Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Music 55 (Universal / Sony) review
The soundtrack of the Summer of ’15
We’ve come to expect a new Now compilation about every three months or so, and the latest, Now 55, brings together the biggest hits of this summer – many of them coming from all over the world. The set kicks off with English singer Ellie Goulding’s majestic “Love Me Like You Do,” which was co-written with Swedish vocalist Tove Lo, who turns in “Talking Body,” her second hit single. We head to Jamaica for OMI’s worldwide smash, “Cheerleader”; make a couple of stops in France for DJ Snake’s collaboration with Aluna George, “You Know You Like It,” and DJ David Guetta’s latest offering, “Hey Mama,” (featuring Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack). There’s also the star-studded teaming of Pitbull with Chris Brown on “Fun,” and the soulful pop of Jason Derulo’s “Want You to Want Me.”
Also included is the catchy, but annoying “Honey, I’m Good” from Andy Grammar, the controversial “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, and Taylor Swift’s slick, pulsing “Style.”
The Now What’s Next section is quite solid this time around, with Aussie Conrad Sewell bringing the funky “Hold Me Up,” while Wisconsin’s Jidenna gives us the clean version of his dance floor hit, “Classic Man.” The inclusion of Smallpool’s “Dreaming” is a little strange – the single is actually from 2013. It’s quite catchy though.
Though lacking a major summer blockbuster along the lines of “Get Lucky,” or “Blurred Lines,” Now That’s What I Call Music 55 still offers enough diversity to keep that party going all summer long. —Tony Peters