Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #73

Day 73 means Now! #73, which was released on 20th July 2009.

July 2009
This is how the world looked in July 2009. I seem to have fallen into a theme for these summer releases where the picture is ‘photo of me and Geth out for Kieran’s birthday’ (Kieran’s birthday always being an epic pub crawl around Edinburgh back in those days). I still wear that jacket ALL THE TIME in the summer – it’s sort of both lightweight and rock-chick-looking. I got it in a vintage shop (The Rusty Zip on Teviot Place, now taken over by W Armstrong & Son, the biggest vintage brand in the city) in the early ’00s, and from the fabric I would guess it’s from the ’90s originally.

Time for some summer hits!  With bonus electropop, because 2009.

Now! That's What I Call Music #73
Track 1: Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Great electropop tune, very danceable.  It’s become a bit of a classic.

Track 2: Cascada – Evacuate The Dancefloor

Good atmosphere on this one, with some great electro hooks.

Track 3: David Guetta and Kelly Rowland – When Love Takes Over

Great beat, but I find the tune on the chorus pretty irritating.

Track 4: Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone

Dull tune, and the acoustic-y intro is jarring with the main electro dance bit.

Track 5: La Roux – In For The Kill

Wonderful, atmospheric electro track.  I’ve always really liked this one.

Track 6: Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz – Number 1

Fittingly, this did get to number one in the charts at the time.  Good beat, good tune.

Track 7: AR Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls – Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)

Love that Eastern tinge – great chant-along track.

Track 8: Chipmunk and Emeli Sandé – Diamond Rings

Good rhythm on this one – I like the jazz-tinged backing track.

Track 9: Lily Allen – Not Fair

Awesome tune, love the lyrics.

Track 10: Pixie Lott – Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)

Great, classic big band sound – really like this tune.

Track 11: Pink – Please Don’t Leave Me

Love the guitar riff, but the vocals are a bit cheesy for my liking.

Track 12: The Veronicas – Untouched

Lovely instrumentals, great ’80s tinge.  Good track, only spoilt by the irritating vocals.

Track 13: Katy Perry – Waking Up In Vegas

Good rock edge, great lyrics.  Quite like this one.

Track 14: Girls Aloud – Untouchable

Lovely atmospheric ’80s-tinged guitar intro, pretty tune on the vocals.  Very nice.

Track 15: Agnes – Release Me

I find the tune on this pretty irritating, and the instrumentals very generic.  Not keen.

Track 16: Freemasons and Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)

Great atmospheric track – yet more ’80s-tinged electropop!  I’d forgotten how much I liked 2009 for music.

Track 17: Alesha Dixon – Let’s Get Excited

Good beat, good solid bit of pop.  Happily nodding along.

Track 18: The Saturdays – Work

Love the electro instrumentals – another awesome pop track.

Track 19: Take That – Up All Night

It’s a little too acoustic-y for my liking, but I do appreciate the ’60s tinge.

Track 20: Britney Spears – If U Seek Amy

Let’s gloss over the juvenile title.  The instrumentals are great and the atmosphere is nice and epic.

Track 21: Jordin Sparks – Battlefield

Irritating vocals, but I suppose the tune is quite nice.

Track 22: Shontelle and Akon – Stuck With Each Other

Uninspired tune, boring vocals.  Not a fan of this track.

Track 23: Beyoncé – Halo

Gorgeous tune, great atmosphere.  This is the kind of ballad I can get behind.

Track 24: Daniel Merriweather – Red

This one, meanwhile, is a boring, slow ballad.  Not for me.

Track 25: Keri Hilson, Kanye West and Ne-Yo – Knock You Down

There’s some nice electro lines here, but I find the vocals pretty dull.

Track 26: Ciara and Justin Timberlake – Love Sex Magic

Love that ’70s-style funk.  Great beat, very danceable.

Track 27: The Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow

Another great chant-along track – happily chair-dancing here again!

Track 28: Soulja Boy and Sammie – Kiss Me Thru The Phone

Some very irritating and jarring electro hooks and vocals going on here, but the atmosphere’s quite good.

Track 29: Akon, Kardinal Offishall and Colby O’Donis – Beautiful

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Akon on track 22.

Very generic dance tune, boring vocals that sound like everything else released at the time.

