Now That’s What I Call Music 44

Now-44-1024x1024

Released-  22nd November 1999

Music History

I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray. But when I woke up this morning I could have sworn it was judgement day. In other news, Gary Glitters career is over.

Me History

I got a job in a record shop. In a small town, this must make me the coolest 15 year old ever. My first shift, I spend my whole pay on a Jeff Buckley import. They are smart guys, I reinvest nearly all my pay back into the shop every weekend for about five years.

If I had to save one track from this album, and the rest were kicked out for trying to shoplift a DMX album, that track would be…  Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer, because I’m feeling soft this morning.

Track by Track Breakdown

Britney Spears –  “…Baby One More Time”

Irresistible pop magic, thought nobody would play that video in the age of Operation Yewtree. She also cannot pronounce the word ‘baby’ in the verses. I assume she’s talking about Lord Baden Powell, founder of the scouts…

Shania Twain –  “That Don’t Impress Me Much”

I’ve never had crabs, but I imagine the experience is akin to hearing this song after 16 years. It’s still very irritating.

Lou Bega“Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)”

So inextricably linked with England winning the Ashes in 2005 (it’s a cricket thing- non UK ed) that I can’t help but love it.

Eiffel 65“Blue (Da Ba Dee)”

It’s not average, or so bad it’s good. It manages to be both incredibly crap and incredibly brilliant at the same time. It’s Schrodinger’s pop song, existing simultaneously in both states.

Steps –  “Tragedy”

Bee Gees cover with the campiness dialled up to 11, and a dance routine to boot!

Geri Halliwell –  “Mi Chico Latino”

Such a blatant rip off of Madonna I almost admire her for it. Sadly I can’t because it’s terrible.

Robbie Williams“She’s the One”

I was 15. This song was, for a solid year, the last thing the DJ would play at any party, so this song is the soundtrack of a thousand failed attempts to kiss girls. I’m mature enough to no longer blame the song. Wait, no I’m not. Hate it for that reason.

Ronan Keating“When You Say Nothing At All”

Like most free thinking people, I hated this song with a passion. But in actual fact, it’s a very well constructed, simple, and sweet (if predictable) love song, and it’s pretty clear why it sold so well.

Melanie C –  “Northern Star”

It’s fairly obvious that she is the only real singer from the Spice Girls. The song itself is a little yawnsome, but well constructed.

Sixpence None the Richer“Kiss Me”

Maybe it’s the oestrogen in the water supply, bit this song gets me in my silly, naive, romantic core. I would call it a guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel guilty for loving a brilliant song.

Texas“Summer Son”

Big and dramatic enough that it beats most of their output, except for Say What You Want, by miles.

Moloko“Sing It Back”

Absolute classic. While they’re remembered for its song, Their album Things to Make and Do is so much more varied, and beautifully insane than this one track lets on. Go and listen to it. It is all of the goods.

Bob Marley vs. Funkstar De Luxe“Sun Is Shining”

Unnecessary remix of a classic. Better just stick to the original, or Finlay Quaye’s more fun Sunday Shining.

Diana Ross – “Not Over You Yet”

When you see Tina Turner next song, that’s how it should be done. Every time Diana Ross pops up in the modern era, she appears to be chasing trends from about 3 years before. It’s upsetting because she’s brilliant.

Tina Turner –  “When the Heartache Is Over”

By all rights this should be terrible. It’s been about 30 Now! albums since her peak, and at least a decade. It’s by no means perfect, but she is still a gifted singer and the track has a good melody, which covers for the tacky production to a degree.

Jamiroquai –  “Canned Heat”

It’s not bad, per se, it’s just annoying and wears a stupid hat.

Tom Jones and The Cardigans – “Burning Down the House”

Covering the Talking Heads should be an instant lose, but there’s charm aplenty from both performers, and the song is surprisingly durable!

Bran Van 3000“Drinking in LA”

It’s like Beck with all the charm bled out of it. Also, the band name sounds like a hipster street food breakfast stand.

