Nothing like a greatest-hits collection to take stock of a career to date.

Nothing like a greatest-hits collection to take stock of a career to date. Trace Adkins has put together a string of winners that impresses in its diversity. The brawny baritone evokes machismo on such cuts as "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing," "Chrome," "Big Time" and "I Left Something Turned on at Home." But his ace in the hole is a relaxed, rumbling vocal style that lends instant credibility to traditional ballads, as on the neo-classics "The Rest of Mine" and "Don't Lie." Adkins also exhibits a sensitive side on the touching ode to parenthood "Then They Do," one of two new cuts that bracket the record. The other is the bad-ass, tough-minded "Welcome to Hell," wherein Adkins convincingly takes on the role of the devil as he addresses his newest terrorist tenant. When he's got such strong material as this, Adkins has few peers as a performer.—RW