Track 30: Flo Rida and Wynter Gordon – Sugar

Obviously I love the daft sampling of Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee).  The rest of the track is pretty messy and uninspired though!

Track 31: Ironik, Chipmunk and Elton John – Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer)

Repeated artist alert!  We’ve already had Chipmunk on track 8.

The track’s based around a sample of the 1972 original, hence the Elton John credit.  It sounds fairly terrible with all that rapping over the top.

Track 32: Pitbull – I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)

Bonus points for the sample from The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind), and I do like the Latin tinge, even if the rap is a bit generic.

Track 33: Dizzee Rascal and Armand Van Helden – Bonkers

Great dance tune, brilliant vocal hook – big fan of this one.

Track 34: The Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance

Gorgeous, atmospheric tune on the intro – then it launches into a highly danceable bass-driven track.  Great stuff.

Track 35: 3OH!3 – Don’t Trust Me

Another very danceable track, and a good tune.

Track 36: Kasabian – Fire

Iconic guitar riff, builds wonderfully.  Love this tune.

Track 37: Florence & The Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

Lovely atmosphere, gorgeous vocals.  Very nice track.

Track 38: Noisettes – Never Forget You

Great mid-century retro feel, with a nice reggae beat mixed in there as well.

Track 39: Little Boots – New In Town

Not keen on the stop-start intro, and the tune’s not very interesting.

Track 40: James Morrison – Please Don’t Stop The Rain

I quite like the piano and the atmosphere, but the vocals are too saccharine for me.

Track 41: Paolo Nutini – Candy

It’s the kind of instrumentals that would normally be too acoustic-y for me, but I quite like them.  The vocals, on the other hand, are just annoying.

Track 42: Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People

More acoustic guitar, but again I quite like it – it’s very atmospheric.  Lovely tune.

Track 43: Deadmau5 and Kaskade – I Remember

Fairly uninspired dance tune, but it’s another track that’s got quite a nice atmosphere.

Track 44: Chicane – Poppiholla

Instrumental cover of the Sigur Rós classic Hoppípolla.  It’s a lovely tune, and this reworking is very nice.

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #56

Day 56 equals Now! #56, which was released on 17th November 2003.

November 2003
This is how the world looked in November 2003 (actually October). The champagne was to celebrate finally passing my driving test on the sixth attempt. I had about five pairs of those ridiculously baggy jeans in various colours – I am so glad they disappeared with the ’00s. Probably should have bleached my roots before putting on that red dye, too.

Let’s see what would have been played at the club I went out to later that night (spoiler: none of the following, ’cause I’m pretty sure I went to Opium rock club, which didn’t play a lot of chart music).

Now! That's What I Call Music #56
Track 1: The Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?

I quite like the Black Eyed Peas, but I’ve always found the chorus on this one a bit irritating.

Track 2: Rachel Stevens – Sweet Dreams My LA Ex

Good head-nodder, good atmosphere.  Quite like this track.

Track 3: Kylie Minogue – Slow

Great synth instrumentals, good atmosphere, though the tune’s a little repetitive.

Track 4: Blue – Guilty

Slow, cheesy, boring ballad.  Not my thing.

Track 5: Fatman Scoop and The Crooklyn Clan – Be Faithful

Good bit of chant-along hip-hop.  Could do without the generic sung vocals though.

Track 6: Beyoncé and Jay-Z – Crazy In Love

This one was everywhere in 2003, especially on holiday in Zante that summer.  I still quite like the tune, but that’s probably more nostalgia than anything else.

Track 7: Sugababes – Hole In The Head

Great pop tune – really like this one.

Track 8: Liberty X – Jumpin’

Good beat, but the vocals are annoying.

Track 9: Jamelia – Superstar

It did get a bit overplayed at the time, but it’s a good tune.

Track 10: Lumidee – Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)

Irritating vocals, irritating tune, irritating drum beat in the background.  Not a fan of this.

Track 11: Stacie Orrico – Stuck

Nice guitar in the background, but the vocals give me a headache.

Track 12: Lemar – Dance (With U)

Like the retro tinge, and it’s got a nice beat.

Track 13: Javine – Surrender (Your Love)

Great instrumentals – love that trumpet – but the tune’s pretty boring.

