Nice summery dance beat, but the tune’s not that inspired.
The video is all about Rita Ora leading a group contemporary dance routine in a neon-lit studio.
Remedee, Notes and Young Adz – Love Of My Life
Some interesting synthy things going on with the backing track, but there’s no tune to speak of.
The video features lots of shuffling around a London tower block and, of course, some standing around in front of cars.
Krept & Konan, Headie One and K-Trap – I Spy
Annoying squeaky voices on the backing track, repetitive rap. Not my thing.
Some interesting bits in the (NSFW-due-to-close-up-twerking-towards-the-end) video – there’s a chat show host involved and some random flamenco outfits – but it’s mostly a fairly generic haze of bling, exotic mansions and car-standing.
Double New Hits today ’cause I was too busy doing marathon prep last Friday.
Four new hits on the 26th of April.
Kygo and Rita Ora – Carry On
It’s got some pretty tinkly piano instrumentals, but it’s fairly generic.
The song ties in with that daft-looking Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie, so the video involves numerous shots of Rita Ora doing detective work in a shiny yellow mac. There are also a lot of neon-lit nighttime rain-slicked clips from the film, which actually make me interested in seeing it. I will resist.
Digga D – No Diet
Not enough melody for me, and it’s a bit repetitive.
The video starts off with a shot of a mid-’00s mobile phone, which I guess is retro now. There are also a lot of cans of regular Coke (fitting with the song title), to the extent that Coca-Cola should probably be paying them for the advertising. Oh yeah, and there’s some people wandering around with golf clubs…but they never seem to get round to playing golf.
Lil’ Dicky – Earth
This is a charity collaboration single with too many artists to name, which is lovely and retro – I approve. It’s a nice tune and I like the tropical-sounding instrumentals.
The video is equally good – a kid finds a magical book in a bin and a fast-paced animated adventure ensues, with all the guest artists depicted as random animals.
Jonas Blue and Theresa Rex – What I Like About You
It’s a bit cheesy for me, but at least it’s got some semblance of a tune.
The video is fairly typical for a dance track, featuring a young couple and their friends enjoying days out at the beach and nighttime parties. There’s a bit of interest in that the girlfriend is hiding the relationship from her parents, but this plot thread doesn’t really seem to go anywhere.
On today’s chart, there were five new hits.
Ellie Goulding – Sixteen
Boring and saccharine song!
The video is interesting but a little confusing. It’s scenes of Ellie and her friend/girlfriend in a car, interspersed with the story of a couple of teenage girls who I presumed were their younger selves…but then they run past the car at the end, so I don’t know.
Zara Larsson – Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
I like the synthy backing track at the start, but I find the tune pretty uninspired.
In the video, Zara appears to be keeping a semi-naked man prisoner in a glass case. She also has lightning superpowers…I think? I’m only really here for her cute feathered outfit.
RSPB – Let Nature Sing
Charity single entirely composed of birdsong. This is the kind of novelty I like to see in the charts! Hope it raises lots of funds.
The video is very nicely done shadow puppetry of birds. Sad ending though 🙁
Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie – Me
It’s interesting, this one – I get slight hints of ’90s Britpop in the chorus. I do quite like the trumpet bit.
The video is colourful and luxe with lots of pretty costumes (including a retro ’60s bit!) so I’m all about it. Good stuff.
Stormzy – Vossi Bop
Nice eerie backing track, which I always like. Otherwise I find this one a little repetitive.
The video: (a) features a lot of nausea-inducing camera spinning, which I’m starting to worry is a new trend; (b) is basically a big advert for London tourism at the start, with a sequence shot on Westminster Bridge (including the currently-scaffolding-clad Big Ben clock tower that I noted in my London Marathon race review); and (c) really shows how expressive Stormzy is as a performer compared to his contemporaries.
Interestingly, we have a full complement of timely music videos for both weeks’ worth of new chart entries. I hope this trend is one that continues!
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!
Today, 23rd November 2018, is the release of Now! #101! It’s also mine and Geth’s sixth wedding anniversary 🙂
We’re now entering a new exciting era of Now! compilations where I only have to review them every four months! The first hundred compilations were characterised by a gradually worsening quality of music. I pray this trend will not continue. Pop music can’t get any worse than it currently is. Right?
Track 1: Little Mix and Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me
Great reggae-style rhythm, but the tune’s pretty dull.
