A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a compilation of recent hits targeted to tweens and young teens that contains no surprises. The fact that we've all heard these songs a million times may dilute the power of the innuendo in some of the lyrics.
What's the story?
Yawn. We've heard it all before, from Bow Wow's ridiculous sexist posturing on "Let's Get Down" to Fountains of Wayne's perky Oedipal longing on "Stacy's Mom." Of course, that's the whole point of a hits compilation, isn't it? There are no surprises on NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! 14. The most sexually suggestive songs are "In Those Jeans" by Ginuwine, "Thoia Thoing" by R. Kelly, and "My Love is Like... Wo" by Mya featuring Missy Elliott. The Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake deliver a strong (and strongly worded) anthem to peace on "Where is the Love?" -- actually one of the high points.
Is it any good?
There is some fine singing throughout, notably on Jagged Edge's gospel-lite-influenced "Walked Outta Heaven," Stacie Orrico's "(There's Gotta Be) More to Life" -- a refreshing little message song about how there's gotta be more to life than chasing down every temporary high -- and Nickelback's "Someday." Potentially offensive moments in other tracks may be diluted by familiarity. Overall, this lackluster compilation doesn't deliver much of a kick.