Day 72 brings us to Now! #72, which came out on 6th April 2009.
2009 really brought the electropop, from what I remember, so let’s get cracking!
Track 1: Lily Allen – The Fear
Great tune, great lyrics. I’ve always really liked this one.
Track 2: Lady Gaga and Colby O’Donis – Just Dance
Awesome danceable piece of electropop.
Track 3: Flo Rida and Kesha – Right Round
It’s based around the hook from Dead Or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like A Record), so I was always going to like this one. Flo Rida’s rap style actually goes really nicely with it.
Track 4: Alesha Dixon – The Boy Does Nothing
Alesha Dixon’s post-Strictly solo comeback song. Love this tune, and the retro big band feel is much appreciated.
Track 5: The Saturdays – Just Can’t Get Enough
Pointless cover of the Depeche Mode classic, and one of the official Comic Relief singles for 2009 (so charity fundraising, as ever, is the ‘point’).
Track 6: Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You
This one’s pretty acclaimed, but I’ve always found the tune and theme really annoying.
Track 7: Tinchy Stryder and Taio Cruz – Take Me Back
Nice atmosphere – I like the electro lines.
Track 8: Kid Cudi and Crookers – Day ‘N’ Nite
Boring, repetitive tune, with some irritating vocal tics going on.
Track 9: Britney Spears – Womaniser
Great pop track – love the hooks on this one.
Track 10: TI and Rihanna – Live Your Life
It’s based around the hook from O-Zone’s Dragostea Din Tei, which gives the track quite an interesting sound.
Track 11: Akon – Right Now (Na Na Na)
Nice tune, quite like this one.
Track 12: Shontelle – T-Shirt
Interesting vocals, but I find the tune very generic.
Track 13: Ne-Yo – Mad
Boring tune, annoyingly saccharine vocals.
Track 14: The Saturdays – Issues
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had the Saturdays on track 5.
I quite like the rhyming of the lyrics on this one, but the tune’s a bit dull. The Saturdays did much better songs later on.
Track 15: Leona Lewis – Forgive Me
Great vocals, great atmosphere, but the tune’s pretty forgettable.
Track 16: Girls Aloud – The Loving Kind
Another boring tune, and the vocals make it a bit too ballad-y for me.
Track 17: September – Can’t Get Over
Good beat, good electro lines. The vocals are a little generic though.
Track 18: Steve Angello, Laidback Luke and Robin S – Show Me Love
Semi-cover of Robin S’s 1993 hit, mashed up with various other things. It’s not very inspired. See my Now! #24 review for the original song.
Track 19: N-Dubz – Strong Again
Boring tune, but I quite like some of the vocal hooks.
Track 20: Katy Perry – Thinking Of You
Dull ballad, not keen on this one.
Track 21: Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
The annual bit of karaoke from the X Factor winner. To give credit to Alexandra Burke, this is not a pointless cover: there have been so many different and beautiful versions of the Leonard Cohen classic, and she did put her own stamp on it, but it just doesn’t have as much feeling in it as classic versions like those of Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright.
Speaking of the X Factor…
Track 22: X Factor Finalists 2008 – Hero
There was an annoying trend in the late ’00s/early ’10s where the final twelve contestants in the X Factor would release a group single with everyone getting a line, which, just like the winner’s single, was inevitably a pointless cover of a classic song. This meant that everyone who was interested in pop music but didn’t care about the X Factor had to put up with not one but two irritating karaoke numbers in the charts around Christmas time. 2008’s offering was a pointless cover of the Mariah Carey song. (As often happens, the ‘point’ was charity fundraising, this time for Help For Heroes and the Royal British Legion. Charity fundraising = awesome! Releasing a soulless, uninspired remake of an existing song = not awesome.)
Track 23: Take That – Greatest Day
It should feel epic and sweeping – but I just find the tune irritating. I’m not sure why.
Track 24: Alesha Dixon – Breathe Slow
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Alesha Dixon on track 4.
This one’s got a nice backing track, but the tune is fairly generic.
Track 25: James Morrison and Nelly Furtado – Broken Strings
Irritatingly cheesy and slow ballad. Not my cup of tea.
Track 26: Taylor Swift – Love Story
Super saccharine soft pop-rock! Again, not my thing. I prefer Taylor Swift’s more pure pop stuff from the early-to-mid-’10s.
Track 27: Pink – Sober
Nice guitar, interesting theme, but the tune’s pretty dull.
Track 28: The Killers – Human
I still remember people getting irritated about the grammar of the line ‘are we human or are we dancer‘. Would it sound better and less jarring if the lyric was ‘dancers‘? Yes. Is it grammatically incorrect? Technically, no. Brandon Flowers is using ‘dancer‘ to mean a sort of faux-species here, and the use of the singular as an adjective in the same way that ‘human‘ can be used as an adjective is, I believe, meant to emphasise this.
Anyway, it’s quite a good tune.
Track 29: The Script – Breakeven
I’m generally not keen on this kind of soft rock, and this is no exception. Bland tune, very forgettable.
Track 30: Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
I find this kind of cheery, bouncy, acoustic-y track really irritating. Sorry!
Track 31: Noisettes – Don’t Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)
Great bassline, lovely bit of electropop. Really like this one.
Track 32: Metro Station – Shake It
Really like the instrumentals on this track – great guitar, great synth. It all adds up to a nice retro ’80s tinge, which I’m all about!
Track 33: U2 – Get On Your Boots
Interesting vocals, good guitar line, quite like this one.
Track 34: MGMT – Kids
Oh, it’s this one! Lovely electro hook, great bassline.
Track 35: The Prodigy – Omen
I saw the Prodigy at M’era Luna 2009, and this song was the anthem of the weekend, with everyone singing it all over the place. Great dance track, builds beautifully, wonderful atmosphere.
Track 36: Kevin Rudolf and Lil’ Wayne – Let It Rock
Another great bassline and another awesome atmosphere – good track.
Track 37: Wiley and Daniel Merriweather – Cash In My Pocket
I like the ’60s retro tinge on this one.
Track 38: Kanye West – Heartless
Nice tune, quite like this track.
Track 39: TI and Justin Timberlake – Dead And Gone
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had TI on track 10.
Nice piano intro, nice epic atmosphere. Great stuff, though it would be better without the rap.
Track 40: Daniel Merriweather and Wale – Change
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Daniel Merriweather on track 37. Give someone else a chance, Now! compilers!
This is a great track, though – lovely tinkly piano, good beat.
Track 41: Pet Shop Boys – Love Etc.
Nice to see Pet Shop Boys back in the charts. I have missed that perfect synth! Wonderful tune.
Track 42: Duffy – Rain On Your Parade
More great instrumentals! Lovely atmosphere on this one.
Track 43: Vanessa Jenkins, Bryn West, Tom Jones and Robin Gibb – Islands In The Stream
Daft semi-cover (semi due to Robin Gibb’s involvement) of the Bee Gees-written song made famous by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, featuring comedy characters Vanessa Jenkins (Ruth Jones) and Bryn West (Rob Brydon) from the sitcom Gavin & Stacey. This was another song released for Comic Relief 2009. The video‘s funny, but the song’s a bit pedestrian until Tom Jones shows up at the end.