Now That's What I Call Music! 15

Various Artists

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Now That's What I Call Music! 15 Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Whereas previous installments of the Now That's What I Call Music series attempted to recap the previous six months of the American pop charts, the 15th volume is a snapshot of the current pop scene as of March 23, 2004, containing several singles that were still climbing the charts, or at least still gaining significant radio play. More than ever, the series' attempt at diversity doesn't sit well together, partially because the different styles are grouped together -- the record starts with a pair of pop tunes before delving into hardcore rap, which leads to a stretch of dance and urban before swinging toward adult pop, which is abruptly interrupted with a batch of hard rock before it all wraps up with a Five for Fighting song that hardly burned up the charts. None of this segues well together, which only points out that this is by far one of the weaker collections in the NOW series. There's a handful of good singles scattered throughout the record -- No Doubt's "It's My Life" is a fine new wave cover, Sheryl Crow's "The First Cut Is the Deepest" is fine, Norah Jones' "Sunrise" is pleasant, Sarah Connor's "Bounce" is infectious, and Britney Spears' "Toxic" is deliriously catchy, one of her best singles -- but most of this is generic at best and at worst, as on Nick Cannon's awful "Gigolo," supremely irritating. As always, the NOW series is good at capturing one moment in time, but based on this collection, it'd be better to forget the first few months of this year. As Ruben Studdard would say, "Sorry 2004"!

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 No Doubt 03:46 Amazon
2 Britney Spears 03:18 Amazon
3 Ludacris / Shawnna 03:33 Amazon
4 Chingy / Snoop Dogg / Ludacris 04:29 Amazon
5 Westside Connection / Nate Dogg 04:29 Amazon
Sarah Connor 03:40 Amazon
7 The Black Eyed Peas 03:44 Amazon
8 Nick Cannon / R. Kelly 03:57 Amazon
9 Beyoncé 05:01 Amazon
10 Baby Bash / Perla Cruz / Russ Lee / Russell Lee 03:17 Amazon
11 Eamon 03:45 Amazon
12 Jessica Simpson 03:09 Amazon
13 Norah Jones 03:19 Amazon
14 Sheryl Crow 03:44 Amazon
15 Fefe Dobson 03:41 Amazon
16 Three Days Grace 03:50 Amazon
17 blink-182 02:53 Amazon
18 Good Charlotte 04:03 Amazon
19 Fuel 04:10 Amazon
20 Five for Fighting 04:06 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick