Released- 24th July 2000
Metallica try to sue Napster, and much like with their music, try to deny that anything has changed since the 80’s. Eminem and Britney Spears have the two fastest selling albums of all time. Prince decides he wants to be called Prince again.
I went to Glastonbury. I saw David Bowie. I had a weird spiritual moment watching the Flaming Lips. It was amazing. I SAW DAVID BOWIE, or Jareth the Goblin King to use his real name.
If I had to save one track from this album, and the rest were sent to the Bog of Eternal Stench, that track would be… Reach by S Club 7, but really there’s no mind blowers on here…
Track by Track Breakdown
Britney Spears – “Oops!… I Did It Again”
Smacks a little of trying to hit the same ground as Baby One More Time less successfully. Thankfully, we know that there are at least two more brilliant pop songs to come from her yet.
S Club 7 – “Reach”
You know what? The purpose of this song is to be uplifting while saying nothing. Hearing it for the first time in at least a decade, my face is plastered with a big, blank grin. Therefore, I believe it’s successful in its aims.
Sonique – “It Feels So Good”
Another one I found very irritating at the time. Now I kind of like it’s faux dramatic, faux break beat feels. No denying she’s a great vocalist either.
Mary Mary – “Shackles (Praise You)”
Gospel and autotune tinged R&B. Dame catchy. Also- autotune is becoming a thing. It’s going to remain for an irritatingly long time.
Samantha Mumba – “Gotta Tell You”
Boring, 80s sounding and poorly enunciated. Leave it in 2000.
Gabrielle – “When a Woman”
You can see that she’s aiming for an I Say A Little Prayer feel here. Sadly, this appears to be a bridge too far for her talents.
Kylie Minogue – “Spinning Around”
Absolute pop tune. Sadly marks the end of her weird period, working with Nick Cave and the Manic Street Preachers. Still a great song though.
Tom Jones and Mousse T – “Sex Bomb”
An amusing novelty. But compare this song’s blatancy to the gloriously euphemistic What’s New Pussycat. It’s not even fit to lick it’s shoes clean.
Bloodhound Gang – “The Bad Touch”
Sometimes you want cleverly stuctured, joyful pop. But sometimes you just want to remember boobs and bums are funny. A timeless reminder of the latter. With its own dance routine.
Shania Twain – “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”
Kill it, kill it!
Billie Piper – “Day and Night”
A faded photocopy of a Britney Spears song. Derivative and dissapointing.
Louise – “2 Faced”
Stronger than you’d expect. It has a maudlin undertone which sets it apart from a standard pop filler.
Aaliyah – “Try Again”
Another creeping and brilliant Tmbaland production. Will never tire of hearing him impersonate scratching by saying ‘Frikkyfrikkyfrikky’ in the background.
NSYNC – “Bye Bye Bye”
Okay, jittery pop song. Furthering my theory that Justin Timberland is a kind of reverse Samson. Once his hair is removed, he will become brilliant.
Damage – “Ghetto Romance”
If it had just a bit more of a direction, a touch of purpose, it’d be a great pop R&B track.
Steps – “When I Said Goodbye”
Steps 101. Big silly pop songs good. Ballads bad. You can predict every second of this from the title.
Stephen Gately – “New Beginning”
I was all ready with a bad review, but this is actually surprisingly good for a solo single from a boyband member. An 80s style big ballad.
Backstreet Boys – “The One”
I think they were short a single on this album. All filler.
Moby – “Porcelain”
Relentlessly pleasant background music.
Coldplay – “Yellow”
I didn’t know who this was by. It was only happening past them at lunchtime on the Other Stage at Glastonbury that I thought, ‘Oh it’s Coldplay! They could be a moderately successful mid level indie band. The new Cast maybe.’ Which is possibly why my career in A&R took off.
Richard Ashcroft – “A Song for the Lovers”
His only proper solo song that comes near his best. A shame. If you’ve ever heard Lonely Soul by UNCLE, you’ll know how much potential there was in a solo record.
Black Legend – “You See the Trouble with Me”
70s soul and French house are perfect bedfellows.
Spiller & Sophie Ellis-Bextor – “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”
Overplayed to the point of horror. Trying to remove myself from that, it has I good disco backing, but it’s just so safe it almost doesn’t exist.
Darude – “Sandstorm”
A dance track so iconic that it almost can’t be played anymore. If you said sing an iconic bit of dance music from the turn of the century, at least 51 out of 100 people would go, ‘d-d-d-d-derr, dada d-d-d-d-derr’ to this very tune. It earned it.
York – “O.T.B. (On the Beach)”
You kids these days. You think waiting interminably for the drop is a new thing? It’s older than Facebook and YouTube bruh.
Marc Et Claude – “I Need Your Lovin’ (Like the Sunshine)”
This gets covered alarmingly regularly! Go back to the Baby D version. This is such an obvious mix of trance tropes, it makes a gurning Mancunian appear every time you listen to it.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “The Power of Love” (Rob Searle Club Mix)
Unnecessary remix. But face it, this song is properly bulletproof.
Different Gear vs. The Police – “When the World Is Running Down (You Can’t Go Wrong)”
Surprisingly, the suspended 4th chords of The Police, and Sting’s voice both lend themselves to a bit of minimal house. An unexpected hit!
Southside Spinners – “Luvstruck”
Simple but effective house. Nice juddering synths.
Alice DeeJay – “Will I Ever”
Time is leaving Alice DeeJay’s mid 90s trance sound behind.
Angelic – “It’s My Turn”
Just all a bit underwhelming. Hits various dance bases, but does nothing with it.
Rank 1 – “Airwave”
And again. This just meanders on to a finish.
B-15 Project featuring Crissy D and Lady G – “Girls Like Us”
Very okay. Like somebody has used an automatic garage tune generator.
Lonyo – “Summer of Love”
I hate it when the title accurately predicts the song… but it does have a great chorus! And a self aware video.
MJ Cole – “Crazy Love”
I’m much more at the harder MC led end of garage. But this isn’t too bad.
DJ Luck & MC Neat featuring JJ – “Masterblaster 2000”
If you’re going to mess with Stevie Wonder, you need to get it right. Luck and Neat clearly knew this!
Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy – “Freak like Me”
Almost as good as a Sugababes song which should arrive shortly!
Jamelia – “Call Me”
Similar to, but nowhere near as good as her last single.
Vengaboys – “Uncle John from Jamaica”
Vengaboys joke has run out of steam. Now they’re just like Boney M minus all their charm.
Fe-m@il – “Flee Fly Flo”
Regular readers know I like an idiotic song. But this is a warning from history of how not to do it.
Scooch – “For Sure”
Glorious good bad pop. No artistic merit, but hits every possible base of silly enjoyment.
Atomic Kitten – “I Want Your Love”
Does this sample the theme from Black Beauty? If so, all credit to Kerry Katona, clearly barmy long before Heat magazine cottoned on!
Steps – “Deeper Shade of Blue”
Two swings and two misses. A dance remix cannot save this song from deep mediocrity.
22 out of 43. Just past the point, on 51%.
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.