Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #55

Day 55 brings us to Now! #55, which came out on 21st July 2003.

July 2003
This is the way the world looked in July 2003. That balcony’s not changed much, but I don’t remember the last time we used those wine glasses (and those clothes are now definitely living in my keepsakes boxes rather than my wardrobe!). It’s also been a while since I was that blonde – it has been attempted a couple more times since then, but I’ve got fairly lazy with hair dyeing lately. I’m saving that particular energy up for when I eventually go grey and have to start doing something about it.

Time for another round of summer hits!

Now! That's What I Call Music #55
Track 1: R Kelly – Ignition [Remix]

I’ve not thought about this one for a while.  It was a big summer hit and was played in all the clubs in Zante when I was there with my mates.  I still quite like the tune.

Track 2: 50 Cent – In Da Club

A classic.  Love this one – it still gets stuck in my head every time it’s my birthday.

Track 3: Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River

Nice tune, great epic atmosphere.  Awesome track.

Track 4: Wayne Wonder – No Letting Go

Oh, it’s this one.  The tune’s pretty dull, but it’s got some good instrumentals going on.

Track 5: Javine – Real Things

Nice epic blaring intro, quite like it.

Track 6: Kym Marsh – Come On Over

Very bland tune – not my kind of thing.

Track 7: Girls Aloud – No Good Advice

The tune and lyrics on this are really poor quality and awkward.  It sounds like it was written by a twelve-year-old.  Just awful.

Track 8: t.A.T.u – Not Gonna Get Us

Dull, repetitive follow-up to All The Things She Said.  Should have been a one-hit wonder.

Track 9: S Club 8 – Fool No More

So after S Club 7 changed their name to S Club (see yesterday’s review), S Club Juniors then went and changed their name to S Club 8, presumably ’cause they weren’t so junior anymore.  Confused?  I certainly am.

This track is a dance track, but the vocals still sound pretty kiddie to me.

Track 10: Fast Food Rockers – Fast Food Song

We used to sing this daft kids’ song in the church hall at Girl Guides meetings back in the mid-’90s.  I have no idea why anyone thought it would make a good pop song.  Really makes me hungry though.

Track 11: XTM, DJ Chucky and Annia – Fly On The Wings Of Love

Highly irritating vocals, cheesy tune, dodgy misplaced pan pipe instrumentals over a trance beat.  Appalling track.

Track 12: Lisa Scott-Lee – Lately

Uninspired vocals, bland tune.  Not keen on this.

Track 13: One True Voice – Shakespeare’s (Way With) Words

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

Too saccharine for me, but I suppose the tune’s alright.

Track 14: Bhangra Knights and Husan – Husan

Good tune, good beat – quite like this one.

Track 15: Tomcraft – Loneliness

Good head-nodder, very danceable.  I remember this being number one for quite a few weeks.

Track 16: Tiga and Jake Shears – Hot In Herre

Fairly pointless cover of the Nelly track, which was only a year old itself at this point (see Now! #52).  Jake Shears’ voice doesn’t suit the track at all, and all the fun is missing from the original.

Track 17: Lisa Maffia – All Over

There’s some interesting lines, but the track’s a bit messy in general.  I could do without the two rappers shouting over each other.

Track 18: Benny Benassi and The Biz – Satisfaction

The track’s tuneless and repetitive, but the video‘s a dubious classic (I was NOT a fan of the awful hiking-boots-with-stiletto-heels trend it encouraged, which has unfortunately made a few reappearances in the intervening time).

Track 19: Deepest Blue – Deepest Blue

Boring tune, uninspired dance beat.

Track 20: DJ Sammy – Sunlight

Good beat, but the tune’s very irritating.

Track 21: Plummet – Damaged

Interesting lines, but there’s not enough of a solid tune for me.

Track 22: Paul van Dyk and Hemstock & Jennings – Nothing But You

Generic dance track.  The vocals are quite nice, but it’s nothing special.

Track 23: Scooter – The Night

The high-pitched vocals on the chorus give me a headache, but the rest of the track’s quite danceable if it’s post-2am.

Track 24: Robbie Williams – Come Undone

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

Track 25: Busted – You Said No

Urgh, whiny can’t-handle-rejection lyrics *shudder*

Track 26: Daniel Bedingfield – I Can’t Read You

Bland acoustic-y track with an annoying chorus, not to my liking.

Track 27: Amy Studt – Misfit

Nice vocals, but the tune’s not interesting enough for me.

Track 28: The Thrills – Big Sur

It’s nice that the mid-’00s festival stalwart bands are starting to make appearances.  My mate Gemma absolutely loved this lot.

The track’s a nice retro-sounding soft rock tune.  Love that Monkees reference.

Track 29: Coldplay – God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

Nice atmosphere – this one’s got an okay tune.

Track 30: Appleton – Everything Eventually

Slow to start (as befits the title).  The vocal intro is nice, but after that it gets a bit generic.

Track 31: David Sneddon – Don’t Let Go

Boring slow tune – not keen.

Track 32: Ronan Keating – The Long Goodbye

Like the piano intro, but the rest of the track’s too saccharine for me.

Track 33: Darius – Incredible (What I Meant To Say)

Irritating tune that sounds like pretty much everything else.  Utterly forgettable.

Track 34: Feeder – Just The Way I’m Feeling

LOVED this track at the time and bought the single – it’s still a great tune.  I must have gone to see Feeder about three times that year, as they played the Glasgow Barrowlands a lot at the time.

Track 35: Sinéad Quinn – What You Need Is

Love the rock-edged instrumentals – this is quite a good track.

Track 36: Melanie C – On The Horizon

Boring, irritating tune.  I don’t find Melanie C’s second solo album anywhere near as good as her first.

Track 37: Emma Bunton – Free Me

I find the tune really irritating, and it’s too slow.

Track 38: S Club – Say Goodbye

Slow and saccharine.  You might have guessed I’m not a fan.

Track 39: Sugababes – Shape

Love the Sting sample – great atmosphere on this one.

Track 40: Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams – Excuse Me Miss

Some interesting lines going on here – quite like it, but it could do with a bit more melody.

Track 41: Mariah Carey and Cam’Ron – Boy (I Need You)

Boring, messy, irritating.  Next, please.

Track 42: Ja Rule and Ashanti – Mesmerise

Urgh.  Uninspired, repetitive tune, and the rap is awful.  Not my cup of tea at all.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #54

Day 54, and Now! #54, which was released on 14th April 2003.

April 2003
This is how the world looked in April 2003. No pictures of people this month, so you can have some nice scenery courtesy of one of Mum and Dad’s weekend trips away.

I don’t want to jinx things, but I’ve got a vague memory that this was the year when chart music started to improve a bit and became more rock-oriented.

Now! That's What I Call Music #54
Track 1: t.A.T.u – All The Things She Said

Loved it at the time and bought the single.  It’s still a great tune, but there are obvious issues with the creepy male-gaze manufacturing of a couple of faux-lesbian Russian schoolgirls.  I remember the Top of the Pops performance – the BBC refused to show a same-sex kiss on stage at 7pm and cut to an opposite-sex couple kissing in the crowd instead.  We’ve come a long way since the early ’00s.

Track 2: Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You

I like the stop-start guitar at the beginning, but the tune to the vocals annoys me.

Track 3: Nelly and Kelly Rowland – Dilemma

One of my first-year uni flatmates was obsessed with this song and played it over and over.  As such, I’m amazed I still quite like it.

Track 4: Richard X and Liberty X – Being Nobody

Dodgy pointless cover of Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody with an irritating ’00s backing track.  I strongly advise listening to the original instead.

Track 5: Room 5 and Oliver Cheatham – Make Luv

Classic dance track, good head-nodder, though it’s a little repetitive.

Track 6: Junior Senior – Move Your Feet

I’ve always found the chorus on this one highly irritating, but the song reminds me of my friend Sarah (who loved it at the time) so it’s not all bad.

Track 7: Girls Aloud – Sound Of The Underground

Still really like this one – great atmosphere, classic pop track.

Track 8: Busted – Year 3000

Yup, it’s awful (although the sanitised Jonas Brothers cover was even more awful).  I remember the looks of horror on everyone’s faces when the DJ decided it would be a good idea to play this in Studio 24 (Edinburgh’s biggest rock club at the time).  It only happened once, probably due to complaints.

Track 9: Melanie C – Here It Comes Again

The tune’s a bit bland, but I like the instrumentals.

Track 10: Sinéad Quinn – I Can’t Break Down

Great Spanish guitar, great atmosphere.  Quite like this one.

Track 11: Darius – Rushes

Irritating vocals, but the tune on the chorus is okay.

Track 12: Appleton – Don’t Worry

Slow, dull acoustic-y ballad with an annoying tune.  Not keen.

Track 13: Atomic Kitten – Love Doesn’t Have To Hurt

Cheesy, generic song.  Not a fan of this one.

Track 14: Blue – U Make Me Wanna

Great atmosphere, great instrumentals, but the vocals are pretty irritating.

Track 15: Jay-Z and Beyoncé – ’03 Bonnie And Clyde

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

Love the guitar on this track – awesome theme, great song.

Track 16: Jaimeson and Angel Blu – True

Quite interesting for a dance track – like the atmosphere.

Track 17: Zoe Birkett – Treat Me Like A Lady

Generic tune, pretty bland really.

Track 18: S Club – Alive

S Club 7, now calling themselves S Club due to one of them having left.  The music is as irritating as ever.

Track 19: One True Voice – Sacred Trust

Repetitive, uninspired song – this one’s very dull.

Track 20: Kym Marsh – Cry

Appallingly saccharine, twee song.  Don’t like this one at all!

Track 21: Ainslie Henderson – Keep Me A Secret

Boring and generic.  We’re really getting into the nadir of the talent show era now.

Track 22: Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One

Awful track – whiny tune, hugely problematic stalker-y theme.  It really creeps me out.

Track 23: David Sneddon – Stop Living The Lie

Nice tune, but the vocals leave a lot to be desired.

Track 24: Robbie Williams – Feel

Lovely tune, great atmosphere.

Track 25: Oasis – Songbird

It’s better than other Oasis tracks of this era, but it’s still a bit drone-y.

Track 26: Turin Brakes – Painkiller

Good bit of soft rock – quite like this one.

Track 27: Coldplay – Clocks

The piano instrumental is nice, but I find the rest of the track pretty dull.

Track 28: Lulu and Ronan Keating – We’ve Got Tonight

Painfully bland cheesy ballad.  Not my thing.

Track 29: Sugababes – Stronger

Nice atmosphere, good tune.  Quite like this track.

Track 30: Beenie Man – Street Life

Good head-nodder, but the tune’s a bit boring.

Track 31: Cam’Ron, Juelz Santana, Freekey Zeekey and Toya – Hey Ma

Oh, it’s this one.  Repetitive and tuneless, but I suppose it’s got a good beat.

Track 32: Nelly and Justin Timberlake – Work It

Double repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had both Nelly and Justin Timberlake on this Now! compilation.

The track’s okay, but there’s a bit too much going on.

Track 33: Panjabi MC – Mundian To Bach Ke

Absolute classic – brilliant piece of bhangra.  Love this tune.

Track 34: Scooter – Weekend!

More daft rave from Scooter, with some insanely irritating chipmunk-tuned vocals in the middle.  The rest of the track’s quite danceable.

Track 35: DJ Sammy – The Boys Of Summer

Awful trance cover of the Don Henley classic.  Not a fan.

Track 36: Divine Inspiration – The Way (Put Your Hand In My Hand)

More trance.  This has got quite a good atmosphere, though.

Track 37: Queen and DJ Vanguard – Flash

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

Semi-cover of the 1980 classic with lots of repetitive hi-hat over the top.  It kind of loses the epic atmosphere of the original.

Track 38: Erasure – Solsbury Hill

Good to see Erasure back in the charts for the ’00s, especially as they sound exactly like they did in the ’80s.  This is a nice synthpop cover of the Peter Gabriel song.

Track 39: The Mock Turtles – Can You Dig It? [Fatboy Slim and Simon Thornton 2003 Remix]

Nice feelgood soft rock song, quite like this one.

Track 40: Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton – Big Yellow Taxi

Pointless cover of the Joni Mitchell classic, but it’s a good song whoever does it (well, maybe I wouldn’t be saying that if it were one of DJ Sammy’s trance covers, but you know what I mean).

Track 41: Richard Ashcroft – Science Of Silence

Dull, drone-y track, but it’s at least more upbeat than most of Richard Ashcroft’s stuff.

Track 42: Massive Attack and Sinéad O’Connor – Special Cases

Love the slightly spooky atmosphere on this one – great track.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #53

Day 53 brings us to Now! #53, released on 18th November 2002.

November 2002
This is how the world looked in November 2002 (actually December). It was party season and I was starting to look vaguely grown-up, now I was at uni and everything. That dress is another one that I only just got rid of in the giant clothes cull.

Let’s see what was played at all the Christmas parties that year.

Now! That's What I Call Music #53
Track 1: DJ Sammy, Yanou and Do – Heaven

Trance cover of the Bryan Adams classic that was everywhere at the time.  Give me the original any day.

Track 2: Las Ketchup – Aserejé

Daft novelty song with accompanying dance.  It was fun to dance to in the Cav after a few VK Apples, but the less said about that the better.

Track 3: Enrique Iglesias – Love To See You Cry

Enrique Iglesias’ song themes are just getting creepier and creepier *shudder*

The Spanish guitar is nice, but I can’t get past the creep factor.

Track 4: Sugababes – Round Round

Great solid pop song, really like this one.

Track 5: Atomic Kitten – The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)

Pointless cover of the Blondie classic with a sort of extra bad song tacked onto the end of it.  Should have left well alone.

Track 6: Blue – One Love

Irritating chorus, pretty bland otherwise.

Track 7: Darius – Colourblind

Another irritating, saccharine song.  Not my thing at all.

Track 8: Busted – What I Go To School For

Busted are a good example of what I call ‘pop-pop-punk’ – very obviously fake ‘alternative’ aesthetic, present themselves as playing their own instruments, but they’re far too manufactured to be in any way actually alternative.  This track is a bit of a guilty pleasure though.

Track 9: Liberty X – Got To Have Your Love

The instrumentals on the intro are okay, but then the generic vocals kick in and make everything very dull.

Track 10: Romeo and Christina Milian – It’s All Gravy

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

Uninspired rap track with boring sung vocal interjections.  Nothing exciting about this.

Track 11: Samantha Mumba – I’m Right Here

It’s better than a lot of the Samantha Mumba tracks featured recently, but it’s still pretty bland.

Track 12: Abs Breen – What You Got

Instrumentals a bit more interesting than most of these tracks, but the vocals are very generic.

Track 13: Britney Spears – I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll

Really awkward pointless cover of the Joan Jett classic.  There’s just no edge to this at all.

Track 14: S Club Juniors – Automatic High

More irritating kiddie warbling.  Let’s move on.

Track 15: Kylie Minogue – Come Into My World

Nice tune, but it’s a bit repetitive.

Track 16: Jakatta and Seal – My Vision

Fairly dull dance chillout track, though the vocals are good.

Track 17: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Music Gets The Best Of Me

Highly annoying chorus – not keen on this one.

Track 18: Kelly Llorenna – Heart Of Gold

More irritating vocals and a highly generic dance hook.

Track 19: Milk Inc – Walk On Water

Yet more annoying, generic vocals.  The tune’s pretty awful too.

Track 20: Jan Wayne – Because The Night

Starts off as a fairly pointless cover of the Patti Smith classic, then it turns into an uninspired dance track.  The tune’s good, ’cause it’s a good song originally, but I get very irritated by covers like this.

Track 21: Lasgo – Pray

Utterly grating vocals, generic tune.

Track 22: Scooter – Posse

The shouty vocals are a bit daft, but the tune is good.

Track 23: Coldplay – In My Place

It’s Coldplay-by-numbers – dull and depressing.

Track 24: Oasis – Little By Little

Good atmosphere, but it’s too slow for me, and the chorus annoys me.

Track 25: U2 – Electrical Storm

Nice instrumentals, but I find the rest of the track too repetitive.

Track 26: Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott – Hero

I’ve always found the tune to this Spiderman tie-in track really annoying.  Not a fan.

Track 27: Richard Ashcroft – Check The Meaning

The tune’s okay, but it’s pretty forgettable.

Track 28: Eva Cassidy – Imagine

Slow acoustic cover of the John Lennon classic.  As ever with Eva Cassidy, the vocals are gorgeous, but the style is too slow for me.

Track 29: Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles

Really like this tune!  Great track.

Track 30: Badly Drawn Boy – You Were Right

Good, interesting tune – quite like this one.

Track 31: Ronan Keating – I Love It When We Do

Irritating chorus, boring tune.  Not keen.

Track 32: Appleton – Fantasy

Follow-up band comprising half the members of All Saints.  It’s got a slightly rockier edge than the All Saints stuff, but the tune’s not much to write home about.

Track 33: Ms Dynamite – Dy-Na-Mi-Tee

The tune’s a bit repetitive, but the chorus is quite fun.

Track 34: Beenie Man and Janet Jackson – Feel It Boy

Messy track, boring tune.  Nothing interesting here.

Track 35: Daniel Bedingfield – James Dean (I Wanna Know)

Another dull, repetitive tune, though the hook on the chorus is okay.

Track 36: Eminem – Without Me

Classic and hilarious.  Love this one, especially the fact that MTV still to this day mute out the ‘they wanna shut me down on MTV‘ line.

Track 37: Puddle Of Mudd – She Hates Me

Found the theme stupid at the time, still do now.  The tune’s okay though.

Track 38: Bowling For Soup – Girl All The Bad Guys Want

Great track!  Loved it then, love it now.  Classic piece of pop-punk.

Track 39: Supergrass – Grace

Nice feelgood tune, quite like this one.

Track 40: Status Quo – Jam Side Down

Amazed that enough people were still buying new Status Quo singles in 2002 that this actually charted!

This track’s quite refreshing for a 2002 playlist – it’s the same kind of classic rock that Quo have always done.

Track 41: Raven Maize – Fascinated

Repetitive, boring dance track.

Track 42: Who Da Funk and Jessica Eve – Shiny Disco Balls

Dull dance track with daft, irritating vocals.

Track 43: Paul Oakenfold – Starry Eyed Surprise

Another uninspired dance track with ‘bonus’ generic rap over the top.  A poor end to a poor Now! compilation.