wife Faith Hill, "Like We Never Loved At All," and "Over and Over," the soulful Nelly confession in which McGraw, his voice technically altered, essentially serves as the rapper''s tortured psyche. Of the four new songs, a cover of Ryan Adams''s "When the Stars Go Blue" emerges as a stellar example of the pained loner ballads McGraw does so well, and brings to mind the faint desperation inherent in his interpretation of Elton John''s "Tiny Dancer." And "My Little Girl," one of two rare McGraw co-writes here (joining "I''ve Got Friends Who Do"), draws on his experience as a parent and promises to flatten any father who''s ever tucked in his daughter. Through the years, McGraw''s on-record persona has evolved from the wimpish underdog ("Don''t Take the Girl") to the strong, sensitive alpha male, both in his take-charge delivery and his sometimes edgy repertoire ("Red Ragtop"). All in all, this lengthy, hooky offering isn''t just a "value pack" for McGraw fans--it''s reason to hire a skywriter. --Alanna Nash
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