Amy Grant

Greatest Hits [Sparrow]

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After three decades with Word Records, Amy Grant transferred her entire back catalog -- including her pop releases under AM -- to the Christian arm of EMI. The new label home marked the occasion by issuing Greatest Hits, Grant's third single-disc anthology but the first that paid tribute to her entire Christian and mainstream repertoires as a whole -- not separately like The Collection and Greatest Hits 1986-2004 did when they were first released. Thirty years of trajectory is a lot of ground to cover on one disc, but Greatest Hits does so gingerly, as it includes all the highlights -- minus Christmas and live albums -- of Grant's career, ranging from her 1977 self-titled debut all the way to her final album for AM, the sobering Simple Things. The songs are presented retrospectively from newest to oldest, which is an interesting way of retracing the sound of a singer who got progressively slicker with each passing album. Unavoidably, some eras get more attention than the others, like the Heart in Motion years, which are represented by a whopping five songs -- all of them excellent from an adult contemporary perspective. Grant gets more and more unassuming as the set approaches the '80s, but she's no less charming: her girl next door persona has always been -- and continues to be -- her strongest draw. Even if Greatest Hits isn't quite the commemorative capstone to 30 years in music -- the liner notes by Grant are candid but overall too short and underwhelming -- Greatest Hits is still the most complete, overarching collection of hits and favorites from one of CCM's biggest legends. ~ Andree Farias, Rovi