Day 96’s Now! compilation was released on 7th April 2017.
Another new year, some more new hits.
Track 1: Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
I wasn’t sure about this track when I first heard it, but it’s really grown on me – it’s a real singalong classic. Things that are great about it:
The very relatable poetic evocation of what it feels like to be nostalgic for your teenage years.
The reference to Tiny Dancer.
The section describing what all the old friends are doing now – I think it’s lyrically very beautiful.
The fact that Suffolk Police needed to emphasise road safety in response to the ‘driving at ninety down these country lanes‘ lyric. If you’ve ever driven on British country lanes, you’ll know why ninety miles an hour is not a good idea.
Good solid piece of pop – I really like this tune.
Track 4: The Weeknd and Daft Punk – Starboy
Another great atmosphere.
Track 5: The Chainsmokers – Paris
The tune’s pretty depressing, but the lyrics are quite good.
Track 6: Starley – Call On Me [Ryan Riback Remix]
There’s something I find really irritating about the tune on the vocals, but I quite like the instrumentals.
Track 7: Anne-Marie – Ciao Adios
Great pop track! Really danceable – we did a cooldown to this one in Zumba class for a while – and the tune’s good too.
Track 8: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
The tune’s a bit generic, but I like the ’80s feel.
Track 9: Zara Larsson – I Would Like
I find this tune really irritating.
Track 10: Katy Perry and Skip Marley – Chained To The Rhythm
Interesting theme, and it’s got a good beat.
Track 11: Sean Paul and Dua Lipa – No Lie
Another irritating tune.
Track 12: Martin Jensen – Solo Dance
It’s an okay beat, but it’s pretty forgettable.
Track 13: Zedd and Alessia Cara – Stay
I really don’t like this tune – it’s very depressing. Also, I was really irritated at the time when the Viva music channel would always mute out the word ‘rum’ in the lyric ‘drinking rum and cola‘, because apparently it’s not acceptable even to say the names of alcoholic drinks before the watershed nowadays.
Track 14: Sigrid – Don’t Kill My Vibe
Boring and slow.
Track 15: Steve Aoki and Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On
Very generic dance track, nothing special here.
Track 16: Dua Lipa – Be The One
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Dua Lipa on track 11.
It’s got quite a good chillout feel, but I’m not keen on the tune.
Track 17: Jonas Blue and Raye – By Your Side
Highly irritating tune, and it’s too high-pitched.
Track 18: Coldplay – Hypnotised
Too slow, forgettable tune, so dull I can’t concentrate.
Track 19: John Legend – Love Me Now
The tune’s okay, but it’s another one where I can’t get onboard with the theme.
Track 20: Robbie Williams – Love My Life
Great to see Robbie Williams still going strong, even if this song is almost tipping into self-parody.
Track 21: George Michael – Fastlove
We’ve already had this one on Now! #35, but as it was included here as a tribute to the late great George Michael shortly after his passing, I’ll let it slide.
See the link for my review.
Track 22: Jax Jones and Raye – You Don’t Know Me
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Raye on track 17.
I really like this track though – the bridge is awesome, and it’s got a great beat.
Track 23: The Weeknd and Daft Punk – Feel It Coming
Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had both the Weeknd and Daft Punk on track 4.
This one’s too cheesy for me, and not upbeat enough. I like the retro feel though.
Track 24: Martin Garrix and Dua Lipa – Scared To Be Lonely
Repeated artist mega alert! We’ve already had Dua Lipa on both track 11 and track 16. This is getting annoying!
Yet another irritating tune.
Track 25: Kygo and Selena Gomez – It Ain’t Me
Again, there’s something that really annoys me about the tune.
Track 26: Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane – Black Beatles
Great rhythm, but the tune’s very repetitive.
Track 27: Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello – Bad Things
I quite like this one – the tune on the chorus is nice.
Track 28: Sage The Gemini – Now And Later
I find this track pretty dull – it could do with a bit more melody.
Track 29: Tinie Tempah and Tinashe – Text From Your Ex
I quite like the atmosphere, but the tune’s nothing special.
Track 30: Stormzy – Big For Your Boots
Great rap track – the rhythm on this is awesome.
Track 31: Tom Zanetti and Sadie Ama – You Want Me
Takes ages to get going. When it does, the tune’s very irritating and sounds almost off-key.
Track 32: Martin Solveig and Ina Wroldsen – Places
Another annoying tune.
Track 33: Robin Schulz, David Guetta and Cheat Codes – Shed A Light
I’m just not keen on this at all – it’s cheesy and generic.
Track 34: MO and Kent Jones – Not In Love
It’s another very forgettable tune, but I quite like the reggae-tinged beat.
Track 35: Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – Skin
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rag ‘N’ Bone Man on track 2.
The tune’s very pretty, but it’s too slow for me.
Track 36: Train – Play That Song
Extremely irritating and twee!
Track 37: The Vamps and Matoma – All Night
That chorus is insanely annoying with its kiddie-sounding vocals, and the rest of the track’s not much better.
