The pop music business just goes ?round in circles, with cohesive, track-deep albums once again taking a back seat to uber-marketed pop star singles. But Virgin's Now That's What I Call Music! series of hit compilations ha... more »ve given consumers a smart avenue for having it both ways. This 21-track collection revolves around a hip-hop dominated, groove-savvy collection of 2002 chart fodder that kicks off with the smartly segued duo of Jay-Z/Beyonce Knowles' "?03 Bonnie & Clyde" and B2K/P/ Diddy's "Bump, Bump, Bump," and J-Lo's slinky "Jenny From the Block" before showcasing a strong slate of urban vets (LL Cool J, Snoop Dog, Nas) and newcomers like Nivea and Nelly. The latter's "Air Force Ones" is a playful standout. But Telepopmusik's dreamy electro-pop hit cum Mitsubishi car commercial icon "Breath" also heralds the collection's turn into more expansive territory that spans some nouveau R&B, the energetic contemporary country, and bright pop. The bracing modern rock of Chevelle, Saliva, and 3 Doors Down bring up the rear, echoing the genre's general fade from prominence. --Jerry McCulley« less
The pop music business just goes ?round in circles, with cohesive, track-deep albums once again taking a back seat to uber-marketed pop star singles. But Virgin's Now That's What I Call Music! series of hit compilations have given consumers a smart avenue for having it both ways. This 21-track collection revolves around a hip-hop dominated, groove-savvy collection of 2002 chart fodder that kicks off with the smartly segued duo of Jay-Z/Beyonce Knowles' "?03 Bonnie & Clyde" and B2K/P/ Diddy's "Bump, Bump, Bump," and J-Lo's slinky "Jenny From the Block" before showcasing a strong slate of urban vets (LL Cool J, Snoop Dog, Nas) and newcomers like Nivea and Nelly. The latter's "Air Force Ones" is a playful standout. But Telepopmusik's dreamy electro-pop hit cum Mitsubishi car commercial icon "Breath" also heralds the collection's turn into more expansive territory that spans some nouveau R&B, the energetic contemporary country, and bright pop. The bracing modern rock of Chevelle, Saliva, and 3 Doors Down bring up the rear, echoing the genre's general fade from prominence. --Jerry McCulley
"NOW" Will Always Have Some Disappointments & A Few Fillers
Katie McVogal | Detroit, MI USA | 04/10/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here are a few things I have noticed that YOU'LL FIND really interesting with the "NOW" collections (Please Read...):1) The songs they choose as "hits" in NOW's CDs are NOT based on the Billboard Singles Charts but rather the ARC charts (aka: the actual Top 40 chart) because Billboard rates it's singles from 75% airplay and 25% sales of CD singles while ARC strictly follows 100% airplay. NOW will only consider a song on the CD if it has peaked within the Top 30.
Furthermore, the company that produces these "NOW" CDs have admitted to MTV (look for an article on mtv.com about NOW) that they put in some artists that people have never really heard about for promotional purposes. In other words, NOW is also used to introduce "not-so-hit making" new artists to people who are expecting SOLELY hit songs in hopes of interesting the buyers to those new artists.Which leads to...2) Every "NOW" CD has only 2/3 to 3/4 of their content to be ACTUAL HITS you hear on the radio. I'm sorry, but I have never really heard LL Cool J, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Dru Hill, Telepopmusik, Keith Urban, Chevelle, and Saliva on popular Top 40 radio stations. Songs I would have replaced with:LL Cool J -> TLC "Damaged"/"Girl Talk"
Nas -> Missy Elliott "Work It"
Snoop Dogg -> Mariah Carey "Through The Rain"
Dru Hill -> 50 Cent "In Da Club"
Telepopmusik -> Lasgo "Something"
Keith Urban -> Shania Twain "I'm Gonna Getcha Good"
Chevelle -> Good Charrolette "The Anthem"
Saliva -> Avril Lavigne "Sk8er Boi"/"I'm With You"
...and possibly for so-so hits...
Kelly Rowland -> Ja Rule f/Ashanti "Mesmerize"
Vanessa Carlton -> Christina Aguilera "Beautiful"I think these choices reflect the Late 2002-Early 2003 hits, the urban music trend, and a diversity in genres of music that could possibly fit in ONE CD.3) It seems that NOW also EXCLUDES CERTAIN PATICULAR ARTISTS that I have noticed throughout the past 12 CD despite their HUGE hits! What about (throughout NOW's history)?Ricky Martin
Whitney Houston (in 1999)
and more...I understand that so many songs can fit into one CD, and that 3 NOW CDs are released every year. BUT don't you expect that at least SOME OR AT LEAST ONE OF THEIR SONGS should be in NOW's history? (ESPECIALLY SINCE SOME OF THESE ARTISTS HAVE REACHED #1 WITH THEIR SONGS?!?!?)Furthermore, if you guys are hoping or expecting Eminem on the NOW CDs...I highly doubt he will be on it, despite his HUGE SUCCESS, because of the harsh, "non-kid or teen" friendly lyrics. Take for example Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet"4) Anyways (phew!)...as for considering to buy... Well, let me say this, if you are discovering that you don't like more than 3-4 songs on this NOW CD; DON'T BUY IT! Because it is not worth the ENTIRE price when you are skipping paticular songs of the CD, especially when song piracy....makes it tempting to make your "own" collection of hits..I hope this review helps all of you out there! All my best!"
