Canada's answer to MTV, MuchMusic, returns with their annual compilation of the best dance tracks of the past 12 months, Much Dance 2011. With the exception of tracks by natives Fefe Dobson ("Ghost") and Dragonette (the Buffet Libre remix of "Easy"), who have both yet to fully break through to the international mainstream, its rather slim 16-song track list doesn't really differ much from its U.K. and U.S. equivalents. Worldwide number ones from Flo Rida ("Club Can't Handle Me") and Taio Cruz ("Dynamite") sit alongside teen-friendly fare from Justin Bieber ("Somebody to Love") and Selena Gomez & the Scene ("Round Round") and huge urban club smashes from Far East Movement ("Like a G6") and will.i.am and Nicki Minaj ("Check It Out"). Usher's infectious synth pop floor-filler "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," Mike Posner's charmingly self-effacing "Cooler Than Me," and the bubblegum electro of Kesha's "Your Love Is My Drug" are the standout tracks, despite the latter's cringe-worthy "I like your beard" closing line, but Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull's RedOne-produced anthem "I Like It," Jay Sean's pre-apocalyptic celebration "2012 (It Ain't The End)," and Adam Lambert's robotic glam stomper "If I Had You" continue the album's relentlessly upbeat party vibes. There are a few surprising inclusions. Considering that Lady Gaga has had seven Top Five Canadian singles over the past two years, it's rather bizarre that a Pet Shop Boys reworking of minor hit "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" has been picked ahead of "Bad Romance" or "Telephone," Katy Perry's "California Gurls," the longest-running number one of the year, would surely have been a more appropriate choice than a pedestrian remix of her midtempo "Teenage Dream," and the world-dominating Rihanna is particularly notable by her absence. Geared toward the younger end of the chart-buying public, Much Dance 2011 may offer few surprises, but will undoubtedly be lapped up by those wanting a quick fix of the year's biggest and most commercial club tunes.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien