Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #75

Day 75 brings us to Now! #75, which came out on 29th March 2010.

March 2010
This is the way the world looked in March 2010…if you were attending a ceilidh in a slightly darkened room. I’m so glad I’ve lost the weight and don’t have to wear those shapeless black dresses anymore.

Can you believe we’re three quarters of the way through this Now! marathon?  That’s like being 19.65 miles of the way into an actual marathon.  Only 6.55 miles to go – that’s easy!  I will remember this moment when I’m 19.65 miles of the way through the London Marathon next April (spoiler: I almost certainly will not).

Also, we’re finally into the 2010s, the fourth and final decade of the Now! compilations so far (and also my life so far).  Having followed the charts very closely this decade, I can say with certainty that the remaining Now! compilations will definitely be better than the ’00s ones.  The ’00s was a real low for music.  (Except 2009, when it picked up.)  Thankfully I don’t have to listen to those again!

Now! That's What I Call Music #75
Track 1: Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

Stunning, classic electropop track – brilliant right from the a cappella intro.  Great stuff.

Track 2: 3OH!3 and Katy Perry – Starstrukk

I love this track, even with the silly whistling bit during the verse.  Awesome party song.

Track 3: The Black Eyed Peas – Meet Me Halfway

Beautiful tune!  The video‘s gorgeous too.

Track 4: JLS – Everybody In Love

Far too cheesy for me, I’m afraid!

Track 5: Iyaz – Replay

Another great tune – really like this one.

Track 6: Tinie Tempah and Labrinth – Pass Out

Love the daft lyrics, and it’s got a great atmosphere.

Track 7: Kesha – Tik Tok

Another good party song – and the vocal style was refreshingly different at this point.

Track 8: Timbaland and Katy Perry – If We Ever Meet Again

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Katy Perry on track 2.

Love the chorus though – good track.

Track 9: Jason Derulo – In My Head

The tune’s a bit generic, but it’s still a good danceable song.

Track 10: Rihanna – Rude Boy

Nice atmosphere, interesting vocals.  Another great track.

Track 11: Chipmunk and Talay Riley – Look For Me

This one’s a bit bland and forgettable, and the chorus is annoying.

Track 12: Glee Cast – Don’t Stop Believin’

Cover of the ’80s Journey classic by the cast of hit TV show Glee.  This cover resulted in the original version – which had never actually been a hit in the UK when it was released in the ’80s – becoming a huge song during 2010 and staying prominent for the rest of the decade so far (I hear it played at every half marathon I run).  I’m not complaining – both versions are awesome and epic.

Track 13: Gabriella Cilmi – On A Mission

Great ’70s disco throwback track!  Love it.

Track 14: Alexandra Burke – Broken Heels

Another great party tune – very danceable.

Track 15: Sugababes – About A Girl

Great dance beat, but the tune’s pretty generic.

Track 16: The Saturdays – Ego

There’s something about the tune that’s a little irritating, but it’s got a good beat.

Track 17: Jedward and Vanilla Ice – Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)

So we had Vanilla Ice sampling Queen and David Bowie’s 1981 song Under Pressure in 1989 for Ice Ice Baby, which was already considered fairly sacreligious, and then in 2010 we had Jedward doing a medley of both tracks and getting Vanilla Ice to help out with vocals.  It’s as awful as you might expect, but it somehow got to number two in the charts.

Track 18: Justin Bieber – One Time

Bieber in his early ‘fifteen and squeaky’ era.  It’s sort of half laughable and half headache-inducing.

Track 19: Jay Sean, Sean Paul and Lil’ Jon – Do You Remember

Good tune, but I can’t listen to it without hearing Sean Paul’s opening vocals as ‘got dirty egg‘, thanks to presenter Reggie Yates pointing it out on the Radio 1 chart show at the time.

Track 20: Pixie Lott – Cry Me Out

Too ballad-y and slow for me.

Track 21: Joe McElderry – The Climb

The annual inclusion of the previous year’s X Factor winner.  This is the one from 2009 that didn’t get the Christmas number one thanks to the much-publicised campaign to get Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name to number one instead.  That campaign reinvigorated my interest in the music charts after a few years of being Too Busy Being Goth, and led to my decision to follow the charts for the entirety of the 2010s to see how the decade would pan out musically.  Halfway through 2018, that particular habit is still going, and I expect it will last into the 2020s and beyond.

Anyway, the track.  It’s a pointless cover of the Miley Cyrus song, and there’s nothing else to say about it.

Track 22: Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts

Charity cover of the REM classic by too many artists to mention.  There’s some interesting voice-spotting to be done, but the point of this cover, as ever with these things, was fundraising to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Track 23: Alicia Keys – Empire State Of Mind [Part II]

It’s Part II because this is the slow piano version.  Part I was a more upbeat song with Jay-Z rapping the main verses.  I prefer Part I, but that’s mainly ’cause I’m not into slow songs – this is still a great tune.

Track 24: Owl City – Fireflies

It’s a bit twee, but it’s a gorgeous tune – love that chorus.

