The Essenshul Cledus T. Judd

As country's court jester, Cledus' purpose in life is to skewer whatever is hot and happening at the moment. While that's a valuable - even honorable -- function, it also keeps his work from aging well. Once the hits he takes on have faded from memory, his parodies aren't too far behind.

Witness these 11 tracks (clocking in at a relatively stingy 36 minutes), cherry-picked from the four albums he released between 1995 and 1999. There are plenty of entertaining moments here, but too many of the jokes fall flat without the original hits ringing in our ears.

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