Track 38: Ariana Grande and Future – Everyday
Too slow for me, and the track’s very messy.
Track 39: Major Lazer, PartyNextDoor and Nicki Minaj – Run Up
Another irritating tune, but it’s got quite a good beat.
Track 40: Post Malone and Quavo – Congratulations
Not keen on the tune on this one.
Track 41: Julia Michaels – Issues
I really don’t like this one – the vocal style and rhythm are kind of stop-start, the tune’s nothing special, and the theme annoys me.
Track 42: Lorde – Green Light
This is a great song – I love the beat and the way it builds. Wonderful track.
Track 43: Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean and Migos – Slide
The kiddie-sounding bit of the vocals are just incoherent shouting, and the tune’s pretty dull, but I like the retro-sounding instrumentals.
Day 95, and we’re at Now! #95, which was released on 18th November 2016.
Time for some party season hits!
Track 1: James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go
I can’t stand this one! It’s so saccharine, and the theme just sits really awkwardly with me.
Track 2: Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex
Great solid piece of pop – really like this.
Track 3: Clean Bandit, Sean Paul and Anne-Marie – Rockabye
The Christmas number one for 2016 – and, notably, the first Christmas number one since 1999 that wasn’t either a charity single or a talent show winner. It’s a good song – although I find the theme too cheesy – but really I like this one for the hilarious bit in the video where all the old dudes in the pub mime along to Sean Paul’s vocals.
Track 4: The Chainsmokers and Halsey – Closer
It’s a bit repetitive, but I quite like this tune. The lyrics are pretty daft though!
Track 5: Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and Mø – Cold Water
It’s an okay tune, but it’s a bit generic.
Track 6: Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj – Side To Side
Great piece of pop – love the rhythm on this.
Track 7: Sia – The Greatest
I find the chorus really grating, but the tune on the verses is okay.
Track 8: Calvin Harris – My Way
Nothing to do with the Frank Sinatra song. This one’s got an irritating tune, and is very repetitive.
Track 9: Hailee Steinfeld, Grey and Zedd – Starving
Cheesy, too slow, and the lyrics are a bit awkward.
Track 10: MO – Who Do You Think Of?
This is the girl group MO, not to be confused with the solo singer Mø who also appears on this Now! compilation (twice). This is a good, danceable pop tune – quite like this one.
Track 11: Neiked and Dyo – Sexual
Highly irritating tune, too high-pitched, awkward theme. Not a fan.
Track 12: Anne-Marie – Alarm
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Anne-Marie on track 3.
Great atmosphere, but again I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 13: Olly Murs – You Don’t Know Love
I quite like this one – there’s a nice ’80s tinge to the backing track.
Track 14: Mø – Final Song
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Mø on track 5.
Pretty tune though, quite like this one.
Track 15: Maroon 5 – Don’t Wanna Know
The tune is super irritating, but the video, which parodies the Pokémon Go phenomenon, is great.
Track 16: JP Cooper – September Song
The chorus for this rips off the chorus of Jealous by Nick Jonas, so whenever I get one or the other stuck in my head it usually turns into an unwelcome mash-up. The rest of the tune is just annoying.
Track 17: Shawn Mendes – Mercy
Too slow for me, but it’s an okay tune.
Track 18: Ellie Goulding – Still Falling For You
Dull, saccharine and irritating.
Track 19: Emeli Sandé – Hurts
Great tune, great atmosphere. Really like this one.
Track 20: Michael Bublé – I Believe In You
Too cheesy for me.
Track 21: Craig David – All We Needed
The official Children In Need single for 2016 – and it’s finally something that’s not a cover! I’m so glad the trend has finally shifted!
What I’m not glad about is that this track is super slow. The piano’s nice, though.
Track 22: Drake, Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance
This was number one for fifteen weeks in the summer of 2016, equalling the second place for longest-lasting number one held by Wet Wet Wet since 1994 for Love Is All Around. I found this really interesting – because I have clear memories of the Wet Wet Wet chart run from when I was nine, I was able to compare the way fifteen weeks felt as a child versus as an adult. It went a lot quicker as an adult, because time always does (I’m a firm believer in the theory that we are constantly subconsciously comparing intervals of time to our total life so far, which is why time just gets faster and faster as you age), but it also felt like I did and achieved more, probably because I was running and working so much during that summer.
Anyway, the track. It’s got a good beat, and the tune’s okay, but it certainly didn’t deserve to be number one for fifteen weeks. Thankfully it didn’t equal or beat Bryan Adams’ 1991 record of sixteen weeks for Everything I Do (I Do It For You), so that still stands.
Track 23: DJ Snake and Justin Bieber – Let Me Love You
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Justin Bieber on track 5.
This tune is almost unbearably irritating and cheesy. Not my thing at all.
Track 24: Fifth Harmony – That’s My Girl
The tune’s a bit annoying, but it’s got a good rhythm.
Track 25: Sigma and Birdy – Find Me
Too slow, but the atmosphere’s okay.
