Various Artists

Now, Vol. 72

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AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien

Despite concerns that the pick-and-choose nature of the download market would render major hits compilations obsolete, the Now That's What I Call Music brand, now in its 26th year, is still as strong as ever. Now, Vol. 72, the first hits collection of 2009, does exactly what it says on the tin, with 42 Top 40 multi-genre hits, from the electro-pop of Girls Aloud to the sleek R&B of Ne-Yo to the acoustic chillout of Jason Mraz. Of course, each Now album is only as good as the chart hits themselves. In a vintage period for female-led pop, Alesha Dixon's "Mambo #5"-inspired "The Boy Does Nothing" and Lily Allen's dreamy electro-ballad "The Fear" are the highlights of the more commercial disc one, alongside Kid Cudi's infectious dance/hip-hop crossover "Day 'n' Nite," Kelly Clarkson's return to form "My Life Would Suck Without You," and Lady GaGa's world-dominating number one "Just Dance." The inferior second disc veers into more guitar-based territory with the Killers' new wave-influenced "Human," Take That's epic Coldplay-esque "Greatest Day," and James Morrison's heart-tugging duet "Broken Strings" sitting alongside long-awaited comeback singles from the Prodigy and U2. But like every Now album, there are a few tracks that don't exactly represent the current pop climate in an entirely positive light. The X Factor Finalists' cover of Mariah Carey's "Hero" is horribly schmaltzy, even by reality TV's low standards, while Bryn and Nessa's Comic Relief version of "Islands in the Stream" may be fun to watch, but on record is nothing more than bad karaoke. Overall, Now, Vol. 72 sticks rigidly to its winning formula, ensuring that although there are few surprises, its eclectic collection of hits should mean there's something for everyone.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Lily Allen 03:28 Amazon
2 Lady Gaga 04:02 Amazon
3 Kesha-Kesha / Flo Rida 03:26 Amazon
4 Alesha Dixon 03:31 Amazon
5 The Saturdays 03:06 Amazon
6 Kelly Clarkson 03:32 Amazon
7
Taio Cruz / Tinchy Stryder 03:11 Amazon
8
Crookers / Kid Cudi 02:43 Amazon
9 Britney Spears 03:44 Amazon
10 T.I. 04:03 Amazon
11 Akon 03:24 Amazon
12
Shontelle 03:10 Amazon
13
Mad
Ne-Yo 04:14 Amazon
14 The Saturdays 03:36 Amazon
15 Leona Lewis 03:24 Amazon
16 Girls Aloud 03:59 Amazon
17
September 03:09 Amazon
18 Steve Angello / Laidback Luke / Robin S. 03:05 Amazon
19 N-Dubz 03:15 Amazon
20 Katy Perry 04:07 Amazon
21 Alexandra Burke 03:37 Amazon
22 X Factor Finalists 2008 04:18 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Take That 03:59 Amazon
2
Alesha Dixon 03:36 Amazon
3 Nelly Furtado / James Morrison 04:12 Amazon
4 Taylor Swift 03:54 Amazon
5 P!nk 04:12 Amazon
6 The Killers 04:05 Amazon
7 The Script 04:21 Amazon
8 Jason Mraz 03:33 Amazon
9 The Noisettes 03:12 Amazon
10 Metro Station 03:00 Amazon
11 U2 Tribute Band / U2 03:25 Amazon
12 MGMT 05:03 Amazon
13 The Prodigy 03:10 Amazon
14
Kevin Rudolf / Lil Wayne 03:14 Amazon
15 Daniel Merriweather / Wiley 02:59 Amazon
16 Kanye West 03:29 Amazon
17
T.I. / Justin Timberlake 05:00 Amazon
18 Daniel Merriweather / Wale 03:22 Amazon
19 Pet Shop Boys 03:32 Amazon
20 Duffy 03:27 Amazon
21 Robin Gibb / Vanessa Jenkins / Tom Jones / Bryn West 04:03 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick