I’ve got three weeks’ worth of Friday chart hits to catch up with today, as I’ve been a bit late with the chart recently due to travelling.
There were six new hits on the 24th of May.
Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
Love that reggae beat – it’s something a bit different!
The video is about a guy driving around a lot and cheating on his girlfriend (I think?). There’s also a shoebox. And a tortoise.
DJ Khaled, Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne and Big Sean – Jealous
It sounds pretty much like every other DJ Khaled song, though I can forgive it a lot for the ‘listening to Sade’ lyric.
The video begins with an overblown cinematic bit featuring Jennifer Lopez for some reason, then when the music starts, it’s all about standing around in front of those Lamborghinis. At least it’s colourful.
Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Really appreciate the funk guitar on this one.
The video is a wonderfully daft story about an attractive elderly lady who dresses like she’s still twenty and hence causes everyone she meets to sweat profusely and flood cars and stuff.
Tyler The Creator – I Think
I love the atmospheric synth on the backing track – very retro-sounding.
There’s no video for this one yet.
Halsey – Nightmare
Interesting and slightly creepy recital of ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’ at the start. Following this, there’s a promising rock-sounding chorus, which is great – I just wish the verse matched it. It’s been so long since we had anything vaguely rock-sounding in the charts.
Is that ‘save me a prayer’ lyric a Duran Duran reference? I’m going to jump the gun and say YES, because everything should be a Duran Duran reference.
There’s a lot going on in the video, which is very filmic and retro and veers between rock stylings that match the song, ’90s-influenced bondage costumes, and Lady Gaga-esque ‘shocker’ imagery. Watch out for cameos from the likes of Cara Delevigne and Debbie Harry.
Tyler The Creator – Earfquake
I find the lyrics to this one a bit irritating, but the backing track is nice and retro.
The video is utterly surreal, with Tyler setting himself on fire while performing, and then he turns out to be a fireman as well, and then… However, it’s set in the world of a 1970s chat show, so I’m all about it.
There were also six new hits on the 31st of May.
Sigala and Becky Hill – Wish You Well
It’s very ’90s influenced, like most dance music is at the moment. Nice tune.
Again, there’s no video yet.
Jess Glynne and Jax Jones – One Touch
I like the bleepy backing track – again the ’90s dance influence is strong here – but the vocal melody is a bit dull.
No video for this one either.
5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier
5SOS seem to be completely divorced from their rock roots now. This is squeaky, annoying, and generic.
They’re still apparently playing their instruments in the video though. Why can I not hear those instruments in the song? Anyway, it’s set in a cave system, apart from when there’s a ‘walking through hallways while pictures on the wall catch fire’ sequence.
Young Thug, J Cole and Travis Scott – The London
I like some of the instrumentals on the backing track, but otherwise it’s a little repetitive for me.
There’s no video yet.
NSG – OT Bop
Great beat, but I’d prefer a bit more melody.
There is a lot of car-standing in this video, but I’m quite fond of the daft dance routines that are going on.
Ed Sheeran and Chance The Rapper – Cross Me
Love that synth line in the background.
Another one that doesn’t have a video as of yet.
Yet another six hits on the 7th of June. There’s a bit of a pattern to the chart at the moment!
Skepta – Bullet From A Gun
Not enough going on in this track melody-wise for me, but the lyrics are great.
I really like the video, which is just Skepta sitting on a bench in Camden Town tube station while the world goes by. Don’t think I’ve ever seen Camden Town so un-busy, mind!
Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter
Good atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit forgettable. I have the feeling it’ll grow on me though.
The video’s not out yet.
Lewis Capaldi – Bruises
Another pretty piano ballad from Lewis Capaldi. Lovely atmosphere.
No official video for this one right now.
Mostack and Stormzy – Shine Girl
Nice summery rhythm to this one.
The video is a nice straightforward ‘does what it says on the tin’ affair, with Mostack and Stormzy just chilling with their girlfriends round the house.
Skepta and J Hus – What Do You Mean
I like the eerie instrumentals in the background.
We’re still waiting for the video.
Katy Perry – Never Really Over
I find the tune to this fairly dull.
The video is colourful, cartoony, and a bit daft – a textbook Katy Perry video, in other words.
More new hits next week (I will definitely be on time with them because I’ve got a nice quiet week ahead of me!).
It’s too repetitive and there’s not enough melody for me. There is a really nice instrumental towards the end though.