Track 26: Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha – In The Name Of Love
Pretty tune on the vocals, but the electro hook annoys me.
Track 27: Nevada, Mark Morrison and Fetty Wap – The Mack
This is the second ’10s cover version of Mark Morrison’s 1996 hit Return Of The Mack, after the one by Mann, Iyaz and Snoop Dogg in 2011 (which was also called The Mack). It doesn’t really add anything to the original.
Track 28: Tieks and Dan Harkna – Sunshine
It’s got a good beat, but the tune annoys me.
Track 29: Zara Larsson – Ain’t My Fault
Okay tune, but the theme is really problematic.
Track 30: Bob Marley & The Wailers, Lvndscape and Bolier – Is This Love
Semi-cover of the 1978 classic, with some dance rhythms over the top. It’s got a good atmosphere, but it can’t touch the original.
Track 31: Digital Farm Animals, Cash Cash and Nelly – Millionaire
Irritating kiddie-style vocals on the chorus, and the tune annoys me.
Track 32: Snakehips and Zayn – Cruel
Forgettable tune, boring vocals.
Track 33: Matoma and Becky Hill – False Alarm
Another bland tune.
Track 34: Galantis and Hook ‘N’ Sling – Love On Me
I’ve never been keen on the vocals on this one, which sound to me like someone is faking a Scottish accent.
Track 35: Charli XCX and Lil’ Yachty – After The Afterparty
Irritating tune, but I quite like the theme.
Track 36: Dua Lipa – Blow Your Mind (Mwah)
Good beat, annoying chorus.
Track 37: Louisa Johnson – So Good
Good solid piece of pop with a great atmosphere. Not keen on the theme though.
Track 38: James TW – When You Love Someone
Pretty tune, but it’s a bit too slow and acoustic-y for me.
Track 39: Wilkinson and Karen Harding – Sweet Lies
I find this tune very generic, and the beat is like every other dance track this decade.
Track 40: Craig David and Sigala – Ain’t Giving Up
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Craig David on track 21.
I quite like the tune and the tinkly instrumentals, but the chorus is kind of annoying.
Track 41: Charlie Puth – Dangerously
Good atmosphere, but it’s a little too high-pitched for me and the theme’s a bit saccharine.
Track 42: Offaiah – Trouble
Very repetitive tune, not keen.
Track 43: Christine & The Queens – Tilted
Good, interesting track. I really like the instrumentals on this one, and there’s something lovely and classic about the vocals.
Track 44: Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion
I like the rock edge on this one.
Track 45: Niall Horan – This Town
Saccharine acoustic ballad, and I don’t like the theme. In short, it’s pretty much everything I dislike.
At my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding, my sister-in-law’s bridesmaids all sang a version of this with altered lyrics about the wedding couple, so it tends to be that version I think of when I hear this song.
Track 24: Galantis – No Money
I find this one insanely irritating – awful tune, appalling kiddie-sounding vocals.
Track 25: DJ Snake and Bipolar Sunshine – Middle
Slow and depressing.
Track 26: Desiigner – Panda
Great brooding atmosphere, but I could do with a bit more melody.
Track 27: Kent Jones – Don’t Mind
Irritating theme, irritating tune, irritating lyrics. Not keen on this one at all.
Track 28: Cheat Codes and Kris Kross Amsterdam – Sex
Dodgy dance cover of Salt-N-Pepa’s ’90s hit Let’s Talk About Sex, with new verses in order to bastardise the original safe sex theme into one about general horniness. Have I mentioned before that I hate this century?
Track 29: Sigala, Imani Williams and DJ Fresh – Say You Do
Boring tune on the vocals, but I quite like the instrumentals (steel drums again!).
Track 30: Blonde and Craig David – Nothing Like This
Nice beat, and the vocals are quite interesting, but the tune’s a bit repetitive.
Track 31: Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez – We Don’t Talk Anymore
Beautiful tune – really like this one.
Track 32: Ariana Grande – Into You
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ariana Grande on track 13.
I’m a big fan of this song though – it’s probably my favourite Ariana Grande track. Great solid piece of pop.
Track 33: David Guetta and Zara Larsson – This One’s For You
Not keen on this tune, but the track builds quite well.
Track 34: Jonas Blue and JP Cooper – Perfect Strangers
I’ve always found this tune really grating.
Track 35: Dua Lipa – Hotter Than Hell
Good beat, very danceable.
Track 36: Kygo and Kodaline – Raging
I quite like the guitar on this one, but it’s not upbeat enough for me.
Track 37: Selena Gomez – Kill ‘Em With Kindness
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Selena Gomez on track 31.
I quite like this tune though, even if the chorus is a bit repetitive.
Track 38: will.i.am and Pia Mia – Boys And Girls
Great beat on this one – happily nodding along right now.
Track 39: Reggie ‘N’ Bollie – New Girl
Daft theme and lyrics that I’m not wholly keen on. The tune’s nice and feelgood, though, and I like the beat.
Track 40: Tinie Tempah and Wizkid – Mamacita
Love the Latin tinge on this one! Great stuff.
