Now! #102 has been released today, 12th April 2019! EDIT: I only just realised that it’s been a whole year today since I started my marathon of the first 100 Now! compilations with Now! #1. Great timing!
Let’s have a look at the Now! compilers’ roundup of what’s been going on in the chart recently.
Track 1: Ariana Grande – 7 Rings
Still think this is a bit of a daft interpolation, but I don’t hate it as much as I used to.
Track 2: Ava Max – Sweet But Psycho
Pretty much loved this bit of synthy pop from the start, and I’m still a big fan. Should have been Christmas number one!
Track 3: Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Another great pop track. At first I wasn’t keen on the country edge, but I’ve really grown to love this one.
Track 4: Calvin Harris and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – Giant
I’m still not a huge fan of this one – it just doesn’t hook me.
Track 5: Pink – Walk Me Home
Still too acoustic-y for me, but I have grown to like the epic feel on the chorus.
Track 6: Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing With A Stranger
I originally felt this one was a bit generic, but it’s become a fairly regular earworm for me, and I find I quite like it now.
Track 7: Tom Walker – Just You And I
It’s a little cheesy, but it’s a pleasant upbeat tune.
Track 8: Jonas Brothers – Sucker
A decade ago, I would not have believed you if you’d told me I would ever grow to like a Jonas Brothers song. They’ve grown up now, though, and they make much better music. This is a fairly decent pop song, and I always nod along when it’s on the radio.
Track 9: George Ezra – Pretty Shining People
I still can’t get over the blatant REM title ripoff. Urgh.
This one’s a little bland (can’t win ’em all, George), but it’s an okay tune.
Track 10: James Arthur – Empty Space
This one’s not been in the charts since last year, so I’m a bit surprised they’ve held it back for this Now! instalment. As is usually the case with James Arthur’s stuff, it’s too saccharine for me, but I’ll grant you it’s got a good atmosphere on the chorus.
Track 11: Lewis Capaldi – Grace
I first heard this one on the BBC over Christmas, and at first I thought it was a bit too wistful/singer-songwriter/acoustic-y etc. for me. But I’ve really come to like it – it’s a gorgeous tune.
Track 12: Jason Derulo, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Willy William – Goodbye
I could have told you that my feelings would not have changed about this ridiculous bastardisation of Andrea Bocelli’s Time To Say Goodbye. Awful interpolation that has me running screaming for the comfort of the original every single time.
Track 13: Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us
Another frequent earworm. I quite like the staccato on the verse.
Track 14: Marshmello and Chvrches – Here With Me
I find this one a bit forgettable, though the tune is very pleasant when I do remember how it goes.
Track 15: Cardi B and Bruno Mars – Please Me
Still love the retro feel on this track. Straight out of 1988! Well, apart from the NSFW lyrical content.
Track 16: Khalid – Talk
I really like the soft bubbly synth effects on this one.
Track 17: Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up
I wasn’t keen at first, but it’s been a grower and I quite like this solid pop track now.
Track 18: Charli XCX and Troye Sivan – 1999
Liked it when it came out, love it now! Shamelessly retro, actually sounds like the year it’s celebrating. Great stuff.
Track 19: Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying
Another good danceable pop track, probably my favourite of Sigrid’s output so far.
Track 20: CamelPhat, Cristoph and Jem Cooke – Breathe
It’s kind of nice to have a dance track on here now that dance tracks are becoming a bit rarer in the charts. Nice tune, too.
Track 21: Jax Jones and Years & Years – Play
Good tune – I always nod along to this one.
Track 22: Zedd and Katy Perry – 365
I do like the Spanish-tinged opening, and the atmosphere is great when it gets to the chorus.
Track 23: Zara Larsson – Ruin My Life
This one makes me really uncomfortable! I can’t get past the awful message in the lyrics, which is basically ‘go back to someone who’s really bad for you’.
Track 24: Dua Lipa – Swan Song
There’s some great stuff going on with the instrumentals, but I find the vocal line pretty bland.
Track 25: Ariana Grande – Thank You Next
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ariana Grande on track 1.
The tinkly instrumentals are quite nice, but I’m not sure how I feel about the ex-dissing lyrical content.
Track 26: Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
New Hits Friday review. (LOL I said it was too slow for me and now it’s my favourite song in the chart!)
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Lewis Capaldi on track 11.
Not complaining though, because this is an absolutely beautiful tune that has deservedly just scored a seventh week at number one. Song of the year, whatever happens in the next eight months.