Track 2: Calvin Harris and Sam Smith – Promises
Sam Smith’s voice is great as ever, but the tune is pretty forgettable. Somehow got to number one for weeks on end.
Track 3: Ariana Grande – God Is A Woman
I really like the tune on this one – nice and epic.
Track 4: George Ezra – Hold My Girl
A little slow for me, but it’s a nice tune. Only entered the charts today, so it was definitely not a hit when chosen for this Now! compilation!
Track 5: Rita Ora – Let You Love Me
Great atmosphere on the chorus – tune’s a bit generic, but it’s an okay pop track.
Track 6: Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid – Eastside
I reviewed this one for New Hits Friday. It’s grown on me a bit since then!
Track 7: Jess Glynne – All I Am
I’ve never been much of a Jess Glynne fan – I find her stuff very boring and the lyrical content very saccharine, and this track is no exception.
Track 8: Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin – I Like It
Not super keen on the rap (except the enjoyable nonsense in the first verse about Balenciaga et al.!), but I do love the Latin tinge, and it’s very danceable.
Track 9: The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar – Pray For Me
Black Panther soundtrack song – really like this epic track.
Track 10: Silk City, Dua Lipa, Diplo and Mark Ronson – Electricity
Bored of these ’90s dance-inspired beats now. The tune is very generic too.
Track 11: Dynoro and Gigi D’Agostino – In My Mind
I really like the eerie atmosphere – there’s some great instrumentals here. Not keen on the dance beat though.
Track 12: Loud Luxury and Brando – Body
I reviewed this one for New Hits Friday. I’m still not hugely keen, but it’s a really irritatingly catchy track that’s constantly ending up on my daily earworm playlists.
Track 13: Maroon 5 and Cardi B – Girls Like You
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Cardi B on track 8.
It’s a bit saccharine, but it’s a nice tune.
Track 14: Marshmello and Bastille – Happier
Too slow for me, and the tune’s very dull and generic.
Track 15: Clean Bandit, Marina & The Diamonds and Luis Fonsi – Baby
The vocalist on this is calling herself Marina now, but she was formerly known as Marina & The Diamonds (not a band, just a solo artist with a band name, kind of like Florence & The Machine – this was a bizarre 2009/2010 micro trend). I’ve missed her vocal style and way with a tune. This is very Latin-inspired, especially due to the involvement of Luis Fonsi. Great party pop tune.
Track 16: Ellie Goulding, Diplo and Swae Lee – Close To Me
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Diplo on track 10.
Not exciting or original enough for me, but at least it’s got some semblance of a melody, and it’s starting to grow on me with time.
Track 17: Cheryl – Love Made Me Do It
The lyrics are okay if kind of cheesy, but the tune is terrible.
Track 18: Panic! At The Disco – High Hopes
I reviewed this one for New Hits Friday. It’s become one of my songs of the year – really like this track.
Track 19: The 1975 – Too Time Too Time Too Time
Yes, I know the title’s supposed to be written in all caps with no spaces, but I won’t be having any of that nonsense here. This is a dignified blog.
Lovely upbeat tune, though – really like this one. One of my favourites of 2018.
There’s a nice old-fashioned big-band feel about this one – it’s very jaunty.
Track 22: Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies and Celia Imrie – When I Kissed The Teacher
Taken from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Songs from musicals have been a bit of a chart trend this year. It’s a fairly bog-standard cover of the Abba song, as is normally the case with jukebox musicals.
Track 23: Andrea Bocelli and Dua Lipa – If Only
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Dua Lipa on track 10.
The second number one this year to get to number one after exhortation from the previous number one artist (in this case Sam Smith with Promises – the previous example was George Ezra (Shotgun) telling people to stream Baddiel & Skinner and the Lightning Seeds’ Three Lions).
The second number one this year to feature the word ‘Friday’ in the title (after Lil’ Dicky and Chris Brown with Freaky Friday).
Nothing much else interesting about this song. It’s very dull and unmelodious and repetitive – no idea why enough people were listening to it to get it to number one. Oh, wait, there’s a good instrumental electro bit for three seconds – then it goes back to the boring rap.
Track 26: DJ Snake, Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B – Taki Taki
Repeated artist mega alert! We’ve already had Cardi B on both track 8 and track 13. That is far too much of one artist for one Now! compilation!
