Review: Various Artists, ‘Now 50: That’s What I Call Music’


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Now 50 makes better musical choices compared to previous ‘Now’ compilations

Various Artists • Now 50 • UMe • US Release Date: May 6, 2014

Another ‘glorious’ Now That’s What I Call Music compilation has graced the music industry – Yippee (*says in a sarcastic voice*)! The series to its credit does a great job of filling the more casual, big-thinking music lover’s collection with some of the biggest singles of pop music.  The problem for me is that the series draws less praise for its timing of some of those big singles.  In other words, it’s a crapshoot of sorts.  Sometimes singles are in their prime and are hot, and other times, things have sort of cooled. Now 50: That’s What I Call Music is more of the same, but there seems to be some great song choices this round.

Jason Derulo3-20140225-46If nothing more, the first three songs are a homerun.  “Happy” (Pharrell Williams), “Dark Horse” (Katy Perry featuring Juicy J), and “The Man” (Aloe Blacc) – that’s a great way to kick off anything. “Happy” is the most relevant of those as of late, but “Dark Horse” and “The Man” are still fresh on the mind.   Those aren’t the only strong choices –“Turn Down For What” (DJ Snake & Lil Jon), “Talk Dirty” (Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz) and “All of Me” (John Legend) are all relevant, popular joints.  In regards to the amount of hits, it seems that Now 50 has got things better together than some of the previous compilations.

518Kz0k78ZL._SL500_AA280_That said there are a couple of question marks.  “Young Girls” courtesy of Bruno Mars is a bit old, no matter how great a track it is (Unorthodox Jukebox the album bowed in December 2012).  “Adore You” was a recent Miley Cyrus single, but the flame has been out for a while it seems and was never as great as either “We Can’t Stop” or “Wrecking Ball”.  The inclusion of a song like “#Selfie” (Chainsmokers) is somewhat clever, though compared to the most top-heavy hits of this compilation, “#Selfie” doesn’t quite have the same lifespan or memorability.  And then of course the ‘Now What’s Next!’ tracks always raise some eyebrows. Sure, Mary Lambert’s “She Keeps Me Warm” is deserved of being a ‘Now What’s Next!’ song, but the buzz surrounding the song has waned.

Ultimately, Now 50 is what it is – a compilation.  It’s not perfect, but it fills gaps within the playlist.  Does little for me, but then again, when you have a bloated music collection like mine, who needs a compilation – Just saying!

Favorites:

“Happy”; “Dark Horse”; “The Man”; “Talk Dirty”; “All of Me”

Verdict: ★★★½

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One comment

  1. I enjoy the NOW music collections it is perfect for someone who does not want to buy a whole CD for the one song they like. I have been buying Now music for years still have the first NOW CD I ever bought. NOW 50 looks like another awesome collection. I would like to see more NOW country like Carrie underwood, The Band Perry. Maybe Now can feature some of the country-pop collaborations that seem to be popular now. I am a total fan and long-time consumer.

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