Review Summary: Grab a straight jacket and enjoy the show.2 of 3 thought this review was well written
It’s hard to look away when a famous figure has a mental meltdown from what is usually attributed to feeling trapped in scrutiny of the public eye. Train wrecks have a habit of being intriguing, even if extremely sad, and often bring in to question the moral bankruptcy of those who egg it on. It’s safe to say one of the most fascinatingly bizarre cases was from a larger than life country superstar that puzzled many onlookers at the time. What’s even stranger is how almost not a single person remembers that it ever happened in light of the polarizing effect it had on the music world.
The individual I’m speaking of is none other than Garth Brooks and fourteen years ago he decided to create an alter ego named Chris Gaines. This mysteriously dark rocker was supposedly a promotional invention for a motion picture that would document the rise of the man behind it. The only album to be released under this image was titled Greatest Hits
, and in a twist, somehow hit double platinum with chart topping singles. It was to serve as a pre-soundtrack to build hype for the film, but in a troubling turn of events, ended up scrapped due to the eventual backfire.
See, the problem was that not many people knew it was even Garth Brooks at first and when the cat was let out of the bag all hell broke loose. It didn’t help matters that everyone involved in the project never once hinted to the media that it was simply a work of fiction aimed at a purpose. The only conclusion that made a lick of sense to fans was their favorite artist had lost his marbles and when an explanation was finally given it was too late. Even to this day it’s a toss up concerning if there ever was such a movie in the works or if it was merely a go to excuse for damage control.
I’d like to believe it’s the latter because it would make every little thing associated with this period all the more bat *** crazy in the greatest way. The hilarious backstory about Chris Gaines being an Australian who moved to America with G.E.D. in hand to become a musician is totally schizophrenic. In fact, that illness perfectly sums up the entire collection of songs featured on this moody album dressed up in as much bland dread as his Goth attire. It’s not that anything on Greatest Hits
is bad, per se, but for a wild move of this magnitude you’d expect a livelier experience in its wake.
Aside from the head scratching lyrics, reaching the ultimate peak of absurdity in the confusingly poppy “Right Now,” everything else is a pretty harmless affair. It’s nothing more than what audiences have come to accept from the likes of Daughtry, in the realm of by the numbers radio rock. It’s mundane, to say the least, with half of the album containing sleep inducing acoustic playing, but I can’t deny that the vocals are soulfully welcoming. If you can get past the comical persona then tracks like “Lost In You” will do just enough to satisfy mellow cravings if this is actually your cup of tea.
The main issue with Greatest Hits
, as you can tell by its obscurity, is that it has absolutely no staying power and is forgotten the moment after you hear it. It’s brought down by really having nothing to offer unless you found a way to time trave back to when it ruffled a few feathers through controversy. But now that all seems as inconsequential as the very music put on wax, so what you’re left with, at best, is just an amusingly ludicrous concept. Either way you cut it, you’ll definitely marvel at this album’s very existence, while racking your brains trying to figure out its true intentions.