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.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #52

Day 52 equals Now! #52, which came out on 22nd July 2002.

July 2002
This is the way the world looked in July 2002. It’s a reference image for one of the many horror screenplays I was writing at the time. While on holiday in Kos, Greece, my mates and I had to walk along this creepy road every night to get to the best club on the island, and this was the result.

Let’s see what dodgy trance and other chart hits we would have been dancing to in the clubs of Kardamena.

Now! That's What I Call Music #52
Track 1: Ronan Keating – If Tomorrow Never Comes

Super saccharine, irritating ballad.  Not my kind of thing.

Track 2: Liberty X – Just A Little

I always quite liked this one.  I’m not sure why, ’cause it’s not the kind of style I’d normally be into at all.

Track 3: George Michael – Freeek!

The song’s great, but the video‘s even better!

Track 4: Sugababes – Freak Like Me

Wonderful use of the Are Friends Electric? sample.  Great track.

Track 5: Kylie Minogue – Love At First Sight

Good danceable tune, nodding along quite happily here.

Track 6: Enrique Iglesias – Escape

It’s a great tune, but the theme is super creepy!

Track 7: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Get Over You

Great pop tune, quite like this one.

Track 8: S Club Juniors – One Step Closer

Urgh, it’s S Club Juniors.  Even more irritating than their adult counterparts.  Two of them would grow up to be Rochelle Humes and Frankie Bridge from the Saturdays, fact fans.

The track is as cheesy and irritating as you might expect from eight singing twelve-year-olds.

Track 9: Nigel & Marvin – Follow Da Leader

Daft chant-along song.  I actually quite like it.

Track 10: Scooter – The Logical Song

Hilariously random dance cover of the Supertramp classic.  Always had a soft spot for this.

Track 11: Dee Dee – Forever

Uninspired, irritating dance track with super annoying vocals.

Incidentally, my friend Sarah calls me Dee Dee, but I’d rather not be associated with this lot (who are a Belgian group of dance producers, apparently).

Track 12: Flip & Fill – Shooting Star

More irritating vocals, and the tune’s very grating too.  Not keen on this one.

Track 13: Paffendorf – Be Cool

The hook’s okay, but it’s pretty repetitive.

Track 14: Kelly Llorenna – Tell It To My Heart

Super irritating chorus – not a fan of this one.

Track 15: Shy FX, T-Power and Di – Shake Ur Body

Good upbeat track with interesting instrumentals – quite like it.

Track 16: Tim Deluxe and Sam Obernik – It Just Won’t Do

Highly irritating vocals, repetitive tune.  Not my thing.

Track 17: Shakedown – At Night

Oh, it’s this one.  Annoying tune, dull beat.

Track 18: Moony – Dove (I’ll Be Loving You)

Another boring tune.

Track 19: Intenso Project – Luv Da Sunshine

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

Repetitive and dull.  This is becoming a bit of a theme.

Track 20: 4 Strings – (Take Me Away) Into The Night

Can I have an interesting tune soon, please?  And preferably not a dance track as well.  The bassline’s okay, though.

Track 21: Mad’house – Like A Prayer

Pointless Madonna tribute act doing a pointless cover of Like A Prayer.  I have no idea why bands like this were actually in the charts in the early ’00s.  Why not just listen to the original?

Track 22: S Club 7 – You

Another awful cheesy track from S Club 7.  Nothing redeeming about this at all.

Track 23: Atomic Kitten – It’s OK!

The vocal is at least interesting, but it’s still very cheesy and annoying.

Track 24: Britney Spears – I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman

Awful cheesy song released to tie in with Spears’ awful movie, Crossroads.

Track 25: Ashanti – Foolish

Some interesting lines on the backing track, but it’s otherwise pretty dull.

Track 26: Mary J Blige – No More Drama

The tune’s quite nice, but the atmosphere’s a little depressing.

Track 27: NSYNC – Girlfriend

I’ve always quite liked this tune – it’s got a good atmosphere too.

Track 28: Christina Milian – When You Look At Me

Another good tune – things are picking up!

Track 29: Nelly – Hot In Herre

Stupid theme, but the tune’s a classic!  It was played at pretty much every nightclub in 2002.

Track 30: Ms Dynamite – It Takes More

Great tune, great atmosphere.  Really good track.

