A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Following a predictable pattern, NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! 21 starts off with some strong R&B and hip-hop, blasts through a few pop ballads and rock tunes, and delivers the one obligatory country hit ("Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" by Trace Adkins). It's a formula that works pretty well this time around, with some very good songs and better-than-usual sequencing. Danceable and mostly innocuous, the compilation offers a sampling of current hits and delivers a wider variety of musical styles than many of the others in the series. Also, once again we are, thankfully, in a Jessica/Britney-free zone.
Is it any good?
Even though the CD is edited, there's some sexual innuendo and just a wisp of strong language. Still, these collections make it possible for younger siblings to enjoy the music their big brothers and sisters like without being hit over the head with a ton of questionable content. High points are Rihanna's "If It's Lovin' That You Want," Natasha Bedingfield's gospel-tinged "Unwritten," and T-Pain's "I'm Sprung," featuring truly gorgeous vocal harmonies. Overall, Now! 21 is one of the stronger offerings in the Now That's What I Call Music! series.