Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #60

Day 60 brings us to Now! #60, which was released on 21st March 2005.

March 2005
This was how the world looked in March 2005. MySpace was a huge thing, which meant that surprised-looking bathroom selfies with headphones draped around one’s neck were also a huge thing.

Let’s see what music sounded like now that I was in my twenties.

Now! That's What I Call Music #60
Track 1: Gwen Stefani – What You Waiting For?

Great tune, great atmosphere, interesting vocals – I’ve always really liked this one.

Track 2: Sunset Strippers – Falling Stars

Remix of Waiting For A Star To Fall by Boy Meets Girl.  Love the song, obviously prefer the original version, but this is still nice to hear.

Track 3: Kylie Minogue – I Believe In You

Great synth instrumentals at the start, and I quite like the vocals.  Good track.

Track 4: McFly – All About You

The tune’s irritating, and the song’s far too cheesy for me.

Track 5: Nelly and Tim McGraw – Over And Over

This one’s not interesting enough for me – it’s pretty forgettable.

Track 6: Lemar – If There’s Any Justice

Good atmosphere, good tune – quite like this one.

Track 7: Girls Aloud – I’ll Stand By You

Utterly pointless cover of the Pretenders classic.  As ever, I feel obliged to point out that this was the official Children In Need single for 2004, and therefore the ‘point’ was to raise money for charity, but it would still have been better if they’d actually done something new and interesting with the song.

Track 8: Uniting Nations – Out Of Touch

Dance cover of the Hall & Oates classic.  It doesn’t quite have the wonderful atmosphere of the original, but I do quite like it.

Track 9: Scissor Sisters – Filthy/Gorgeous

Great song – awesome tune, highly danceable.

Track 10: The Chemical Brothers – Galvanise

I’ve always really liked the tune on this one, and it’s good to nod along to.

Track 11: LL Cool J and 7 Aurelius – Hush

Quite like the backing vocals, but the track’s pretty generic otherwise.

Track 12: Ashanti – Only U

Don’t like the muddiness of the backing track, and the tune is very bland.  The atmosphere’s okay though.

Track 13: Ciara and Petey Pablo – Goodies

Painful whistling on the backing track, terrible rap, awful theme, no melody.  Actively dislike this one.

Track 14: Akon – Locked Up

Boring tune, very repetitive.  Nothing special here.

Track 15: Joss Stone – Spoiled

The tune’s okay, but it’s too slow for my liking.

Track 16: Verbalicious – Don’t Play Nice

Good beat, great head-nodder.  It’s a bit repetitive and tuneless though.

Track 17: The Shapeshifters – Back To Basics

Another great beat, but the lines are a bit messy and there’s not much to the tune.

Track 18: Geri Halliwell – Ride It

Great atmosphere, really interesting intro, good tune.  Really like this one.

Track 19: Lovefreekz – Shine

Like the retro disco tinge on this dance track.

Track 20: Reflekt and Delline Bass – Need To Feel Loved

Some nice, atmospheric lines going on here – good piece of chillout.

Track 21: Soul Central and Kathy Brown – Strings Of Life (Stronger On My Own)

The instrumentals give this track a decidedly early ’90s dance vibe, which is no bad thing.

Track 22: Styles & Breeze – Heartbeatz

Generic, repetitive dance track with saccharine vocals.  Not my thing at all.

Track 23: U2 – Vertigo

Great guitar riff, great singalong chorus.  Really like this track.

Track 24: The Killers – Somebody Told Me

A classic!  Great track – I remember seeing this live at T in the Park 2005.  Brilliant lyrics, brilliant tune.

Track 25: Stereophonics – Dakota

Nice interesting spiky instrumentals, and the vocals are a lot more upbeat than most Stereophonics tracks.  Quite like this.

Track 26: Keane – This Is The Last Time

Dull and saccharine, not keen on this one.

Track 27: Bloc Party – So Here We Are

Very repetitive instrumentals, boring vocals.  Not for me.

Track 28: Athlete – Wires

I like the piano, and the atmosphere’s nice, but it’s too slow for me.

Track 29: Robbie Williams – Misunderstood

Dull tune, and again it’s too slow.

Track 30: Ronan Keating and Yusuf Islam – Father And Son

We’ve sort of already had this on Now! #33, in that we’ve already had the Boyzone version (with Ronan Keating on lead vocals) and this is the Ronan Keating solo version.  The instrumentals are a bit different on this version.  It’s also got guest vocals from Yusuf Islam, who used to be known as Cat Stevens and did the original song, thus making this a semi-cover.

Track 31: Darius – Live Twice

Boring and saccharine.  Not my thing.

Track 32: Daniel Bedingfield – Wrap My Words Around You

Good beat, like the guitar, but the tune’s not interesting enough for me.

Track 33: Lucie Silvas – Breathe In

Good instrumentals, but the vocals are dull and uninspired.

Track 34: Doves – Black And White Town

Repetitive, droning tune.  Not a fan of this one.

Track 35: The Bravery – An Honest Mistake

I remember seeing this lot at T in the Park 2005 – they had a lot of bottles thrown at them and were really pissed off about it!  This was their only real hit from what I remember.  I quite like the song, to be honest.

Track 36: Freefaller – Do This! Do That!

Quite like this pop-punk track – it’s got a good tune.

Track 37: Thirteen Senses – Thru The Glass

Great eerie atmosphere on the intro, then it launches into a solid rock track.  Good stuff.

Track 38: Feeder – Tumble And Fall

I normally like Feeder, but this one’s too slow and drone-y for me.

Track 39: Raghav, Frankey Maxx and Jucxi D – Angel Eyes

I’m not keen on the rap, but otherwise it’s an okay song.

Track 40: JoJo – Baby It’s You

Highly irritating vocals, bad rap, generic tune.  Not my cup of tea.

Track 41: Atomic Kitten – Cradle

Super saccharine and too slow, and the tune is bland.  Utterly forgettable.

Track 42: Brian McFadden and Delta Goodrem – Almost Here

Great atmosphere on this one.  It’s slow and cheesy so I shouldn’t like it, but I do.

Track 43: Tony Christie and Peter Kay – (Is This The Way To) Amarillo

The Comic Relief song for 2005, which was just a re-release of the original (Tony Christie didn’t re-record it or anything).  Peter Kay is credited despite not contributing to the song – his contribution was of course the legendary video.  (I have linked to the original complete video, so I should probably include a warning that it contains Jimmy Savile.  The fascinating media practice of performing damnatio memoriae on anything involving Savile since his crimes became public knowledge is briefly covered here.)

For only the second time in sixty Now! compilations, we have avoided any ‘Not on Spotify’ incidents!  This makes me very happy.

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 #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.