Track 41: Craig David – One More Time
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Craig David on track 30.
I really like the rhythm and the vocal style, but the tune’s fairly bland.
Track 42: Sigala, John Newman, Nile Rodgers, Cedric Gervais and Laurent Simeca – Give Me Your Love
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Sigala on track 29.
That is a long list of artists for a not-especially-inspiring song. The tune’s okay, but it’s nothing special.
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 84 equals Now! #84, which came out on 25th March 2013.
Let’s see what the hits were that spring.
Track 1: One Direction – One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)
Pointless cover mash-up of Blondie’s One Way Or Another and the Undertones’ Teenage Kicks. This was the Comic Relief single for 2013, so I guess charity fundraising is the excuse for ruining both of these classic songs.
Track 2: will.i.am and Britney Spears – Scream And Shout
I really like this danceable track, especially the well-done callback to Gimme More.
Track 3: Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
I quite like this tune, and it’s got a good atmosphere.
Track 4: Pink and Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason
Great song – love the way the duet works here.
Track 5: Rihanna – Diamonds
Another pretty tune. Very nice.
Track 6: Bastille – Pompeii
Epic and anthemic – love this one.
Track 7: James Arthur – Impossible
The annual inclusion of the most recent X Factor winner, this year doing a pointless cover of Shontelle’s Impossible, which was not a great song to begin with.
Track 8: Olly Murs and Flo Rida – Troublemaker
I quite like this jaunty track – it’s got a great singalong chorus.
Track 9: Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven
This is from my favourite Bruno Mars era, when he started doing all these pastiches of artists that were big circa 1980. This song sounds like it should have been released by the Police.
Track 10: Kesha – Die Young
Nice beat, but the tune’s pretty forgettable.
Track 11: Bridgit Mendler – Ready Or Not
Irritating vocals, boring tune, and the chorus has a poorly-done interpolation of the Delfonics ’60s song (which was already done much better by the Fugees). Nothing impressive here.
Track 12: Little Mix – DNA
Great epic atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit weak.
Track 13: The Saturdays and Sean Paul – What About Us
Another bland, forgettable song.
Track 14: Girls Aloud – Something New
Love this one! Girls Aloud sort of came to a natural finish at the end of the ’00s, and so this special tenth anniversary track is really the only thing they’ve done as a group this decade. Better one cracker than lots of poor tracks, though, and this song is great.
Track 15: Nicole Scherzinger – Boomerang
Good rhythm, but this is another uninspired tune.
Track 16: Disclosure and Sam Smith – Latch
I appreciate that it’s a bit different from most stuff that was in the charts at the time, but it’s not my kind of thing – the tune is generic and I’m not into this kind of chillout/trance stuff.
Track 17: Rita Ora – Radioactive
I usually get this one confused with the identically-titled Imagine Dragons song that came out around the same time. This one’s probably my less-preferred (though there’s not much in it – the Imagine Dragons song is pretty dull too), because the tune’s very bland, but it does have a good electro backing track.
Track 18: Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
I quite like the instrumentals, but the tune on the vocals annoys me.
Track 19: Christina Perri – A Thousand Years
Boring ballad off the Twilight soundtrack, but at least she doesn’t sound quite as horribly off-key as she does in Jar Of Hearts.
Track 20: Emeli Sandé – Clown
I find the theme a bit awkward, and it’s too slow for me.
Track 21: Gabrielle Aplin – The Power Of Love
This was one of the first of the big ‘Christmas advert’ hits that have been a feature of Christmas music this decade. Take a classic song, record a slow, melancholy, piano-based cover with female vocals, slap it over the top of an expensive John Lewis Christmas advert, debut the advert during an X Factor ad break in early November, job done. Christmas classic guaranteed.
Of course, this was already a Christmas classic, and has been ever since Frankie Goes To Hollywood released the original in 1984. Gabrielle Aplin’s version is very pretty, but it doesn’t have the pure emotional power of the Frankie version – Holly Johnson’s performance of the second verse is capable of moving me to tears when I’m in the right place, and Aplin just can’t compare. Still, it is enjoyable, even if July is really not when I want to be hearing Christmas songs.
Track 22: Avicii and Nicky Romero – I Could Be The One
I love this dance track – obviously it’s got a great beat, but there’s also something very wistful about the vocals. I actually can’t think of anyone who was better than Avicii (RIP) at emotion-inducing EDM.
Track 23: Bingo Players and Far East Movement – Get Up (Rattle)
Daft tune, but it’s a good head-nodder.
Track 24: Pitbull and TJR – Don’t Stop The Party
Messy and irritating.
Track 25: Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah – Drinking From The Bottle
Good beat, and I really like Tinie Tempah’s rap on this one.
Track 26: Dizzee Rascal – Bassline Junkie
Daft theme, but I find it very funny. Good stuff.
Track 27: Wiley, Chipmunk and Dayo Olatunji – Reload
Boring tune, and there’s too much going on with the track.