I do like the background instrumentals, especially the atmospheric whistling, and the Latin vocals are nice, but the rap is very dull.
Track 27: French Montana and Drake – No Stylist
I quite like the atmosphere, but it’s very repetitive. Are they trying to win a competition to see who can say ‘Gucci’ the most times in a song?
Track 28: Dennis Lloyd – Nevermind
Great rhythm, very noddable.
Track 29: Khalid – Better
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Khalid on track 6.
The track is so boring that I couldn’t even concentrate on writing this sentence.
Track 30: Martin Garrix feat. Khalid – Ocean
Repeated artist mega alert! We’ve already had Khalid on track 6 and track 29. That’s two mega alerts on one compilation, which is not an auspicious start for the second century of Now! entries!
It’s a pretty tune with a gorgeous atmosphere – I really quite like this one.
Track 31: Halsey – Without Me
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Halsey on track 6.
Urgh, this track is so slow! I do like the synthy background instrumentals though.
Track 32: B Young – 079ME
I reviewed this one for New Hits Friday. I still think it’s too similar to Jumanji.
Track 33: Stay Flee Get Lizzy, Fredo, Young T and Bugsey – Ay Caramba
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Fredo on track 25.
Day 98 takes us to Now! #98, which came out on 17th November 2017.
The following are not likely to be played at goth clubs, but let’s see what the party season songs were for this most recent Christmas period.
Track 1: Camila Cabello and Young Thug – Havana
Good solid pop tune – love the Latin feel. Really nice song.
Track 2: Post Malone and 21 Savage – Rockstar
There are some interesting instrumentals going on, but it’s got quite a depressing feel.
Track 3: Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes
Too slow and ballad-y for me.
Track 4: Pink – What About Us
It’s an okay song with an important theme, but I find it a bit depressing.
Track 5: Dua Lipa – New Rules
Absolutely wonderful track, gorgeous instrumentals, great tune, clever lyrics and vocals. The video is immense too.
Track 6: Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl
Inspired by the Irish folk classic of the same name, but nowhere near as good. Still a nice upbeat song though.
Track 7: Charlie Puth – How Long
I really like this one – great atmosphere, awesome tune, retro feel.
Track 8: CNCO and Little Mix – Reggaetón Lento
Very danceable Latin-tinged pop – good stuff.
Track 9: J Balvin and Willy William – Mi Gente
More great Latin pop (Despacito really kicked off a trend in 2017). I remember dancing to all of these in Zumba class. This one’s got an awesome atmosphere and a really interesting rhythm.
Track 10: Justin Bieber and BloodPop – Friends
I really like the bassline, but the tune’s pretty uninspired.
Track 11: Zayn and Sia – Dusk Till Dawn
Nice epic chorus, but on the whole the tune’s a bit generic.
Track 12: Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj – Swish Swish
Great beat, but agin the tune’s not very exciting.
Track 13: Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry
This tune really irritates me.
Track 14: Stefflon Don and French Montana – Hurtin’ Me
Another one where I just don’t like the tune. I also find the theme irritating.
Track 15: Louis Tomlinson, Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals – Back To You
Yet another annoying tune!
Track 16: Khalid – Young Dumb And Broke
I quite like this one – it’s got an interesting rhythm and an endearing theme.
Track 17: Maroon 5 and Sza – What Lovers Do
Nice feelgood song – the vocals are a little irritating, but I quite like the tune.
Track 18: Jason Derulo – If I’m Lucky
Good atmosphere, but the tune’s very generic.
Track 19: Clean Bandit and Julia Michaels – I Miss You
Again, I just don’t find this tune very interesting.
Track 20: Alma – Chasing Highs
Uninspired and depressing.
Track 21: Zedd and Liam Payne – Get Low
Another very bland tune.
Track 22: Charli XCX – Boys
Great track! Fun theme, interesting instrumentals. The celebrity-filled video is great too.
Track 23: Rita Ora – Anywhere
It’s got a good beat, but it’s another bland tune.
Track 24: Marshmello and Khalid – Silence
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Khalid on track 16.
This is a lovely tune though.
Track 25: Avicii and Rita Ora – Lonely Together
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rita Ora on track 23.
I find the tune on this really irritating, but the backing track is great.
Track 26: James Hype and Kelli-Leigh – More Than Friends
Generic-sounding dance cover of En Vogue’s ’90s classic Don’t Let Go. The original song is beautiful. This track is anything but.