The video starts off nicely with the promise of a story about a high school American football team, but quickly descends into twerking girls and standing-around-next-to-cars, two of my least favourite tropes in rap videos.
CamelPhat, Cristoph and Jem Cooke – Breathe
Interestingly, this track has made me realise that there’s not been much EDM in the chart over the last year, whereas three or four years ago it was pretty much all you heard. It’s a fairly generic melody (and the vocal is sometimes reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams to the point of being derivative), but it’s got a good, danceable beat.
The video is standard-for-EDM trippy, with lots of dancing, flashing lights, smoke, and taking baths while clothed. All very pretty, but I don’t think it’s aimed at people who are in an unaltered mental state.
The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds Of Summer – Who Do You Love
There’s too much going on with this track, and I’m not keen on the melody.
No video for this one yet.
Tom Walker – Just You And I
I like the rhythm, but the song’s a bit saccharine for me.
The video, however, is great – an awkward but endearing story about two people who wake up hungover and handcuffed to each other. Nowhere near as NSFW as it sounds!
Khalid – Talk
It’s a nice melody, and there’s something a bit retro about it, which is always appreciated.
There’s no video at the moment.
Ariana Grande – Needy
It’s quite a nice classic vocal, but I find the backing track a bit jarring.
Again, there’s no video for this one.
Ariana Grande – Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored
I just find this song a bit dull – I’m not sure what the hype’s about or why it went straight in at number one. However, Ariana’s chart battle with herself (she got the top two places this week plus another song in the top ten) did mean that we got a couple of nice chart history factoids from Scott Mills on the Official Chart show this week – the last solo female artist to be at both number one and number two at the same time was Madonna in 1985, and the last solo female artist to have three tracks in the top ten at the same time was Ruby Murray in 1955. I love chart history!
The video starts off with a generic ‘in da club’ scene, then becomes an uncomfortable and problematic story in which Ariana is trying to steal another girl’s boyfriend by copying her exact look, and then there’s a nonsensical twist in the last second implying that it was actually the girl Ariana was after, not the guy, despite the evidence of every other scene in the video. Still, making sense is not the point of music videos, so I’m just going to admire the pretty costumes and ostentatious party settings.
So. Three and a half months, ten and a half solid days of music listening, and 4,020 tracks later, here we are at Day 100, the final day of this Now! compilation marathon. Day 100 means that we have finally reached Now! #100, which has just been released today, 20th July 2018.
Here they are, then – the very last summer hits.
(Let’s take a minute to appreciate this awesome celebratory cover. On the top left, we have the pig that featured on the covers of Now! #3 to Now! #5 – well, it’s actually a much cuter version! On the top right, we have an airship with the logo that was used on the covers of Now! #3 to Now! #16. Love the fireworks too! Perfect cover for this special occasion.)
Track 1: Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa – One Kiss
This was number one for quite a few weeks, but it’s not my thing. I find the tune really irritating and a bit repetitive.
Track 2: George Ezra – Shotgun
I like the rhythm on this one.
Track 3: Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato – Solo
Good bit of pop – I quite like the tune. There’s some annoying vocal stuff going on in the chorus though.
Track 4: Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry
Absolutely gorgeous pop tune – I really like this one.
Track 5: Anne-Marie – 2002
Hmm. I do like the clever interpolation on the chorus of a single line – ‘oops, I got 99 problems singing “bye, bye, bye”/hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride wit me/better hit me, baby, one more time‘ – that mixes up the hooks from Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time, Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye, Dr Dre’s The Next Episode, Nelly’s Ride Wit Me and Britney Spears’ Oops!… I Did It Again. If you remember the turn of the millennium, it’s very evocative.
I can’t stand the theme, though – and the tune on the verses really annoys me!
Track 6: Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
Extremely irritating, cloying tune. I don’t know why I always find Jess Glynne’s stuff so grating, but I do.
Track 7: Years & Years – If You’re Over Me
Great bouncy rhythm – this one’s quite fun.
Track 8: David Guetta and Sia – Flames
Annoying tune on the vocals – not keen.
Track 9: Post Malone – Better Now
Another irritating tune.
Track 10: Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack – Rise
I get this one stuck in my head a lot at the moment. I’m not sure why, ’cause the tune’s very uninspired.
Track 11: Liam Payne and J Balvin – Familiar
I really like this one – it’s got a great Latin feel to it.