Track 28: Rudimental, John Newman and Alex Clare – Not Giving In
Slow and dull intro, and the tune’s very irritating.
Track 29: Conor Maynard and Wiley – Animal
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Wiley on track 27.
The rap’s very bland, as is the tune, and the whole thing’s just a bit repetitive.
Track 30: Disclosure and AlunaGeorge – White Noise
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Disclosure on track 16.
This one takes ages to get going. The electro hook’s okay, but the vocals are super bland.
Track 31: Devlin and Diane Birch – Rewind
Another very forgettable song. Also, part of the melody on the chorus rips off Heart’s Alone, which has been an irritating theme in recent Now! compilations.
Track 32: Lawson – Standing In The Dark
A little more upbeat than previous Lawson tracks, but it’s still a very bland, saccharine song.
Track 33: Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier
I saw Biffy Clyro once. It was the worst gig I’ve ever been to. Not because of Biffy Clyro, I hasten to add – they were fine to listen to, although the heavier stuff they were playing as the second support band in 2003 wasn’t really my thing. The main act was Linkin Park, who were okay (and I am glad I got to see them given sad future events), but the SECC in Glasgow had done this thing (I don’t know if it was by band request or what) where they barriered off a huge semicircle around the stage and only let about fifteen people into it, leaving the remaining hundreds of gig-goers to squash uncomfortably round the outside of the barrier and completely ruining the atmosphere. The only person onstage who seemed to be on the audience’s side was Ian Watkins of Lostprophets, the main support band, and I don’t really want to give him credit seeing as how he turned out to be a sex offender.
Anyway, I never went back to the SECC again. Barrowlands all the way if it was a Glasgow gig, even if I did lose a lot of brain cells and earrings over the years through being booted in the head by crowdsurfers.
I think what I’m trying to say is that this song’s a lot more interesting than the stuff Biffy were doing back in 2003. I quite like the vocal hook at the start, and the chorus is great.
Track 34: Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)
There’s a nice atmospheric chant-along bit on this one – quite like the track.
Track 35: McFly – Love Is Easy
Twee and irritating. I should note that Geth appreciated the It’s A Wonderful Life sample though.
Track 36: Ben Howard – Only Love
I find this tune pretty annoying.
Track 37: The Lumineers – Ho Hey
It’s a bit twee, but it’s quite a nice, jaunty song.
Track 38: One Direction – Little Things
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had One Direction on track 1.
This one is an irritating saccharine ballad with an irritating black and white video where One Direction sit around and play acoustic guitars in an attempt to look like serious musicians. The song was apparently written by Ed Sheeran, which will surprise no one.
It was also number one on Geth’s and my wedding day, which is far from ideal.
Track 39: Pink – Try
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pink on track 4.
This one is a gorgeous tune though – really like it.
Track 40: Gabrielle Aplin – Please Don’t Say You Love Me
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Gabrielle Aplin on track 21.
The only thing this song achieves is proving that she should have been a one-hit wonder. Dull and uninspired.
Track 41: Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere
1987 classic, back in the charts due to a mobile phone advert. Not complaining here at all – I’m very partial to Fleetwood Mac, and this is one of my favourites.
Track 42: Ellie Goulding – Explosions
Not keen on that choral bit at the start, and on the whole it’s too slow for me and I don’t find the tune interesting enough.
Track 43: The Justice Collective – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Charity cover of the ’60s classic to raise funds for Hillsborough victims’ charities, and the Christmas number one for 2012. Some good voice-spotting to be done here.
Day 83 equals Now! #83, which brings us to 19th November 2012 – just four days before mine and Geth’s wedding.
I am proud to report that we played absolutely none of the following songs at our wedding disco. Not even Gangnam Style.
Track 1: Psy – Gangnam Style
It’s still hilarious nearly six years later, and very danceable, even if you’re not inclined to do the comedy dance that goes with the song.
Track 2: Robbie Williams – Candy
Nice feelgood tune that gave Robbie Williams an unexpected number one later in his career. Good song.
Track 3: Swedish House Mafia and John Martin – Don’t You Worry Child
The theme is pretty cheesy, and the tune is a bit bland.
Track 4: Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Great folk-pop track with an awesome singalong chorus – really like this one.
Track 5: The Wanted – I Found You
Good danceable track, but the tune’s a bit bland.
Track 6: Calvin Harris and Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing
Another boring tune – not keen on this one.
Track 7: Maroon 5 – One More Night
Great reggae-tinged beat – this one’s a great head-nodder.
Track 8: Wiley, Skepta, JME and Dayo Olatunji – Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)
Love those steel drums at the start – good tune, great rhythm.
Track 9: Flo Rida – I Cry
I quite like the tune on this one – despite the title, it’s quite feelgood.
Track 10: Ne-Yo – Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)
Irritating tune, even more irritating theme.
Track 11: Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time
Another annoying tune, and the theme is really cheesy.
Track 12: Katy Perry – Wide Awake
Again, a very bland tune.
Track 13: Pink – Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Great beat, and I love the instrumentals.