Track 27: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – Shallow
One of those tracks that I found a bit slow to begin with and have grown to appreciate. Lovely acoustic track from the A Star Is Born soundtrack (no interest in seeing the film, but the song is gorgeous).
Track 28: Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Cast – This Is Me
Another one where the Now! compilers have been a bit tardy – this track first entered the charts well over a year ago – but it’s a great feelgood musical number, and probably the best song on the soundtrack.
Track 29: Jess Glynne – Thursday
I’m still not particularly keen on this one – I just find the theme a bit awkward.
Track 30: Freya Ridings – Lost Without You
I do appreciate the simplicity of the song, but it’s just a bit too slow for me.
Track 31: James Arthur and Anne-Marie – Rewrite The Stars
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had James Arthur on track 10.
One of the tracks from the Greatest Showman Reimagined album, where pop stars do karaoke versions of the songs from the musical. It’s okay, but not a patch on the original.
Track 32: Jack Savoretti – Candlelight
This wasn’t a hit – it only got to number 70. As I’ve been discussing since Now! #99, the Now! compilers have recently started to include songs that haven’t actually made the Top 40, but have been featured on hit albums – there’s less crossover than there used to be between the album and singles chart (mainly because the former is for older people like me who prefer classic pop and rock, and the latter is for the kids who like these strange new songs I’m always ranting about on here after listening to the chart on Fridays!). I wasn’t sure about this at first, but I think I’m okay about it now. After all, it’s probably an older demographic who actually still buys Now! albums. The Radio 2 demographic, if you like. This album got to number one, so I think it’s allowed.
Anyway, this track’s got a great atmosphere – lovely eerie instrumentals, lots of piano. Love this kind of epic tune!
Track 33: The 1975 – It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
Again not a hit on the singles chart – it only got to number 46 – but this was also a number one album.
Wonderfully retro-sounding as ever from the 1975. Great tune, great beat.
Track 34: Westlife – Hello My Love
This one’s still a bit too cheesy for me.
Track 35: Take That – Everlasting
This track wasn’t even released as a single, but again the album got to number one.
As I understand it, this is one of the few new tracks on Take That’s recent remastered retrospective. It’s a bit dull until the second chorus kicks in. Also, the self-referential spoken word bit at the end is a bit odd.
Track 36: Hozier – Almost (Sweet Music)
The single only got to number 82, but the album went top ten, getting to number six.
Great bit of soft rock – really like this one.
Track 37: Bryan Adams – Shine A Light
No single release for this song, but the album got to number two.
Great beat, but it’s a little too acoustic-y for me. Nice to see Bryan Adams still rockin’ up Now! compilations though.
Track 38: Michael Bublé – Love You Anymore
Again no single release, but it was a number one album.
As usual for Bublé, it’s far too saccharine for me, but it is nice and feelgood.
Track 39: Rod Stewart – Look In Her Eyes
Yet another one that wasn’t released as a single, but the album went to number one.
Love this danceable, atmospheric song! So yeah, this is the point where I’m officially on board with the Now! compilers including songs-from-hit-albums that didn’t make the singles chart, because the notion of Rod Stewart still managing to get his new songs onto Now! compilations is the BESTEST THING.
Track 40: Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya and The Greatest Showman Cast – The Greatest Show
Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had the Greatest Showman cast on track 28.
Great stompalong number though. Fab track.
Track 41: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
We’ve already had this track on Now! #2! How dare they be so lazy…wait. I can’t really start ranting in this case, because what’s going on here is that the Now! compilers have chosen to include six tracks from Now! #2 in order to advertise the fact that it’s had a re-release on CD today, the same release day as Now! #102. I’m hopeful that this pattern will continue, and will be scouting out the re-release for my collection this weekend!
Anyway, see the link for my review – it was track 16 on Now! #2.
Track 42: Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good
Still a classic from Nik Kershaw.
Track 43: Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride
I have this one on my running playlist these days!
Track 44: Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
One of my earliest ’80s favourites.
Track 45: Culture Club – It’s A Miracle
Still love that daft boardgaming video!
Track 46: Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
If you spend any time watching the Now! ’80s channel, which often replays the classic TV adverts for the classic ’80s Now! compilations, you will be familiar with this song as the centrepiece for the Now! #2 advert due to it’s ‘hold me now‘ (geddit?) refrain on the chorus. Still a great track, and it was a highlight when I saw Tom Bailey supporting Culture Club in November.
Great choices for those bonus tracks. Could have done with a bit of love for Duran Duran’s New Moon On Monday (track 29) but I’m hopeful for The Reflex if they do this again when they re-release Now! #3!