It’s the annual summer Now! release – Now! 103 has been released today, 19th July 2019.
Let’s see which recent tracks have been included.
Track 1: Lil’ Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road [Remix]
I’ve still got a real soft spot for this comedy cowboy rap track, especially since Billy Ray Cyrus showed up on the chorus for this new version.
Track 2: Ed Sheeran, Chance The Rapper and PnB Rock – Cross Me
This one’s a bit of a grower and a fairly frequent earworm.
Track 3: Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
This one, conversely, has got more annoying. I quite liked it when I first heard it, but I find it overplayed now.
Track 4: Avicii and Aloe Blacc – SOS
I’ve always quite liked these EDM-bluegrass tracks that Avicii did, and it’s nice if bittersweet that we’re getting the posthumous releases now.
Track 5: Katy Perry – Never Really Over
This is another one that I’m starting to find irritating after hearing it so often!
Track 6: Ariana Grande – Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored
This was released back in February and was a fairly frequent earworm for me in the early spring, but I’ve not heard it in months so I’m a bit surprised the Now! compilers have held it over for this compilation. It’s another one that annoys me now.
Track 7: Meduza and Goodboys – Piece Of Your Heart
It’s a very catchy chorus, so I can understand why it was such a big hit, but again I just find it really irritating now after months of radio play!
Track 8: Stormzy – Vossi Bop
I wasn’t sure at first, but I’ve really grown to like this atmospheric track!
Track 9: Shawn Mendes – If I Can’t Have You
I still quite like this tune! (I’m also endlessly confused by the lyric ‘I’m in Toronto and I got this view/But I might as well be in a hotel room’ – if he’s visiting Toronto, and he’s not in a hotel room, then where is he? Staying with a friend who has a really good view? Why is this not explained in the song?)
Track 10: Mark Ronson and Camila Cabello – Find U Again
Still very fond of this pop track!
Track 11: Mabel – Mad Love
This is another song that has really grown on me.
Track 12: Sigala and Becky Hill – Wish You Well
Again, I’m starting to get a bit weary of this one due to radio overplay.
Track 13: Pink and Cash Cash – Can We Pretend
Not a hit – it only got to number 88. The album got to number one, though.
It’s a good pop tune, if a little cheesy for my liking.
Track 14: Jess Glynne and Jax Jones – One Touch
This one is really, really grating after a few listens! Not a fan at all.
Track 15: Zara Larsson – Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
I quite like the upbeat backing track, but on the whole I find this one a bit forgettable.
Track 16: CamelPhat and Jake Bugg – Be Someone
Not a hit – it only got to number 59.
I’m a bit surprised to hear indie singer-songwriter Jake Bugg on one of CamelPhat’s dance tracks, but his voice actually works quite well here.
Track 17: Jax Jones, Martin Solveig and Madison Beer – All Day And Night
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Jax Jones on track 14.
The hook is a bit annoying, but I still find this one very danceable.
Track 18: Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Another track that has really grown on me – great beat and great funk bassline.
Track 19: Little Mix – Bounce Back
It’s okay pop, but I find it a bit uninspired, and the Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) interpolation is slightly insipid.
Track 20: Jonas Blue and Theresa Rex – What I Like About You
This one is too cheesy for me and very forgettable.
Track 21: The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds Of Summer – Who Do You Love?
I’m not keen on the tune, and that chorus is super annoying.
Track 22: Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter
I said when I first heard this that I thought it would become a frequent earworm, and it certainly has. It’s also become one of my favourite tracks in the chart at the moment.
Track 23: Jonas Brothers – Cool
It’s not really my thing, but at least it’s got a tune.
Track 24: 5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had 5 Seconds Of Summer on track 21.
I’ve not changed my opinion on this one – it’s still squeaky and annoying. It’s also a terrible earworm, which makes it even more irritating.
Track 25: Steel Banglez, AJ Tracey and Mostack – Fashion Week
I still find this one a bit repetitive.
Track 26: Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – Señorita
Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Shawn Mendes on track 9 and Camila Cabello on track 10.
I’ve not been to dance class for a few weeks but I fully expect to hear this slow Latin-tinged track as cooldown music when I go back.