Track 14: Little Mix – Wings
Good solid pop track – very danceable.
Track 15: Stooshe – Waterfalls
Uninspired cover of the TLC classic. What’s kind of irritating is that the surviving members of TLC show up in the video.
Track 16: JLS – Hottest Girl In The World
Good beat, but in general I find this track a bit messy and jarring.
Track 17: Nicki Minaj – Pound The Alarm
Another very danceable track, another fairly forgettable tune.
Track 18: Redlight – Lost In Your Love
Dull, repetitive tune, and the messy beat gives me a headache.
Track 19: Rita Ora – How We Do (Party)
Boring, bland track – not enough melody for me.
Track 20: Cheryl – Under The Sun
It’s got quite a nice retro tinge, but the tune’s fairly forgettable.
Track 21: Wiley and Dayo Olatunji – Heatwave
Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had both Wiley and Dayo Olatunji on track 8.
Great rhythm, but the vocals are repetitive and irritating (and it’s never clear whether the lyric is ‘body‘ or ‘party‘).
Track 22: Sam & The Womp – Bom Bom
Daft track that’s a lot of fun. Happily chair-dancing right now.
Track 23: Labrinth and Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful
I know the grammar of that title looks horrible – it’s actually because they’re using ‘beautiful’ as a noun rather than misspelling ‘you’re’. Still wrong, but not a your/you’re fail. ‘Beneath Your Beauty’ is what they actually mean.
Anyway, the song’s a slow, saccharine ballad, and I’m not keen on those.
Track 24: The Script and will.i.am – Hall Of Fame
Collaboration cooked up between will.i.am and Script singer Danny O’Donoghue, who were both coaches on The Voice at the time. It’s a bit awkward and poor.
Track 25: Florence & The Machine – Spectrum (Say My Name) [Calvin Harris Remix]
Not technically a repeated artist alert, but this is the second collaboration between Florence Welch and Calvin Harris on this Now! compilation.
This tune is epic and gorgeous. Lovely stuff.
Track 26: David Guetta and Sia – She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)
Boring, forgettable tune, and I don’t find any of the hooks very interesting.
Track 27: Calvin Harris and Example – We’ll Be Coming Back
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Calvin Harris on track 6, and sort of on track 25.
Nice atmosphere though, and the tune’s quite pretty.
Track 28: Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
I find this one pretty dull.
Track 29: Naughty Boy and Emeli Sandé – Wonder
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Emeli Sandé on track 23.
Not keen on this tune – I find it a bit twee.
Track 30: Conor Maynard and Ne-Yo – Turn Around
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ne-Yo on track 10.
This one’s another boring, uninspired tune.
Track 31: One Direction – Live While We’re Young
Extremely bland tune – very forgettable.
Track 32: Chris Brown – Don’t Wake Me Up
Irritating spoken word bit at the start, dull saccharine vocals. Not a fan.
Track 33: Amelia Lily – You Bring Me Joy
Another dull, forgettable song.
Track 34: Fun – Some Nights
Good tune – there’s something a bit folk-rock about this one.
Track 35: Example – Say Nothing
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Example on track 27.
This is another bland, uninspired tune.
Track 36: Lawson – Taking Over Me
Too cheesy for me.
Track 37: Karmin – Brokenhearted
Yet another forgettable song.
Track 38: Trey Songz – Simply Amazing
Again, this one’s far too saccharine for my liking.
Track 39: Simple Plan and Sean Paul – Summer Paradise
Nice jaunty track, though it’s a bit cheesy.
Track 40: Angel – Wonderful
This tune’s okay, and there are some interesting instrumentals going on too.
Track 41: Devlin and Ed Sheeran – Watchtower
The chorus samples/covers Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, and there’s also a bit of the guitar riff from the Jimi Hendrix version. Other than that, it’s mainly a rap, which I’m not keen on.
Track 42: Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
I find this tune really dull, and a bit depressing.
Track 43: Elbow – One Day Like This
2008 hit that was back in the charts for 2012 – I can’t remember why. Classic tune though, and that repeated anthemic hook at the end is epic.
Day 81 means Now! #81, which came out on 2nd April 2012.
On with the 2012 hits!
Track 1: Gotye and Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
Gorgeous song that was deservedly number one for weeks and weeks. Love this track.
Track 2: Coldplay – Paradise
I normally find Coldplay songs pretty depressing, but this is a beautiful tune.
Track 3: Ed Sheeran – Lego House
I find this one fairly dull, but the video with Rupert Grint is funny.
Track 4: Emeli Sandé – Next To Me
There’s something that irritates me about the tune.
Track 5: Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Nice solid pop song, quite like this track.
Track 6: Jessie J – Domino
Another feelgood pop track, but the tune’s not particularly exciting.
Track 7: David Guetta and Sia – Titanium
Great vocals, good tune.
Track 8: Flo Rida – Good Feeling
Flo Rida sampling Avicii sampling Etta James. It’s a great hook, so I can see why.
Track 9: Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
I find this one a bit depressing.
