From There to Here: Greatest Hits (BNA)

lonestar, greatest hits
lonestar, greatest hits

For Lonestar, there are plenty of ways to mark the distance From There to Here: Texas to Nashville, obscurity to superstardom, 1992 to 2003.

This 17-track best-of is laid out chronologically, from their first Top 10, "Tequila Talkin'," to three new tracks, allowing fans to hear that journey in motion. Musically, the trip has been from twangy thumpers to heart-tugging ballads, from ringing guitars to stately pianos, all tied together with Richie McDonald's earnest vocals. The 1999 blockbuster "Amazed" marks the turning point, as the band finds its footing in sensitive love songs, and digs in hard.

Still, From There to Here offers a cross-section of all the band's facets, with at least three songs apiece from each of their four albums. As for the new songs, the spirited "My Front Porch Looking In" is already a Top 10 hit, "I Pray" is yet another hit-bound ballad, and the ultra-faithful cover of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" captures a longtime concert favorite.

Fans of former bass player and singer John Rich, a band member for the first six cuts here, may be offended by the omission of his name anywhere in the package (except the writing credits of "Come Cryin' to Me"). And while some will be inspired by the bonus-cut "Message From Home" version of "I'm Already There" -- featuring soundbites from the relatives of deployed soldiers -- others may find it exploitative.

Either way, From There to Here stands as inarguable evidence of Lonestar's emergence from the pack into the most reliable of hitmakers.

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