Chris Isaak Greatest Hits. In many ways, Chris Isaak is a perfect candidate for a "best-of" compilation: he has been consistent over the years, not only in the quality of his output but in his music, which hasn't strayed much from the sweetly moody retro-pop -- part Elvis, a large part Roy Orbison, a small part early Neil Diamond -- he essayed on his 1985 debut, Silvertone. As such, his records can be a little interchangeable, but even the bad ones are enjoyable, and when they're mixed and matched as they are here on his first-ever compilation, they hold together as well as if it were a proper album. Not that Best of Chris Isaak is exactly a "greatest-hits" -- he only had seven charting Billboard singles, and three of them aren't here; it's understandable that the 2004 Christmas tune "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" isn't here, but 1989's "Don't Make Me Dream About You" and 1995's "Go Walking Down There," while not big hits, may be missed by some casual listeners, particularly since this is a generous 18-track compilation that finds space for such OK relative rarities as a cover of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" and an acoustic version of "Forever Blue." But these are the kind of complaints that are found only if somebody is looking for flaws, since otherwise Best of Chris Isaak is an expertly chosen selection of his best easy-rolling, slyly sexy retro-pop, containing his four big hits ("Wicked Game," "Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)," "Somebody's Crying," "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing") along with many of his best album tracks, like "San Francisco Days," "Two Hearts," "Speak of the Devil," "You Owe Me Some Kind of Love," and "Dancin'," among others. It's so well done and so comprehensive, it's easy to imagine that for many listeners -- particularly those who liked Isaak's style, whether musical or personal -- that this will be all the Chris Isaak they'll ever need.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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