Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #68

Day 68 takes us to Now! #68, which was released on 19th November 2007.

November 2007
This is how the world looked in November 2007. Well, it did if you were in a smoky neon synthpop club with your boyfriend, which is frankly the best place to be when you’re twenty-two.

It’s the time of year for party tracks.  Don’t disappoint me, Now! compilers!

Now! That's What I Call Music #68
Track 1: Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love

Lovely tune, quite like this one.

Track 2: Take That – Rule The World

I’ve always found this one a bit jarring, because the verse and chorus are two beautiful tunes that don’t really work with each other.  Just when you’re enjoying one, it breaks the mood by switching to the other.  Should have been two separate songs.

Track 3: Kylie Minogue – 2 Hearts

I like the stripped-back instrumentals at the start – it gives the track lots of edge and atmosphere.  The vocals are great too.

Track 4: Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse – Valerie

I mentioned this cover four days ago in my review of the Zutons original on Now! #64.  It’s a great, bombastic big band version, and I really like it, but the classic-rock-tinged original still has the slight edge for me.

Track 5: Sugababes – About You Now

Quite like this tune – nice solid pop song.

Track 6: Kanye West – Stronger

Really like this atmospheric electro-infused track – it’s probably the best song Kanye West ever did.

Track 7: Craig David – Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance)

It’s based around a sample of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, which is obviously appreciated, but the rest of the track is very generic and just makes me want to go listen to Let’s Dance instead.

Track 8: Sean Kingston – Beautiful Girls

Pretty tune, quite like this one.  At the time, because I wasn’t following chart music very closely, I kept getting it mixed up with Mika’s Big Girls (You Are Beautiful).  The songs are very different, but that’s the power of a title.

Track 9: Shayne Ward – No U Hang Up

I like the electro-tinged instrumentals – it’s getting into that late ’00s era when that was in vogue, yay! – but the vocals are too cheesy for me.

Track 10: Timbaland, DOE and Keri Hilson – The Way I Are

Oh, it’s this one!  That electro hook is absolutely classic.  Great atmospheric track.

Track 11: Britney Spears – Gimme More

It’s Britney, bitch‘.  I remember everyone found this comeback a bit laughable at the time, but it was sampled brilliantly a few years later when she did Scream And Shout with will.i.am.  I really like the electro bassline on this one, too.

Track 12: Rihanna – Shut Up And Drive

Great guitar on this one – it’s an unusual style for Rihanna, but I really like it.

Track 13: Girls Aloud – Sexy! No No No…

Awesome epic atmosphere – it builds really nicely at the start and then launches into a brilliantly frenetic rock-tinged song.  Big fan of this one.

Track 14: Robyn and Kleerup – With Every Heartbeat

Quite like the chilled-out backing track, but the vocals are too high-pitched for me.

Track 15: Enrique Iglesias – Tired Of Being Sorry

Nice Latin tinge, though it jars slightly with the electro instrumentals.

Track 16: Groove Armada and Mutya Buena – Song 4 Mutya (Out Of Control)

Nice retro ’80s-sounding backing track, but I’m not hugely keen on the vocal style constantly veering between sung and spoken.

Track 17: Se:Sa and Sharon Phillips – Like This Like That

Nice upbeat track, with more retro instrumentals.  Very danceable.

Track 18: Ida Corr and Fedde Le Grand – Let Me Think About It

There’s a bit too much going on in this dance track, and it doesn’t all work together.

Track 19: Axwell and Max C – I Found U

Bit of a throwback to early ’90s dance, with some added ’70s retro instrumentals for good measure.  The tune’s boring though.

Track 20: Freaks – The Creeps (Get On The Dancefloor)

Another dull tune, with a very repetitive backing track.

Track 21: Peter Gelderblom – Waiting 4

House remix of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ By The Way.  It’s okay, but it’s one of those ones where I just want to listen to the original instead.

Track 22: David Guetta and Chris Willis – Love Is Gone

Some very irritating siren-sounding instrumentals in the middle of this one, but otherwise it’s quite a good upbeat electro track.

Track 23: Plain White Ts – Hey There Delilah

Pretty tune, but it’s a bit too acoustic-y and twee for my liking.

Track 24: James Blunt – 1973

Always love a 20th-century-inspired title!  Unfortunately the tune is not 20th-century-inspired – I was hoping it would be four-on-the-floor glam rock.  Instead, it’s a fairly standard melancholy one from James Blunt – pretty tune, but not really my style.

