Now! #102 has been released today, 12th April 2019! EDIT: I only just realised that it’s been a whole year today since I started my marathon of the first 100 Now! compilations with Now! #1. Great timing!
Let’s have a look at the Now! compilers’ roundup of what’s been going on in the chart recently.
A decade ago, I would not have believed you if you’d told me I would ever grow to like a Jonas Brothers song. They’ve grown up now, though, and they make much better music. This is a fairly decent pop song, and I always nod along when it’s on the radio.
This one’s not been in the charts since last year, so I’m a bit surprised they’ve held it back for this Now! instalment. As is usually the case with James Arthur’s stuff, it’s too saccharine for me, but I’ll grant you it’s got a good atmosphere on the chorus.
I could have told you that my feelings would not have changed about this ridiculous bastardisation of Andrea Bocelli’s Time To Say Goodbye. Awful interpolation that has me running screaming for the comfort of the original every single time.
Track 13: Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us
One of those tracks that I found a bit slow to begin with and have grown to appreciate. Lovely acoustic track from the A Star Is Born soundtrack (no interest in seeing the film, but the song is gorgeous).
Track 28: Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Cast – This Is Me
Another one where the Now! compilers have been a bit tardy – this track first entered the charts well over a year ago – but it’s a great feelgood musical number, and probably the best song on the soundtrack.
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had James Arthur on track 10.
One of the tracks from the Greatest Showman Reimagined album, where pop stars do karaoke versions of the songs from the musical. It’s okay, but not a patch on the original.
Track 32: Jack Savoretti – Candlelight
This wasn’t a hit – it only got to number 70. As I’ve been discussing since Now! #99, the Now! compilers have recently started to include songs that haven’t actually made the Top 40, but have been featured on hit albums – there’s less crossover than there used to be between the album and singles chart (mainly because the former is for older people like me who prefer classic pop and rock, and the latter is for the kids who like these strange new songs I’m always ranting about on here after listening to the chart on Fridays!). I wasn’t sure about this at first, but I think I’m okay about it now. After all, it’s probably an older demographic who actually still buys Now! albums. The Radio 2 demographic, if you like. This album got to number one, so I think it’s allowed.
Anyway, this track’s got a great atmosphere – lovely eerie instrumentals, lots of piano. Love this kind of epic tune!
Track 33: The 1975 – It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
As I understand it, this is one of the few new tracks on Take That’s recent remastered retrospective. It’s a bit dull until the second chorus kicks in. Also, the self-referential spoken word bit at the end is a bit odd.
Track 36: Hozier – Almost (Sweet Music)
The single only got to number 82, but the album went top ten, getting to number six.
Love this danceable, atmospheric song! So yeah, this is the point where I’m officially on board with the Now! compilers including songs-from-hit-albums that didn’t make the singles chart, because the notion of Rod Stewart still managing to get his new songs onto Now! compilations is the BESTEST THING.
Track 40: Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya and The Greatest Showman Cast – The Greatest Show
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had the Greatest Showman cast on track 28.
Great stompalong number though. Fab track.
Track 41: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
We’ve already had this track on Now! #2! How dare they be so lazy…wait. I can’t really start ranting in this case, because what’s going on here is that the Now! compilers have chosen to include six tracks from Now! #2 in order to advertise the fact that it’s had a re-release on CD today, the same release day as Now! #102. I’m hopeful that this pattern will continue, and will be scouting out the re-release for my collection this weekend!
Anyway, see the link for my review – it was track 16 on Now! #2.
If you spend any time watching the Now! ’80s channel, which often replays the classic TV adverts for the classic ’80s Now! compilations, you will be familiar with this song as the centrepiece for the Now! #2 advert due to it’s ‘hold me now‘ (geddit?) refrain on the chorus. Still a great track, and it was a highlight when I saw Tom Bailey supporting Culture Club in November.
Great choices for those bonus tracks. Could have done with a bit of love for Duran Duran’s New Moon On Monday (track 29) but I’m hopeful for The Reflex if they do this again when they re-release Now! #3!
It’s been a while since I actually did a New Hits Friday post. August, I think? Anyway, here’s a giant catchup of all the hits that have entered the UK Top 40 for the first time in the intervening period. I’ll try not to leave it so long in the future!
Hardy Caprio and One Acen – Best Life
I reviewed this one for Now! #101. Still a highly annoying earworm, made worse by the fact that I’ve really grown to hate the idiom ‘living one’s best life’ this year.
The video is the typical tasteless ‘look at how rich I am’ video beloved of R&B stars, all poolsides and girls in bikinis and helicopters and wasting champagne by pouring it everywhere. It matches the smug lyrics in that respect.
Travis Scott and Frank Ocean – Carousel
No melody whatsoever; incredibly, frustratingly dull. Can’t even be called music in my opinion.
There’s no video for this one yet.
Travis Scott – Stargazing
A bit slow, and the tune’s very dull. Lots of jarring noise in the background too. I guess the plus point is that the lyrics are quite nice.
Again, there’s no video yet. I don’t think Travis Scott is keen on making them!
The video is full of glitter and fabulousness – I highly approve.
Pinkfong – Baby Shark
Daft viral video that’s in the charts because of the new video rules. It’s ridiculous, and also the best thing in the Top 40 at the moment.
The video has small kids in, obviously, and so I find it to be of little interest – it’s the song that makes it.
Freya Ridings – Lost Without You
Pretty voice, but the tune’s very generic and it’s far too slow for me. Advert music, basically.
The video is very floaty and ethereal, with lots of shots of the singer’s hair blowing about all over the place. Quite relaxing to watch.
BTS and Nicki Minaj – Idol
Good upbeat bit of K-Pop – nice to hear something different in the charts! Almost beats Baby Shark. Almost, but NOT QUITE. And for once, the rap (courtesy of Nicki Minaj) actually works quite well with this song.
The video is super colourful and manic! Good stuff.
AJ Tracey – Lo(v/s)er
Lots of out-of-key clanging noises, and an uninspired rap over the top. Bad Spanish too – if you’re talking about a girl, it’s ‘I love a pretty Latina’, not ‘I love a pretty Latino’. (The lyrics online say ‘Latina’ but it definitely sounds like ‘Latino’!) Very repetitive, not keen.
The video is another smug, tasteless montage of bikini-clad girls, poolsides, and ostentatious jewellery, with some guns ‘n’ drugs for good measure.
Bazzi and Camila Cabello – Beautiful
I like the swirly instrumentals, but it’s very cheesy and too slow for my liking.
The video starts off very literally with Camila showing up to a party in an angel costume, and then turns into a full-blown Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet homage.
Dean Lewis – Be Alright
Again, see Now! #101, though I’ll point out additionally that this is a very annoying and incessant earworm!
The video is lots of badly lit shots of a very artfully decorated house that makes me feel bad about my own house.
LSD – Thunderclouds
Another one on Now! #101!
The video is daft and colourful with a flying campervan. Big fan of this one!
Eminem – Fall
Good beat, and I quite like the atmosphere.
The video is all about Eminem getting mardy about bad online reviews, so there’s a lot of arty shots of phones and tablets emitting black smoke monsters, which proceed to chase him around a deserted building like in a horror film. I like the beard, though, it suits him.
Eminem and Joyner Lucas – Lucky You
Another great, epic atmosphere – nice and eerie and looming.
The video is grim-looking and apocalyptic, but considerably enlivened by a comedic interlude halfway through.
Eminem – The Ringer
This one, on the other hand, is really dull. No tune in the background, super repetitive. It also charted the highest. I will never understand people in this century.
There’s no video yet.