Track 10: Labrinth – Last Time
Nice atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit pedestrian.
Track 11: Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump
Great, danceable track! The video with Jordan Stephens’ mum and James Corden is also hilarious.
Track 12: Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight
In my Zumba class in Southampton, we always did a really fun jive number to this one. Great, upbeat track.
Track 13: Pixie Lott – Kiss The Stars
Good upbeat dance tune – happily nodding along here.
Track 14: One Direction – One Thing
It’s always really annoyed me that this song rips off the chord sequence of Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way. As such, I can’t hear it without getting a weird mash-up of the two songs stuck in my head.
Track 15: Marcus Collins – Seven Nation Army
Interesting, eerie, soul-tinged cover of the White Stripes classic. Good stuff.
Track 16: Florence & The Machine – Shake It Out
Nice tune – quite like the build on this one.
Track 17: Drake and Rihanna – Take Care
Pretty tune, but it’s too slow for me. I like the It’s My Party callback though!
Track 18: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Gorgeous atmosphere – really like this track.
Track 19: Little Mix – Cannonball
Pointless cover of the Damien Rice song (see Now! #80 review from yesterday) by the 2011 X Factor winners. Thankfully Little Mix would go on to release much more interesting songs.
Track 20: JLS – Proud
Boring ballad, not keen.
Track 21: Military Wives and Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are
The Christmas number one for 2011 – a pretty tune from one of Gareth Malone’s TV choir projects.
Track 22: LMFAO – Sexy And I Know It
Hilarious song – this one’s a shameless pleasure!
Track 23: Flo Rida and Sia – Wild Ones
Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Flo Rida on track 8 and Sia on track 7.
The tune’s really irritating, bu the rap’s okay.
Track 24: Lady Gaga – Marry The Night
Good solid pop – great tune.
Track 25: Avicii – Levels
This is the Avicii song that Flo Rida was sampling on track 8; in turn, this track samples Etta James’ 1962 song Something’s Got A Hold On Me. There’s some great hooks going on throughout.
Track 26: Pitbull and Chris Brown – International Love
Awful theme, awful song.
Track 27: Lloyd, André 3000 and Lil’ Wayne – Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)
Another bad theme, but I actually really like this song! Just make sure to avoid the squicky explicit version.
Track 28: Sean Paul – She Doesn’t Mind
Good beat, good tune. Really like this one.
Track 29: Taio Cruz – Troublemaker
The lyrics are sort of hilarious and terrible at the same time. Could do with a bit more melody as well!
Track 30: Alexandra Burke and Erick Morillo – Elephant
Great theme, and it’s got a good beat. The tune’s a little generic, though.
Track 31: Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party – Antidote
It’s very danceable, but there’s not enough of a memorable hook for me.
Track 32: Rizzle Kicks – When I Was A Youngster
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rizzle Kicks on track 11.
The theme annoys me on this one, but the tune’s nice and feelgood.
Track 33: Stooshe and Travie McCoy – Love Me
Mid-century retro jazz-tinged song with Spice Girls-esque cackling interspersed throughout. It’s not a bad tune.
Track 34: Gym Class Heroes and Neon Hitch – Get Yourself Back Home
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
I quite like the tune on the chorus, but the rest of the track is pretty dull.
Also, though I don’t class band/individual repetitions as a repeated artist, that’s two songs in a row with Travie McCoy’s vocals on.
Track 35: Rihanna – You Da One
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rihanna on track 17.
This tune is a bit irritating to my ears – not a fan.
Track 36: Tinchy Stryder and Pixie Lott – Bright Lights
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Pixie Lott on track 13.
Bland, forgettable tune, and the rap’s nothing special.
Track 37: Cover Drive – Twilight
The tune’s pretty dull. I’m sure I did like at least one of Cover Drive’s songs, but this wasn’t it.
Track 38: Alyssa Reid and Jump Smokers – Alone Again
Utterly appalling cover of Heart’s Alone, with a rap partway through it and new, terrible verses. The original is special to me (partly because it was on the sacred tome that is Now! #10) and so I find this mess pretty offensive.
Track 39: Jessie J – Who You Are
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Jessie J on track 6.
Boring ballad with overblown vocals. Not my thing.
Track 40: Chiddy Bang – Ray Charles
Good retro-sounding track – very noddable.
Track 41: will.i.am, Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger – THE (The Hardest Ever)
Fantastic track! I love the atmosphere, the build, the melding of the three very different vocal styles. Wonderful stuff.
Track 42: Dappy and Brian May – Rockstar
I’m a bit irritated that a legend like Brian May got roped into contributing to this very uninspired song. The rap’s okay, but the tune’s really generic, and the theme is my least favourite: the whole ‘look, I’m rich and famous now, let me brag about it in a song!’ thing. The brief guitar solo is, of course, epic.
Day 80 brings us to Now! #80, which came out on 21st November 2011.
Let’s see what was soundtracking my first few months living in Southampton.