Track 25: Newton Faulkner – Dream Catch Me

Boring tune, irritating twangy guitar.  Not keen.

Track 26: The Hoosiers – Worried About Ray

Interesting instrumentals, good atmosphere, but the vocals irritate me.

Track 27: Scouting For Girls – She’s So Lovely

This one has always annoyed me – I find the tune and theme very twee.

Track 28: Feist – 1234

Too acoustic-y for me, and again I find the vocals irritating.

Track 29: Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight

We’ve already had this one on Now! #12!  I don’t care how awesome that 2007 Dairy Milk ad with the gorilla was – there’s no excuse for repeating songs!

As ever, see the link for my review.

Track 30: Avril Lavigne – When You’re Gone

Lovely piano at the start, but the vocals are too high-pitched and hurt my head.

Track 31: McFly – The Heart Never Lies

Horribly saccharine and repetitive.  Not my kind of thing at all.

Track 32: Amy MacDonald – Mr Rock And Roll

Nice tune – if I were in a folk-rock mood I would absolutely love it, but I’ve not been that way inclined lately.

Track 33: KT Tunstall – Hold On

Not keen on the jarring guitar lines at the start, but it’s got quite a good atmosphere.

Track 34: The Killers and Lou Reed – Tranquilise

I shouldn’t like this, as the lines are sort of messy and jarring, but it actually works really well to create an awesome epic atmosphere.

Track 35: Stereophonics – It Means Nothing

Dull and drone-y, not a fan of this one.

Track 36: Peter, Björn & John and Victoria Bergsman – Young Folks

Oh, it’s this one.  I’ve always found that whistling really annoying, especially due to its use in the Homebase adverts!

Track 37: Freemasons and Bailey Tzuke – Uninvited

Great atmosphere, but the vocals are irritatingly generic.

Track 38: Mika – Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)

Daft theme, but it’s quite nice and feelgood.  At the time, because I wasn’t following chart music very closely, I kept getting it mixed up with Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls…oh, wait, I’ve done that anecdote.  Great bassline and retro feel, anyway.

Track 39: Amy Winehouse – Tears Dry On Their Own

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Amy Winehouse on track 4.

Great tune though, quite like this one.

Track 40: Jennifer Lopez – Do It Well

Some great, epic instrumentals going on here – good stuff.

Track 41: Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry

Slow and cheesy – not keen on this track.

Track 42: Akon – Don’t Matter

Nice tune, but the vocals are a bit too saccharine for me.  Also, it kind of rips off R Kelly’s Ignition.

Track 43: Nicole Scherzinger and will.i.am – Baby Love

Super irritating tune on the vocals!  Don’t like this at all.

Track 44: Westlife – Home

The usual nauseatingly saccharine guff from Westlife.  Time to line up that original version of Let’s Dance.

Three days in a row without a ‘Not on Spotify’ incident!  It would be nice if we’d seen the last of them, but I suspect there will still be a few lurking about.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #66

Day 66 brings us to Now! #66, which came out on 2nd April 2007.

April 2007
This is how the world looked in April 2007, or at least it did if you were drinking with me, Sharpy and Kieran in the pub. I like to think that none of us look any older eleven years later, though I have thankfully stopped dyeing my hair and doing the lazy roots thing.

I seem to remember that 2007 was not a bad year for chart music.  Let’s see if my memory is correct.

Now! That's What I Call Music #66
Track 1: Mika – Grace Kelly

Great tune, very danceable, interesting vocals.  I’ve always really liked this one, especially the classic-sounding epic atmosphere.

Track 2: Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby

Great rock track – another one that I loved playing on Lego Rock Band.  The Wurzels’ live cover, which I saw at Beautiful Days 2010, is also something to behold.

Track 3: Sugababes and Girls Aloud – Walk This Way

Weak cover of the classic Aerosmith vs. Run DMC version.  It doesn’t really work when you have two artists from the same genre, i.e. girl groups who sing pop.  It was released as the official Comic Relief single for 2007, so hopefully it kept the charity money rolling in.

Track 4: Take That – Patience

This one marks the arrival of what I always considered ‘Fake That’ (the Robbie Williams-less lineup).  Gorgeous song though.