Track 27: Yungen and Yxng Bane – Bestie
That chorus is incredibly annoying.
Track 28: Mabel and Kojo Funds – Finders Keepers
So is the chorus on this one.
Track 29: Chris Brown – Questions
This is the second hit in the space of eighteen months that interpolates Kevin Lyttle’s 2003 classic Turn Me On, after Cheat Codes and Dante Klein’s Let Me Hold You (Turn Me On) in 2016. I think it’s fairly poorly done, and I love the original so I find all these poor imitations pretty irritating.
Track 30: Craig David – Heartline
Dull and generic.
Track 31: Selena Gomez and Marshmello – Wolves
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Marshmello on track 24.
I quite like the tune on this one, though.
Track 32: MK – 17
Another really irritating tune.
Track 33: Axwell & Ingrosso – More Than You Know
I like the guitar at the start, and the tune’s okay if a bit generic.
Track 34: Liam Payne – Bedroom Floor
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Liam Payne on track 21.
It’s another fairly generic tune, but I remember I had the chart on in the background last year, and this was playing and got to the lyric ‘but your clothes say different on my bedroom floor‘. Geth interjected crossly, ‘Stop stealing her clothes then!’ It really cracked me up and is all I can think about when I hear this song now.
Track 35: Duke Dumont, Gorgon City and Naations – Real Life
Another boring tune that sounds like every other dance track this decade.
Track 36: CamelPhat and Elderbrook – Cola
Really squicky theme – to put it bluntly, it’s blatantly a song about spiking someone’s drink. It’s a shame, ’cause it would be a good track if it weren’t for that.
Track 37: Lil’ Uzi Vert – XO Tour Llif3
Some interesting instrumentals going on, but the tune’s very bland.
Track 38: Big Shaq – Man’s Not Hot
Very funny hip-hop parody, and it’s got a good rhythm to boot. Really like this.
Track 39: Chris & Kem – Little Bit Leave It
Apparently these dudes were on Love Island or something. I’m not sure why someone allowed them to release a song – it’s extremely grating.
Track 40: Cardi B – Bodak Yellow
I find this one extremely depressing.
Track 41: Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid – 1-800-273-8255
Repeated artist mega alert! We’ve already had Khalid on both track 16 and track 24. Give someone else a chance!
This one’s got a nice tune, but it’s too slow for me.
Track 42: Paloma Faith – Crybaby
I like the rhythm, but the tune’s very dull.
Track 43: The Script – Rain
The tune’s okay except for that annoying chorus.
Track 44: Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – Grace (We All Try)
The tune’s quite interesting, but again it’s too slow for me.
Track 45: Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
Very refreshing to hear some actual rock music – it’s something different, finally.
Track 46: The Killers – The Man
Love the retro disco sound on this one. Great stuff.
Day 93 equals Now! #93, which came out on 18th March 2016.
On with the hits!
Track 1: Lukas Graham – 7 Years
It’s a nice tune, but I find the theme a bit irritating.
Track 2: Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
Another nice tune with an awkward theme. It’s also too slow for me.
Track 3: Zayn – Pillowtalk
Zayn Malik’s first solo release since becoming the Robbie Williams/Geri Halliwell of One Direction and leaving the group about a year before they split ‘went on hiatus’. It’s too slow for me, and the tune is pretty forgettable.
Track 4: Coldplay and Beyoncé – Hymn For The Weekend
Gorgeous tune – really like this one.
Track 5: Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza [SeeB Remix]
Mike Posner returning to the charts with this surprise number one hit. It’s a lovely chillout tune with a wistful theme.
Track 6: Zara Larsson – Lush Life
Solid danceable pop tune – big fan of this.
Track 7: Jonas Blue and Dakota – Fast Car
Dodgy house cover of the Tracy Chapman classic. Should have left well alone.
Track 8: Shawn Mendes – Stitches
Pretty tune – quite like this one.
Track 9: Major Lazer, Nyla and Fuse ODG – Light It Up [Remix]
Boring tune, and it’s too slow for my liking.
Track 10: Snakehips, Tinashe and Chance The Rapper – All My Friends
Good singalong chorus, but it’s too slow for me.
Track 11: Little Mix and Jason Derulo – Secret Love Song
Horrendously saccharine and slow! Not my kind of thing at all.
