Now That’s What I Call Music 51


Released-  25th March 2002

Music History

Adam Ant goes a little bit mad, and ends up in a psychiatric hospital for waving a gun around. Virgin pay Mariah Carey $28m not to record any more music. About 15 years too late…

Me History

I’m 18, and can now legally do all the things I was doing anyway. I have an amazing surprise party, where my sister interprets an offhand reference to National Lampoon’s Animal House and I arrive at my house to all my friends dressed in togas. Cheers sis.

If I had to save one track from this album, and the rest were doomed to some John Belushi tragedy, that track would be… the greatest inspirational track of all time. Thank you R. Kelly. THANK YOU.

Track by Track Breakdown

Enrique Iglesias –  “Hero”

Hilariously overblown. I don’t know what everyone was thinking.

Blue –   “Fly by II”

Good fun from Blue. It’s funny hearing them use vague hip hop tropes, when they are about as urban as a working farmyard!

Ali G featuring Shaggy“Me Julie”

The problem with Sacha Baron Cohen is that while he’s actually fucking hilarious is that he tends to run his jokes into the ground. By this point, even Richard Madeley was in on the joke.

Daniel Bedingfield –  “Gotta Get Thru This”

Brilliant. I mean… garage is officially over with the release of this, but it’s a brilliant pop song. I do wonder why he feels the need to sing the bassline, which is just annoying and distracting, but these are mere details.

Aaliyah – “More Than a Woman”

This is a great, creeping track by the much missed R&B queen. The beat is so brilliantly lopsided you can barely tell where it begins and ends.

Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – “Somethin’ Stupid”

You know that they couldn’t hope to take on the power of Frank and Nancy. Still, it’s so similar that all that’s missing is the power and richness in the vocal, and the song itself is still brilliant.

R Kelly“The World’s Greatest”

I want to be more cynical about this song, but I genuinely use it to inspire myself when running, or feeling low. When the choir kicks in towards the end, you feel like you can do anything! It may just be the greatest song of all time.

S Club 7“Have You Ever”

You’d been doing so well! Guys… massive dissapointment. It’s not the worst pop ballad ever. But it sounds like it took all of 10 minutes to put together out of old pieces.

Britney Spears –  “Overprotected”

Really? Judging by gossip magazines for the next 5 years, I’d say you were the opposite. Okay. Pretty Britney by numbers…

Sophie Ellis-Bextor“Murder on the Dancefloor”

Possibly the reason it took Daft Punk another decade to resurrect disco. Horrid.

Kylie Minogue“In Your Eyes”

Let’s face it… she’s peaked already. But this is better than most of the vocal house it’s impersonating, so credit for a good (ish) song.

DB Boulevard –  “Point of View”

A bit of laid back, elegiac dance soul. It’s actually really nice, warm and sensetive. Some clunky lyrics, but it’s forgivable.


Maudlin, creeping house. Probably the best thing they’ve done so far.

PPK – “ResuRection”

Continuing a strong showing for the bleaker end of house, some pleasant minor key blipping and mildly epic sounding backing from PPK.

DJ Aligator“The Whistle Song (Blow My Whistle Baby)”

Every noise in this damnable record is really irritating. The whistle, his voice, the half arsed music. Burn it. Then bury the ashes and urinate on them.

Flip & Fill featuring Kelly Llorenna – “True Love Never Dies”

Without the vocal, this would be much more enjoyable, all atmospheric and twiddly synths over pounding techno beats. Sadly, the vocal is there…

Hear’Say –  “Everybody”

You know when somethings not terrible but not good enough that you can think of anything to say about it? That.

Allstars“The Land of Make Believe”

They get away with this covet. Probably mainly because Bucks Fizz were hardly a high watermark, but it is a cracking chorus.

Victoria Beckham –  “A Mind of Its Own”

Ahh, you know… she tried. And that’s what matters.