Machine Gun Kelly – Rap Devil
Apparently a diss track about Eminem – Scott Mills could only play eight seconds of it on the Official Chart Show. Dull, repetitive, and I’m not into the drama. It goes on for so long that it just gets a bit awkward.
The video is just Machine Gun Kelly rapping the track and looking all tough with a shovel. Nothing interesting here.
Silk City, Diplo, Mark Ronson and Dua Lipa – Electricity
The video is all about Dua Lipa dancing around a New York apartment block with her neighbours during a heatwave, which doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to keep cool. I like the cameos from the other artists though.
Kanye West, Lil’ Pump and Adele Givens – I Love It
Scott could only play seven seconds of this one. People today listen to the most disgusting music. #getoffmylawn
Update after listening to the clean version: boring, repetitive, nothing interesting going on.
The video features a lot of bizarre costumes, but the song is so gross that it’s best listened to on mute.
Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana – Just Got Paid
Another one on Now! #101. Just want to add a seasonal note that I love those cash register noises – they’re very I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day!
The video is a nice colourful pop affair with lots of dancing in launderettes. Good stuff.
David Guetta, Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj and Willy William – Goodbye
Utterly appalling interpolation of Andrea Bocelli’s Time To Say Goodbye. The rest of the track is just a jarring, crackly and awful mishmash of styles, like three different songs layered on top of each other.
The video tells a slightly confusing story in which Jason Derulo appears to be sneaking off after a one-night stand in a London hotel room, though not before pausing to sing a song to the camera. Charming!
Mumford & Sons – Guiding Light
I’m not the biggest fan of Mumford & Sons’ brand of soft-folk-rock, and I find this one pretty dull.
The video is equally boring – just black and white performance footage. Not a fan!
I like the colours and costumes in the video – it’s very pretty.
Lil’ Wayne and XXXTentacion – Don’t Cry
Not enough melody for me.
There’s no video yet, and again there probably won’t be due to XXXTentacion’s death earlier this year.
Lil’ Wayne and Kendrick Lamar – Mona Lisa
I quite like the atmosphere on the piano intro, but I’m not keen on the rap at all (Scott couldn’t play it on the chart show, which tells you everything you need to know). Except for the Milli Vanilli reference, which is just beautifully random!
Again, there’s no video yet.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – Shallow
Acoustic song from the A Star Is Born remake. It’s not my kind of thing, but I’m so relieved to hear something different on the chart – it has melody! Actual melody!
The video is just lots of clips from the film, which is perfectly adequate.
Lady Gaga – Always Remember Us This Way
Another slow piano ballad from the A Star Is Born soundtrack. It’s pretty dull.
Again, the video is just clips from the film.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – I’ll Never Love Again
Yet another ballad that’s too slow and dull for my liking…
…and yet more clips from the film in the video.
6ix9ine and Bobby Shmurda – Stoopid
Generic unmelodious rap with gross lyrics that Scott couldn’t play on the radio.
The video is a pretty low-tech affair (and given that 6ix9ine is wearing a ridiculously blinged-out expensive watch on each wrist, you’d think they could have afforded a better camera), but I do like the colourful car.
Lil’ Baby and Gunna – Drip Too Hard
Boring song, no melody, not my thing.
‘This video may be inappropriate for some users,’ says YouTube, so I’m not looking forward to this. Turns out it’s because it’s a ‘girls in bikinis plus wasted champagne’ theme on acid. Not recommended.
The video starts off with a nice botanical gardens sequence with lots of flowers, but quickly degenerates into ‘showing off my wealth’ cars ‘n’ mansions. Boring.
Cadet and Deno – Advice
Nice funky reggae backing track, but that rap is awful and dull. I do like the comedic theme though!
The video is about a boring night-time petrol station with lots of tacky watch and car product placement.
Jess Glynne – Thursday
Cheesy and boring song.
The video is black and white and equally dull. Also, despite the lyrics, she does wear makeup in every scene.
Bad Bunny and Drake – Mia
Nice upbeat Latin track – quite like this one.
The video is set at a beers ‘n’ bongs garden party and gets pretty dull in places, although I do like the random old people on the porch at the party.
Kodak Black, Travis Scott and Offset – Zeze
Boring, unmelodious, sounds like everything else.
The video is meant to be a comedy story about making a music video, but it’s pretty gross and tasteless due to all the bling and twerking girls. Not my cup of tea.
Little Mix and Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me
One from Now! #101, and another that’s become an incessant earworm for me recently!
The video is a lot of fun with all the pretty costumes.
Rak-Su – I Want You To Freak
That interpolation of Adina Howard’s Freak Like Me! Which has spawned so many cover versions, including most notably the Sugababes version with THAT interpolation of Are Friends Electric! There’s some good guitar going on here, even though it’s fairly generic and the cover/interpolation chain means there’s nothing original about it at all. Great to have an opportunity to ramble on about pop history though, and I never take songs with melody for granted nowadays!
The video is Caribbean-set and a bit generic, but I do like the dancing.
Dua Lipa and Blackpink – Kiss And Make Up
One of the welcome trends of 2018 has been K-Pop acts getting popular enough to enter the UK charts. This isn’t quite as good as BTS’ Idol – it’s a bit generic, and I’m not a huge fan of Dua Lipa’s vocals, but it’s decent enough pop, and any kind of melodious pop is a good thing at the moment, even when it’s as uninspired as this.
There’s no video yet.
D Block Europe, Young Adz, Lil’ Pino and Dirtbike LB – Nassty
Aaaaand we’re back to the offensive lyrics, depressing generic rapping, and dreary unmelodious drone. Awful.
The video is all the usual gross cliches like drugs and expensive cars. Not recommended.
Zara Larsson – Ruin My Life
Too slow and dull for me, and the tune is really generic. Awful message too.
The video has lots of pretty costumes, though, so I quite like it.
Post Malone and Swae Lee – Sunflower
Dull and repetitive song.
The animated video, which ties in with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, is fab though.
The Budapest-set video is gorgeous – so much stunning architecture, so many pretty costumes!
Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over
Too slow for me, but I like the harmonisation – it’s a bit different.
Lots of weird stuff going on with a glass of ink in the video.
XXXTentacion, Lil’ Pump, Maluma and Swae Lee – Arms Around You
There’s some actual melody in this one! I was not expecting that at all! I really quite like it.
The video is kind of arty and dreamlike, very suited to the song.
Pink – A Million Dreams
Cover of the Greatest Showman number. Apparently doing Greatest Showman covers is a hot new trend (there’s a whole compilation album full of them), which is highly alarming! There’s nothing different about this at all, which I guess makes it a pointless ’10s cover. And the ’10s were doing so well at avoiding that if you don’t count the X Factor!
There’s no video for this yet.
Benny Blanco and Calvin Harris – I Found You
Boring and repetitive tune! People have been really bigging up this track, but it’s very disappointing. Nothing interesting here at all.
The video is a good laugh though, with various people trying to show Benny how to dance.
Clean Bandit, Marina & The Diamonds and Luis Fonsi – Baby
The video is fairly literal, with a cute story about a love triangle and all the characters portrayed by the artists (plus so-far one-hit wonder Starley, whom I wasn’t expecting to see here!)
James Arthur – Empty Space
Extremely dull. Also, I’ve just remembered how much I am NOT a fan of James Arthur’s vocals.
The video is really interesting though (in a slightly depressing way) – it appears to be about a troubled alcoholic (played by Tom Felton) stalking his ex-girlfriend, but all is not as it seems. Also, judging by the gadgets, set dressing, and costumes, it’s set in the early ’00s, which is also interesting!
Jonas Blue, Liam Payne and Lennon Stella – Polaroid
The video’s a bit dull and involves a lot of wandering round New York. I do like that Polaroid technology is having one of those retro moments though.
Ariana Grande – Thank You Next
Straight in at number one, which is unusual these days. I like the ’70s-esque synth sound on the instrumentals – it’s very pretty. The tune could be a bit more exciting, but on the whole it’s a nice bit of proper pop, and is much appreciated.
The video is a daft comedy sequence with lots of celebrity cameos and homages to ’90s and ’00s teen movies. Lots to like here.
Ava Max – Sweet But Psycho
Really like this piece of classic-sounding pop. Good stuff!
The video features Ava as the eponymous psycho, and there’s a cute shout-out to the Hitchcock film at the start. Lovely colours, great costumes (and the dude in this video is actually attractive, which is extremely rare for ’10s media).
Fredo – BMT
Great atmospheric instrumentals but awful rap, which seems to be a theme.
The video is a depressing medley of mansions, cigars, champagne, and the obligatory bikini-clad girl in a swimming pool, with the slightly alarming implication at one point that Fredo and his mates have burnt a girl to death for keying his car. At least, that’s what it looks like. I really hope I’m wrong.
XXXTentacion – Bad
Well, at least there is melody…sort of? It’s a real dirge though.
There’s no video yet, and again there probably won’t be now.
I really like the dancing in the video, but she’s wearing the ugliest pair of boots!
Charli XCX and Troye Sivan – 1999
Song paying tribute to 1999, which was the worst year of the twentieth century in my opinion, because it meant that the century was nearly over. Still, I really do appreciate the sentiment of the song, which is generally that last century was great and this century sucks. I can heartily get behind that message. The song is…of the same quality that pop songs were in 1999, which is a lot better than average pop songs from today, but nowhere near as good as in the ’80s.
I do also want to point out quickly that the Saturdays did this theme better with Disco Love.
The video, as you might expect, is a glorious mishmash of homages to pop culture from around the turn of the millennium!
Panic! At The Disco – The Greatest Show
Another one from the Greatest Showman tribute album, and it’s the first one I actually like. Great epic rock cover!
There’s no video for this yet.
The Plug, Nafe Smallz, M Huncho and Gunna – Broken Homes
Generic hip-hop. Nothing memorable here.
Another one with no video so far.
Sheck Wes – Mo Bamba
Awful and off-key. How can a song that’s unmelodious in the first place be off-key? It’s so dire I don’t know what to say. The vocals are worse than some appalling unsigned local bands I’ve seen, and that’s saying something.
I quite like the comedic video though. Just make sure to watch it on mute.
The video is a slightly depressing story about George being trapped in a rapidly flooding house and drowning at the end!
Little Mix and Sharaya J – Strip
Interesting spoken word intro, leads into a fairly R&B influenced pop song. On the whole, could do with a bit more melody in this one, but it’s got a good beat, and I do like the harmonies on the vocals!
The video is a nice black and white piece with a body positivity theme, featuring an homage to the Dixie Chicks’ ‘critical words written on nude bodies’ photoshoot (and hence starting a Twitter feud with Piers Morgan, which I’m not linking to because it’s depressing).
James Arthur and Anne-Marie – Rewrite The Stars
URGH this is saccharine. It’s another Greatest Showman cover, and I’m not keen.
This one actually has a video, though! It predictably goes with the film’s circus theme, but it’s very pretty and I quite like it.
6ix9ine – Kika
Scott could only play three seconds, so I couldn’t hear anything yet. Listening to it online, the lyrics are as gross as expected, but I quite like the steel drums in the background.
There’s no video yet.
Digdat, K Trap and Krept & Konan – Air Force
No melody, very repetitive. Atmosphere’s okay but it’s generally very dull.
The London-set video is all gritty and urban with lots of balaclavas and gang signs. Not really my cup of tea.
Meek Mill and Drake – Going Bad
Awful! So dull and generic and unmelodious.
There’s no video for this yet.
Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Great atmosphere on the intro, though I’m not hugely keen on the main bit where it goes a bit country.
The video is a slightly daft story about Miley driving a car on the run from the police while wearing a pretty silver outfit, but it’s aesthetically pleasing so I’m all about it.
Dalton Harris and James Arthur – The Power Of Love
A real step back for the X Factor winner’s single, as they’ve gone back to covers. It’s horribly soulless and the singer just admitted on the chart show that he only first heard the original Frankie Goes To Hollywood song about a week ago (WTF? HOW do you go through twentyish Christmases without ever hearing The Power Of Love?). Far worse than the Gabrielle Aplin cover (HOW has he managed to make the ‘hooded claw’ line sound so EMPTY?). I am actually offended by this, even more so than I was by Alexandra Burke’s Hallelujah (covered in similar circumstances in that Alexandra Burke had no personal love for the song). Just terrible.
There’s no video yet – time will tell if they do what they did with Rak-Su last year and just release the X Factor performance clip as the video.
Whew! All caught up. I’ll do this week’s New Hits on Saturday, as I won’t have time to listen to the chart tomorrow evening!
Day 95, and we’re at Now! #95, which was released on 18th November 2016.
Time for some party season hits!
Track 1: James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go
I can’t stand this one! It’s so saccharine, and the theme just sits really awkwardly with me.
Track 2: Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex
Great solid piece of pop – really like this.
Track 3: Clean Bandit, Sean Paul and Anne-Marie – Rockabye
The Christmas number one for 2016 – and, notably, the first Christmas number one since 1999 that wasn’t either a charity single or a talent show winner. It’s a good song – although I find the theme too cheesy – but really I like this one for the hilarious bit in the video where all the old dudes in the pub mime along to Sean Paul’s vocals.
Track 4: The Chainsmokers and Halsey – Closer
It’s a bit repetitive, but I quite like this tune. The lyrics are pretty daft though!
Track 5: Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and Mø – Cold Water
It’s an okay tune, but it’s a bit generic.
Track 6: Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj – Side To Side
Great piece of pop – love the rhythm on this.
Track 7: Sia – The Greatest
I find the chorus really grating, but the tune on the verses is okay.
Track 8: Calvin Harris – My Way
Nothing to do with the Frank Sinatra song. This one’s got an irritating tune, and is very repetitive.
Track 9: Hailee Steinfeld, Grey and Zedd – Starving
Cheesy, too slow, and the lyrics are a bit awkward.
Track 10: MO – Who Do You Think Of?
This is the girl group MO, not to be confused with the solo singer Mø who also appears on this Now! compilation (twice). This is a good, danceable pop tune – quite like this one.
Track 11: Neiked and Dyo – Sexual
Highly irritating tune, too high-pitched, awkward theme. Not a fan.
Track 12: Anne-Marie – Alarm
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Anne-Marie on track 3.
Great atmosphere, but again I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 13: Olly Murs – You Don’t Know Love
I quite like this one – there’s a nice ’80s tinge to the backing track.
Track 14: Mø – Final Song
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Mø on track 5.
Pretty tune though, quite like this one.
Track 15: Maroon 5 – Don’t Wanna Know
The tune is super irritating, but the video, which parodies the Pokémon Go phenomenon, is great.
Track 16: JP Cooper – September Song
The chorus for this rips off the chorus of Jealous by Nick Jonas, so whenever I get one or the other stuck in my head it usually turns into an unwelcome mash-up. The rest of the tune is just annoying.
Track 17: Shawn Mendes – Mercy
Too slow for me, but it’s an okay tune.
Track 18: Ellie Goulding – Still Falling For You
Dull, saccharine and irritating.
