I’ve got three weeks’ worth of Friday chart hits to catch up with today, as I’ve been a bit late with the chart recently due to travelling.
There were six new hits on the 24th of May.
Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
Love that reggae beat – it’s something a bit different!
The video is about a guy driving around a lot and cheating on his girlfriend (I think?). There’s also a shoebox. And a tortoise.
DJ Khaled, Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne and Big Sean – Jealous
It sounds pretty much like every other DJ Khaled song, though I can forgive it a lot for the ‘listening to Sade’ lyric.
The video begins with an overblown cinematic bit featuring Jennifer Lopez for some reason, then when the music starts, it’s all about standing around in front of those Lamborghinis. At least it’s colourful.
Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Really appreciate the funk guitar on this one.
The video is a wonderfully daft story about an attractive elderly lady who dresses like she’s still twenty and hence causes everyone she meets to sweat profusely and flood cars and stuff.
Tyler The Creator – I Think
I love the atmospheric synth on the backing track – very retro-sounding.
There’s no video for this one yet.
Halsey – Nightmare
Interesting and slightly creepy recital of ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’ at the start. Following this, there’s a promising rock-sounding chorus, which is great – I just wish the verse matched it. It’s been so long since we had anything vaguely rock-sounding in the charts.
Is that ‘save me a prayer’ lyric a Duran Duran reference? I’m going to jump the gun and say YES, because everything should be a Duran Duran reference.
There’s a lot going on in the video, which is very filmic and retro and veers between rock stylings that match the song, ’90s-influenced bondage costumes, and Lady Gaga-esque ‘shocker’ imagery. Watch out for cameos from the likes of Cara Delevigne and Debbie Harry.
Tyler The Creator – Earfquake
I find the lyrics to this one a bit irritating, but the backing track is nice and retro.
The video is utterly surreal, with Tyler setting himself on fire while performing, and then he turns out to be a fireman as well, and then… However, it’s set in the world of a 1970s chat show, so I’m all about it.
There were also six new hits on the 31st of May.
Sigala and Becky Hill – Wish You Well
It’s very ’90s influenced, like most dance music is at the moment. Nice tune.
Again, there’s no video yet.
Jess Glynne and Jax Jones – One Touch
I like the bleepy backing track – again the ’90s dance influence is strong here – but the vocal melody is a bit dull.
No video for this one either.
5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier
5SOS seem to be completely divorced from their rock roots now. This is squeaky, annoying, and generic.
They’re still apparently playing their instruments in the video though. Why can I not hear those instruments in the song? Anyway, it’s set in a cave system, apart from when there’s a ‘walking through hallways while pictures on the wall catch fire’ sequence.
Young Thug, J Cole and Travis Scott – The London
I like some of the instrumentals on the backing track, but otherwise it’s a little repetitive for me.
There’s no video yet.
NSG – OT Bop
Great beat, but I’d prefer a bit more melody.
There is a lot of car-standing in this video, but I’m quite fond of the daft dance routines that are going on.
Ed Sheeran and Chance The Rapper – Cross Me
Love that synth line in the background.
Another one that doesn’t have a video as of yet.
Yet another six hits on the 7th of June. There’s a bit of a pattern to the chart at the moment!
Skepta – Bullet From A Gun
Not enough going on in this track melody-wise for me, but the lyrics are great.
I really like the video, which is just Skepta sitting on a bench in Camden Town tube station while the world goes by. Don’t think I’ve ever seen Camden Town so un-busy, mind!
Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter
Good atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit forgettable. I have the feeling it’ll grow on me though.
The video’s not out yet.
Lewis Capaldi – Bruises
Another pretty piano ballad from Lewis Capaldi. Lovely atmosphere.
No official video for this one right now.
Mostack and Stormzy – Shine Girl
Nice summery rhythm to this one.
The video is a nice straightforward ‘does what it says on the tin’ affair, with Mostack and Stormzy just chilling with their girlfriends round the house.
Skepta and J Hus – What Do You Mean
I like the eerie instrumentals in the background.
We’re still waiting for the video.
Katy Perry – Never Really Over
I find the tune to this fairly dull.
The video is colourful, cartoony, and a bit daft – a textbook Katy Perry video, in other words.
More new hits next week (I will definitely be on time with them because I’ve got a nice quiet week ahead of me!).
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 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 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.