Track 25: Jay-Z and Mr Hudson – Young Forever

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

The track is mainly a cover of the chorus and first verse from Alphaville’s Forever Young, which is fairly pointless but still great, ’cause it’s a great song.  The rest is filled in by rapping from Jay-Z, which is okay, but I’m definitely lining up the original to play later on.

Track 26: Cheryl and will.i.am – 3 Words

Lovely melancholy tune, quite like this one.

Track 27: Robbie Williams – You Know Me

Nice tune, but for some reason the music channels always put this on their Christmas playlists, so it’s got festive associations for me now.

Track 28: Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

Well, we often have repeated artists on these Now! compilations, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a repeated song!  We already had the Glee Cast doing this song on track 12.

As I explained up-page, the Glee cover made this one a big hit too, and deservedly so, seeing as how it was overlooked by the UK music-buying public in the ’80s.  The piano intro is just beautiful, the lyrics are immense, and the tune is epic.

Track 29: Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over

I find Florence & The Machine’s stuff a bit samey, and this is no exception.  There’s not really anything interesting about the tune, though the vocals are nice.

Track 30: Marina & The Diamonds – Hollywood

Gorgeous, unique track!  Great lyrics, awesomely different vocals.  Love this one.

Track 31: Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed

Beautiful tune.  It was Ellie Goulding’s debut and, as far as I’m concerned, one of her best ever songs.

Track 32: Biffy Clyro – Many Of Horror

Wonderful rock track – I love the tune, and the way it builds is stunning!  I’m almost certain we’ll hear the X Factor cover version in three days’ time so I’ll skip ranting about that for now.

Track 33: Plan B – Stay Too Long

Nice retro-sounding rock track, quite like this one.  If I weren’t the queen of misheard lyrics, I’d make an effort to listen to the concept album of which it was part.  As it is, I’d probably be better off just reading the lyrics to all the songs in order to understand the story.

Track 34: Naughty Boy, Wiley and Emeli Sandé – Never Be Your Woman

Fairly pointless cover of the White Town classic with added rapping.  Always a great tune, but the original is obviously better.

Track 35: Example – Won’t Go Quietly

Great, atmospheric dance track.  Really like this one.

Track 36: Sidney Samson and Wizard Sleeve – Riverside (Let’s Go!)

Another highly danceable track – I really like the rap style.

Track 37: Gramophonedzie – Why Don’t You

Interesting track based around a sample of Peggy Lee’s Why Don’t You Do Right? from 1947.  Quite like this.

Track 38: Lemar – The Way Love Goes

I find this one a bit saccharine, but it’s got a good beat and the piano is nice.

Track 39: N-Dubz and Mr Hudson – Playing With Fire

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Mr Hudson on track 25.

Nice epic atmosphere on the chorus, but the rest of the tune’s fairly generic.

Track 40: Chiddy Bang – Opposite Of Adults

Love the electro hook, which is a sample from Kids by MDMT.  Nothing much else interesting here, though.

Track 41: Young Money and Lloyd – BedRock

Irritatingly daft track based around the infamously appalling Fred Flintstone pick-up line.  If you ignore the lyrics, it’s actually okay.

Track 42: McLean – My Name

I find the tune on this one pretty uninspired.

Track 43: Rihanna – Russian Roulette

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Rihanna on track 10.

I find both the lyrics and tune on this one a bit depressing.  Not the best way to end what has been an excellent Now! compilation!

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #74

Day 74 takes us to Now! #74, which was released on 23rd November 2009.

November 2009
This is the way the world looked in November 2009 – or at least it did if your boyfriend was undergoing his PhD graduation from the University of Edinburgh, which I realise is a bit specific. Old College is always beautiful, and has been for centuries. I gave that coat a reprieve during the cull, but I don’t see it surviving my new de-hoarding mentality for much longer – it’s kind of unflattering, no matter what weight I am.

So, we come to the end of another decade of music.  How did chart music sound as we waved goodbye to the ’00s?

Now! That's What I Call Music #74
Track 1: Cheryl – Fight For This Love

Gorgeous, atmospheric song – I love the instrumentals.  A longtime favourite.

Track 2: Michael Bublé – Haven’t Met You Yet

It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s a nice tune.

Track 3: The Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

That title should be ‘I Got A Feeling’ – ‘gotta’ is an informal contraction of ‘got to’, which makes no sense here!

Great tune though – classic party song.

Track 4: David Guetta and Akon – Sexy Chick

Good atmosphere and good tune on the chorus, but I find the vocals a bit generic.

Track 5: La Roux – Bulletproof

Great electro track, awesome beat.

Track 6: Taio Cruz – Break Your Heart

More awesome electro instrumentals on the backing track.  Good tune.

Track 7: N-Dubz – I Need You

There’s some good lines in here somewhere, but in general the track’s a bit messy.

Track 8: Jason Derulo – Whatcha Say

Another one that’s very typical of the electro-based atmospheric sound that was on everything at the time.

Track 9: Jay Sean and Lil’ Wayne – Down

Oh, it’s this one!  The tune should annoy me, but I actually quite like it.