Track 19: Emeli Sandé – Hurts
Great tune, great atmosphere. Really like this one.
Track 20: Michael Bublé – I Believe In You
Too cheesy for me.
Track 21: Craig David – All We Needed
The official Children In Need single for 2016 – and it’s finally something that’s not a cover! I’m so glad the trend has finally shifted!
What I’m not glad about is that this track is super slow. The piano’s nice, though.
Track 22: Drake, Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance
This was number one for fifteen weeks in the summer of 2016, equalling the second place for longest-lasting number one held by Wet Wet Wet since 1994 for Love Is All Around. I found this really interesting – because I have clear memories of the Wet Wet Wet chart run from when I was nine, I was able to compare the way fifteen weeks felt as a child versus as an adult. It went a lot quicker as an adult, because time always does (I’m a firm believer in the theory that we are constantly subconsciously comparing intervals of time to our total life so far, which is why time just gets faster and faster as you age), but it also felt like I did and achieved more, probably because I was running and working so much during that summer.
Anyway, the track. It’s got a good beat, and the tune’s okay, but it certainly didn’t deserve to be number one for fifteen weeks. Thankfully it didn’t equal or beat Bryan Adams’ 1991 record of sixteen weeks for Everything I Do (I Do It For You), so that still stands.
Track 23: DJ Snake and Justin Bieber – Let Me Love You
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Justin Bieber on track 5.
This tune is almost unbearably irritating and cheesy. Not my thing at all.
Track 24: Fifth Harmony – That’s My Girl
The tune’s a bit annoying, but it’s got a good rhythm.
Track 25: Sigma and Birdy – Find Me
Too slow, but the atmosphere’s okay.
Track 26: Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha – In The Name Of Love
Pretty tune on the vocals, but the electro hook annoys me.
Track 27: Nevada, Mark Morrison and Fetty Wap – The Mack
This is the second ’10s cover version of Mark Morrison’s 1996 hit Return Of The Mack, after the one by Mann, Iyaz and Snoop Dogg in 2011 (which was also called The Mack). It doesn’t really add anything to the original.
Track 28: Tieks and Dan Harkna – Sunshine
It’s got a good beat, but the tune annoys me.
Track 29: Zara Larsson – Ain’t My Fault
Okay tune, but the theme is really problematic.
Track 30: Bob Marley & The Wailers, Lvndscape and Bolier – Is This Love
Semi-cover of the 1978 classic, with some dance rhythms over the top. It’s got a good atmosphere, but it can’t touch the original.
Track 31: Digital Farm Animals, Cash Cash and Nelly – Millionaire
Irritating kiddie-style vocals on the chorus, and the tune annoys me.
Track 32: Snakehips and Zayn – Cruel
Forgettable tune, boring vocals.
Track 33: Matoma and Becky Hill – False Alarm
Another bland tune.
Track 34: Galantis and Hook ‘N’ Sling – Love On Me
I’ve never been keen on the vocals on this one, which sound to me like someone is faking a Scottish accent.
Track 35: Charli XCX and Lil’ Yachty – After The Afterparty
Irritating tune, but I quite like the theme.
Track 36: Dua Lipa – Blow Your Mind (Mwah)
Good beat, annoying chorus.
Track 37: Louisa Johnson – So Good
Good solid piece of pop with a great atmosphere. Not keen on the theme though.
Track 38: James TW – When You Love Someone
Pretty tune, but it’s a bit too slow and acoustic-y for me.
Track 39: Wilkinson and Karen Harding – Sweet Lies
I find this tune very generic, and the beat is like every other dance track this decade.
Track 40: Craig David and Sigala – Ain’t Giving Up
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Craig David on track 21.
I quite like the tune and the tinkly instrumentals, but the chorus is kind of annoying.
Track 41: Charlie Puth – Dangerously
Good atmosphere, but it’s a little too high-pitched for me and the theme’s a bit saccharine.
Track 42: Offaiah – Trouble
Very repetitive tune, not keen.
Track 43: Christine & The Queens – Tilted
Good, interesting track. I really like the instrumentals on this one, and there’s something lovely and classic about the vocals.
Track 44: Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion
I like the rock edge on this one.
Track 45: Niall Horan – This Town
Saccharine acoustic ballad, and I don’t like the theme. In short, it’s pretty much everything I dislike.
Day 87 equals Now! #87, which came out on 7th April 2014.
Into the mid-’10s already! 2014 was my last full year living in Southampton. Let’s see what the chart sounded like.
Track 1: Pharrell Williams – Happy
It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s very joyful and danceable, so I quite like it.
Track 2: Route 94 and Jess Glynne – My Love
Annoying tune, generic track. Not keen on this one.
Track 3: Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull – I’m A Freak
Good beat, but the tune’s pretty uninspired, and the chorus is really irritating.
Track 4: Avicii – Hey Brother
Another of Avicii’s EDM-bluegrass crossovers. Quite like this track.
Track 5: Katy Perry and Juicy J – Dark Horse
Great atmosphere, and it’s got an okay tune.
Track 6: Sam Smith – Money On My Mind
I find this tune pretty irritating, and I’ve never been a fan of Sam Smith’s falsetto vocals.
Track 7: Little Mix – Word Up!
Pointless cover of the Cameo classic, released as the official Sport Relief single for 2014. While the cover is pointless, the video is great – highlights include Chris Barrie reprising his role from The Brittas Empire and Melanie C showing she can still do those Spice Girl cartwheels.
Track 8: 5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
Great bit of pop-rock – really like this tune!
Track 9: Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Irritating overblown ballad, not a fan.
Track 10: Pixie Lott – Nasty
Great beat, good big band feel – very danceable.
Track 11: One Direction – Story Of My Life
Boring, slow, cheesy, and too acoustic-y for me. Everything I dislike.
Track 12: Gary Barlow – Let Me Go
Okay beat, but the tune is dull.
Track 13: Alesso and OneRepublic – If I Lose Myself
Generic tune – nothing exciting going on here.
Track 14: Gorgon City and MNEK – Ready For Your Love
Another very uninspired track, with a dance beat that’s the same as every other dance beat from this decade.
Track 15: The Vamps – Wild Heart
Too cheesy for me, but it’s got quite a good rhythm.
Track 16: Lady Gaga and R Kelly – Do What U Want
The atmosphere’s okay, but again the tune’s not very interesting.
Track 17: Elyar Fox – Do It All Over Again
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
It’s an okay pop song with a good beat, but it’s pretty forgettable.
Track 18: Katy B – Crying For No Reason
This one’s a bit depressing, but the tune is quite pretty.
Track 19: John Legend – All Of Me
It’s very saccharine, but parts of the tune are absolutely beautiful, so I quite like it.
Track 20: A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera – Say Something
Another boring, mood-killing ballad.
Track 21: Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You
And yet another one.
Track 22: Sam Bailey – Skyscraper
The 2013 X Factor winner, this year doing a pointless cover of a Demi Lovato song. Nothing interesting here.
Track 23: The Chainsmokers – #Selfie
That title is going to look so dated in decades to come. Mind you, I don’t think anyone makes pop music with the thought that it’s going to be listened to in the future anymore – it’s all a bit disposable these days. Anyway, this is interspersed throughout with the most annoying spoken word sample ever, which I think is meant to be the point, but it doesn’t make it in any way pleasant to listen to.
Track 24: Pitbull and Kesha – Timber
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pitbull on track 3.
At my Zumba class in Southampton, we used to do a really fun, high energy, line dance-inspired routine to this, which I absolutely loved. As such, I’ve got a soft spot for this song.
