Released in May 2012, the 42nd volume of the U.S. Now series features two songs that had, at the time of the disc's release, topped the Billboard Hot 100: Gotye's relatively quirky (by Hot 100 standards, at least) "Somebody That I Used to Know" and one of Kelly Clarkson's perseverance anthems, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." Several others had reached the Top Ten, including the debut from U.K. boy band newcomers One Direction ("What Makes You Beautiful)," Flo Rida's "Good Feeling," David Guetta and Nicki Minaj's "Turn Me On," Chris Brown's "Turn Up the Music," Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'," and Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain." As with many other Now discs, a few selections came close to the Top Ten while a couple stalled nowhere near it (such as Eric Church's "Springsteen," the lone inclusion that's truly country). The promotional "What's Next!" portion once again takes up the disc's final four slots, 17-20, with songs from potentially upcoming artists. The time when each volume compiled 20 charting singles is increasingly distant.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman