Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #61

Day 61 equals Now! #61, which came out on 25th July 2005.

July 2005
This is the way the world looked in July 2005. I had apparently got to that stage in my life and in world history where all photos were either selfies (or ‘MySpace photos’ as they were called in the ’00s), pictures of my cat sleeping in unlikely places, or drunken pub pictures. I’m sure my friends will thank me if I stick to the selfies and cat pictures.

Hoping for some festival rock anthems here and not too much saccharine pop!  Fingers crossed.

Now! That's What I Call Music #61
Track 1: James Blunt – You’re Beautiful

Overplayed and ludicrously saccharine, but it’s been parodied so much and become so infamous that I actually find it quite funny now.

Track 2: 2Pac and Elton John – Ghetto Gospel

Track from 2Pac’s posthumous 2004 album.  It samples Indian Sunset, hence the Elton John credit.  The sample is beautifully used, and works really well with the rap here.

Track 3: Coldplay – Speed Of Sound

Nice tune, nice piano, nice atmosphere.  Quite like this one.

Track 4: Gorillaz and De La Soul – Feel Good Inc

Great beat, great danceable track.  Good stuff.

Track 5: The Black Eyed Peas – Don’t Phunk With My Heart

There’s a bit too much going on here for me, but the sung vocal is quite nice.

Track 6: Audio Bullys and Nancy Sinatra – Shot You Down

Yes, their grammatically correct name should be ‘Audio Bullies’.  Urgh.

The track is basically a remix of Nancy Sinatra’s version of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).  The sample is great, but the rest of the track is pretty dull.

Track 7: Jem – They

Oh, it’s this one!  Really like the vocal harmony hook that runs throughout the track.

Track 8: Natalie Imbruglia – Shiver

It’s quite a nice atmosphere, but the tune’s not interesting enough for me.

Track 9: KT Tunstall – Other Side Of The World

Boring tune, and it’s too acoustic-y for me.

Track 10: Oasis – Lyla

Bland Oasis-by-numbers track.  Nothing interesting here at all.

Track 11: Razorlight – Somewhere Else

Nice anthemic festival rock, really like this one.

Track 12: Bodyrockers – I Like The Way

Love the guitar riff, but it takes until the chorus for the track to get going properly.

Track 13: Kaiser Chiefs – Everyday I Love You Less And Less

It should be ‘every day’, not ‘everyday’.

It’s a great song though – that first Kaiser Chiefs album was really good.  I remember seeing them play an awesome set at T in the Park 2005.

Track 14: Caesars – Jerk It Out

Oh, it’s this one!  Great hook, great tune – really like this track.

Track 15: The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It

Not the most exciting track off the Hot Fuss album, but it’s still a really nice song.

Track 16: Hard-Fi – Hard To Beat

Really like this track – interesting tune, good beat.

Track 17: Weezer – Beverly Hills

Good rock beat, but the tune’s a bit lacking for me.

Track 18: Rob Thomas – Lonely No More

I quite like the tune until it gets to the uninspired chorus.

Track 19: The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost

At the time, I was really not keen on the Magic Numbers as I found their stuff very twee.  I’m still not the biggest fan, but I don’t hate this track as much as I used to.  The tune’s okay.

Track 20: Jack Johnson – Good People

Not my kind of thing – it’s too acoustic-y and I’m not keen on the tune.

Track 21: U2 – Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own

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

Track 22: Akon – Lonely

The sample of the sped-up chipmunk version of Bobby Vinton’s Mr Lonely is inspired, and the rest of the track’s okay to listen to.

Track 23: Mario – Let Me Love You

Boring, generic tune.  Not my kind of thing.

Track 24: Gwen Stefani and Eve – Rich Girl

Interesting vocals, great take on If I Were A Rich Man.  It’s actually a cover of the Louchie Lou and Michie One song from 1993, but I’m not familiar with that version.

Track 25: Will Smith – Switch

Great beat, but the song’s a bit dull.

Track 26: MVP – Roc Ya Body (Mic Check 1 2)

Really like the sung vocals on the chorus, and it’s got a good beat.

Track 27: Mariah Carey – It’s Like That

Generic tune, not keen on this one.

Track 28: Nelly – N Dey Say

Love the sample of Spandau Ballet’s True, but the rap over the top just annoys me.

Track 29: Bobby Valentino – Slow Down

Boring tune, nothing redeeming here.

Track 30: Faith Evans – Again

Not keen on the tune – just find it very bland.

Track 31: Joss Stone – Don’t Cha Wanna Ride

Good beat, but again the tune’s pretty dull.