Track 25: DVBBS, Borgeous and Tinie Tempah – Tsunami (Jump)
Great rhythm – happily nodding along right now.
Track 26: Calvin Harris, Alesso and Hurts – Under Control
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Alesso on track 13.
This is another one with a very unmemorable tune.
Track 27: Martin Garrix and Jay Hardway – Wizard
The hook’s okay, but everything that surrounds it is off – it could have created quite a good atmosphere if the track weren’t so messy.
Track 28: Tiësto – Red Lights
Depressingly generic tune.
Track 29: Duke Dumont and Jax Jones – I Got U
I like the steel drums, but otherwise it’s fairly boring.
Track 30: Bastille – Of The Night
Track completely made up of interpolations of Snap’s Rhythm Is A Dancer and Corona’s The Rhythm Of The Night, so I guess it’s sort of a cover. I love both tracks so I don’t mind – this compilation has had so many boring forgettable tunes on that it’s a relief to hear a tune I like, even if it’s not original.
Track 31: Example – Kids Again
I like the backing track, but again I’m just not enthused by the tune.
Track 32: Little Mix – Move
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Little Mix on track 7.
This one’s a nice solid bit of pop – good stuff.
Track 33: Neon Jungle – Braveheart
Good solid pop tune – this one’s quite danceable.
Track 34: DJ Fresh, Jay Fay and Ms Dynamite – Dibby Dibby Sound
Bit of a Zumba theme to this playlist, because this is one that we danced to in a Zumba class I was attending in Newcastle last year. I really need to go back to dance class – I fell out of the habit during the move and am a bit too busy at the moment. Maybe in the autumn.
Anyway, this one’s a bit repetitive to listen to, but it’s got a good beat.
Track 35: Tujamo, Plastik Funk and Sneakbo – Dr Who!
I’m a bit surprised I ignored this one when it was in the charts, because I’m always looking for daft vaguely Doctor Who-related songs to add to that Doctor Who playlist I’m going to create at some point in the future.
It’s a bit tuneless, but it’s got a good beat. It’d be nice if the lyrics were slightly more relevant to the title.
Track 36: Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne – Thank You
I find the rap a bit awkward. Good rhythm, though, and the sample of Alicia Myers’ 1981 hit I Wanna Thank You is awesome.
Track 37: Fuse ODG – Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad)
Great atmosphere, good tune. Really like this one.
Track 38: John Newman – Out Of My Head
Too slow for me, and the tune’s pretty depressing.
Track 39: Sub Focus – Turn Back Time
Bit of ’90s-tinged dance – great atmosphere.
Track 40: Matrix & Futurebound and Max Marshall – Control
Good beat, but this is another forgettable tune.
Track 41: Foxes – Let Go For Tonight
I like that piano at the start, and the chorus is epic.
Track 42: Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
Interesting tune, good beat. Not a bad track.
Track 43: Le Youth and Dominique Young Unique – Dance With Me
Great beat, and it’s got a welcome ’80s tinge. Love the No Scrubs interpolation too. Good stuff.
Track 44: London Grammar – Hey Now
I quite like the backing track, but the tune’s boring and it’s too slow.
Track 45: Vance Joy – Riptide
Endearingly daft lyrics, feelgood tune. Big fan of this.
Day 86 means Now! #86, which brings us to 18th November 2013.
On with the party season hits!
Track 1: Katy Perry – Roar
It’s nice and feelgood, but I find the tune a bit irritating and the theme too cheesy.
Track 2: OneRepublic – Counting Stars
Gorgeous tune, wonderful rhythm. Love this one.
Track 3: Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty
It’s very danceable, with a great beat. The trumpets are awesome too.
Track 4: Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
This one is really irritating and a bit depressing.
Track 5: Avicii – Wake Me Up
The first of Avicii’s EDM-bluegrass crossovers. Great stuff.
Track 6: Storm Queen – Look Right Through [MK Vocal Edit]
Boring dance track, very forgettable tune.
Track 7: Martin Garrix – Animals
This dance tune, on the other hand, is great! Love the hook.
Track 8: Ellie Goulding – Burn
One of my favourites from this decade – it’s a stunning tune, and the atmosphere is beautiful.
Track 9: Drake and Majid Jordan – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Quite like the tune on this – there’s something a bit ’80s retro about it. The video is apparently also set in 1985, although I have to say I never noticed that when watching it at the time!
Track 10: James Arthur – You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You
Moving decades, there’s a slight mid-century tinge to the intro of this rock-edged track. The theme’s awful, but I quite like the song.
Track 11: Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
A very welcome bit of rock in this pop/EDM/hip-hop dominated decade. Good stuff.
Track 12: Lorde – Royals
I like the theme, but I’m not hugely keen on the tune, and it’s a bit slow for me.
Track 13: Foxes – Youth
Good atmosphere, but the tune’s really boring.
Track 14: Lady Gaga – Applause
Great track – I love the edge on this. Another epic atmosphere.
Track 15: Bruno Mars – Gorilla
Again, there’s a great atmosphere on this, but it’s a little slow for me.
Track 16: One Direction – Best Song Ever
Horribly cheesy theme, generic tune.
Track 17: Jessie J – It’s My Party
Not a cover of the Lesley Gore song, despite the name. It’s got a good beat, but the tune’s very uninspired.
Track 18: The Vamps – Can We Dance
It’s a bit of a generic pop-rock track, but I quite like it.
Track 19: Lawson – Juliet
Good atmosphere and slight reggae tinge! Great to hear an actual interesting track from Lawson.
Track 20: The Wanted – Show Me Love (America)
Saccharine ballad, dull tune, though the chorus is okay.
Track 21: James Blunt – Bonfire Heart
Too acoustic-y for me, and the tune’s not very exciting.
Track 22: Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know
Melancholy piano cover of the Keane song, released to soundtrack the John Lewis Christmas advert for 2013. As I mentioned when reviewing the Keane version on Now! #57, I actually prefer it to the original.
It’s perfectly danceable, but there’s not much of a tune.
Track 24: Calvin Harris and Ayah Marar – Thinking About You
Boring beat, boring tune. Very generic track.
Track 25: Avicii – You Make Me
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Avicii on track 5.
This one’s got some interesting instrumentals, but the tune on the vocals is a bit irritating.
Track 26: DJ Fresh, Diplo and Dominique Young Unique – Earthquake
Great beat – I really like this one.
Track 27: Klangkarussell and Will Heard – Sonnentanz (Sun Don’t Shine)
I find this kind of summer chillout electro really depressing.
Track 28: Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais – Summertime Sadness
Stunning tune, lovely melancholy theme. Big fan of this.
Track 29: will.i.am and Leah McFall – Bang Bang
Awesome jazz-inspired track, released for the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby. Really like this one.
Track 30: Ben Pearce – What I Might Do
There’s nothing exciting going on here – it’s very forgettable.
Track 31: Chase & Status and Moko – Count On Me
Very ’90s-tinged, which I appreciate, but the tune’s pretty bland.
Track 32: Tinie Tempah and John Martin – Children Of The Sun
I find the tune on the chorus a bit irritating, but the rap is good.
Track 33: Sean Paul – Other Side Of Love
Nice tune – quite like this one.
Track 34: Conor Maynard – R U Crazy
Great rhythm – happily nodding along here.
Track 35: Naughty Boy and Emeli Sandé – Lifted
Good beat, but the tune is boring.
Track 36: Rizzle Kicks – Lost Generation
Nice eerie atmosphere – good track.
Track 37: Ray Foxx and Rachel K Collier – Boom Boom (Heartbeat)
Nice tune, and the beat’s great once it gets going.
