Various Artists

Now That's What I Call Music! 33

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Like most Now releases, the biggest strength of Vol. 33 is its own good timing. Of the 16 songs here, six bear some sort of relation to American Idol, which had just entered the meatiest stage of its competition -- the Top 12 -- one week before this album’s release. Kesha and Orianthi performed during the show’s elimination episode that same week, boosting their own sales in the process, while Owl City’s “Fireflies” was covered by contestant Lee DeWyze one week prior. American Idol veterans Kris Allen, Daughtry, and Adam Lambert also dot this track list, which reaches beyond the Idol world by including tracks from Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Iyaz, and country heavyweights Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum. The album ends with five bonus tracks, few of which are as interesting as the previous songs, but their inclusion serves as a prediction for what may appear on future Now releases.

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