Track 12: Banx & Ranx, Ella Eyre and Yxng Bane – Answerphone
Good solid pop tune – I love that singalong chorus.
Track 13: MO, Lotto Boyzz and Mr Eazi – Bad Vibe
Nice summery song – quite like this one.
Track 14: Tiësto, Dzeko, Preme and Post Malone – Jackie Chan
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Post Malone on track 9.
Ridiculous lyrics, annoying tune on the chorus. It’s got a good beat, though.
Track 15: M-22 and Medina – First Time
Another annoying tune, and the EDM backing track is painfully generic.
Track 16: 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
Great epic rock track – the chorus is awesome. Really like this one.
Track 17: Bebe Rexha and Florida-Georgia Line – Meant To Be
Too country-tinged for me, and I really hate that chorus.
Track 18: Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey – The Middle
Yet another very irritating tune.
Track 19: Khalid and Normani – Love Lies
Beautiful tune – lovely and melancholy.
Track 20: Jax Jones, Mabel and Rich The Kid – Ring Ring
Great atmosphere – quite like this tune.
Track 21: Cheat Codes and Little Mix – Only You
Bit of a dull tune – not a fan of this one.
Track 22: Shawn Mendes – In My Blood
Again, I find the tune really annoying, and I don’t like the theme either.
Track 23: MU4 – You Can’t Hurry Love
Now, this is an interesting way to end the first disc! MU4 won a competition on Good Morning Britain to appear on this Now! compilation. The competition winners were asked to cover the Phil Collins classic, which was the very first song on a Now! compilation – track 1 on Now! #1 back in 1983.
I do like the harmonies on this cover, and the retro feel remains intact, which is great. Obviously I’ll always prefer the original, but this version is not bad.
Track 24: UB40 – Red Red Wine
Disc two of this special Now! compilation is not full of new hits, like it usually would be. Instead, it features favourite pop songs that have appeared on Now! compilations throughout the years. As you know if you’re one of the intrepid souls who have been following my Now! marathon right from the start, I don’t usually like it when songs are included that have already been featured on previous entries in the series. However, seeing as this is a special celebration album, I’ll let it slide today!
Red Red Wine first appeared as track 3 on Now! #1 in November 1983. See the link for my review.
Incidentally, seeing as both track 1 and track 3 of Now! #1 have been honoured on this compilation, I wouldn’t have minded a wee shout-out to track 2! The second half of my Now! marathon has not had any Duran Duran for me to love.
Track 25: Phil Collins – Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) first appeared as track 8 on Now! #3 in July 1984. See the link for my review.
Phil Collins is getting a good look-in on this celebratory Now! entry!
Track 26: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Livin’ On A Prayer first appeared as track 25 on Now! #9 in March 1987. See the link for my review.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ’80s being represented on this disc by a reggae track, a ballad and a hairmetal song. Just one synthpop or New Romantic track would have made me a very happy girl.
Track 27: Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around
Love Is All Around first appeared as track 1 on Now! #28 in August 1994. See the link for my review.
Interesting to see this one again after recent discussion of Drake equalling the second-place number one longevity record!
Track 28: Spice Girls – Wannabe
Wannabe first appeared as track 1 on Now! #34 in August 1996. See the link for my review.
I think eleven-year-old me would have been thrilled to find out the Spice Girls would be featuring on Now! #100, so thirty-three-year-old me will try not to roll her eyes too much!
Track 29: Oasis – Wonderwall
Wonderwall first appeared as track 24 on Now! #34 in August 1996. See the link for my review.
That’s two tracks for Now! #34, which is interesting! Really, though, Wonderwall should have appeared on a Now! compilation earlier, as it had been released about a year before it made its appearance.
Track 30: Robbie Williams – Angels
Angels first appeared as track 7 on Now! #39 in April 1998. See the link for my review.
Another favourite childhood artist that I would thoroughly have wanted to receive this honour back in the day!
Track 31: Cher – Believe
Believe first appeared as track 3 on Now! #42 in March 1999. See the link for my review.
Good to see Cher on here, though I’ll always prefer her ’80s stuff. (Yes, I know that’s the case with most decade-spanning artists.)
Track 32: Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
…Baby One More Time first appeared as track 1 on Now! #44 in November 1999. See the link for my review.
Well, it would have been wrong if we hadn’t had at least one of the songs featured in Anne-Marie’s 2002 interpolation on track 5!
