Now, Vol. 17 [Canada]

Although it isn't officially affiliated with the Now That's What I Call Music! series that's become so popular in the U.K. and U.S., the 17th volume of the Canadian Now! brand continues to follow its successful formula by compiling some of the biggest commercial chart hits of the previous six months. More in line with the slender track list of the American edition than the generous two-CD British version, this early-2011 collection includes 15 singles that have graced the Canadian Hot 100, including four number ones (Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are," Katy Perry's "Firework," Black Eyed Peas' "The Time," and Rihanna's "Only Girl in the World") and Top Ten hits from the likes of Cee Lo Green ("Forget You"), Nelly ("Just a Dream"), and Edward Maya ("Stereo Love"). In an effort to differentiate itself from its international counterparts, the collection also features several songs from native acts. While the inclusions of Justin Bieber (the Motown pastiche "U Smile") and pop/rock princess Fefe Dobson (the slick R&B ballad "Stuttering") are a given, there are also several tracks from lesser-known artists who have yet to break the Top 40, including pop-punk six-piece These Kids Wear Crowns' blink-182-influenced "Break It Up," rap-rock collective Down with Webster's party anthem "Whoa Is Me," and the Timbaland-esque funk of Danny Fernandes featuring Belly's "Automatic." Add collaborative efforts between Kesha and Taio Cruz ("Dirty Picture"), B.o.B and Rivers Cuomo ("Magic"), and Flo Rida and David Guetta ("Club Can't Handle Me") and Now, Vol. 17 provides a pretty reflective snapshot of the 2011 Canadian chart scene. ~ Jon O'Brien

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