Track 12: Jess Glynne – Take Me Home
Irritating tune, and again it’s too slow.
Track 13: Ellie Goulding – Army
The tune’s quite interesting, but it’s a little too cheesy for me.
Track 14: One Direction – History
Too acoustic-y for me, but the tune’s okay.
Track 15: Selena Gomez – Hands To Myself
This tune doesn’t really do it for me, although there’s some interesting stuff going on with the backing track, and it’s got a good atmosphere. The theme’s awful, though.
Track 16: Jason Derulo – Get Ugly
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Jason Derulo on track 11.
This one’s got a good rhythm and a slight retro tinge – I quite like it.
Track 17: Sigma and Rita Ora – Coming Home
I find this tune pretty uninspired.
Track 18: Elle King – Exes and Ohs
Great classic-sounding blues-tinged rock. Really like this.
Track 19: Olly Murs – Stevie Knows
Love that retro-sounding funk. Good stuff.
Track 20: Jack Garratt – Worry
Slow and boring, with some odd instrumentals that are very distracting.
Track 21: James Bay – If You Ever Want To Be In Love
Pretty tune, and it’s got quite a good rhythm. I like the rock-edged guitar too.
Track 22: Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir – A Bridge Over You
This was the 2015 Christmas number one – a charity choral offering. It was the first time, due to streaming becoming more popular than downloading, that the X Factor winner’s single didn’t really get a look in for the Christmas number one – in fact, Louisa Johnson’s Forever Young is not even included on this Now! compilation, which marks the first time since Steve Brookstein’s Against All Odds from 2005 that the X Factor song has been left out by the Now! compilers.
Anyway, this song is a dodgy mash-up of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and Coldplay’s Fix You, but I’m sure it raised a lot of money for charity.
Track 23: Justin Bieber – Sorry
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Justin Bieber on track 2.
I love this song, though. It’s the only Justin Bieber song I actually like, and it’s a cracker.
Track 24: The Weeknd – The Hills
Great atmosphere, but I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 25: Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Coldplay on track 4.
I find the warbly instrumentals on this one a bit irritating, but I do like the retro-tinged beat.
Track 26: 99 Souls, Destiny’s Child and Brandy – The Girl Is Mine
Mash-up of Destiny’s Child’s Girl and Brandy and Monica’s The Boy Is Mine (which was itself based on Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s The Girl Is Mine). Brandy re-recorded her vocals, Monica didn’t, which I guess explains the credit. I do quite like the electro lines on this track, and it’s not as messy as you would expect from a mash-up.
Track 27: Tinie Tempah and Zara Larsson – Girls Like
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Zara Larsson on track 6.
I quite like this one – it’s very danceable.
Track 28: Fleur East – Sax
I’m a big fan of this one, but you expected that, didn’t you? Saxophone a-go-go. I highly approve.
Track 29: Craig David and Big Narstie – When The Bassline Drops
The start of Craig David’s inexplicable but strangely welcome comeback! This one’s got a good beat, and, as should probably be expected, a bit of an early ’00s tinge.
Track 30: David Guetta, Sia and Fetty Wap – Bang My Head
I find the beat on this one a bit jarring, and the tune’s pretty bland.
Track 31: Sigala and Bryn Christopher – Sweet Lovin’
Another forgettable tune, and I’m actually starting to get a bit fed up of the ’90s-inspired dance tracks now.
Track 32: Kygo and Maty Noyes – Stay
Again, this tune doesn’t do anything for me.
Track 33: Mount and Nicholas Haelg – Something Good
Not a cover of the Utah Saints track, which is probably for the best, given how many versions of that one have shown up on Now! compilations. This one’s a dance track with some interesting instrumentals, but yet another generic, unmemorable tune.
Track 34: The Chainsmokers and Rozes – Roses
There’s a good atmosphere buried in there somewhere, but the track’s too messy to feel it, really.
Track 35: Alessia Cara – Here
Really don’t like this tune at all – I find it very grating.
Track 36: Alan Walker – Faded
Another slow, boring track. The beat does pick up, but it doesn’t get any more interesting.
Track 37: G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha – Me, Myself And I
I quite like the rhythm on the vocals, but I’m not keen on the tune.
Track 38: Robin Schulz and Francesco Yates – Sugar
I like the guitar at the start, and it’s got a good beat.