Track 10: Alesha Dixon – To Love Again

Slow ballad that’s not interesting enough for my liking.

Track 11: Chipmunk and Dayo Olatunji – Oopsy Daisy

Super irritating vocals and theme, not a fan of this one.

Track 12: Tinchy Stryder and Amelle Berrabah – Never Leave You

Another good atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit uninspired.

Track 13: Little Boots – Remedy

Great bassline, but the tune’s pretty dull.

Track 14: Pixie Lott – Boys And Girls

Nice retro ’60s feel, and there’s a good singalong chorus.

Track 15: Mini Viva – Left My Heart In Tokyo

Another awesome electropop tune – love that bass!

Track 16: Sean Kingston – Fire Burning

Daft theme, but it’s a great dance track.

Track 17: Pitbull and Nicole Scherzinger – Hotel Room Service

I quite like the vocal hook on this one, even if it is a bit repetitive.  Good tune.

Track 18: Sugababes – Get Sexy

Daft theme, irritating lyrics – although I do like the callback to Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy, and the electro hook is great.

Track 19: The Saturdays – Forever Is Over

Too ballad-y for me, though I do appreciate the rock tinge.

Track 20: Young Soul Rebels – I Got Soul

Interesting cover of the Killers track All These Things That I’ve Done, released in aid of the War Child charity.  In this context, the repeated line ‘I got soul but I’m not a soldier‘ is a bit haunting (whereas usually I can’t hear the line without being reminded of the Bill Bailey parody that pointed out the line makes as much sense as ‘I got ham but I’m not a hamster’).

Track 21: Agnes – I Need You Now

Too saccharine for me, though there are some interesting instrumentals going on in the background.

Track 22: JLS – Beat Again

Super cheesy, but it’s quite a good tune.

Track 23: Lady Gaga – Paparazzi

Love this one!  Great tune, brilliant chorus.

Track 24: Beyoncé – Sweet Dreams

Wonderful atmosphere, great beat.  Very danceable.

Track 25: Shakira – She Wolf

More great electro instrumentals – awesome tune.

Track 26: Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna – Run This Town

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

Another great brooding atmosphere.  Unfortunately the vocals are fairly uninspired.

Track 27: Mr Hudson and Kanye West – Supernova

Repeated artist alert!  We just had Kanye West on the last track.

Nice tune though – quite like this one.

Track 28: Robbie Williams – Bodies

Some interesting almost-monastic singing on the intro, which jars a bit once it gets into the bass-heavy main track.  The chorus is great, though.

Track 29: Dizzee Rascal – Holiday

Great electro hook, good dance beat.  Really like this track.

Track 30: Calvin Harris – Ready For The Weekend

Great dance track.  I especially appreciate the line ‘I put on my shoes and I’m ready for the weekend‘.  Nothing wrong with a new pair of shoes every Friday!  (There are lots of things wrong with that.  I know.)

Track 31: Whitney Houston – Million Dollar Bill [Frankie Knuckles Radio Mix]

Love that retro disco feel.  Good stuff.

Track 32: Ian Carey Project – Get Shaky

Good instrumentals, but the tune’s pretty boring.

Track 33: Chase & Status and Plan B – End Credits

Lovely tune, gorgeous guitar, stunning atmosphere – and then the dull vocals spoil it!  Oh well.

Track 34: The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

I find the vocals a little irritating, and the tune’s not interesting enough for my liking.

Track 35: Muse – Uprising

I’m just going to register my annoyance that Muse had been releasing great hits since 2000 and it took the Now! compilers until 2009 to feature one of their songs.

This track has a wonderful eerie electro line, great bass, and awesome brooding vocals.  Love it.

Track 36: Snow Patrol – Just Say Yes

Even Snow Patrol were doing the electro instrumentals in 2009!  Shame the rest of the tune is dull.

Track 37: Florence & The Machine – You’ve Got The Love

Pointless cover of the Source and Candi Staton song, as I may have discussed on the THREE OCCASIONS that the original has been featured on Now! compilations (still can’t get over that).  As such, we now have a fourth track in the Now! canon that sounds exactly the same!  Urgh.

Track 38: Lily Allen – 22

Nice retro tune.  Great lyrics too, but they’re a little depressing!

Track 39: Paolo Nutini – Pencil Full Of Lead

Great classic ragtime sound!  Love that trumpet riff.

Track 40: Mika – We Are Golden

Lovely tune, awesome singalong chorus.  Really like this one.

Track 41: Cobra Starship and Leighton Meester – Good Girls Go Bad

It’s a bit messy, but as with pretty much every other track on this compilation, there’s lots of awesome electro lines and bass going on.

Track 42: Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man

I normally find Mumford & Sons a bit dull, but this is a great bit of folk-rock – really like this song.

Track 43: Just Jack – The Day I Died

Too twee for me – those lyrics are just irritating.

Track 44: Esmée Denters – Outta Here

I like the backing track, but the tune is bland and repetitive.

Track 45: Deadmau5 and Rob Swire – Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff

Too much going on with this track, and none of it is very interesting.