Track 5: Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around…Comes Around

Great instrumentals, good atmosphere, but the vocals are a bit dull in my book.

Track 6: Nelly Furtado – Say It Right

Another great atmosphere and a nice tune.  Quite like this one.

Track 7: Beyoncé – Irreplaceable

Nice, powerful song – you can really hear the disdain coming through the vocals.  Good tune too.

Track 8: Kelis and Cee Lo Green – Lil’ Star

Repetitive intro, takes ages to get going.  Once it does, the tune is okay but the vocals are a bit twee for my liking.

Track 9: Akon and Eminem – Smack That

Great brooding atmosphere – quite like this one.

Track 10: Just Jack – Starz In Their Eyes

Nice retro-tinged guitar and bassline, interesting vocals.  Good stuff.

Track 11: Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The ’80s

One of my favourites, obviously, and something I will always dance to no matter my mood.  The whole ‘I got love for you if you were born in the ’80s, the ’80s‘ section is just a classic dance hook and a great lyric.  Love it to bits.

Track 12: Mason and Princess Superstar – Perfect (Exceeder)

Great beat, great rhythmic vocals, very danceable track.

Track 13: Booty Luv – Boogie 2Nite

Another good beat, and the ’70s disco tinge is also much appreciated.  It’s actually a cover of a song by Tweet, but I’m not familiar with the original.

Track 14: Eric Prydz and Pink Floyd – Proper Education

Dance remix of Another Brick In The Wall.  The samples from the original provide a great atmosphere, but it’s one of those examples where I just want to go and listen to the original song afterwards.

Track 15: Sharam – Party All The Time

Dance cover of Eddie Murphy’s 1985 hit.  Other than the dance beat, not much is added here.  They’ve just sampled the chorus over and over and made it really repetitive.

Track 16: Cascada – Truly Madly Deeply

Eurodance cover of the Savage Garden song.  The original is gorgeous and didn’t deserve to be ruined like this.  Awful.

Track 17: Girls Aloud – I Think We’re Alone Now

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Girls Aloud on track 3.

Interesting cover of the Tiffany classic – there’s some edgy instrumentals added and a really good beat.  It’s quite refreshing to have a cover that’s not entirely pointless, but the vocals are still pretty much identical to the original version.

Track 18: Seamus Haji and KayJay – Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

Dance cover of the Indeep song from 1982.  Is it karaoke night or something?  That’s six covers in a row.  Let’s have some original songs, please.

Track 19: Camille Jones and Fedde Le Grand – The Creeps

Great beat, nice eerie instrumentals.  Really like this one.

Track 20: Jamelia – Beware Of The Dog

I love the Personal Jesus sample, and there’s a nice rhythm to the vocals.  Good track.

Track 21: Gwen Stefani – Wind It Up

That yodeling at the start is just awful!  Once the song gets going, though, it’s quite interesting.

Track 22: JoJo – Too Little, Too Late

Slow, bland ballad, with a depressing tune.  Not my thing.

Track 23: Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This

Pointless cover of the Kelly Clarkson song.  This was the X Factor winner’s single for 2006 and also the Christmas number one, so it still shows up on all the music channels every Christmas time.

Track 24: The Fray – How To Save A Life

The tune’s very depressing-sounding, but at least it builds nicely.

Track 25: The View – Same Jeans

Twee theme, but the tune’s okay, and I quite like the chorus.

Track 26: Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control

Great bassline, great beat, great vocals.  Really like this track.

Track 27: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Catch You

Nice edgy instrumentals, more great bass, interesting vocals.  Another great song.

Track 28: Klaxons – Golden Skans

Interesting track, nice vocals.  Quite like this one.

Track 29: Fall Out Boy – This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race

Great beat, good epic atmosphere, interesting vocals, brilliant rock chorus.  Another awesome song.

Track 30: The Killers – Read My Mind

Like the atmosphere, and the tune is nice.  Disc two of this Now! compilation is really delivering so far!

Track 31: U2 – Window In The Skies

I like the way this one builds, and the chorus is really interesting.

Track 32: Robbie Williams and Pet Shop Boys – She’s Madonna

Great synth line, great tune – really like this collaboration.

Track 33: The Fratellis – Whistle For The Choir

Too acoustic-y for me, and I find the tune pretty generic.

Track 34: The Ordinary Boys – I Luv U

This one’s a little too cheesy and slow for my liking.

Track 35: Snow Patrol – Open Your Eyes

Slow, bland vocals, and those repetitive one-note guitar chords really irritate me.

Track 36: Razorlight – Before I Fall To Pieces

Nice upbeat tempo and feelgood guitar lines.  Quite like this one.

Track 37: Scissor Sisters – She’s My Man

Great guitar riff, great bassline.  Highly danceable track.

Track 38: The Feeling – Love It When You Call

I like the beepy instrumental at the start, and the guitar riff’s quite nice, but the vocals are not edgy enough for my liking.

Track 39: McFly – Sorry’s Not Good Enough

The theme is a bit cheesy, but the instrumentals are interesting.

Track 40: Lily Allen – Alfie

Love the old-timey carnival/big band sound of this one.  Great song, really different to everything else that was going on at the time.

Track 41: Jamie T – Calm Down Dearest

Irritating theme and faux ‘drunk’ vocals.  Not a big fan of this.

Track 42: Sugababes – Easy

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Sugababes on track 3.  This and the Girls Aloud repetition would have been best avoided by leaving off Walk This Way so that we could all have happily forgotten about that one.

This track’s got some very repetitive vocals, but the retro-tinged atmosphere and bassline are great.

Track 43: Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good

Lovely, melancholy track.  Really nice tune.

Track 44: The Proclaimers, Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Daft semi-cover featuring the comedy characters Brian Potter (Peter Kay) from Phoenix Nights and Andy Pipkin (Matt Lucas) from Little Britain.  We’ve already had the original on Now! #13, so see the link for my review of that utter classic.

This recording, which was another song released for Comic Relief 2007, got to number one and outsold the original.  Go figure.

We’ve avoided any ‘Not on Spotify’ moments for a fourth time!

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #65

Day 65 equals Now! #65, which was released on 20th November 2006.

November 2006
This is what the world looked like in November 2006. This is embarrassing levels of hoarding, but I still have that pack of sparklers – I’ve just not finished the packet yet (mainly because I can rarely be bothered to drag Geth outside to light sparklers on Bonfire Night these days). Maybe now we have a proper garden, I’ll make an effort to finish them off this November. Apart from anything else, if the incense sticks I’ve been burning this week are anything to go by, the sparklers are probably well past their best-before-end date by now.

As it’s still the mid-’00s, let’s hope for more rock and less pop, as the former was definitely better at the time.

Now! That's What I Call Music #65
Track 1: Scissor Sisters – I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’

Despite the name, this is a highly danceable track.  Great tune.

Track 2: Shakira and Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie

A classic – love that trumpet intro.

Track 3: Girls Aloud – Something Kinda Ooooh

The tune’s a little generic, but it’s a good solid upbeat pop song.

Track 4: The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger

Oh, it’s this one!  Classic chant-along hook, but it can get super irritating.

Track 5: Amy Winehouse – Rehab

I always found the theme of this one really annoying, but it is a good tune.

Track 6: James Morrison – Wonderful World

Nothing special about this tune – it’s very forgettable.

Track 7: Robbie Williams – Lovelight

Good beat, but I could do with a bit more melody on this one.

Track 8: Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man

Nice soul tinge, but I find the tune dull.

Track 9: Justin Timberlake – SexyBack

Great beat, great atmosphere.  Really like this one.

Track 10: Nelly Furtado and Timbaland – Promiscuous

Repetitive verse, not enough melody.  The chorus is nice and atmospheric though – they should have just had that bit.

Track 11: Beyoncé – Déjà Vu

Very generic-sounding – not keen on this one.

Track 12: Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone – Ridin’

Great atmosphere, quite like this track..

Track 13: Bob Sinclar, Cutee B, Dollarman, Big Ali and Makedah – Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)

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

Basically a cover of C&C Music Factory’s Gonna Make You Sweat with added rapping over the top.  It’s okay, actually.

Track 14: Fedde Le Grand – Put Your Hands Up For Detroit

I couldn’t find a radio edit of this, so I’m having to listen to the whole six minutes.  Repetitive hi-hat intro, annoying repetitive videogame-music hooks, very boring.  It’s probably very danceable if you’ve consumed the right substances.

Track 15: Fergie – London Bridge

Way too messy at the start, and there’s not enough melody for my liking.  Also, the theme is terrible.