Track 39: Dawin and Silentó – Dessert [Remix]
The lines on this are pretty jarring, and the tune’s nothing special.
Track 40: AlunaGeorge and Popcaan – I’m In Control
Irritating vocals, dull song.
Track 41: Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out
I like the reggae-tinged beat, and the chorus is great – it gives the song an awesome eerie atmosphere. Brilliant lyrics too.
Track 42: The 1975 – The Sound
Love that classic pop feel – big fan of this track.
Track 43: Charlie Puth – One Call Away
Pretty tune, but it’s too slow and saccharine for me.
Track 44: David Bowie – Heroes
1977 classic back in the charts after David Bowie’s passing. I’m still sad about Bowie being gone even two and a half years later, and I wish I didn’t now associate this one with it being everywhere in early 2016. The song is as beautiful as everything else he did.
Day 91 brings us to Now! #91, which was released on 24th July 2015.
On with the summer hits!
Track 1: Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Irritatingly saccharine ballad, made worse by being from the soundtrack of the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie.
Track 2: Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – See You Again
Pretty tune on the chorus, and it’s got a good atmosphere. Quite like this one.
Track 3: OMI and Felix Jaehn – Cheerleader
Nice upbeat pop song – big fan of this.
Track 4: Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
Another solid pop tune. Great danceable track.
Track 5: Little Mix – Black Magic
It’s got a good beat, but I’m not keen on the tune.
Track 6: Tinie Tempah and Jess Glynne – Not Letting Go
I like the ’90s tinge, but the tune’s pretty dull.
Track 7: Major Lazer, DJ Snake and Mø – Lean On
That chorus should annoy me, but I actually quite like it.
Track 8: Years & Years – Shine
Interesting rhythm, and there’s a nice ’80s synthy tinge to the electro lines.
Track 9: Aston Merrygold – Get Stupid
Great mid-century retro sound, great upbeat tune. Good track.
Track 10: Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
I love this one – it’s a fantastic rock-edged party song that sounds like it dropped straight out of the ’80s! A favourite.
Track 11: Rita Ora – Poison
Quite like this tune, though I could do without the jarring instrumentals on the chorus.
Track 12: Natalie La Rose and Jeremih – Somebody
Very irritating interpolation of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which I can’t really get past. The rest of the track’s just bland.
Track 13: Nick Jonas – Jealous
I’ve always been torn about the lyric ‘it’s my right to be hellish/I still get jealous‘. On the one hand it’s super creepy and abusive and squicky. On the other hand, it’s a fantastic rhyme in a musical landscape where lyricism is not a strong point.
To sum up: awful theme, great danceable tune.
Track 14: John Newman – Come And Get It
Love that ’80s-feel funk on the backing track. I’m starting to sense a welcome theme to this Now! compilation!
Track 15: Ed Sheeran and Rudimental – Bloodstream
I quite like the tune on this one.
Track 16: Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
Nice upbeat pop song, even if it is a bit cheesy.
Track 17: Meghan Trainor – Dear Future Husband
The theme’s a bit awkward, but it’s a good tune.
Track 18: Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson – Trouble
I like the instrumentals, and it’s got a good rhythm.
Track 19: Jessie J – Flashlight
Too slow and ballad-y for me.
Track 20: James Bay – Let It Go
I like the guitar at the start, but the vocals annoy me.
Track 21: Florence & The Machine – Ship To Wreck
I find the chorus on this one pretty irritating, but the atmosphere is great, and I like the folky feel.
Track 22: Hozier – Someone New
Interesting instrumentals at the start, but on the whole it’s a little too slow for me.
Track 23: Lost Frequencies – Are You With Me
Bland, forgettable tune – not keen on this one.
Track 24: Kygo and Conrad Sewell – Firestone
The tune irritates me, and the verses are too slow.
Track 25: David Zowie – House Every Weekend
Very repetitive, and there’s not enough melody for me.
Track 26: David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack – Hey Mama
Love the atmosphere on this one – great track.
Track 27: Flo Rida, Robin Thicke and Verdine White – I Don’t Like It, I Love It
Boring tune, uninspired theme.
Track 28: Galantis – Runaway (U And I)
The vocal style irritates me, and it’s another dull tune.
Track 29: Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber – Where Are Ü Now
The lines are too jarring for me, and the tune’s really bland.