Now That's What I DON'T Call Music!
riotgurl511 | DC | 11/11/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, this was a horrible mix of bad chart-toppers and other songs I've never heard of in my life that aren't much better...1.'03 BONNIE & CLYDE, Jay-Z f. Beyonce ((B-))
~Pretty decent song, but gets boring if you listen to it too many times~ 2. BUMP BUMP BUMP, B2K f. P.Diddy ((A))
~One of the very few good songs on this CD!! Kinda old, though~3. JENNY FROM THE BLOCK, Jennifer Lopez ((C))
~Mediocre, way overplayed and quite repitive and annoying after awhile~4. DON'T MESS WITH MY MAN, Nivea f. Brian and Brandon Casey ((A-))
~Good dance song and I like her voice~5. LUV YOU BETTER, LL Cool J ((D+))
~Good basic beat, but proves to be boring and slow~6. AIR FORCE ONES, Nelly ((B+))
~Good song, but I'e heard it so many times it's gotten annoying~7. MADE YOU LOOK, Nas ((D))
~I've never listened to the entire song, it's too boring))8. BEAUTIFUL, Snoop Dogg f. Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson ((F+))
~This is one of the most annoying songs I've ever heard, I hate Pharrell's voice~9. BLOWIN ME UP WITH HER LOVE, JC Chasez ((C-))
~I used to hate this song, but it kinda grows on you~10. LIKE I LOVE YOU, Justin Timberlake ((B))
~Good dance song~11. BREATHE, Telepopmusik ((F-))
~Does this even qualify as a song?~12. I SHOULD BE, Dru Hill ((C-))
~Never listened to the whole song, it's boring~13. STOLE, Kelly Rowland ((F))
~I hate this song, good message but doesnt sound good~14. MISS YOU, Aaliyah ((B-))
~Beautiful voice, but kinda slow and boring if you don't appreciate Aaliyah~15. ANGEL, Amanda Perez ((B+))
~Beautiful voice, beautiful song, just kinda boring~16. PRETTY BABY, Vanessa Carlton ((C-))
~Just not a fan of her work~17. SOMEBODY LIKE YOU, Keith Urban ((C))
~Not a country music fan, but it's alright~18. THE RED, Chevelle ((C))
~It's ok, somehow dissapointing, more potential~19. ALWAYS, Saliva ((A))
~Great song, best on CD~20. WHEN I'M GONE, 3 Doors Down ((B+))~Good~And the average is probably around a C. It's ok, but there's not many good songs, they're alright. Save your money!"
"The Now series is fighting a losing battle to CD burners. And instead of Now trying their hardest to make their CDs better and better, they have almost thrown in thw towel, spitting out another collection of overprocessed hits. Sales have been decreasing more and more and so has the quality of the songs. No thought to vibe was put into the CD at all. Hip-hop and R&B dominate the CD, taking 14 out of the 20 spots. But most of them shouldn't be there. Keith Urban and even Vanessa Carlton stick out like sore thumbs around the other tracks. And of course, a couple rock song (at an all time low of 3) are tacked on to the bottom. By now, if you have the whole series, you have wasted about [alot] of your money which could be used to get a CD burner, so you can't pick and choose your mix. Pass on Now 12.The Good:
Aaliyah - Miss You (the best track)
Kelly Rowland - Stole
Vanessa Carlton - Pretty Baby
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharell - BeautifulThe bad:
LL Cool J - Luv U Better
Nivea - Don't Mess With My Man
JC Chavez - Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)The UGLY:
Jennifer Lopez feat. Jadakiss - Jenny From Da Block (by far the worst track)
Saliva - Always
B2K - Bump, Bump, Bump
Telepopmusik - BreatheThe rest are pretty medicore....."