Track 27: Lewis Capaldi – Hold Me While You Wait
Pretty tune as ever from Lewis Capaldi. Nice chillout music.
Track 28: Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét – Monopoly
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ariana Grande on track 6.
I still find this one pretty dull.
Track 29: Avicii – Heaven
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Avicii on track 4.
This one’s a nice feelgood summery tune.
Track 30: David Guetta and Raye – Stay (Don’t Go Away)
Not a hit – it only got to number 41.
Nice atmospheric dance track with a slightly retro feel.
Track 31: Bastille – Joy
Not a hit – it only got to number 46. The album got to number four, though.
I find this tune a bit depressing, which I don’t think is the intention!
Track 32: Elton John and Taron Egerton – (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again
Not actually released as a single – this is from the Rocketman soundtrack album, which got to number five.
I’ve not seen the film, but this is a fairly straightforward semi-cover (I would call it pointless if it weren’t meant to be a close replica!).
Track 33: Kylie Minogue – New York City
Not actually released as a single – this is a bonus track from her recent compilation album Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection, which got to number one.
The track has a great disco feel, and I love the spoken word intro.
Track 34: Ellie Goulding – Sixteen
I still find this one saccharine and irritating.
Track 35: OneRepublic – Rescue Me
Not a hit – it only got to number 52.
I really like the guitar on this one.
Track 36: Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
I do still like this, but I’m finding it to be a bit overplayed at the moment.
Track 37: Lighthouse Family – My Salvation
Not actually released as a single – this is from their recent album Blue Sky In My Head, which got to number three.
Great atmosphere on this track – I’m tempted to check out the album now!
Track 38: Emeli Sandé – Sparrow
Not a hit, and not released properly as a single, though it did get to number 53 on the official download charts.
It’s a pretty tune with nice tinkly instrumentals, but it’s a little slow for me.
Track 39: Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles
Not a hit – it only got to number 65.
I find the song a bit dull, but it’s good to see indie-ish stuff on here alongside the pop and rap tracks.
Track 40: Liam Gallagher – Shockwave
I’m still gutted that, other than this track and a brief appearance by Catfish & The Bottlemen, there has been absolutely no rock music in the charts in 2019. I’m really hoping this trend reverses itself at some point during the 2020s!
Track 41: James Arthur – Falling Like The Stars
I can’t stand this one. It’s way too saccharine for me, and the lyrics contain James Arthur’s favourite ‘romantic trope’ about holding girls’ hair back while they vomit due to overconsumption of alcohol. I have very little patience for that kind of message.
Track 42: Westlife – Better Man
This one’s still too cheesy for me.
Track 43: Taron Egerton – Rocketman
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Taron Egerton on track 32.
Again, this one is from the Rocketman soundtrack and hasn’t been released as an actual single.
It’s another straightforward cover – Taron Egerton’s voice is sort of similar but not identical to Elton’s, which gives it a slight uncanny valley feel.
Track 44: Himesh Patel – Yesterday
Here’s another soundtrack song – this one is from the soundtrack to Yesterday, which got to number 40 in the album chart.
Like the Elton covers, this is arranged pretty identically to the Beatles original, which, as I understand it from reading about the film’s plot, is to be expected.
Track 45: Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Do It)
We’ve already had this track on Now! #3…because the Now! compilers are doing exactly the same thing as they did on the last compilation, and so the last few tracks are all bonus tracks that originally appeared on the third release back in 1984! Now! #3 is also being re-released today, on CD for the first time. I really need to start picking up these re-releases again – I got Now! #1 on CD last summer but haven’t bought Now! #2 yet.
Because the Now! company was posting Duran Duran pictures in order to tease the re-release on social media, I was hopeful that they’d include The Reflex as a bonus track, but sadly there was no love for it this time round – I’ll just have to enjoy the original White Lines (famously a DD cover a decade later) instead!
Track 46: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Locomotion
Love OMD and I’m gutted I missed out on tickets for their upcoming tour!
Track 47: The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
Still a party classic!
Track 48: Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Not my favourite Nik Kershaw track, but still a good tune.
We’ll return to the world of Now! in the autumn for Now! #104 (and presumably a re-release of Now! #4!).