Track 31: Omero Mumba – Lil’ Big Man

‘Not on Spotify’ Type 3: Can’t Find It Anywhere!

It looks like the Now! compilers have finally exhausted the stock of poorer-quality Samantha Mumba tunes, ’cause they’ve resorted to including this appalling offering from her little brother.  This song is so awful that neither Spotify, YouTube or DailyMotion have it available for listening, so we’ll have to move on!

Track 32: Aaliyah – Rock The Boat

Boring tune, not keen on this one.

Track 33: The Reelists – Freak Mode

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

Nice tune, but I don’t like the vocals.

Track 34: Robbie Williams and Maxi Jazz – My Culture

Great track, really like this one – there’s some awesome chant-along bits.

Track 35: Amy Studt – Just A Little Girl

Highly irritating vocals from the off.  Everything about this track is horrifically grating.

Track 36: Sheryl Crow – Soak Up The Sun

Nice guitar line, but it’s a bit boring otherwise.

Track 37: Doves – Pounding

Good head-nodder if you ignore the drone-y vocals.

Track 38: Space Cowboy – I Would Die For You

It’s quite an interesting track, if a bit messy.

Track 39: Idlewild – American English

Nice tune from my fellow Edinburghers here.  Good singalong chorus.

Track 40: Puddle Of Mudd – Blurry

The tune’s pretty uninspired, but it’s nice to hear some rock among a world of bad dance tracks.

Track 41: Moby – We Are All Made Of Stars

Good beat, interesting guitar line – it’s just the vocals that are a bit dull.

Track 42: Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out

I know there was at least one track off Oasis’ Heathen Chemistry album that I actually liked, but this was not it.  Dull and drone-y track, not keen.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #51

Day 51 brings us to Now! #51, which was released on 25th March 2002.

March 2002
This is how the world looked in March 2002. I am really glad that I don’t work as agency waiting staff any more! Black skirt and white shirt was the boring uniform we all had to wear. I’m just going to have a minute of remembrance for that awesome fern wallpaper, which my folks got rid of a few years back as part of their ongoing project to have all the walls in the house painted in plain colours.

Let’s see what was in the charts as I was finishing high school.

Now! That's What I Call Music #51
Track 1: Enrique Iglesias – Hero

Nice tune, but the vocals are far too saccharine for me.

Track 2: Blue – Fly By II

I can’t really remember how this differs from the original Fly By, but never mind.  It’s a nice enough tune, with a good singalong chorus.

Track 3: Ali G and Shaggy – Me Julie

A novelty song by a comedy character shouldn’t have this good an atmosphere.  Shaggy’s contribution helps as well.

Track 4: Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru This

When I was in my final year of high school, pretty much every first year had this as their ringtone (this was the era when MIDI ringtones were a thing).  They would all sit on the bus showing off their ringtones on their Nokias, which is probably why I mostly walked to school that year.  (My MIDI ringtone on my Nokia 3310 was the Bergerac theme tune.  I never claimed to be a normal teenager.)

Um, the track’s okay, actually, when it’s not being MIDI-beeped at you from several different phones at once.

Track 5: Aaliyah – More Than A Woman

Great instrumentals, great atmosphere.  Not so keen on the vocals, but it’s an okay track in general.

Track 6: Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – Somethin’ Stupid

Fairly pointless cover of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra classic.  Considered a Christmas song nowadays, as it was the Christmas number one for 2001.

Track 7: R Kelly – The World’s Greatest

Dull, cheesy, repetitive.  Not my thing.

Track 8: S Club 7 – Have You Ever

Saccharine ballad, irritating tune.  Next, please.

Track 9: Britney Spears – Overprotected

Annoying theme, but I quite like the tune.

Track 10: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Murder On The Dancefloor

I always quite liked this track, although it became a bit overplayed when Sophie Ellis-Bextor did Strictly many years later.

Track 11: Kylie Minogue – In Your Eyes

Great atmosphere, great pop tune.  Really like this one.

Track 12: DB Boulevard – Point Of View

Quite a nice tune, until the annoying vocals kick in.

Track 13: Lasgo – Something

Great atmosphere, but the vocals are really generic.

Track 14: PPK – Resurection

Yes, they did spell ‘resurrection’ with a missing ‘r’, and yes, it is killing me to have to type it out like that.

