Various Artists

Now That's What I Call the Modern Songbook

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The title Now That's What I Call the Modern Songbook suggests that this 2011 collection leans toward contemporary classicist pop, and it is true that a good portion of the 18-track compilation is devoted to singers either jazzy or classy, including Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Susan Boyle, Josh Groban, and Michael Bublé. All are singers who could reasonably be said to sing a "Modern Songbook," but that’s not quite true of the rest of the artists here. Some -- like Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, Sade, and Alicia Keys -- have a similar air of sophistication that makes the appearance of the chilly OneRepublic, singsongy Train, American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, super smooth Maroon 5, pop prankster P!nk, and country crossovers Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum all the more incongruous. As good as some of these cuts are, they’re not quite part of the Modern Songbook, but perhaps that’s taking the title of the collection just a little bit too literally. If Now That's What I Call the Modern Songbook doesn’t quite serve up the kind of classics suggested by the title, it nevertheless is a solid collection of adult contemporary cuts from the first days of the 2010s.

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