Track 16: The Pussycat Dolls – I Don’t Need A Man

Nice tune on the vocals, but in general the track’s not really that interesting.

Track 17: Ne-Yo – Sexy Love

Boring, saccharine, with jarring lines.  Not keen on this at all.

Track 18: Cassie – Me & U

Great atmosphere on the intro, but it’s very generic once it launches into the vocals.

Track 19: Lemar – It’s Not That Easy

I like the mid-century retro tinge, but the tune’s a bit bland.

Track 20: Rihanna – Unfaithful

Love the piano at the beginning – this one’s got a great atmosphere.

Track 21: Westlife – The Rose

Cover of the Bette Midler song.  It’s very typically Westlife, i.e. far too slow and saccharine for me.

Track 22: High School Musical Cast – Breaking Free

It’s a boring tune, and the female vocals are horribly grating and high-pitched!  I’ve had a headache since about thirty seconds in.

Track 23: Razorlight – America

Lovely tune, great chorus – really like this one.

Track 24: Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

Another great festival anthem from Snow Patrol, though it’s kind of slow so I have to be in the right mood for it.

Track 25: Paolo Nutini – Last Request

Boring tune, too slow, cheesy lyrics.  Not my thing.

Track 26: Keane – Nothing In My Way

I quite like the atmosphere, but again it’s too slow for me.

Track 27: The Feeling – Never Be Lonely

The tune’s okay, but it’s too cheesy – there’s not enough edge for me.

Track 28: Kasabian – Empire

Finally, something a bit more upbeat!  Great track, really like this one.

Track 29: The Killers – When You Were Young

Really like the riff and the atmosphere – good stuff.

Track 30: Pink – U + Ur Hand

It’s a bit repetitive, until it gets to the singalong chorus, which is great.

Track 31: Lily Allen – LDN

Great feelgood track – I’ve always really liked this one.

Track 32: All Saints – Rock Steady

All Saints making a comeback.  It feels like that came around fast.  This song’s actually better than most of their old stuff – I really like the beat and the atmosphere.

Track 33: Simon Webbe – Coming Around Again

Good beat, but the tune’s pretty bland.

Track 34: Jamelia – Something About You

Great atmosphere, but again the tune on the vocals is just not interesting enough for me.

Track 35: Bodyrox and Luciana – Yeah Yeah

Irritating backing track, irritating vocals, no melody.  Not to my liking at all.

Track 36: David Guetta and The Egg – Love Don’t Let Me Go (Walking Away)

Mash-up of The Egg’s Walking Away and David Guetta’s Love Don’t Let Me Go.  It’s pretty messy, and the original tracks aren’t exciting enough in my book to provide any interest.

Track 37: Cascada – Everytime We Touch

Another reminder from your friendly local proofreader that ‘every time’ should be two words – there’s no such word as ‘everytime’.

Cheesy vocals, generic trance backing track.  The chorus is a cover of the Maggie Reilly track of the same name (which was thus responsible for the grammatical error) from 1992, but thankfully I’m not familiar enough with the original to be as offended as I usually am by trance covers.

Track 38: Michael Gray and Shelly Poole – Borderline

The sample of ’70s hit Ready For Your Love gives this track a nice retro tinge, but it’s otherwise pretty bland.

Track 39: Beatfreakz – Superfreak

Pointless cover of the Rick James classic, Super Freak (not sure why Beatfreakz made it all one word).  This sounds more like a remix than a cover, but I can’t find enough information on it to be sure.

Track 40: El Chombo – Chacarrón

Daft novelty song made famous through internet memes and such.  Nothing redeeming here.

Track 41: Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces

Great atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit dull in my book.

Track 42: McFly – Star Girl

Extremely bland tune, very forgettable.

Track 43: Matt Willis – Hey Kid

I like the instrumentals, but it’s too slow and I find the vocals boring.

Track 44: David Hasselhoff – Jump In My Car

Daft cover of the ’70s rock classic from the Hoff.  I’m not familiar with the original, but I’m guessing this cover’s probably pointless.  I actually quite like it, so I should definitely make sure to check out the original.

Track 45: Meat Loaf – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now

Super dramatic cover of the song made famous by Céline Dion (for all the drama about how Meat Loaf always saw it as his song, see the Wikipedia page).  It’s the kind of epic, atmospheric power ballad that Meat Loaf does best, and this version is fantastic, although I do really like the Céline Dion one as well.