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Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music! 16

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The 16th volume of the American Now series wraps up 20 chart hits from the tail-end of 2003 and the first half of 2004. It's unnecessarily evenhanded with the genres, conducting a form of affirmative action with the rock songs, which are all innocuous in their own way: Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue," Three Days Grace's "Just Like You," and Lenny Kravitz's autopiloted "Where Are We Runnin'?" included. And then there's Hoobastank's mewling "The Reason," in which that group's lead singer puts on affectations that are less convincing than that of favorite rock-against-pop pin cushion Clay Aiken. (Hoobastank's singer may want to consider, after all his published distaste for corporately processed talent, that Aiken has indirectly bankrolled at least a couple of his brothers in arms.) Tacked at the end, Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven" and Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" seem particularly out of place, having little to do with the interests of the young audience that the Now series has always been marketed toward. The first dozen picks or so fall more in line with Now's purpose, featuring spring/summer 2004 smashes like Nina Sky's "Move Ya Body," Petey Pablo's "Freek-A-Leek," Chingy's "One Call Away," and Beyoncé's "Naughty Girl." ~ Andy Kellman

1) My Band - D12 (04:42)
2) Hey Ya! - OutKast (03:51)
3) Naughty Girl - Beyoncé (03:24)
4) Move Ya Body - Jabba / Nina Sky (03:51)
5) Dip It Low - Christina Milian (03:14)
6) Hey Mama - The Black Eyed Peas (03:45)
7) Dude - Beenie Man / Ms. Thing (03:51)
8) Freek-A-Leek - Petey Pablo (03:53)
9) Slow Motion - Juvenile / Soulja Slim (04:07)
10) Leave (Get Out) - JoJo (03:46)
11) One Call Away - Chingy / J/Weav (04:15)
12) Everytime - Britney Spears (03:41)
13) Take My Breath Away - Jessica Simpson (03:09)
14) The Reason - Hoobastank (03:51)
15) Where Are We Runnin'? - Lenny Kravitz (02:33)
16) Ocean Avenue - Yellowcard (03:15)
17) Just Like You - Three Days Grace (03:05)
18) Meant to Live - Switchfoot (03:19)
19) Heaven - Los Lonely Boys (03:40)
20) Redneck Woman - Gretchen Wilson (03:40)

Now That's What I Call Music! 16
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Now That's What I Call Music! 16 | Various Artists