In my opinion, the ’90s selection on this disc has been a little more representative than the ’80s selection (it helps that twice as many were included), but it’s a shame that there was absolutely nothing from the early ’90s – a bit of classic dance like 2 Unlimited or Snap! wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Track 33: S Club 7 – Reach
Reach first appeared as track 2 on Now! #46 in July 2000. See the link for my review.
Track 34: Destiny’s Child – Survivor
Survivor first appeared as track 13 on Now! #49 in July 2001. See the link for my review.
Track 35: Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head first appeared as track 1 on Now! #50 in November 2001. See the link for my review.
Track 36: Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River
Cry Me A River first appeared as track 3 on Now! #55 in July 2003. See the link for my review.
Track 37: James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
You’re Beautiful first appeared as track 1 on Now! #61 in July 2005. See the link for my review.
Track 38: Shakira and Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
Hips Don’t Lie first appeared as track 2 on Now! #65 in November 2006. See the link for my review.
Rule The World first appeared as track 2 on Now! #68 in November 2007. See the link for my review.
Track 40: Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Viva La Vida first appeared as track 24 on Now! #71 in November 2008. See the link for my review.
Track 41: Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
I Kissed A Girl first appeared as track 2 on Now! #71 in November 2008. See the link for my review.
Now! #71 getting a double look-in as well!
Very representative selection from the ’00s overall – songs from every part of the decade and lots of different genres.
Track 42: Ed Sheeran – Sing
Sing first appeared as track 2 on Now! #88 in July 2014. See the link for my review.
Mind the six-year jump there, Now! compilers! Could have done with fewer ’00s tracks to make room for some more from the ’10s!
Track 43: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Uptown Funk first appeared as track 1 on Now! #90 in March 2015. See the link for my review.
My favourite track on this celebratory disc – absolutely deserves to be on here.
Track 44: Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
Love Yourself first appeared as track 2 on Now! #93 in March 2016. See the link for my review.
I’m not sure how I feel about a celebration of thirty-five years and a hundred compilation albums worth of pop music being ended on a Justin Bieber track. They could at least have gone with Sorry, his one good track, which was released around the same time.
Short and sweet from the ’10s, but at least it was more representative than the ’80s selection.
Final note: So, that’s it from me and my Now! marathon, then – well, until Now! #101 comes out in the autumn. I’ll post some stats from the whole thing at some point over the weekend as well, ’cause I love my stats – but other than that, I’m looking forward to having my music listening time back to myself again!
It’s been an interesting few months, and as a pop music geek, it’s really consolidated for me what I already felt about the way chart music has evolved during the course of my lifetime. I’ll always prefer the ’80s stuff, I’ll always cringe when the ’90s stuff reminds me of my childhood, I’ll always think most of the ’00s stuff is really tacky, and I’ll always wish most of the ’10s stuff weren’t such poor quality and so generic.
On many days – especially days when the music was especially terrible and boring – it’s the daily picture feature that has been the most fun. It’s been fascinating and terrifying at the same time to watch my life flash by, season by season.
Finally, surprisingly, after all that, I appreciate the institution of Now! That’s What I Call Music more than ever. I’m actually already looking forward to the next one.
Day 99 brings us to Now! #99, which was released on 23rd March 2018.
I’m starting to get a little suspicious that some of the tracks on these latest Now! compilations weren’t actually hits at all. I know that a) the charts change so rapidly that there too many songs to remember and b) most chart music these days is so generic that it all blurs into one, but my memory is pretty good, and given that all of these songs are supposed to have been in the charts just a few months ago, I’m surprised that there are so many song titles I don’t recognise. I will have to do some research as we go through them.
We’ve finally reached the current year, 2018! Let’s see what pop music has come to these days.
Track 1: Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen – These Days
Now I know I’m nearly at the end of this long Now! marathon – this track is still currently (as of today, 19th July 2018) in the Top 40. We’re so close to the end!
I find the tune pretty irritating and the theme a bit awkward, but there’s some good stuff going on with the lyrics.
Track 2: Dua Lipa – IDGAF
Another tune that really annoys me.
Track 3: Portugal The Man – Feel It Still
Great tune, great danceable beat, and a lyric like ‘let me kick it like it’s 1986 now‘ is always going to go down well with me. Love this one.
Track 4: Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton – Say Something
I really like this tune – it builds very nicely.
