Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #48

Day 48 means Now! #48, which was released on 9th April 2001.

April 2001
This is how the world looked in April 2001 (actually May). No family photos from spring 2001, so here’s a pretty vista photo that Mum took on a work trip to the Czech Republic.

Wikipedia has an interesting factoid about Now! #48: it is the favourite album of the character Kayleigh from Peter Kay’s Car Share (NO SPOILERS FOR THAT PLEASE, I know the final special episode aired last night but Geth and I have not seen any of the series yet and we want to catch up with it at some point!).  As a result, it charted on Amazon in spring 2017 despite being out of print.  Impressive!

Now! That's What I Call Music #48
Track 1: Atomic Kitten – Whole Again

Found it too cheesy at the time, still do nowadays.  This was the one where Kerry Katona left and they released a new version of the video with Jenny Frost replacing her, so there’s still two versions of it kicking about on the music channels.

Track 2: Hear’Say – Pure And Simple

The first of the noughties talent show winners, which was where pop music really started to go downhill.  Awful, irritating song.

Track 3: S Club 7 – Never Had A Dream Come True

It’s one of those ones that is a Christmas song nowadays.  Nice tune, but it’s a bit overplayed.

Track 4: Nelly Furtado – I’m Like A Bird

I’d not thought about this one for a while.  The tune’s okay, but I’ve always found the chorus a bit annoying.

Track 5: Shaggy and RikRok – It Wasn’t Me

Absolutely awful theme, but it’s a great tune!

Track 6: Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood

I remember everyone going on at the time about how ‘revolutionary’ the idea of a virtual band was, but really all it involved was the musicians using pseudonyms and getting some cartoons made for the videos.  It’s a good song, other than the fact it’s a bit drone-y.

Track 7: Modjo – Chillin’

Slight ’70s tinge, which is no bad thing.  The tune’s pretty dull though.

Track 8: Chocolate Puma – I Wanna Be U

Boring, tuneless, not my thing.

Track 9: Fragma and Maria Rubia – Everytime You Need Me

‘Every time’ should be two words ARGH.

Leaving aside their awful grammar, though, I quite like this tune.

Track 10: Samantha Mumba – Always Come Back To Your Love

I find the vocals on this one a bit annoying – not hugely keen.

Track 11: Britney Spears – Stronger

Great atmosphere, good tune, though I’ve always been really annoyed by that callback to …Baby One More Time in the chorus!

Track 12: Steps – It’s The Way You Make Me Feel

Nice tune.  It’s pretty saccharine, but I still quite like this one.

Track 13: Emma Bunton – What Took You So Long

Good tune, but it’s a bit slow for me.

Track 14: Ronan Keating and Bryan Adams – The Way You Make Me Feel

It’s almost a repeated title from the Steps offering above, but it’s a very different song – this one is a dodgy nausea-inducing guitar ballad.

Track 15: Backstreet Boys – Shape Of My Heart

Super saccharine, but the tune’s okay.

Track 16: LeAnn Rimes – I Need You

Extremely boring ballad with overblown vocals.  Not my thing at all.

Track 17: Damage – Still Be Lovin’ You

Another irritatingly cheesy track with a dull tune.

Track 18: Kaci Battaglia – Paradise

Nice atmosphere, like the Latin tinge and Spanish guitar.  Good track.

Track 19: Martine McCutcheon – On The Radio

Pointless cover of the Donna Summer classic.  Nothing new here at all, except the irritating ’00s hi-hat on the backing track.

Track 20: Kylie Minogue – Please Stay

Lovely atmosphere, with more Spanish guitar – loving that trend!  Gorgeous tune.

Track 21: Bob The Builder – Can We Fix It?

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

I read ages ago (I can’t find a link so hopefully this daft concept has disappeared from the public imagination) that your ‘life song’ is supposed to be the song that was number one on your sixteenth birthday.  Being a tail-end-of-Christmas baby, my birthday number one is usually still whatever was number one for Christmas.  For my sixteenth birthday, it was this novelty charity single from the kids’ TV show Bob The Builder.  I’m not sure what that’s supposed to say about my life.

Track 22: Eva Cassidy – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Slow, acoustic cover of the Judy Garland number from The Wizard Of Oz.  Beautiful vocals, but the style’s not my kind of thing.

Track 23: U2 – Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of

I’ve always quite liked this one – good tune, interesting lyrics.

Track 24: Stereophonics – Mr Writer

Good guitar riff, but the vocals are depressing and drone-y.

Track 25: Coldplay – Don’t Panic

Oh, it’s this one.  The tune’s okay, but it’s pretty dull.

Track 26: Texas – Inner Smile

Great tune, great singalong chorus – really like this one.

Track 27: Robbie Williams – Let Love Be Your Energy

Nice tune, interesting vocals, though Robbie Williams is still trying to do the Britpop thing a few years after it ended.