Steps –  “Words Are Not Enough”

The addition of handclaps and campfire acoustic guitars can’t hide another horrible Steps ballad.

Geri Halliwell – “Calling”

Objectively terrible. But there’s something about the bossa nova rhythm and the change from the usual brashness that makes me like this one really quite likeable.

Rik Waller“I Will Always Love You”

Proving pop shows are a waste of time, a chap with a good voice records an okay version of Dolly Parton. Nobody has anything to say other than ‘he’s fat’.

Stereophonics –  “Handbags and Gladrags”

What a coincidence… Just as The Office popularises it again, Stereophonics get this Rod Stewart cover out. Cash in.

Nickelback – “How You Remind Me”

Kurt Cobain shot himself in part because he couldn’t live with being co-opted into a bland, soulless mainstream. Hearing this, you kind of feel he did the right thing.

Alien Ant Farm –  “Movies”

This pop punk ballad really doesn’t warrant inclusion. I swear it’s success had more to do with having Mr Miagi from the Karate Kid in the video than any quality.

Sum 41 – “In Too Deep”

Cute enough pop punk, with the emphasis on pop. You kind of want to tickle it under the chin…

Puretone –  “Addicted to Bass”

Actually way less bassy than than you’d expect. Good bit of breakbeatage though, which never gets enough pop love.

Christina Milian –  “AM to PM”

The production almost convinces you this is more than just a half arsed attempt at pop R&B, but the limited vocal and dire lyrics wreck it…

Ja Rule featuring Ashanti –  “Always on Time”

This soundtracked a lot of bad nights out at this time. Yet strangely I still have a soft spot for this track, even if Ja Rule is weak as hell. Honestly, in the 13 years since, our expectations of rappers have improved immeasurably.

City High featuring Eve“Caramel”

Nothing background music. Utterly ignorable save for a little section in Spanish.

Beverley Knight –  “Shoulda Woulda Coulda”

Finally, her great song! Funky, touching and tonally varied. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Samantha Mumba –   “Lately”

Funny, as an R&B artist, her output has been crap so far, but a bit of laid back pop here serves her brilliantly.

Backstreet Boys –  “Drowning”

Curtains closing slowly on their career. To a dirge of a ballad.

Mary J. Blige“Dance for Me”

Jittering, propulsive floor filler. More for dancing to than for listening to, it gets a little boring by about 2 minutes in otherwise.

Afroman – “Crazy Rap”

Moderately amusing but horribly misogynistic. Sealing his position as a one hit wonder…

Princess Superstar featuring High and Mighty –  “Bad Babysitter”

I love that her filthy hip hop nearly crossed over (see also: Peaches) at this point. Fantastic wonky horn sample and terrifying lyric…

Platinum 45’s featuring More Fire Crew“Oi!”

And so grime came to pass. This skittering, cossack dance track is still an absolute favourite. And Lethal B simply added an ‘izzle’ to the end of his name and is still going strong, with Fester Skank on August 2015’s Now 91!

Goldtrix pts Andrea Brown – “It’s Love (Trippin’)”

Spooky, dark dance, seemingly recorded in Freddy Kreuger’s abandoned warehouse. A bit of a dark edge and good production and you have a classic instead of standard house filler.

X-Press 2 featuring David Byrne –  “Lazy”

David Byrne was, and remains, a genius in all he does. He should be brought back all the time just to make life more interesting.

Jakatta“So Lonely”

Not similar. Identical to their last single. Just go back and read that. I’m not trying if they won’t.

The Chemical Brothers – “Star Guitar”

Great as ever. This one also has a brilliant and clever Michel Gondry video just to make it perfect!

Lange featuring Skye – “Drifting Away”

Minimal trance. A bit too minimal. Pretty much empty.

Dreamcatcher“I Don’t Wanna Lose My Way”

Completing a double bill of piss weak dance to close out this album.

Final Verdict

23 out of 43. 53% pukka pop.

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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