Supergrass – “Moving”

Never quite lives up to its beautiful, slow intro, but good nonetheless.

Phil Collins – “You’ll Be in My Heart”

He’s like Michael Myers in Halloween, every time you think he’s dead and gone, he comes back again. Deeply average, but let’s face it, he’s about 25 years in now- he doesn’t need to make an effort.

R Kelly“If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time”

Two things. First, the chord structure is a complete lift of Unchained Melody. You can sing it over the top of this! Secondly, at the end of the song, when he sings ‘Love, woo-oo’ a lot, you can substitute love for Duck Tales and have a great early 90’s children’s TV theme. Still a goodish song.

Geri Halliwell“Lift Me Up”

The more solo records Geri churns out, the more I believe leaving the Spice Girls was a terrible career move.

Tin Tin Out featuring Emma Bunton – “What I Am”

Fairly lacklustre cover of Edie Brickell. I get the impression Baby Spice wasn’t all that into the whole solo career thing.

Martine McCutcheon – “I’ve Got You”

She had a very short lived pop career. Until this came on, I was fairly sure she was a one hit wonder. I’m still fairly sure this is the case.

Backstreet Boys –  “Larger than Life”

And their killer run, which started way back with Backstreet’s Back comes to an end with this mediocre plodder.

Jordan Knight –  “Give It to You”

Pretty weak. It has that Timbaland’s style skittery beat, going into full electro, but the performer has no melodic interest or charisma.

Gabrielle –  “Sunshine”

Sweet but generic love song. I don’t know if it’s the key it’s in, but her voice sounds weaker on this than other efforts.

Honeyz – “Never Let You Down”

More predictable than Millwall losing at the weekend. RnB ballad done so averagely.

S Club 7 – “S Club Party”

Two from two for S Club 7. I just remembered that they were launched from a children’s TV series. This has tickled me, though in an era of Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande (latte), this isn’t so strange.

Lolly – “Mickey”

Not different enough to be annoying. Still not as good as Toni Basil, but the song is always enjoyable.

Ann Lee – “2 Times”

Simple to the point of being moronic, but sweet with it, and danceable too. Who knew?

Vengaboys – “We’re Going to Ibiza!”

So… the last couple of Vengaboys songs got a pass from me, which surprised me. A lot. This is why. This song makes me want to self vasectomise with a blunt spoon to protect my unborn children’s ears.

Enrique Iglesias“Bailamos”

Nah. Go with the Gypsy Kings instead. Iglesias’ game is weak.

Shaft –  “(Mucho Mambo) Sway”

A lot more likeable than a lazy dance cover of a classic has any right to be.

ATB“Don’t Stop!”

They try to repeat 9pm again here, but that melody from last time carried the whole song. This is less than its forbear.

DJ Jean “The Launch”

Possibly the most relentless keyboard riff of all time. Or at least until Zombie Nation comes out. Works for me.

Groove Armada featuring Gram’ma Funk“I See You Baby” (Fatboy Slim Radio Edit)

We’ve still got a long way (baby) before Fatboy Slim gets anything wrong. Bouncy, stupid big beat just won’t stop.

Wamdue Project –  King of My Castle

Great, Daft Punk style backing, catchy but average vocal line. Still, definitely deserved it’s success.

Alice DeeJay“Back In My Life”

Very basic pop house, with a very limited singer. Poor.

Alena“Turn It Around”

So trance has saturated the market now, and with this and the prior track, you can see it slowly grinding to a halt. The garage and 2 step explosion is not far away, and frankly, much needed at this point.

Tina Cousins“Angel”

I listened to this not 5 minutes ago, and I can’t remember a thing about it.

Liquid Child –  “Diving Faces”

Horribly generic trance. Not really needed, as there’s already more than 40 tracks. They could have finished one earlier and had a better record for it.

Final Verdict

18.5 out of 41. 46%, a really poor effort.

This article is part of a series, chronicling a foolish attempt to chronicle the history of modern pop, through the Now That’s What I Call Music series. All the previous articles, and some other fun stuff, can be found here.

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