Track 5: Taylor Swift – Ready For It?
Good atmosphere, but the tune is very forgettable.
Track 6: Marshmello and Anne-Marie – Friends
This one is insidiously catchy and was stuck in my head for weeks earlier this year. I’m not a fan of the tune or the theme, so it wasn’t pleasant.
Track 7: Bruno Mars and Cardi B – Finesse
I do like that early ’90s feel (which, judging by the style of the video, is deliberate). Like the callback to Walk This Way too.
Track 8: Sigala and Paloma Faith – Lullaby
Another annoying tune, but it’s got a good beat.
Track 9: Craig David and Bastille – I Know You
I really like the rhythm, but I find the song a bit cheesy.
Track 10: Jason Derulo and French Montana – Tiptoe
Good solid danceable pop song – really like this one.
Track 11: Jax Jones and Ina Wroldsen – Breathe
Good beat, good tune – quite like this track.
Track 12: George Ezra – Paradise
I really like George Ezra’s stuff – it’s so different to the generic EDM-hip-hop-pop lyrically-vapid tuneless mush that makes up the bulk of the charts these days. This is an upbeat feelgood song with great lyrics and an awesome chant-along bit near the end.
It’s got a good rhythm, but I could do with some more melody.
Track 31: Dave and Mostack – No Words
Nice tune, but the rap’s too messy for me.
Track 32: B Young – Jumanji
It’s got an okay beat, but the tune’s very uninspired.
Track 33: Raye and Mr Eazi – Decline
It’s based heavily around an interpolation of 2002 hit Always On Time by Ja Rule and Ashanti. I just find it very unoriginal.
Track 34: Notes and Mabel – My Lover
Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had both Notes and Mabel on track 15.
This tune really irritates me.
Track 35: Rak-Su, Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy – Dimelo
This is an interesting one. It was the X Factor winner’s single for 2017, and for the last couple of years the X Factor winner’s single has not been featured on the spring Now! compilation like it used to be – both Louisa Johnson’s Forever Young and Matt Terry’s When Christmas Comes Around were left out, the latter presumably partly because nobody wants to hear an explicitly Christmas-themed song in the spring. Part of this, I believe, is because of the X Factor‘s decline in popularity recently, but it’s meant we’ve not been following an interesting change. Louisa Johnson’s winner’s single was a cover as usual – Forever Young was originally a Bob Dylan song – but Matt Terry’s When Christmas Comes Around was an original song (written by Ed Sheeran), which was a first for the X Factor since Shayne Ward’s That’s My Goal, and signalled an interesting move away from its irritating karaoke format. This move towards original songs continued in the 2017 competition, with many of the contestants (notably Rak-Su and Grace Davies) performing tracks they had written themselves.
As such, this winner’s single from Rak-Su is self-written – an upbeat Latin-tinged hip-hop track with great lyrics and a clever interpolation of Wyclef Jean’s lines from Hips Don’t Lie – and as a result it’s the only X Factor winner’s single I’ve ever liked. It’s a great track. It’s just a shame we had to put up with years of awful pointless cover versions to get to this stage.
(I should note that, despite the above essay, I’ve never actually watched the X Factor. My interest in this stuff is purely from a chart geek perspective.)
It’s nice to hear some rock music, but the tune’s a bit dull. It’s got a good retro-sounding instrumental in the middle though.
Track 45: Oasis – Live Forever
This wasn’t actually back in the charts this year (so it’s yet another non-hit, although of course it was a hit on its original release in 1994), but there was an increased awareness of it due to Liam Gallagher performing it at the Brits in tribute to the Manchester Arena bombing victims.
One more thing: I just want to add a quick note about all the non-hits that have littered this playlist. While I’ve only just noticed it with this one, I suspect non-hits have been a thing for quite a few Now! compilations leading up to this, as there have been quite a few instances where I’m surprised I recognise so few of the tracks (as I mentioned in the intro, while it is tough to remember hundreds of generic songs, I have followed the charts religiously this decade and have a good memory).
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I can sort of understand it in a way, as 95% of chart music in the late ’10s is woefully, utterly dire. It’s awful – the worst quality it has ever been in my lifetime. Most of it is completely generic, uninspired and half-arsed, and so I have a bit of sympathy for the Now! compilers deciding to include songs that they think are good but didn’t trouble the charts for whatever reason, rather than yet another terrible identical-sounding EDM track that somehow managed to get to number 24 for a few weeks.