Track 38: John Newman – Cheating
Some interesting instrumentals going on here.
Track 39: Eliza Doolittle – Big When I Was Little
This one is insanely annoying – I actively dislike both the theme and the vocals.
Track 40: The Saturdays – Disco Love
Awesome classic pop feel, and great 20th century retro references throughout, with a highly recommended video to match! I remember actually being quite spooked by the accuracy of the 1999 scene in the video, as the hair and makeup is so well done it gave me flashbacks.
Track 41: Wilkinson – Afterglow
I find this tune pretty bland and repetitive.
Track 42: Showtek, We Are Loud and Sonny Wilson – Booyah
Another one that’s pretty unmemorable.
Track 43: Dizzee Rascal and will.i.am – Something Really Bad
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had will.i.am on track 29.
Some interesting lines going on here – quite like this track.
Track 44: Ylvis – The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)
Day 81 means Now! #81, which came out on 2nd April 2012.
On with the 2012 hits!
Track 1: Gotye and Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
Gorgeous song that was deservedly number one for weeks and weeks. Love this track.
Track 2: Coldplay – Paradise
I normally find Coldplay songs pretty depressing, but this is a beautiful tune.
Track 3: Ed Sheeran – Lego House
I find this one fairly dull, but the video with Rupert Grint is funny.
Track 4: Emeli Sandé – Next To Me
There’s something that irritates me about the tune.
Track 5: Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Nice solid pop song, quite like this track.
Track 6: Jessie J – Domino
Another feelgood pop track, but the tune’s not particularly exciting.
Track 7: David Guetta and Sia – Titanium
Great vocals, good tune.
Track 8: Flo Rida – Good Feeling
Flo Rida sampling Avicii sampling Etta James. It’s a great hook, so I can see why.
Track 9: Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
I find this one a bit depressing.
Track 10: Labrinth – Last Time
Nice atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit pedestrian.
Track 11: Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump
Great, danceable track! The video with Jordan Stephens’ mum and James Corden is also hilarious.
Track 12: Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight
In my Zumba class in Southampton, we always did a really fun jive number to this one. Great, upbeat track.
Track 13: Pixie Lott – Kiss The Stars
Good upbeat dance tune – happily nodding along here.
Track 14: One Direction – One Thing
It’s always really annoyed me that this song rips off the chord sequence of Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way. As such, I can’t hear it without getting a weird mash-up of the two songs stuck in my head.
Track 15: Marcus Collins – Seven Nation Army
Interesting, eerie, soul-tinged cover of the White Stripes classic. Good stuff.
Track 16: Florence & The Machine – Shake It Out
Nice tune – quite like the build on this one.
Track 17: Drake and Rihanna – Take Care
Pretty tune, but it’s too slow for me. I like the It’s My Party callback though!
Track 18: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Gorgeous atmosphere – really like this track.
Track 19: Little Mix – Cannonball
Pointless cover of the Damien Rice song (see Now! #80 review from yesterday) by the 2011 X Factor winners. Thankfully Little Mix would go on to release much more interesting songs.
Track 20: JLS – Proud
Boring ballad, not keen.
Track 21: Military Wives and Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are
The Christmas number one for 2011 – a pretty tune from one of Gareth Malone’s TV choir projects.
Track 22: LMFAO – Sexy And I Know It
Hilarious song – this one’s a shameless pleasure!
Track 23: Flo Rida and Sia – Wild Ones
Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Flo Rida on track 8 and Sia on track 7.
The tune’s really irritating, bu the rap’s okay.
Track 24: Lady Gaga – Marry The Night
Good solid pop – great tune.
Track 25: Avicii – Levels
This is the Avicii song that Flo Rida was sampling on track 8; in turn, this track samples Etta James’ 1962 song Something’s Got A Hold On Me. There’s some great hooks going on throughout.
Track 26: Pitbull and Chris Brown – International Love
Awful theme, awful song.
Track 27: Lloyd, André 3000 and Lil’ Wayne – Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)
Another bad theme, but I actually really like this song! Just make sure to avoid the squicky explicit version.
Track 28: Sean Paul – She Doesn’t Mind
Good beat, good tune. Really like this one.
Track 29: Taio Cruz – Troublemaker
The lyrics are sort of hilarious and terrible at the same time. Could do with a bit more melody as well!
Track 30: Alexandra Burke and Erick Morillo – Elephant
Great theme, and it’s got a good beat. The tune’s a little generic, though.
Track 31: Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party – Antidote
It’s very danceable, but there’s not enough of a memorable hook for me.
Track 32: Rizzle Kicks – When I Was A Youngster
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rizzle Kicks on track 11.
The theme annoys me on this one, but the tune’s nice and feelgood.
Track 33: Stooshe and Travie McCoy – Love Me
Mid-century retro jazz-tinged song with Spice Girls-esque cackling interspersed throughout. It’s not a bad tune.
Track 34: Gym Class Heroes and Neon Hitch – Get Yourself Back Home
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
I quite like the tune on the chorus, but the rest of the track is pretty dull.
Also, though I don’t class band/individual repetitions as a repeated artist, that’s two songs in a row with Travie McCoy’s vocals on.
Track 35: Rihanna – You Da One
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rihanna on track 17.
This tune is a bit irritating to my ears – not a fan.
Track 36: Tinchy Stryder and Pixie Lott – Bright Lights
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pixie Lott on track 13.
Bland, forgettable tune, and the rap’s nothing special.
Track 37: Cover Drive – Twilight
The tune’s pretty dull. I’m sure I did like at least one of Cover Drive’s songs, but this wasn’t it.
Track 38: Alyssa Reid and Jump Smokers – Alone Again
Utterly appalling cover of Heart’s Alone, with a rap partway through it and new, terrible verses. The original is special to me (partly because it was on the sacred tome that is Now! #10) and so I find this mess pretty offensive.
Track 39: Jessie J – Who You Are
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Jessie J on track 6.
Boring ballad with overblown vocals. Not my thing.
Track 40: Chiddy Bang – Ray Charles
Good retro-sounding track – very noddable.
Track 41: will.i.am, Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger – THE (The Hardest Ever)
Fantastic track! I love the atmosphere, the build, the melding of the three very different vocal styles. Wonderful stuff.
Track 42: Dappy and Brian May – Rockstar
I’m a bit irritated that a legend like Brian May got roped into contributing to this very uninspired song. The rap’s okay, but the tune’s really generic, and the theme is my least favourite: the whole ‘look, I’m rich and famous now, let me brag about it in a song!’ thing. The brief guitar solo is, of course, epic.
Day 80 brings us to Now! #80, which came out on 21st November 2011.
Let’s see what was soundtracking my first few months living in Southampton.
Track 1: Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
This one reminds me of unpacking all the stuff in our new flat when we first moved to Southampton. I’ve always really liked this one – great tune, and the theme is awesome.
Track 2: Rihanna and Calvin Harris – We Found Love
Nice tune, but it’s a bit repetitive.
Track 3: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
Revoltingly saccharine! Everything about this track is just irritating.
Track 4: Bruno Mars – Marry You
It’s a bit cheesy, but I quite like the tune.
Track 5: JLS – Take A Chance On Me
I like the piano at the start, but again, the song in general is too saccharine for me.
Track 6: Christina Perri – Jar Of Hearts
It would be a good song if she could actually sing. Seriously, it’s so off-key! Why was this even allowed to be released?
Track 7: Kelly Clarkson – Mr Know It All
Highly irritating tune, and I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 8: Olly Murs and Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat
Great track – I love this one! Upbeat, feelgood, awesome tune.
Track 9: The Wanted – Lightning
I like the instrumentals, but the vocals are kind of annoying.
