Liner Note Author: Rolling Stone.
Photographers: Angela Talley; Kristin Barlowe; Sandra Johnson; Russ Harrington; Jim Shea; Andrew Southam; Señor McGuire; Florian Schneider; Joseph Lianes.
The title Re-Loaded: 20 #1 Hits slyly winks at Blake Shelton's first hits collection, Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton. Released in time for the holiday season of 2010, a lot has happened between that compilation and this 2015 collection -- namely, Shelton has turned into a household name thanks to his starring role on NBC's televised music competition The Voice (not to mention his headline-grabbing romance with Miranda Lambert), and he's had the hits to go along with his fame. According to Billboard's U.S. Country Airplay charts, he had precisely 12 number one hits from the three albums he's released since Loaded and they're all here, sequenced in reverse-chronological order beginning with "Sangria," running through the smooth-rolling "Sure Be Cool If You Did" and the modulated rowdiness of "Boys Round Here," and ending with "Honey Bee," the smash that hit in 2011 just as the singer started on The Voice. Next up are his eight number ones from the 2000s -- "Hillbilly Bone," "She Wouldn't Be Gone," "Home," "Some Beach," "The Baby," and "Austin" -- finally concluding with the nicely laid-back, grooving "Gonna," a song that underscores how Shelton easily transitioned from traditionalist to mainstream crooner. By focusing so heavily on his 2010s, the rest of Reloaded also emphasizes this shift, and leaves behind many of the great, brawnier singles he had from the 2000s, but that's a fair trade-off: not only will this collection appeal to 2010s converts, it is true to who Shelton is in 2015. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine