A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Nineteen releases in, the folks who bring us the NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! series have finally figured out how to sequence an album. NOW! 19 delivers 20 recent hits in an excellent dance-friendly compilation that ends up sounding greater than the sum of its parts, due to song order and track choices. The party starts off with a bang, with Gwen Stefani's \"Holabeck Girl,\" and perks along through Will Smith's \"Switch\" and Amerie's \"1 Thing\" and Ciara's \"Oh,\" featuring a cameo by Ludacris. For the slow dance, Bobby Valentino sings the romantic soul ballad \"Slow Down.\"
Is it any good?
Other artists, including Brooke Valentine, Destiny's Child, Shakira, Coldplay, and Gorillaz, put their best dancing feet forward and keep the fun-factor high. The track by Keith Urban ("Making Memories of Us," the obligatory nod to country music) contributes some quite enjoyable schlock. Overall, this is a rare example of a compilation fulfilling its promise to present the best of a variety of artists, in a variety of musical styles. Far from perfect, NOW! 19 is still way more fun than its lackluster predecessors.