Various Artists

Totally Hits 2005

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Both rap and R&B crush rock on Totally Hits 2005. That's with good reason: throughout late 2004 and the first half of 2005, rap and R&B dominated the pop charts. More importantly, singles from the likes of Ciara, T.I., Anthony Hamilton, Fabolous, and Fat Joe were either a whole lot more fun or a whole lot more compelling when compared to their rock counterparts. The only exception to this rule is Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone"; ironically enough, for all its supposed prefabrications, it pretty much slaughters the forced earnestness and tired punk-pop poses going on with its fellow rockers, which are mercifully small in number. Had these lesser songs been released ten years ago, they would've been laid to rest on forgotten soundtracks to teen comedies, next to low-rung quasi-punk and grunge non-hits and Counting Crows scraps -- and it's not as if the cream of mainstream rock was all that creative and vibrant back then. Above all, the high percentage and quality of the rap and R&B picks -- almost all of which are smart, sensible, and timely, sticking primarily to major hits -- make this one of the best volumes in the Totally Hits series thus far. Several songs will be as enjoyable in 2011 or 2016 as they were in 2005.

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