At the same time, what I’ve always liked about the Now! compilations is that they do reflect the most popular music of the time – good and bad. I feel that including songs that weren’t hits, that weren’t soundtracking people’s lives by being played on the radio and on TV shows and at sports events – well, it kind of takes away from the status of these albums as cultural artefacts of the time. I’m a little sad about that. We’ll see what tomorrow brings with the release of the 100th entry in this long music marathon.
Day 92 means Now! #92, which brings us to 20th November 2015.
Let’s see what the party tunes were that year! No, they most certainly wouldn’t have been played at Beat:Cancer.
Track 1: Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall
It’s a Bond theme, so it’s got a good epic atmosphere, even if it is a slow Sam Smith song.
Track 2: Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean?
Not keen on the tune – it’s a bit depressing.
Track 3: The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
Another tune that I don’t find particularly exciting. The chorus has quite a good rhythm, though.
Track 4: Calvin Harris and Disciples – How Deep Is Your Love
The vocals on this one really irritate me.
Track 5: Naughty Boy, Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin – Runnin’ (Lose It All)
Too slow for my liking, and again the tune doesn’t do anything for me.
Track 6: Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor – Marvin Gaye
Great upbeat big-band-sounding pop – really like this tune.
Track 7: R City and Adam Levine – Locked Away
One of those songs that’s so dull I can’t concentrate on it.
Track 8: Rachel Platten – Fight Song
Too high-pitched for me – it gives me a headache.
Track 9: Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Irritating tune, but the beat’s okay.
Track 10: Olly Murs – Kiss Me
I like the ’80s-tinged synthy lines on this one.
Track 11: Ellie Goulding – On My Mind
Some really nice instrumentals on this track.
Track 12: Little Mix – Love Me Like You
I find this tune a bit irritating.
Track 13: One Direction – Drag Me Down
Good rhythm, and it builds quite well, but the tune is fairly uninspired.
Track 14: Demi Lovato – Cool For The Summer
I really like the synth on this one.
Track 15: Years & Years – Eyes Shut
Nice piano at the start, but it’s a little too slow for me.
Track 16: Grace and G-Eazy – You Don’t Own Me
Cover of the Lesley Gore song. It was used in the 2015 House of Fraser Christmas advert, so now it’s a feature of the annual Christmas playlists on the music channels. It’s an okay tune, but in general I find there’s too much going on in this track.
Track 17: Birdy – Wings
Good tune, though it’s a little too slow for me.
Track 18: Aurora – Half The World Away
Cover of the Oasis song, the original being best known as the theme tune to The Royle Family. This was the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert offering. It’s a pretty cover, but I find it a little depressing when it shows up on the music channels at Christmas time.
Track 19: Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That
Too slow, cheesy and acoustic-y for my liking.
Track 20: Ed Sheeran – Photograph
Boring, depressing and again far too slow.
Track 21: Selena Gomez and ASAP Rocky – Good For You
Good atmosphere on this one, but as ever I could do with a more interesting tune.
Track 22: 5 Seconds Of Summer – She’s Kinda Hot
Good upbeat bit of pop-rock – the tune’s not that exciting but it’s refreshing to hear something in a different style.
Track 23: The Vamps – Wake Up
Great instrumentals, great atmosphere – shame the song is a bit too cheesy for me.
Track 24: KDA, Tinie Tempah and Katy B – Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)
Great danceable track – really like this tune.
Track 25: Galantis – Peanut Butter Jelly
Good beat, but the track’s pretty messy. I do like the ’70s-tinged lines though.
Track 26: Sigala – Easy Love
Another song that’s too high-pitched – it’s quite painful to listen to.
Track 27: Martin Solveig and GTA – Intoxicated
I really like the rhythm on this one – very danceable.
Track 28: MNEK and Zara Larsson – Never Forget You
The vocals annoy me on this one.
Track 29: Diplo and Sleepy Tom – Be Right There
Not sure what I think about the interpolation of Jade’s 1992 hit Don’t Walk Away. I hadn’t even thought about the original track in years. It’s certainly the most interesting thing about this track, which is very generic otherwise.
Track 30: Felix Jaehn and Jasmine Thompson – Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)
Interestingly tinkly cover of the Chaka Khan classic. Obviously nothing can touch the original, but this version’s not horrible.