Track 14: Emma Bunton – Maybe

Good uptempo song, interesting vocals – good track.

Track 15: S Club 8 – Sundown

If you ignore the kiddie vocals, it’s quite a good danceable tune.

Track 16: Ultrabeat – Pretty Green Eyes

Love the backing track on this dance hit, but the vocals are a bit cheesy (even if they do have good taste in eye colour!).

Track 17: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Mixed Up World

Great danceable beat, but it’s a bit messy in general, and the tune’s pretty generic.

Track 18: Phixx – Hold On Me

Quite like the electro lines, but the vocals are pretty cheesy.

Track 19: D-Side – Invisible

Bland tune, saccharine vocals and really creepy lyrics.  Not keen.

Track 20: Louise – Pandora’s Kiss

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

Repetitive tune, irritating backing track.  When the guitar kicks in on the chorus, though, it gets a bit better.

Track 21: Girls Aloud – Life Got Cold

Some more nice guitar – lovely tune.

Track 22: Atomic Kitten – If You Come To Me

Not keen on the vocals, and the tune’s pretty bland.

Track 23: Elton John – Are You Ready For Love

’70s classic back in the charts due to a re-release and TV advert.  Not complaining – it’s a welcome break from all the poor quality early ’00s pop!

Track 24: Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body

It’s fairly standard Justin Timberlake, with a danceable beat and irritating falsetto all over the place.  It’s okay, sort of.

Track 25: Robbie Williams – Something Beautiful

Like the backing instrumentals, but the tune’s not interesting enough for me.

Track 26: Nickelback – Someday

There are only two Nickelback tracks that are in any way listenable, and both of those are due to reasons outwith the song.  This is not one of these two.

Track 27: Busted – Sleeping With The Light On

Irritating and cheesy – not keen on this one.

Track 28: Mark Owen – Four Minute Warning

Mark Owen coming back out of nowhere about eight years after Take That split up.  This is a great track and I wish he’d done more solo stuff.

Track 29: Amy Studt – Under The Thumb

Irritating vocals, bland tune.  At least it’s got some good guitar in the background though.

Track 30: Texas and Kardinal Offishall – Carnival Girl

Quite like the carnival-music-themed intro, but then it just launches into boring soft rock with misplaced rapping over the top.

Track 31: 50 Cent and Nate Dogg – 21 Questions

Don’t really like the way the lines mix together on this one, and it’s a bit repetitive.

Track 32: Ashanti – Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)

Boring, generic song, very forgettable.

Track 33: Joe Budden – Pump It Up

Quite like the backing track, and it’s got a good beat.  This one’s okay.

Track 34: Jaimeson – Complete

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

Very bland tune, nothing interesting going on here at all.

Track 35: Lisa Scott-Lee – Too Far Gone

Annoying messy lines, dull vocals.  Highly generic.

Track 36: Angel City and Lara McAllen – Love Me Right (Oh Sheila)

Extremely ’90s dance sounding cover of the ’80s song.  It’s not bad, actually.

Track 37: Richard X and Kelis – Finest Dreams

Good atmosphere, good beat – happily nodding along.

Track 38: Rishi Rich Project, Jay Sean and Juggy D – Dance With You

Some interesting lines, but the main vocal is very dull.

Track 39: UB40 and The United Colours Of Sound – Swing Low

You know it’s a Rugby World Cup year when somebody does a dodgy cover of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.  At least UB40’s reggae stylings sort of suit the song.

Track 40: Starsailor – Silence Is Easy

Boring, forgettable soft rock.  Not a fan.

Track 41: Stereophonics – Maybe Tomorrow

Interesting instrumentals, but the vocals are as drone-y and boring as ever.

Track 42: Daniel Bedingfield – Never Gonna Leave Your Side

Super saccharine, slow and bland.  Not my kind of thing.

Track 43: Michael Andrews and Gary Jules – Mad World

Slow, melancholy cover of the Tears For Fears classic, and the Christmas number one for 2003 (BUT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE DARKNESS AND I’M STILL ANGRY ABOUT THAT ahem).  It’s beautiful, because the Tears For Fears original is also beautiful.  I’ll always prefer the original version, but this one is lovely too.