Track 10: Pixie Lott – All About Tonight
Good solid danceable pop, and lyrical references to shoes are always a winner with me.
Track 11: The Saturdays – All Fired Up
Fairly generic dance track, but the tune’s okay, and it’s quite danceable.
Track 12: Lady Gaga – The Edge Of Glory
Great pop tune! Love the sax solo too, obviously.
Track 13: Will Young – Jealousy
Irritatingly whiny and insipid.
Track 14: James Morrison – I Won’t Let You Go
Painfully boring and depressing ballad.
Track 15: Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You
Great upbeat track, and I’m sorry, but I still find the elevator lyric hilarious.
Track 16: Damien Rice – Cannonball
Too slow and earnest for me.
Track 17: Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Gorgeous tune! An all-time favourite.
Track 18: Charlene Soraia – Wherever You Will Go
Slow, dull ‘TV advert’ cover of the Calling song. It’s a good tune, but the original beats this hands down.
Track 19: Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
Absolutely beautiful tune – a classic rock track from the ’90s, back in the charts due to somebody performing it on Britain’s Got Talent.
Track 20: Matt Cardle – Run For Your Life
Track 21: Westlife – Lighthouse
Jarring lines, saccharine vocals. Not a fan of this one.
Track 22: Adele – Set Fire To The Rain
Gorgeous tune – love the atmosphere on this.
Track 23: Professor Green and Emeli Sandé – Read All About It
I find this one a bit depressing.
Track 24: Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine – Stereo Hearts
The tune’s okay, but the rap’s really uninspired.
Track 25: Labrinth and Tinie Tempah – Earthquake
Great, danceable track – really like this one! That monastic bit is wild.
Track 26: Jason Derulo – It Girl
Cheesy and forgettable. Not a great song.
Track 27: Dappy – No Regrets
Again, there’s something very depressing about the tune on this one.
Track 28: David Guetta and Usher – Without You
Boring tune, uninspired lines.
Track 29: Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Calvin Harris on track 2.
I find this tune pretty dull.
Track 30: Leona Lewis and Avicii – Collide
I remember there was a bit of upset at the time, according to the Radio 1 DJs, because Avicii hadn’t originally been credited despite the fact that it was his track and Leona Lewis was just singing over the top. Anyway, the tune’s a bit repetitive and bland.
Track 31: Example – Stay Awake
Slightly awkward theme, but the vocals are good.
Track 32: Sean Kingston – Party All Night (Sleep All Day)
Daft theme, but it’s a pleasant enough tune, if a bit bland.
Track 33: Tinchy Stryder, Calvin Harris and Matthew Burns – Off The Record
Repeated artist mega alert! We’ve already had Calvin Harris on both track 2 and track 29.
Boring electro hook, generic rap. Not a fan.
Track 34: Sak Noel – Loca People
Another daft theme, and the track itself is pretty repetitive and dull.
Track 35: Rizzle Kicks – Down With The Trumpets
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rizzle Kicks on track 8.
This song is great though – wonderful atmosphere. I absolutely love the vocal style, and the lyrics are brilliant.
Track 36: Cher Lloyd and Mike Posner – With Ur Love
Extremely generic and forgettable.
Track 37: Jessie J – Who’s Laughing Now
Very irritating hooks and vocals, and I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 38: Rihanna – Cheers (Drink To That)
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rihanna on track 2.
Nice feelgood tune, quite like this one.
Track 39: Sean Paul and Alexis Jordan – Got 2 Luv U
Good beat, and I quite like the vocal hook.
Track 40: Emeli Sandé – Heaven
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Emeli Sandé on track 23.
This track’s awesome, though – very Massive Attack-esque.
Track 41: Maverick Sabre – I Need
Boring, forgettable tune.
Track 42: Wretch 32 and Josh Kumra – Don’t Go
Gorgeous tune, even if it is a little depressing.
Track 43: The Collective – Teardrop
Too many artists to mention collaborating on the Children In Need single for 2011 – a cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop. There’s a lot of misplaced rap; it’s not horrible but it’s pretty uninspired.
Day 79 equals Now! #79, which came out on 25th July 2011.
The thunderstorms weren’t really conducive to summer songs, but from what I remember there were an awful lot of them that year. Let’s have a listen.
Track 1: Adele – Someone Like You
Beautiful tune, but I’m not really into slow ballads.
Track 2: Aloe Blacc – I Need A Dollar
Great track! Love the atmosphere on this one.
Track 3: Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song
A welcome break from Bruno Mars’ saccharine ballads. This one’s very funny, and the video is great.
Track 4: Jason Derulo – Don’t Wanna Go Home
It’s the one with the sample of Show Me Love that I mentioned in my Now! #24 review. Good beat, happily nodding along here.
Track 5: Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Great beat, very danceable.
Track 6: Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull – On The Floor
Another great dance track – really like this one. The Lambada sample is immense!
Track 7: Alexandra Stan – Mr Saxobeat
An all-time favourite! I love this track, especially the jaunty saxophone hooks throughout.
Track 8: Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (TGIF)
The song’s a solid pop track, but it’s the hilarious video that really makes this one (Hanson! Rebecca Black! Just Dance!). Also, I REALLY appreciate the sax solo, ’cause you hardly ever hear them in 2010s pop.
Track 9: The Wanted – Glad You Came
Great summer dance track – this was another favourite of mine that year.
Track 10: Nicole Scherzinger – Don’t Hold Your Breath
Gorgeous tune – yet another favourite!
Track 11: The Black Eyed Peas – Just Can’t Get Enough
Thankfully/sadly (?) not a cover of the Depeche Mode song. I’m not really a fan of songs copying classic song titles unless they’ve got some link to the original – it causes confusion apart from anything else.
It’s a nice tune though – quite like this one.
Track 12: Take That – Love Love
Nice feelgood tune – quite like this track. Love that bassline!
Track 13: Jessie J – Nobody’s Perfect
Irritating tune, and I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 14: The Saturdays – Notorious
Another track that borrows a classic title (see track 11 above). Not a cover of the Duran Duran song.
I actually really like this track, though – I just wish they’d used a more original title!
Track 15: Rihanna – California King Bed
It’s the kind of ballad that would normally be too slow for me, but the tune’s so gorgeous that I really like it. Also, that rock guitar solo is retro and epic!
Track 16: Scouting For Girls – Love How It Hurts
Too saccharine for me.
Track 17: Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
I find this tune a bit irritating.
Track 18: Cee Lo Green – I Want You (Hold Onto Love)
Nice retro disco feel, but the tune’s a bit forgettable.
Track 19: Yasmin – Finish Line
Dull and uninspired, and that As sample is just ill-fitting.
Track 20: Ed Sheeran – The A Team
Lovely tune, but I find the theme a bit on-the-nose.
Track 21: Birdy – Skinny Love
Highly irritating whiny ballad. Not a fan.
Track 22: Templecloud – One Big Family
I like the vocals, and it’s a good atmosphere, but it’s too slow for my liking.
Track 23: Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer – Give Me Everything
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pitbull on track 6.
This is a great track though – I love the tune on the chorus.
Track 24: LMFAO, Lauren Bennett and GoonRock – Party Rock Anthem
I’ve always really liked this daft dance track – it was played at every wedding I went to in 2011 (and there were a lot of them!)
Track 25: DJ Fresh and Sian Evans – Louder
’90s-tinged dubstep, which was a big thing at the time and which I had kind of forgotten about until now. Good beat, but the tune’s a bit generic.
Track 26: Example – Changed The Way You Kiss Me
An absolute classic! Wonderful track – love the tune, the way it builds, everything.