Track 28: Feeder – Buck Rogers

Great, classic singalong rock track.  Loved it at the time, still really like it now, with bonus amusement at the notion that a car having a CD player made it top of the range in 2001.  Also, I could never work out whether the lyric was ‘drink cider from a lemon‘ or ‘drink cider from eleven‘.

Track 29: Papa Roach – Last Resort

This pop-punk classic was a bit of a soundtrack song in my teens – we always had it blasting at parties and in cars and so on.  I still quite like the track.

Track 30: Planet Funk – Chase The Sun

Nice tune, but it’s too repetitive for me.

Track 31: Safri Duo – Played-A-Live (The Bongo Song)

Good beat (obviously), good danceable track, though the trance bit is fairly generic.

Track 32: Dario G – Dream To Me

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Cover of the Cranberries’ Dreams.  High-pitched classical/opera-style bit irritates throughout, and is joined by an uninspired trance beat.  The whole thing is a bit messy.

Track 33: Jakatta – American Dream

Oh, it’s this one.  Quite like the clangy instrumental, but it’s a bit dull otherwise.

Track 34: Sonique – I Put A Spell On You

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Spiky, upbeat, atmospheric cover of the ’50s rock ‘n’ roll classic.  Really like this one.

Track 35: Melanie B – Feels So Good

Irritating, repetitive tune – not keen on this track.

Track 36: Mýa – Case Of The Ex

Great atmosphere, good tune, great singalong bit on the bridge and chorus.  Good stuff.

Track 37: Chanté Moore – Straight Up

Highly irritating tinkly xylophone-sounding instrumental at the start, then it launches into an uninspired tune.  The vocals are okay, but it’s generally not my thing.

Track 38: Joe – Stutter

Boring tune, irritating lines, annoying theme.  Not keen on this one.

Track 39: Architechs – Show Me The Money

Too repetitive for me, and the tune’s very generic.

Track 40: DJ Luck & MC Neat – Piano Loco

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Nice Latin flavour – good danceable track.  Could do without the added ‘wub’ bits and rap though, it makes it very messy.

Track 41: Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Loco

A slower type of loco here, maybe because there’s no piano this time.  Still a good helping of Spanish vocals though, so I quite like it.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #38

Day 38 takes us to 17th November 1997 with our Now! compilation marathon.

November 1997
This was how the world looked in November 1997 (actually September – it was another autumn where we didn’t really take any photos). I still have that jumper – it’s had a few recent reprieves from wardrobe culls!

Let’s see what was tearing up the charts at the time.

Now! That's What I Call Music #38
Track 1: Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

The ultimate in singalong classics, and a feature of every school disco and a lot of post-school discos in subsequent years.  Brilliant track.  Also, this album version that I’ve found on Spotify has a Brassed Off sample at the start, which makes it even better.

Track 2: Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life

One of my favourites from the Spice Girls – really like this upbeat, danceable song.

Track 3: Hanson – Where’s The Love

Considering that I played Hanson’s Middle Of Nowhere album non-stop for about a year, the fact that I couldn’t remember this song shows you how forgettable it is.  I sort of remember it now I’m listening to it again, but I doubt it’ll stick in my brain long.

Track 4: Boyzone – Picture Of You

I’ve never really liked this one – the tune has always annoyed me.

Track 5: Backstreet Boys – As Long As You Love Me

It should be too saccharine for me, but I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for it, largely because I always liked the video.

Track 6: Eternal – Angel Of Mine

Absolutely beautiful tune – love this one.

Fun fact: American singer Monica did a completely pointless cover of this that sounds pretty much identical, which was a huge hit in the US, so that’s the version that most people across the pond know.

Track 7: Lighthouse Family – Raincloud

Great, interesting instrumentals, but the tune on the vocals is a bit dull.

Track 8: Janet Jackson – Got ‘Til It’s Gone

Love that Big Yellow Taxi sample…but in all honesty, nowadays it just makes me want to listen to Big Yellow Taxi instead.  I remember my dad getting similarly frustrated whenever it came on the radio at the time, ’cause you can’t improve on the original Joni Mitchell track.

Track 9: The Brand New Heavies – You’ve Got A Friend

Dull cover of the Carole King song (which was pretty dull to begin with) with an irritating funk bit over the top.

Track 10: All Saints – I Know Where It’s At

I quite like most of All Saints’ stuff, but this one’s got an annoying tune.  Not keen.

Track 11: Louise – Arms Around The World

Interesting Eastern-tinged instrumentals in the intro, and a nice synth riff running through the verses.  Shame the vocals are so generic.

Track 12: Gala – Freed From Desire

It’s not the kind of thing I normally like, but I’ve always quite enjoyed this one – I like the atmosphere.