More Of What We Expect
GMac | Anywhere, USA | 10/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""NOW 12" is not in the same league as the great "NOW"s and the reason for that is because the album follows the steps of the prevois entries and never breaks any molds like "NOW 5" or "NOW 7" did. Yet the album still suceeds for the most of it because of some very good songs: (1) Jay-Z feat. Beyonce Knowles "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" A-. It may not be as slammin' as "Crazy In Love", but is still a refreshing R&B track with Jay-Z's best lyrics since "Money Ain't A Thing" (2) B2K and P. Diddy "Bump, Bump, Bump" B+. The artists combined with R. Kelly's writing and production make this a highly enjoyable urban dance tune that is just plain fun. (3) Jennifer Lopez "Jenny From The Block" B. The song is alright despite its laughable material (J.Lo has no loyaties to the Bronx). A slick production and very appropriate running time are effective so that it never drags on. (4) Nivea feat. Brian and Brandon Casey of Jagged Edge "Don't Mess With My Man" B+. This song worked much more than i had expected it to. Nivea's unique voice mends well with the Jagged Edge boys and the material has a certain impact to it. (5) LL Cool J "Luv You Better" A. One of the best songs he's recorded in his 19 year career. Getting rid of the swears adds the to quality of the song as a heartfelt ballad and one of 2003's Ten Best Songs. A very successful experiment. (6) Nelly "Air Force Ones" C+. This song is kinda fun,but "Hot In Herre" and "Dilemma" put it to shame. Theres just not much beneath the surface of this blatant product placement. (7) Nas "Made You Look" B. Rather standard for Nas, yet the haunting background beat combined with his "razor tounged lyrics" keep it interesting to listen to. (8) Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson "Beautiful" B-. This is a good song, but the beat and Pharrell keep it from it's full potential. The names promise much more than the song delivers. (9) JC Chasez "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" D+. JC just doesnt have the voice to work as a solo artist and the painful marhing band/hip-hop beat gives him nothing at all to work with. (10) Justin Timberlake "Like I Love You" A. A bissful pop to rap transition with a supremley smooth voice and beat. The track is endlessly listenable and slick & cool. A must hear for rap, hip-hop and R&B fans. Just plain great. (11) Telepopmusik "Breathe" B. Not a big hit by any means, but still a well made, intriging dance track. It's got some dream like qualities, even if they can't be fully deciphered. (12) Dru Hill "I Should Be..." A. Dru Hill's return to the music scene (with Sisqo)created this touching, deep and trufull R&B track. It is able to sum up so much emotion and power with pirecing words that are so relevent. (13) Kelly Rowland "Stole" A-. This is just as good as anything Beyonce has ever done. The story works so well because we have all had/seen somewhat similar experinces. Everthing pulls together for a powerful, thought inspiring track. (14) Aaliyah "Miss You" A+. After her death or not, this is the best track she ever recorded. The material seems standard, but she makes it very touching and emotional. An utterly beautiful song that should effect everyone. (15) Amanda Perez "Angel" B. An emotional song that just doesn't pack the power that tracks #13-14 have. Still good though and enjoyable. (16) Vanessa Carlton "Pretty Baby" A-. The song may sound a little standard, but it is rather unique anbd original. The use images create a very pleasing track with certain relaxing charm and quality. (17) Keith Urban "Somebody Like You" A. The maximum type of fun you can have with country music. His style, giutar skills and inspiring lyrics make this a good listen for anyone in need of a "pick me up" and demonstrates the rejuvenation of counrty music. (18) Chevelle "The Red" B+. A well made rock track that packs some emotion, even if only a little bit. They just dont exaclty show why their better than the rest out there. (19) Saliva "Always" B. Same as #18. (20) 3 Doors Down "When I'm Gone" B+. Not a great rock song, but a good one that is catchy and rather different. 3 Doors Down may not be a very good group, but even they can pull of a good song every so often. Bottom Line: ***. The album is far from a masterpiece, but manages to remain diverse and entertaining. If nothing else it shows what a relief the "Now That's What I Call Music!" series is to people in search of some great singles.
Hit a dry spell
Sheba | Minnesota | 01/02/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This has got to be the worst now cd. Anyone could listen to this and think they'd hit a dry spell or depression of some sort when it came to good music. Otherwise, how could these be chart toppers? My cousin bought this CD this summer, and we listened to it at her house. That's all I needed to hear. These are honestly very boring songs. Some of them I've never heard of before, and many could have so much better replacements. Stole, Miss You, Angel, and possibly Pretty Baby are really similar and get very boring. And why did they put a Keith Urban song on here? If they had to put a country song, they could have used I'm Gonna Getcha Good, which would be a little more liked. And "Breathe" by Telepopmusic, I've only heard that on a car commercial. There's two former Nsync members in a row, as though we didn't get enough when they were one group. Especially "Like I Love You". So. Annoying. Unless you really like to hear him wailing "Iii just wanna lo-o-ove youuuu baaaabe.." in his mickey mousey voice. If you do, I just don't understand you. What's for sure, there were better songs out there at the time to put on this CD."