Over the past 5 years, we've seen the Now That's What I Call Music! series expand to the biggest hits collection in America, even bigger than the Totally Hits or Grammy Nominees packages, Now has sold well over 10,000,000+ of it's 12 volumes (plus a christmas collection) and became a household name in pop music. To be honest, i got tired after #5, the series is very predictable in it's choices and doesn't really shock anyone, but this one is just a better collection than others. What most of it's predecessor's failed to do, Now 12 offers a hint of diversity from just pop/rock format and even includes some mainstream rock and hip hop titles that are usually to hardcore for the series. Here's what i think:
1. "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" by Jay-Z (featuring Beyonce Knowles) 5/5 - I think they were right on the dot with this one. Why shouldn't this be included? It was a top 10 hit and it's still being played on some stations.
2. "Bump Bump Bump" by B2K (featuring P. Diddy) 5/5 - Another on the dot single. This #1 hit single is a very wise decision considering its the group's biggest hit to date and is still hot on the air waves.
3. "Jenny From The Block" by Jennifer Lopez 3/5 - A good top 10 edition. But why does Now leave out verses by Jadakiss & Styles? By the way, this is an outdated single, "All I Have" is currently topping the singles charts and is a bigger hit than this one.
4. "Don't Mess With My Man" by Nivea (featuring Jagged Edge) 5/5 - Perfect. A current hit that has spent 36 weeks on the hot singles chart and is still going!
5. "Luv U Better" by LL Cool J 4/5 - Slightly outdated hit from LL Cool J. Would've been better to add a more current hip hop hit like 50 Cent's "In Da Club" or R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)".
6. "Air Force Ones" by Nelly (featuring Kwjuan, Murphy Lee, and Ali) 5/5 - I love this track. It has Nelly and the Tics doing what they do best behind a kickin' beat. By the way, it was a top 10 hit and helped push Nelly's Nellyville album sales over 5 million.
7. "Made You Look" by Nas 2/5 - This was one of the biggest shocks to me. When i found out Nas was gonna be on a NOW compilation i flipped. Nas has been more pop lately but NOW? Why? And i just don't perticulary like this song, anyway. Also, it didn't even reach the top 20 so you can't really consider it a 'chart-topping' hit.
8. "Beatiful" by Snoop Dogg (featuring Pharell & Uncle Charlie Williams) 5/5 - A huge shock that Snoop would be on a NOW album as well. But i really love this song and Pharell's singing so i gave it 5 stars.
9. "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" by JC Chazez 4.5/5 - I don't like *N Sync, but this track is too slick to avoid. This barely top 40 track for Chazez might not be that wise for NOW, but is still a slick track to play in the car or the dance floor.
10. "Like I Love You" by Justin Timberlake (featuring Clipse) 3/5 - Typical for NOW to put 2 *N Sync members back-to-back on the album. We all knew a Timberlake track would make it, but if they had to, why didn't they add "Cry Me A River" instead? It's newer and was a way bigger hit. By the way, Clipse is a pop group, i'm sorry, but anyone who performs with Justin Timberlake (including Nelly & Pharell) are pop artists.
11. "Breath" by Telepopmusik 1/5 - Okay, i understand it might have been a big dance hit, but it wasn't even played on pop radio at all. It didn't even crack the Top 100 hit singles chart, surely NOW could've found a better hit than this.
12. "I Should Be..." by Dru Hill 3/5 - A minor R&B hit for Dru Hill. Barely cracked the top 40, but has a nice vibe so a gave it 3 stars.
13. "Stole" by Kelly Rowland 5/5 - The brilliant debut single by Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland. A top 20 hit and a very nice addition to the chart.
14. "Miss You" by Aaliayh 5/5 - The best song on the album as far as i'm concerned. Aaliayh's now #4 hit single from her greatest hits+ package "I Care 4 U". RIP Babygirl.
15. "Angel" by Amanda Perez 5/5 - The new breakthrough hit for this hip hop influenced r&b talent. She somewhat reminds me of Alicia Keys (minus the piano). Good top 40 hit.
16. "Pretty Baby" by Vanessa Carelton 3/5 - I never cared for the track myself. A barely top 40 hit from the piano singer/songwriter. Would've been smarter to add a hit from a newer talent like Lucy Woodward ("Dumb Girls"), Stacy Orrico ("Stuck"), or even Michelle Branch's duet with Santana ("Game Of Love").
17. "Somebody Like You" by Kieth Urban 5/5 - Outdated? Yes, but it is probably the biggest hit he will ever had. Spent 37+ weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Tracks (6 of which at #1), but didn't even crack the top 40 of the Hot 100 Singles Chart. However, i love the song and the video.
18. "The Red" by Chevelle 3/5 - I don't even know who Chevelle is. I know their a rock band, but this wasn't pop. It was a big mainstream rock hit, but not pop.
19. "Always" by Saliva 4/5 - Another nearly nameless rock single, but not pop. Saliva isn't all that good anyway.
20 "When I'm Gone" by 3 Doors Down 5/5 - A perfect ending. This top 10 hit single is new and probably one of the biggest hits from the compilation.
Some suggestions for Now 13:
"In Da Club" by 50 Cent
"Ignition (Remix)" by R. Kelly
"Dumb Girls" by Lucy Woodward
"Stuck" by Stacy Orrico
"All I Have" by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J
"Girlfriend" by B2K
"Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake
"Get Busy" by Sean Paul
"I'm With You" by Avril Laveinge
"Excuse Me Miss" by Jay-Z
"The Anthem" by Good Charlotte
"American Life" by Madonna
"Bring Me To Life" by Evansensce
Oh well, even if these suggestions don't make Now 13, they will probably make Totally Hits 2003!