Track 13: Sash! and La Trec – Stay

Great electro lines, but the vocals are a bit overblown.

Track 14: Dario G – Sunchyme

Love this electro track – lovely feelgood tune.  Only just realised right now that the sample is Life In A Northern Town – but it’s done really well, so I won’t moan.

Track 15: Tina Moore – Never Gonna Let You Go

Horrendous nails-down-a-blackboard vocal opening!  Then the rest of the track is repetitive and irritating.  Not keen at all.

Track 16: Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing

We’ve had this one already, on Now! #9.  I’m keeping an eye on you, Now! compilers!  I’m guessing this was back in the charts due to The Full Monty.

As ever, see the link for my review.

Track 17: N-Trance and Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy

Slightly messy semi-cover of the 1978 classic.  There are far too many vocal lines going on, but somehow it works.

Track 18: LL Cool J – Phenomenon

Good head-nodder, quite like this one.

Track 19: 911 – Party People…Friday Night

I’ve always quite liked this one, if only for the jaunty days-of-the-week bit in the chorus (I have a similar soft spot for 7 Days by Craig David, but I’m sure we’ll get to that later).

Track 20: Ricky Martin – María

I started studying Spanish the year after this, so I was a huge fan of Ricky Martin and had all his albums.  This one is a great, danceable, Latin-flavoured track, an early indicator of the Latin pop craze that would characterise the turn of the millennium.

Speaking of which…

Track 21: Bellini – Samba De Janeiro

…here’s another.  Absolutely classic trumpet line, great dance track.

Track 22: DJ Quicksilver – Free

Oh, it’s this one!  Really like the electro lines on this – great tune.

Track 23: Wet Wet Wet – Yesterday

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

Utterly pointless cover of the Beatles classic.  There is nothing different about this version at all except for an irritating country-tinged twangy guitar instrumental in the middle.

Track 24: George Michael – You Have Been Loved

Lovely tune, but it’s a bit slow for me.

Track 25: The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work

Depressing in a bad way.  I’ve never been keen on this one.

Track 26: Oasis – Stand By Me

This track has a really irritating chord change sequence in the chorus that messes up the time signature in an infuriating way.  It’s been driving me nuts for over twenty years, and as such, I’m not a fan of this song.

Example of a song that messes up the time signature in a nice, pleasant way: Golden Brown by the Stranglers.  I think I’ll go listen to that once this compilation is done.

Track 27: Embrace – All You Good Good People

Nice tune, but I’m not keen on the vocals, as they sound kind of droning.

Track 28: Faithless – Don’t Leave

I really liked this one at the time ’cause I had it on the A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack.  It’s still a good tune.

Track 29: Radiohead – Karma Police

Great tune, but I’m not hugely keen on the theme.

Track 30: Moby – James Bond Theme

I have often said throughout this Now! marathon that I love a James Bond theme.  This is slightly different, as instead of being a new song released for a James Bond film, it’s an electro cover of the main theme.  It’s okay, but you shouldn’t really mess with a classic.

Track 31: PF Project and Ewan McGregor – Choose Life

Dance track with Ewan McGregor’s ‘choose life‘ monologue from Trainspotting over the top of it.  The track itself is pretty awful, so the monologue is the only bit that’s of interest.

Track 32: Robbie Williams – Lazy Days

Annoying dregs-of-Britpop tune.  Not keen on this one.

Track 33: Ash – A Life Less Ordinary

Another one that’s (obviously) off the A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack.  Great chorus, but the verses are pretty boring.

Track 34: Texas – Black Eyed Boy

Great beat, great tune.  One of my favourite Texas tracks.

Track 35: Meredith Brooks – Bitch

Loved it at the time, makes me cringe a bit now, mainly because my friends and I all loved to adapt the lyrics when literally bitching about other girls at school.  Growing up is a good thing.

Track 36: Jon Bon Jovi – Janie, Don’t Take Your Love To Town

Irritating tune, not a fan of this one.

Track 37: Ocean Colour Scene – Better Day

Lovely tune, great atmosphere – a longtime favourite.

Track 38: Cast – I’m So Lonely

Dreary, depressing tune.  Not keen.

Track 39: Conner Reeves – Earthbound

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).

The vocals are far too saccharine for me, but the tune’s quite nice.

Track 40: Peter Andre – Lonely

Another slow, cheesy tune.  Blurgh.

Also, while Cast (see above) are so lonely, Peter Andre is just lonely full stop.  I’m pretty sure this was deliberate on the part of the Now! compilers…

Track 41: Boyz II Men – Four Seasons Of Loneliness

…especially now that Boyz II Men have both of them beat by being lonely all year round.  It shouldn’t be a competition, guys!

The piano instrumental on this one’s quite nice, but in general it’s yet another ballad that’s too slow and too saccharine for my liking.