Track 32: Roll Deep – The Avenue

I like the sample of ’80s hit Heartache Avenue, though I’m not too keen on the rap over the top.  This seems to be a theme today.

Track 33: Charlotte Church – Crazy Chick

This was the album where Charlotte Church basically rebelled against her wholesome opera-voiced kid image and went pop instead.  The song’s a bit twee, and the tune’s nothing special.

Track 34: Rachel Stevens – So Good

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

Track 35: Inaya Day – Nasty Girl

Cover of the ’80s Vanity 6 song.  Good beat, but it’s another dull, generic tune.

Track 36: Deep Dish – Say Hello

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

Quite like the tune on the instrumentals, but the vocals annoy me.

Track 37: Freeloaders and The Real Thing – So Much Love To Give

The Real Thing’s contribution here is the sample.  Great tune as a result, but it’s a little repetitive.

Track 38: Kylie Minogue – Giving You Up

Good tune, interesting vocals – quite like this one.

Track 39: Girls Aloud – Wake Me Up

Good atmosphere, but I just don’t find the tune interesting enough.

Track 40: Crazy Frog – Axel F

I mentioned my disdain for this awful ringtone-advert cover of the Harold Faltermeyer track way back in my review of the original on Now! #5.  Why anybody spent money on this stuff is beyond me.

Track 41: Tony Christie – Avenues And Alleyways

Tony Christie still riding his wave of resurgence post-Amarillo.  This is a nice tune and the classic style is a refreshing change from regular chart music.

Track 42: McFly – You’ve Got A Friend

Cover of the Carole King classic.  It’s very uninspired and far too acoustic-y for me.

Track 43: Heather Small – Proud

Re-release of the 2000 hit in honour of 2005’s successful London 2012 Olympics bid.  I literally last heard this two days ago, over the PA while waiting in the start pen for the Blaydon Race – it’s still used a lot for sporting events and things like that.  It’s quite a nice, uplifting song.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #47

Day 47 takes us to Now! #47, which was released on 20th November 2000.

November 2000
This is how the world looked in November 2000 (actually October). Italy probably still has nice weather in the autumn, and I most definitely still wear that hoodie (it’s my favourite hoodie for keeping warm pre and post running).

Let’s see what the hits were going into the winter.

Now! That's What I Call Music #47
Track 1: Robbie Williams – Rock DJ

Great, danceable, singalong track – loved it at the time, love it now.

Track 2: Modjo – Lady (Hear Me Tonight)

I don’t normally like this kind of repetitive turn-of-the-millennium house music, but I quite like the tune on this one.

Track 3: Ronan Keating – Life Is A Rollercoaster

Super annoying chorus, cheesy theme.  Not a fan.

Track 4: Texas – In Demand

Really like this track – great tune.  Love the video with Alan Rickman too.

Track 5: Bon Jovi – It’s My Life

Loved it at the time, still really like it now.  Always had a soft spot for Bon Jovi.

Track 6: U2 – Beautiful Day

The perceived wisdom is that U2 took a nosedive in quality sometime in the mid-’90s, but to be honest I’ve always really liked the stuff off the All That You Can’t Leave Behind album.  This is a nice epic track – I don’t like it as much as I did at the time, but it’s still solid.

Track 7: David Gray – Babylon

Nice chillout track, quite like this one.  I don’t know why I’ve always liked David Gray’s White Ladder album, ’cause it’s not the sort of thing I’d normally be keen on, but I do enjoy most of the tunes.

Track 8: All Saints – Pure Shores

The soundtrack song for the film The Beach.  I really like the tune on the chorus.

Track 9: Spice Girls – Holler

The now-Geri-less Spice Girls with a fairly bland tune.  The end was clearly nigh, especially as they were all launching solo careers.

Incidentally, it always annoys me when British artists sing songs written in American vernacular.  ‘Holler’ is not a word over here!

Track 10: Architechs and Nana – Body Groove

Quite like the hook, but the vocals are irritating.

Track 11: Craig David – 7 Days

Always had a soft spot for this one – really like the theme!  I was really annoyed when it was sampled by Kojo Funds and Raye for Check earlier this year.

Track 12: Samantha Mumba – Body II Body

Love the Ashes To Ashes sample, but the rest of the track is pretty generic.

Track 13: Britney Spears – Lucky

This is a highly cheesy, irritating song.  Thankfully, at the time, some of my mates at school livened it up by coming up with alternative German history themed lyrics:

He’s so lucky
He’s Bismarck
And he tries so hard at this union lark, thinking:
If there’s nothing missing in my reich
Then why won’t the states unify?