Track 31: Pia Mia, Chris Brown and Tyga – Do It Again
The beat’s okay, but it’s a pretty generic track.
Track 32: Rudimental and Ed Sheeran – Lay It All On Me
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ed Sheeran on track 20.
I quite like this tune, and it’s got a good rhythm.
Track 33: Sigma and Ella Henderson – Glitterball
Repetitive tune, not enough beat. Quite like the ’90s tinge though.
Track 34: Disclosure and Sam Smith – Omen
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Sam Smith on track 1.
This one’s another dull tune – there’s just nothing interesting about it at all.
Track 35: Fetty Wap – Trap Queen
Interesting track with great rhythm, even if the tune is a bit repetitive.
Track 36: Format:B – Chunky
Irritating, messy dance track with painfully blaring vocals.
Track 37: WSTRN – In2
Starts off with some boring, random chords. The vocals have got quite a good rhythm, though.
Track 38: Ariana Grande – Focus
Great beat, good solid pop tune. Quite like this one.
Track 39: Silentó – Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
I like the videogame-esque beeping on the backing track, but the vocals are daft in an annoying way.
Track 40: Joe Stone and Montell Jordan – The Party (This Is How We Do It)
Remix of Montell Jordan’s 1995 classic (see Now! #31 for review of the original version). It’s got a good beat, but I was never a huge fan of the original anyway, and the remix has a lot of jarring lines going on.
Track 41: Nick Brewer and Bibi Bourelly – Talk To Me
Messy and uninspired, and the rap is just irritating.
Track 42: KSI and JME – Keep Up
Inspired theme! Good atmosphere, too.
Track 43: Wretch 32, Anne-Marie and PRGRSHN – Alright With Me
Good rhythm – happily nodding along here.
Track 44: Philip George and Anton Powers – Alone No More
Cover of the 1998 song by Another Level. Very repetitive, and it’s another bland tune.
Track 45: Kygo and Ella Henderson – Here For You
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ella Henderson on track 33.
The tinkly instrumentals are nice, but the track is slow, and I don’t like slow.
Track 46: Ben Haenow and Kelly Clarkson – Second Hand Heart
Great atmosphere, but the song’s too saccharine for my liking.
Day 87 equals Now! #87, which came out on 7th April 2014.
Into the mid-’10s already! 2014 was my last full year living in Southampton. Let’s see what the chart sounded like.
Track 1: Pharrell Williams – Happy
It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s very joyful and danceable, so I quite like it.
Track 2: Route 94 and Jess Glynne – My Love
Annoying tune, generic track. Not keen on this one.
Track 3: Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull – I’m A Freak
Good beat, but the tune’s pretty uninspired, and the chorus is really irritating.
Track 4: Avicii – Hey Brother
Another of Avicii’s EDM-bluegrass crossovers. Quite like this track.
Track 5: Katy Perry and Juicy J – Dark Horse
Great atmosphere, and it’s got an okay tune.
Track 6: Sam Smith – Money On My Mind
I find this tune pretty irritating, and I’ve never been a fan of Sam Smith’s falsetto vocals.
Track 7: Little Mix – Word Up!
Pointless cover of the Cameo classic, released as the official Sport Relief single for 2014. While the cover is pointless, the video is great – highlights include Chris Barrie reprising his role from The Brittas Empire and Melanie C showing she can still do those Spice Girl cartwheels.
Track 8: 5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
Great bit of pop-rock – really like this tune!
Track 9: Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Irritating overblown ballad, not a fan.
Track 10: Pixie Lott – Nasty
Great beat, good big band feel – very danceable.
Track 11: One Direction – Story Of My Life
Boring, slow, cheesy, and too acoustic-y for me. Everything I dislike.
Track 12: Gary Barlow – Let Me Go
Okay beat, but the tune is dull.
Track 13: Alesso and OneRepublic – If I Lose Myself
Generic tune – nothing exciting going on here.
Track 14: Gorgon City and MNEK – Ready For Your Love
Another very uninspired track, with a dance beat that’s the same as every other dance beat from this decade.
Track 15: The Vamps – Wild Heart
Too cheesy for me, but it’s got quite a good rhythm.
Track 16: Lady Gaga and R Kelly – Do What U Want
The atmosphere’s okay, but again the tune’s not very interesting.
Track 17: Elyar Fox – Do It All Over Again
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
It’s an okay pop song with a good beat, but it’s pretty forgettable.
