EW evaluates recent greatest hits albums -- Britney Spears and Shania Twain are among the stars who have released albums featuring old hits and new songs

By David Browne
Updated December 06, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

EW evaluates recent greatest hits albums

What’s a hits album without the customary new song? And which bonus tracks are worthy enough to stand alongside the old staples?

BRITNEY SPEARS Greatest Hits: My Prerogative
Two new additions: the likably pushy dance grinder ”Do Somethin”’ and a remake of the Bobby Brown hit referenced in the CD’s title. Whereas Brown was cocky, Spears, all robot-with-a-cold delivery, sounds merely petulant as she brays that she ”don’t need permission/Make my own decisions.” You go, girl — straight to career oblivion. ”Do”: B ”Prerogative”: C

SHANIA TWAIN Greatest Hits
Four new tracks, each targeting a different demo. For the country crowd, the stand-by-your-boor swing of ”I Ain’t No Quitter” and the gimmicky Billy Currington duet ”Party for Two.” For Top 40, a smarmier version of the latter with Mark McGrath. For Lite FM desperate housewives, ”Don’t!” — which, despite Twain’s continuing exclamation-point obsession, is more Dido than Shania. Each: C+

SEAL Best | 1991-2004
A glazed-over cover of ”Walk On By” on the first CD. (Sorry, Seal, you’re no Dionne.) Disc 2, meanwhile, comprises acoustic remakes of his signature tunes. An interesting move that backfires: Without their windswept orchestrations, hits like ”Prayer for the Dying” are living on a prayer. New songs: B-

TOBY KEITH Greatest Hits 2
Three new tunes, each ignoring Keith’s nod to Jesus in the liner notes in favor of questionable moral values. ”Stays in Mexico,” his stab at brassy Phil Collins pop, chronicles a fling between a teacher and a married salesman — but never quite condemns it. The more trad country ”Go With Her” relates his father’s advice about following a woman who’s dumped you (i.e., stalking her). And if there were an 11th Commandment, for Thou Shalt Not Exploit Thy Family, Keith would stand guilty for his karaoke-style ”Mockingbird” with daughter Krystal. ”Stays”: B- ”Go”: B ”Mockingbird”: D