As a result, I think of nineteenth-century Germany whenever I hear it.  Good effort, friends!

Track 14: LeAnn Rimes – Can’t Fight The Moonlight

Soundtrack song for the film Coyote Ugly.  It’s okay, but the chorus is a little annoying.

Track 15: S Club 7 – Natural

Quite like the interesting instrumentals on this one, but the vocals are pretty irritating.

Track 16: NSYNC – It’s Gonna Be Me

Timely, as the meme related to this this track actually went viral again about a month ago when NSYNC received their Hollywood Walk Of Fame star.  The track is a great solid pop tune with an awesome atmosphere – good stuff.

Track 17: Anastacia – I’m Outta Love

Great, classic singalong song.  Really like this one!

Track 18: Tom Jones and Heather Small – You Need Love Like I Do

Two great voices on this duet, but I find the song a bit so-so.

Track 19: Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue – Kids

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Robbie Williams.  This duet with Kylie is great, though, so I won’t complain too much.  Nice upbeat track, awesome tune.

Track 20: Coldplay – Trouble

I like the piano intro, but one it launches into the vocals it gets very depressing.

Track 21: Martine McCutcheon – I’m Over You

Nice tune, but the vocals are super saccharine, which puts me right off.

Track 22: Kylie Minogue – On A Night Like This

Repeated artist alert…again.  We already had Kylie on the Kids duet – give some other artists a chance!

This is a great track, though – lovely tune, good atmosphere.

Track 23: Steps – Stomp

Disco-tinged track, very Abba-inspired.  Good solid pop song.

Track 24: Vanessa Amorosi – Absolutely Everybody

Found it highly irritating at the time, still do now.  Twee, annoying theme.

Track 25: Billie Piper – Walk Of Life

Not my favourite Billie Piper track – it’s a bit generic.

Track 26: True Steppers, Dane Bowers and Victoria Beckham – Out Of Your Mind

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

Quite like this one, mainly due to the tune on the chorus.

Track 27: Melanie C – I Turn To You

Gorgeous dance-infused track from Melanie C – beautiful tune.

Track 28: Delerium and Sarah McLachlan – Silence

Classic tune, lovely vocals.

Track 29: Sonique – Sky

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

Slightly messy lines, but the vocal is nice.

Track 30: Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400

There’s a common misconception that ‘Zombie Nation’ is the name of the song and ‘Kernkraft 400’ is the name of the band, but it’s actually the other way round.  This misconception is especially prevalent in the goth/industrial scene, largely due to Grendel calling the track ‘Zombie Nation’ when they covered it.  Great tune, either way.

Track 31: Storm – Time To Burn

Highly irritating squawky/scratchy instrumentals, uninspired vocal sample, generic electro hook.  Not keen.

Track 32: Darude – Feel The Beat

Generic dance track for about two minutes, then it switches gears into a more chilled out version of itself, which is a bit jarring.  After that, there’s some washing machine noise and it goes back to where it was at the start.  Also, I’m pretty sure that’s a sample from 9PM (Till I Come), which is highly uninspired if so.

Track 33: Aurora – Ordinary World

Fairly pointless cover of the Duran Duran song with a dance beat over the top.  I love Duran Duran (as you might be aware by now) so I’m always going to side-eye a bit when somebody attempts a cover.  It’s still a great song, but nothing can touch the original.

Track 34: SuReal – You Take My Breath Away

Boring, uninspired, forgettable dance track.  Not a fan.

Track 35: Madison Avenue – Who The Hell Are You

Too similar to Don’t Call Me Baby – guess they only really had one song in them.

Track 36: Azzido Da Bass – Doom’s Night

Irritating ‘wub wub’ bit at the start, then the rest of the track is fairly tuneless.  Not my thing.

Track 37: Baha Men – Who Let The Dogs Out?

I’ve always quite liked this song and its comedy tone – it soundtracked quite a few summer holidays in the early ’00s for me.  Great chant-along chorus.

Track 38: Nelly – Country Grammar (Hot…)

Generic, messy track.  Too much going on and not enough melody for me.

Track 39: Sisqó – Unleash The Dragon

Nice instrumentals, but the rap is fairly generic.

Track 40: Melanie B – Tell Me

The squeaky intro is annoying, though there’s some interesting stuff going on with the vocals.

Track 41: Louise – Beautiful Inside

Good beat, but the vocal is boring.

Track 42: Gabrielle – Should I Stay

And we return to a dull ballad as the last track of a Now! compilation.  Nothing interesting about this track.