Released- 30th July 2001
A dry few months. ODB gets 4 months in prison, and somebody dies at a Limp Bizkit concert. The only surprise is it’s not of boredom. The NME starts hyping The Strokes, probably the last significant band of the magazine’s pre internet relevance.
I start going out in my nearest city, Canterbury, on a regular basis, with the guys from my band. Every evening ends with us trying to harmonise to the Beach Boys on the night bus home. We were the coolest.
If I had to save one track from this album, and the rest had to get the hell on, them and they Mama, that track would be… a tough call between Outkast, Destiny’s Child and Pied Piper. I’m going to go with… this;
Track by Track Breakdown
Robbie Williams – “Eternity”
Bob is just below par with his own material now. If I were him I’d just give up on original material and record an album of swing band covers…
Gabrielle – “Out of Reach”
Gabrielle goes back to the 60s soul ballad well. Unfortunately this one comes across more as pastiche than homage. Not bad, per se, but terribly unoriginal.
Atomic Kitten – “Eternal Flame”
Endearing, likeable cover version. Hopelessly inferior to the original, but terribly likeable nonetheless.
Blue – “All Rise”
The first decent boy band with a hip hop edge since East 17. Also feature the beautiful mind of Lee Ryan, who may actually be a post genius genius.
S Club 7 – “Don’t Stop Movin'”
I’d completely forgotten the existence of this song. So glad that synapse has been reactivated. It’s a fantastic disco revival number. THANK YOU S CLUB.
Geri Halliwell – “It’s Raining Men”
It changes nothing, save for the addition of a much weaker vocal. Why even bother?
Ronan Keating – “Lovin’ Each Day”
Ronan Keating trying to go rock is like watching your Dad try to go hip hop. Or just Richard Madley.
Stereophonics – “Have a Nice Day”
Like a less good Just Lookin from their prior album. Ah well. They were good for two albums…
Wheatus – “Teenage Dirtbag”
Definitely not high art. But in its cutesy, I haven’t quite hit puberty yet way, it’s kind of adorable.
Blink 182 – “The Rock Show”
Their good song has sadly been and gone. Nothing but diminishing pop punk returns from a terrible band here.
U2 – “Elevation” (Tomb Raider Mix)
Whoo. Like a mole digging in a hole. How the actual fuck are there people out there who think Bono is a genius?
Outkast – “Ms. Jackson”
A warm welcome to Sir Luscious Left Foot and Three Stacks. I will love this song forever. For ever ever. FOR EVER EVER.
Destiny’s Child – “Survivor”
This is a tune (What) one of the best break up songs ever (What) and even if Beyoncé quit after this (What) she’d still have been a legend (What).
Hear’Say – “The Way to Your Love”
Simon Cowell giving a warning sign to all future TV contestants. You get one single. After that… you’re on your own to sink or swim. This sinks.
Backstreet Boys – “More than That”
A slightly interesting beat beneath the verse does little to stem the slow decline of a once great pop band.
Britney Spears – “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know”
One of those ones that suffers from being the one last single from an album you’ve already used all the singles from…
Marti Pellow – “Close to You”
Again. Rubbish song that shares a name with a great song of the same type. If you want a schmaltzy ballad called Close to You, do the right thing and go with the Carpenters.
Dido – “Thank You”
I’m writing to say that I might be a soft, sentimental sod but this song gets me.
Not really your biggest fan, but your first two albums were great, sir.
PS Don’t reply to Stan. His letter writing is atrocious and he makes references to Phil Collins. He’s a bad sort.
Zero 7 – “Destiny”
I know the whole ‘chilled’ thing gets a bad rap, but this is lovely and slightly autumnal. Also… that vocalist is a young Sia. She really put in the yards before Chandelier.
Radiohead – “Pyramid Song”
Haunting, off kilter (it’s in 16/8 time, jazz folk) and beautiful. It has no place on a Now! Album but I’m glad it is.
Eddy Grant – “Electric Avenue” (Ringbang remix)
Absolute classic, unnecessary remix. Must be one of the longest gaps between songs on a Now! album, as I’m sure Gimme Hope Joanna was about 43 albums ago.
Gorillaz – “19-2000” (Soulchild remix)
Blatant sucking up here, by adding Tina Fey from the Talking Heads to the mix. Female bassists from cool bands are my main weakness.
DJ Pied Piper and The Masters of Ceremonies – “Do You Really Like It?”
Yep. Loving it thricefold. It really does make me laugh like when I was a little child again. Bass is kicking, drums is drumming, when you hear duh-dut-dut I’m smiling my stupid face off.
Mis-Teeq – “All I Want”
Yep. You might not believe it from Old Man Antipathti, but there used to be a time Alesha Dixon was a really cool gravel voiced hype woman and MC. Love it.
Roger Sanchez – “Another Chance”
Quite rare. A disco house song that manages to feel melancholy. Credit where it’s due, that’s quite a clever move.
Basement Jaxx – “Romeo”
A great R&B song, backed by two guys seemingly whacking sampler buttons at random. This sounds like a criticism… it’s not, the end result is fucking fantastic.
Da Hool – “Meet Her at the Love Parade 2001”
Relentless. Frenetic in a really good way. Makes your eyes widen and a manic grin hit your face.
Ian van Dahl – “Castles in the Sky”
Why people hate vocal house. A below average song over an about average beat. I know there’s a lot of coke and speed around, but that’s no excuse to write down to them.
Fragma – “You Are Alive”
Sorry. This is why people hate it. The musical equivalent of being a little bit sick in your own mouth then swallowing it back.
Steps – “Here and Now”
I’m completely in the middle of the road on this one. Completely okay.
A*Teens – “Upside Down”
Join the dots pop. Probably at least in part responsible for the death of pure, stupid pop.
Bellefire – “Perfect Bliss”
All filler, no killer. A pop song so standard it can only be here to fill 4 minutes.
Texas – “I Don’t Want a Lover” (2001 Mix)
The intro is just similar enough to make me wish it was Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi. It was never going to be anything but disappointing after that.
Boris Dlugosch featuring Roisin – “Never Enough”
I’m a massive fan of Roisin Murphy’s ability to sound bored and passionate at the same time. I’m not 100% on this song, but she does what is necessary.
Janet Jackson – “All for You”
Severely lacking in tonal variety, but largely inoffensive.
Eve – “Who’s That Girl?”
The start of a run of fantastic singles. In the unfairness stakes, that she’s not had an more extended career off this is a crying shame, and indicative of the sexism in hip hop. Jay Z hasn’t recorded a great album since he retired, around the same time, but still gets ridiculous sales.
Nelly featuring City Spud – “Ride wit Me”
Nelly was on a killer run at the turn of the century. This chingy, skittish R&B is just what is needed to do the business. HEY! Must be the monayyyy!
Sisqó – “Dance for Me”
It’s okay. The terrible attempt at a Hype Williams video adds to it. A spacesuit with a discman built in. Welcome to the future, yo!
Aaron Soul – “Ring Ring Ring”
Garage now appears to be turning from exciting to half arsed bad pop genre.
Damage – “So What If I”
They keep trying, keep failing. It would be admirable if I didn’t have to listen to the damn stuff.
Melanie B – “Lullaby”
Eddie Murphy’s favourite song, this one.
21.5 out of 41. 53% and back into acceptable territory. And there are some absolute classics on here.
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.