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Record Rating: ***

2006's Top 20 - Various Artists - Universal As usual, someone’s tried to put together another sampler of today's incredibly diverse pop music scene. If you don't buy CDs very often but still want a good selection of recent releases, then you really can't get a better deal for your money with one of these compilations. With twenty tracks and a tagline that promises ‘This Year’s Most Wanted Hits!’, 2006’s Top 20 attempts to ably survey some of the year’s best new music. Above everything, the CD has some excellent retro packaging: there’s a cardboard cut-out sleeve in the middle of the inlay that can be turned about to reveal the different artists and groups, paying homage to The Doors and Led Zepplin albums of the seventies that boasted the same.

This album seems like a real good deal for money. To begin with, there are bona fide big hits from 2006 like The Pussycat Dolls (featuring of the Black Eyed Peas) doing their catchy Beep, R&B superstar Rihanna with dance anthem SOS, and everybody’s favourite lover man Shaggy belting out pop hit Ultimatum with Natasha Watkins. But never judge a compilation by its tagline or cover; inevitably listeners will wonder why a compilation boasting of a top twenty of this year has almost a dozen songs that hit the charts in mid 2005! And why is Daddy Yankee here with the 2004’s Gasolina instead of 2006’s splendid Gangsta Zone? You’ll wonder also what are the Black Eyed Peas doing here with 2005’s My Humps instead of more recent release Pump It, a bigger hit and better song? Plus what you don't find are any of 2006’s biggest acts ~ no Justin Timberlake, Shakira or Beyonce ~ nor will you turn up recent hits from giants such as U2 and Madonna. If you’re looking for that ~ Sony/BMG’s recent compilation Bigger offers a better listing.

Read our other reviews:

Bob Dylan - Modern Times       Elvis Presley - Elvis Movies - Sony/BMG       Beyonce - B'Day - Sony/BMG       Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death - EMI      


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