Track 27: David Guetta, Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj – Where Them Girls At
I like that chant-along chorus, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the video.
Track 28: Chris Brown and Benny Benassi – Beautiful People
Annoying chorus, and the rest of the tune’s just uninspired.
Track 29: Calvin Harris and Kelis – Bounce
Great feelgood dance tune! Gorgeous stuff.
Track 30: Loick Essien and Tanya Lacey – How We Roll
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Great atmosphere, good beat. Quite like this one.
Track 31: Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Nicki Minaj on track 27.
This tune’s okay, but it’s a bit generic.
Track 32: Tinchy Stryder and Dappy – Spaceship
Daft track that always makes me laugh with its ridiculous lyrics. I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.
Track 33: Wretch 32 and Example – Unorthodox
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Example on track 26.
This is another great track though – love that chorus. The Fools’ Gold sample is awesome too.
Day 76, and Now! #76, which was released on 19th July 2010.
Time for the first summer hits of the new decade!
Track 1: Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg – California Gurls
Great piece of pop, awesome party tune.
Track 2: Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull – I Like It
Great beat, highly danceable, fun tune. Quite like this track! We used to dance to this one at my Zumba class in Southampton, as my instructor Hayley was a big Pitbull fan.
Track 3: JLS – The Club Is Alive
Daft take on The Sound Of Music. It’s a bit less cheesy than their usual stuff, so I actually find this one okay.
Track 4: Usher and will.i.am – OMG
Great tune! Love the interesting vocals on this one.
Track 5: David Guetta, Chris Willis, Fergie and LMFAO – Gettin’ Over You
Great upbeat dance track – happily chair-dancing away here.
Track 6: Kylie Minogue – All The Lovers
Solid pop track, really like those instrumentals.
Track 7: Professor Green and Lily Allen – Just Be Good To Green
Fairly pointless cover of Beats International’s Dub Be Good To Me with added rapping. It’s okay, but the original is better.
Track 8: B.o.B and Bruno Mars – Nothin’ On You
I’ve always found this one a bit too saccharine.
Track 9: Lady Gaga – Alejandro
Great, atmospheric electropop. When we were doing Electrolicious Sundays at Mr Modos, Geth would always mix this one into La Isla Bonita by Madonna, ’cause the melodies are so similar.
Track 10: Cheryl – Parachute
The atmosphere’s nice, but the tune’s a bit dull.
Track 11: Rihanna – Te Amo
Quite like the vocal hook on this one, and the electro line is gorgeous. Nice Latin tinge too.
Track 12: Roll Deep and Jodie Connor – Good Times
Good dance beat, but the tune’s very generic.
Track 13: Kelly Rowland and David Guetta – Commander
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had David Guetta on track 5.
This is a great track though – very danceable.
Track 14: Dizzee Rascal – Dirtee Disco
Messy intro, but I really like the disco instrumentals (the sample is the Staple Singers track I’ll Take You There, from 1972).
Track 15: Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP – We No Speak Americano
Interesting, danceable track. The sample is the 1956 song Tu Vuò Fà L’Americano by Renato Carosone, fact fans – it gives it an awesome mid-century feel.
Track 16: Inna – Hot
Good beat, but the vocals are pretty irritating.
Track 17: Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina – Stereo Love
I love the accordion on this one – it gives it a lovely Eastern European tinge.
Track 18: Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber – Eenie Meenie
Terrible theme, jarring lines, irritating vocals. The chorus is okay, though.
Track 19: Miley Cyrus – Can’t Be Tamed
Great atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit uninspired.
Track 20: Pixie Lott – Turn It Up
Bit of a bland tune, but the chorus is okay.
Track 21: Justin Bieber and Ludacris – Baby
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Justin Bieber on track 18.
Horrendously saccharine and squeaky. Teenage girls loved it, though, which just goes to prove that teenage girls’ taste is getting worse and worse as time goes on. How did we get from the Beatles to Bieber? You could write a whole book on that, and maybe one day I will.
Track 22: Iyaz – Solo
I quite like the piano, but in general the song’s a bit too cheesy for my liking.
Track 23: Timbaland and Justin Timberlake – Carry Out
Love the atmosphere on this one – great track.
Track 24: Plan B – She Said
Great tune, awesome classic jazz feel.
Track 25: Scouting For Girls – This Ain’t A Love Song
It’s a bit cheesy and soft-rock for me, and the vocals are kind of irritating.
Track 26: K’naan – Wavin’ Flag
Nice jaunty tune released to tie in with the World Cup 2010. It’s funny to think that was two World Cups ago, and now we’re in the middle of another one (which I have been successfully avoiding).
Track 27: Jason Derulo – Ridin’ Solo
It’s an okay pop track, but the tune is a bit forgettable compared to most of Jason Derulo’s stuff.
Track 28: Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
Gorgeous tune, beautiful atmosphere.
Track 29: Fyfe Dangerfield – She’s Always A Woman
Pointless cover of the Billy Joel track. I adore the song whoever does it, but there’s nothing new about this version.
Track 30: Train – Hey Soul Sister
What this song consistently achieves for me is that I always wish it really were Mr Mister on the radio, instead of Train. You have to give them credit for that.
Track 31: Scissor Sisters – Fire With Fire
I find this one a bit slow and dull.
Track 32: Diana Vickers – Once
Great pop tune – really like this one. I also love the video with all her hundreds of different outfits!
Track 33: Example – Kickstarts
The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but it’s a good danceable tune.
Track 34: Swedish House Mafia and Pharrell Williams – One (Your Name)
Great electro hooks, nice atmosphere.
Track 35: The Black Eyed Peas – Rock That Body
Good beat, but the tune’s a bit dull.
Track 36: Alexandra Burke and Pitbull – All Night Long
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pitbull on track 2.
I quite like the vocal hook on the chorus, but the rap over the intro is pretty jarring.
Track 37: Aggro Santos and Kimberly Wyatt – Candy
Great bassline, great atmosphere. Good solid pop track.
Track 38: Taio Cruz and Kesha – Dirty Picture
Daft theme, and the tune is pretty forgettable.
Track 39: Chipmunk and Esmée Denters – Until You Were Gone
Generic and bland.
Track 40: Skepta – Rescue Me
I find the tune on this one a bit depressing.
Track 41: N-Dubz and Bodyrox – We Dance On
I like the Canon in D sample, but the rest of the track’s pretty forgettable.
Track 42: Robyn – Dancing On My Own
Boring tune – nothing redeeming about this one.
Track 43: Florence & The Machine and Dizzee Rascal – You’ve Got The Dirtee Love [Live At The Brit Awards 2010]
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Dizzee Rascal on track 14.
I remember watching this performance on the Brits at the time. You wouldn’t think You’ve Got The Love would work with Dizzee Rascal rapping over the top, but it’s actually quite an interesting take.
However, I am contractually obliged to point out that in addition to the three instances of the Source and Candi Staton’s original version of the song on Now! #19, Now! #36, and Now! #63, we now have two instances of the Florence & The Machine version, on Now! #74 and on this one, making a total of FIVE instances! I am almost certain that this makes it the most featured song in the history of Now! compilations, though I will have to check my stats at the end of the project.
Track 44: Kelis – Acapella
That title should be spelt ‘a cappella’, but I’m sure you all knew that.
I like the drums on the intro, and the vocal line is quite interesting.
Track 45: Tinie Tempah and Labrinth – Frisky
Great instrumentals, awesome atmosphere – very danceable.
Track 46: Pendulum – Watercolour
Lovely electro track – it builds beautifully, and the hooks are wonderful.