Now That's What I Call Music! 19

Following the release of the preceding volume by four months, the 19th volume of the Now series runs through singles that were popular throughout the spring and early summer of 2005. A quick glance at the volume released the same time in 2004 shows how some of the biggest hits of 2005 were often more daring, whether full of open spaces (John Legend's piano-and-voice ballad "Ordinary People," Gwen Stefani's marching band/cheerleading-inspired "Hollaback Girl"), or constructed almost entirely from a single drum break (Amerie's "1 Thing"). Botox-injected new wave from the Killers, drowsy soft rock from Coldplay, and earnest good-guy contemporary country from Keith Urban (who represents his genre for the third straight volume) hold up the disc's latter half, while Legend, Stefani, Amerie, Shakira, and Ciara highlight the first half. As usual, there's a track that didn't saturate the airwaves or burn up Billboard's Hot 100 as much as the bulk of the other inclusions (in this case, Relient K's "Be My Escape"), along with a couple selections that are indistinguishable from their mid-'90s antecedents (Anna Nalick's "Breathe," 3 Doors Down's "Let Me Go"). ~ Andy Kellman

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