It’s a dance track with a nice hook – quite like the tune.

Track 15: DJ Aligator Project – The Whistle Song

Yes, they did spell ‘alligator’ with a missing ‘l’.  Musicians must have had it in for proofreaders in 2002.

Irritating, repetitive track with a lot of whistle blowing, as you might expect.

Track 16: Flip & Fill and Kelly Llorenna – True Love Never Dies

Lovely tune on the vocals – really quite like this one.

Track 17: Hear’Say – Everybody

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

Nauseatingly cheesy theme, irritating tune.  Just awful.

Track 18: Allstars – The Land Of Make Believe

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

Very bad cover of the Bucks Fizz classic.  Poor quality vocals, muddy backing track, generally pointless cover.

Track 19: Victoria Beckham – A Mind Of Its Own

Messy, jarring track.  Not keen on this at all.

Track 20: Steps – Words Are Not Enough

Cheesy, boring track.  Steps had really gone downhill at this point.

Track 21: Geri Halliwell – Calling

Nice atmosphere, classic sound.  Quite like this one.

Track 22: Rik Waller – I Will Always Love You

Uninspired cover of the Dolly Parton track in Whitney Houston style.  Unless you’ve got a better voice than Whitney – and who does? – you should leave this song well enough alone.

Track 23: Stereophonics – Handbags And Gladrags

It’s a little less depressing than most Stereophonics tracks, but that’s not saying much.

Track 24: Nickelback – How You Remind Me

When I get annoyed by this song, I just remember a show on afternoon TV at the time where kids were encouraged to phone in and sing along to their favourite songs.  This song is a lot better when the lyric about having ‘been down into the bottom of every bottle‘ is being creepily sung by seven-year-olds.

Track 25: Alien Ant Farm – Movies

Good pop-punk head-nodder – quite like this one.

Track 26: Sum 41 – In Too Deep

Another pleasant pop-punk tune – it reminds me of all the house parties I went to at the time.

Track 27: Puretone – Addicted To Bass

I always really liked this one – great vocals, great bassline (as you might expect).

Track 28: Christina Milian – AM To PM

Great tune, good singalong chorus.  A favourite from that time.

Track 29: Ja Rule and Ashanti – Always On Time

Quite like the chorus on this one – I was really annoyed when it was covered by Raye and Mr Easi as Decline a few months ago.

Track 30: City High and Eve – Caramel

Irritating vocals, dull tune, not keen.

Track 31: Beverley Knight – Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Boring track, nothing interesting here at all.

Track 32: Samantha Mumba – Lately

Another bland tune, very forgettable.

Track 33: Backstreet Boys – Drowning

Dull, saccharine ballad – not keen.

Track 34: Mary J Blige – Dance For Me

It’s nice to have an upbeat track after some very dull ones, but the tune’s pretty uninspired.

Track 35: Afroman – Crazy Rap

The guitar’s nice, but the endless incoherent shouting at the start is really irritating.  Once it gets into the track, it’s pretty dull and tuneless.  Also, I’m listening to the explicit version, and I can’t imagine any of these lyrics would have been allowed on the radio or on a Now! compilation – maybe they just played an instrumental version or something.

Track 36: Princess Superstar and High & Mighty – Bad Babysitter

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

Loved this one at the time!  It was often played at Uluru, which was the pub that my mates and I frequented during my final year of high school.

Track 37: Platinum 45 and More Fire Crew – Oi!

Tuneless and repetitive.  Not a fan of this at all.

Track 38: Goldtrix and Andrea Brown – It’s Love (Trippin’)

More repetitive beats, and the tune’s very forgettable.

Track 39: X-Press 2 and David Byrne – Lazy

I like the piano instrumentals, but I’ve always found the vocals really annoying.

Track 40: Jakatta – So Lonely

Fairly pointless cover/remix of the ’80s hit Ever So Lonely, using the original vocals.

Track 41: The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar

Tuneless and messy.  Not for me.

Track 42: Lange and Skye – Drifting Away

Beat-driven track that is so dull I can’t concentrate on it.

Track 43: Dreamcatcher – I Don’t Wanna Lose My Way

The tune’s nice, but it’s pretty generic and forgettable trance.