Track 30: Krept & Konan and Jeremih – Freak Of The Week
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Jeremih on track 12.
Good rhythm, good atmosphere – again I could do with a bit more melody though.
Track 31: Fifth Harmony and Kid Ink – Worth It
I really like that trumpet at the start, and it’s got a great beat – very danceable track.
Track 32: Deorro and Chris Brown – Five More Hours
Bland tune – nothing special going on with this one.
Track 33: LunchMoney Lewis – Bills
I love this upbeat novelty track! Happily chair-dancing here.
Track 34: Avicii – Waiting For Love
Love the tune on this, and that piano is gorgeous.
Track 35: Clean Bandit – Stronger
I find some of the lines a bit jarring, and the tune’s fairly bland. Good rhythm, though.
Track 36: Sam Feldt and Kimberly Anne – Show Me Love
Slow chillout cover of the Robin S classic, which has itself featured on a fair few Now! compilations over the years. It’s not my kind of thing, but at least they did something different with the song.
Track 37: Blonde and Alex Newell – All Cried Out
Highly irritating tune, uninspired beat.
Track 38: Kygo and Parson James – Stole The Show
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Kygo on track 24.
Another boring song.
Track 39: Rudimental and Foy Vance – Never Let You Go
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rudimental on track 15.
Again, I find this tune very bland and forgettable.
Track 40: Pep & Rash – Rumours
The vocals are quite interesting, and there’s some intriguing beepy stuff going on, but on the whole it’s too messy for me.
Track 41: Dr Kucho, Gregor Salto, Ane Brun and Oliver Heldens – Can’t Stop Playing (Makes Me High)
I am literally yawning right now. One too many boring dance tracks.
Track 42: Lethal Bizzle and Diztortion – Fester Skank
This one’s brilliantly daft (sample lyric: ‘you might see me in a Lambo/camo snapback, Rambo/five hundred horses, Django/two-two chicken, Nando‘) and very danceable. Great stuff.
Track 43: Martin Garrix and Usher – Don’t Look Down
The tune annoys me – not keen on this.
Track 44: Tove Lo – Talking Body
Awkward theme, generic tune. Dull end to a generally poor disc two.
Day 90! This means Now! #90, which came out on 30th March 2015.
Nine-tenths of the way through this Now! marathon! Let’s see (or hear, rather) what music sounded like as we entered the second half of the decade.
Track 1: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
This is hands down my favourite song of the ’10s. The ’80s-tinged funk sound, the beat, the lyrics – just wonderful. I love it.
Track 2: Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
It’s a slow ballad, so it’s not the kind of thing I’d usually be a fan of, but I do actually really like this.
Track 3: Years & Years – King
Good tune – big fan of this one.
Track 4: Maroon 5 – Sugar
Another good, danceable tune.
Track 5: James Bay – Hold Back The River
It’s the kind of thing that would normally be too acoustic-y for me, but the rhythm is great, so I quite like it.
Track 6: Sam Smith – Like I Can
Sam Smith finally releases something a bit upbeat! Another good track.
Track 7: Olly Murs and Demi Lovato – Up
I really like this duet – it’s got a great rhythm and a lovely tune. Good stuff.
Track 8: Meghan Trainor – Lips Are Movin’
I find this one to be a bit of a disappointing follow-up to All About That Bass, but I suppose it’s got a good beat.
Track 9: Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
This tune really irritates me.
Track 10: Sia – Elastic Heart
Good rhythm, and the tune’s quite interesting.
Track 11: Ben Haenow – Something I Need
The X Factor winner for 2014, this year doing a cover of a OneRepublic song. As usual, it’s pretty uninspiring. At the time of writing, this was the last X Factor winner’s single to get the Christmas number one, and hopefully – due to the combination of the X Factor finishing earlier in December nowadays and the continued increase in streaming and related decline in downloads in chart figures – it will remain that way forever.
Track 12: Take That – These Days
It’s Fake That version II, now only featuring Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald! Mind you, after the happy reunion of all five members for the Progress album, I’m actually okay with the lineup swapping about a bit. I’ve made my peace with that. Only took me twenty years.
This song is quite good, actually. Great beat, nice tune.
Track 13: One Direction – Night Changes
It’s a saccharine ballad, but I don’t hate the tune.
Track 14: Alesso and Tove Lo – Heroes (We Could Be)