Track 1: Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
This one reminds me of unpacking all the stuff in our new flat when we first moved to Southampton. I’ve always really liked this one – great tune, and the theme is awesome.
Track 2: Rihanna and Calvin Harris – We Found Love
Nice tune, but it’s a bit repetitive.
Track 3: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
Revoltingly saccharine! Everything about this track is just irritating.
Track 4: Bruno Mars – Marry You
It’s a bit cheesy, but I quite like the tune.
Track 5: JLS – Take A Chance On Me
I like the piano at the start, but again, the song in general is too saccharine for me.
Track 6: Christina Perri – Jar Of Hearts
It would be a good song if she could actually sing. Seriously, it’s so off-key! Why was this even allowed to be released?
Track 7: Kelly Clarkson – Mr Know It All
Highly irritating tune, and I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 8: Olly Murs and Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat
Great track – I love this one! Upbeat, feelgood, awesome tune.
Track 9: The Wanted – Lightning
I like the instrumentals, but the vocals are kind of annoying.
Track 10: Pixie Lott – All About Tonight
Good solid danceable pop, and lyrical references to shoes are always a winner with me.
Track 11: The Saturdays – All Fired Up
Fairly generic dance track, but the tune’s okay, and it’s quite danceable.
Track 12: Lady Gaga – The Edge Of Glory
Great pop tune! Love the sax solo too, obviously.
Track 13: Will Young – Jealousy
Irritatingly whiny and insipid.
Track 14: James Morrison – I Won’t Let You Go
Painfully boring and depressing ballad.
Track 15: Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You
Great upbeat track, and I’m sorry, but I still find the elevator lyric hilarious.
Track 16: Damien Rice – Cannonball
Too slow and earnest for me.
Track 17: Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Gorgeous tune! An all-time favourite.
Track 18: Charlene Soraia – Wherever You Will Go
Slow, dull ‘TV advert’ cover of the Calling song. It’s a good tune, but the original beats this hands down.
Track 19: Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
Absolutely beautiful tune – a classic rock track from the ’90s, back in the charts due to somebody performing it on Britain’s Got Talent.
Track 20: Matt Cardle – Run For Your Life
Track 21: Westlife – Lighthouse
Jarring lines, saccharine vocals. Not a fan of this one.
Track 22: Adele – Set Fire To The Rain
Gorgeous tune – love the atmosphere on this.
Track 23: Professor Green and Emeli Sandé – Read All About It
I find this one a bit depressing.
Track 24: Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine – Stereo Hearts
The tune’s okay, but the rap’s really uninspired.
Track 25: Labrinth and Tinie Tempah – Earthquake
Great, danceable track – really like this one! That monastic bit is wild.
Track 26: Jason Derulo – It Girl
Cheesy and forgettable. Not a great song.
Track 27: Dappy – No Regrets
Again, there’s something very depressing about the tune on this one.
Track 28: David Guetta and Usher – Without You
Boring tune, uninspired lines.
Track 29: Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Calvin Harris on track 2.
I find this tune pretty dull.
Track 30: Leona Lewis and Avicii – Collide
I remember there was a bit of upset at the time, according to the Radio 1 DJs, because Avicii hadn’t originally been credited despite the fact that it was his track and Leona Lewis was just singing over the top. Anyway, the tune’s a bit repetitive and bland.
Track 31: Example – Stay Awake
Slightly awkward theme, but the vocals are good.
Track 32: Sean Kingston – Party All Night (Sleep All Day)
Daft theme, but it’s a pleasant enough tune, if a bit bland.
Track 33: Tinchy Stryder, Calvin Harris and Matthew Burns – Off The Record
Repeated artist mega alert! We’ve already had Calvin Harris on both track 2 and track 29.
Boring electro hook, generic rap. Not a fan.
Track 34: Sak Noel – Loca People
Another daft theme, and the track itself is pretty repetitive and dull.
Track 35: Rizzle Kicks – Down With The Trumpets
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rizzle Kicks on track 8.
This song is great though – wonderful atmosphere. I absolutely love the vocal style, and the lyrics are brilliant.
Track 36: Cher Lloyd and Mike Posner – With Ur Love
Extremely generic and forgettable.
Track 37: Jessie J – Who’s Laughing Now
Very irritating hooks and vocals, and I’m not keen on the theme.
Track 38: Rihanna – Cheers (Drink To That)
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Rihanna on track 2.
Nice feelgood tune, quite like this one.
Track 39: Sean Paul and Alexis Jordan – Got 2 Luv U
Good beat, and I quite like the vocal hook.
Track 40: Emeli Sandé – Heaven
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Emeli Sandé on track 23.
This track’s awesome, though – very Massive Attack-esque.
Track 41: Maverick Sabre – I Need
Boring, forgettable tune.
Track 42: Wretch 32 and Josh Kumra – Don’t Go
Gorgeous tune, even if it is a little depressing.
Track 43: The Collective – Teardrop
Too many artists to mention collaborating on the Children In Need single for 2011 – a cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop. There’s a lot of misplaced rap; it’s not horrible but it’s pretty uninspired.