Now That's What I Call Music Volume 4

Various Artists

Universal Music Group, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If anything proved to the music industry that compilations of popular hits could be a good idea, it was the release of Now That's What I Call Music Volume 4 (hereafter Now 4) and its subsequent topping of the charts. But just throwing hits onto a disc is one thing; making it into a cohesive disc that smoothly crosses genres is another. Fortunately, it seems like the producers of this series finally got that idea right.

Oh, they're still making some mistakes. I mean, I love "Larger Than Life" by Backstreet Boys, but they have been included on every single frippin' album of the my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Now series, and I think it's time for a break. Same thing goes for Britney Spears, who makes her third appearance with "(You Drive Me) Crazy". Fresh blood isn't just needed; it's vital if this series is going to continue with the same level of success.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful surprises in store. Train makes their first appearance with "Meet Virginia," a wonderful track off their self-titled album. (Maybe next time they can put "Free" on; it's an even better selection.) Also turning in great performances are Marc Anthony ("I Need To Know"), Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals ("Steal My Kisses", though this track does get old quick) and Blink 182 ("All The Small Things").

And if you're a devotee to the top of the pops, there's plenty on Now 4 that will please you. Eiffel 65 checks in with "Blue (Da Ba Dee)", as do Jenifer Lopez ("Waiting For Tonight") and Sonique ("It Feels So Good"). There's enough on this disc to keep you happily grooving.

Yet the dance area is the only other area of weakness on this disc (besides constant featuring of the same groups). I just couldn't get into Sonique's performance - not a good sign, seeing I've had her disc lying around for months for review. As for Lopez - well, frankly, I don't see what people see in her as a singer. Paula Abdul had better chops than this.

The surprise of the collection is Hanson - yes, Hanson. Featuring the track "This Time Around," some attention is rightfully given to this trio and their latest work. If anyone deserves to reap the benefits of the popularity of Now 4, Hanson proves they should be the leaders of that pack.

Now 4 is one of the better releases of this series, and its success obviously paves the way for a fifth volume. (I was going to sarcastically note this... until I discovered that Now 5 will be released in November.) The producers of this series still have a little to learn, but Now 4 proves they've come a long way since the first disc in the series.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Universal Music Group, and is used for informational purposes only.