Track 18: Katy B – Crying For No Reason
This one’s a bit depressing, but the tune is quite pretty.
Track 19: John Legend – All Of Me
It’s very saccharine, but parts of the tune are absolutely beautiful, so I quite like it.
Track 20: A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera – Say Something
Another boring, mood-killing ballad.
Track 21: Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You
And yet another one.
Track 22: Sam Bailey – Skyscraper
The 2013 X Factor winner, this year doing a pointless cover of a Demi Lovato song. Nothing interesting here.
Track 23: The Chainsmokers – #Selfie
That title is going to look so dated in decades to come. Mind you, I don’t think anyone makes pop music with the thought that it’s going to be listened to in the future anymore – it’s all a bit disposable these days. Anyway, this is interspersed throughout with the most annoying spoken word sample ever, which I think is meant to be the point, but it doesn’t make it in any way pleasant to listen to.
Track 24: Pitbull and Kesha – Timber
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pitbull on track 3.
At my Zumba class in Southampton, we used to do a really fun, high energy, line dance-inspired routine to this, which I absolutely loved. As such, I’ve got a soft spot for this song.
Track 25: DVBBS, Borgeous and Tinie Tempah – Tsunami (Jump)
Great rhythm – happily nodding along right now.
Track 26: Calvin Harris, Alesso and Hurts – Under Control
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Alesso on track 13.
This is another one with a very unmemorable tune.
Track 27: Martin Garrix and Jay Hardway – Wizard
The hook’s okay, but everything that surrounds it is off – it could have created quite a good atmosphere if the track weren’t so messy.
Track 28: Tiësto – Red Lights
Depressingly generic tune.
Track 29: Duke Dumont and Jax Jones – I Got U
I like the steel drums, but otherwise it’s fairly boring.
Track 30: Bastille – Of The Night
Track completely made up of interpolations of Snap’s Rhythm Is A Dancer and Corona’s The Rhythm Of The Night, so I guess it’s sort of a cover. I love both tracks so I don’t mind – this compilation has had so many boring forgettable tunes on that it’s a relief to hear a tune I like, even if it’s not original.
Track 31: Example – Kids Again
I like the backing track, but again I’m just not enthused by the tune.
Track 32: Little Mix – Move
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Little Mix on track 7.
This one’s a nice solid bit of pop – good stuff.
Track 33: Neon Jungle – Braveheart
Good solid pop tune – this one’s quite danceable.
Track 34: DJ Fresh, Jay Fay and Ms Dynamite – Dibby Dibby Sound
Bit of a Zumba theme to this playlist, because this is one that we danced to in a Zumba class I was attending in Newcastle last year. I really need to go back to dance class – I fell out of the habit during the move and am a bit too busy at the moment. Maybe in the autumn.
Anyway, this one’s a bit repetitive to listen to, but it’s got a good beat.
Track 35: Tujamo, Plastik Funk and Sneakbo – Dr Who!
I’m a bit surprised I ignored this one when it was in the charts, because I’m always looking for daft vaguely Doctor Who-related songs to add to that Doctor Who playlist I’m going to create at some point in the future.
It’s a bit tuneless, but it’s got a good beat. It’d be nice if the lyrics were slightly more relevant to the title.
Track 36: Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne – Thank You
I find the rap a bit awkward. Good rhythm, though, and the sample of Alicia Myers’ 1981 hit I Wanna Thank You is awesome.
Track 37: Fuse ODG – Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad)
Great atmosphere, good tune. Really like this one.
Track 38: John Newman – Out Of My Head
Too slow for me, and the tune’s pretty depressing.
Track 39: Sub Focus – Turn Back Time
Bit of ’90s-tinged dance – great atmosphere.
Track 40: Matrix & Futurebound and Max Marshall – Control
Good beat, but this is another forgettable tune.
Track 41: Foxes – Let Go For Tonight
I like that piano at the start, and the chorus is epic.
Track 42: Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
Interesting tune, good beat. Not a bad track.
Track 43: Le Youth and Dominique Young Unique – Dance With Me
Great beat, and it’s got a welcome ’80s tinge. Love the No Scrubs interpolation too. Good stuff.
Track 44: London Grammar – Hey Now
I quite like the backing track, but the tune’s boring and it’s too slow.
Track 45: Vance Joy – Riptide
Endearingly daft lyrics, feelgood tune. Big fan of this.