Released- 18th November 2002
A good year for TV talent shows, which create Girls Aloud and Kelly Clarkson. Sad day for hip hop, as Jam Master Jay dies. I saw Run DMC at reading the year before. A sad loss.
I’ve started university. I won’t finish. I live in a shared house on the outskirts of Canterbury, and I am physically incapable of cooking or cleaning. My specialty is a quorn fillet with pesto smeared on it. The sadist in met wants to go back and sniff my house. Just once. And feel shame.
If I had to save one track from this album, and the rest are rightfully burned with all the remaining copies of Now 53, that track would be… Dy Na Mi Tee by a mile.
Track by Track Breakdown
DJ Sammy & Yanou featuring Do – “Heaven”
I get the appeal. I quite like the stripped down version. But with the cheese house backing, this just falls flat.
Las Ketchup – “Aserejé (The Ketchup Song)”
One of those fantastic European crossover tracks that you can’t help but enjoy. Also, their entry for the 2006 Eurovision song contest, Cubalibre, is an underrated gem too!
Enrique Iglesias – “Love to See You Cry”
Okay. So after the stalkery Escape, he’s now saying he loves to see you cry. No offense, but he sounds like the most abusive partner ever.
Sugababes – “Round Round”
Two classic singles in a row! The Soulwax remix is one of life’s great joys too.
Atomic Kitten – “The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)”
Is it better than the original? No. Is it better than the Blonde version? No. But still, it’s pretty much unruinable, so you’ve got away with it.
Blue – “One Love”
Another enjoyable one of Blue’s ‘pop with attitude’ type singles. Would that they had done more of these and less ballads…
Darius – “Colourblind”
Darius Danesh is still the greatest thing ever to feature on a TV talent show. I’m just leaving this here…
Busted – “What I Go to School For”
Haha. I forgot this silly, childish pop rock song exists. Oh Busted. Hello. Welcome. How cute are you?
Liberty X – “Got to Have Your Love”
A welcome Mantronix sample carries a good pop song here. Wow. It’s been about 50 Nows since the original featured!
Romeo featuring Christina Milian – “It’s All Gravy”
He was born into the wrong time. He throws out memeable lines like Drake, but memes aren’t a thing yet! Tumblr would have made you a legend.
Samantha Mumba – “I’m Right Here”
An almost successful attempt to do what Aaliyah did. Stuttering stop start beats prevent, but she’s not quite got the charisma to pull it off.
ABS – “What You Got”
Did you think you could get away with sampling Uptown Top Ranking ABS from 5ive? It’s one of the best reggae tracks ever. You ever see me, Althea and Donna in our jeans an’ ting, you better run.
Britney Spears – “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Amusing enough Joan Jett cover. Really… could do better but I’ll take it.
S Club Juniors – “Automatic High”
I want to be objective, but this just won’t stop creeping me out. There’s something so wrong about the concept… so very Jonathan King. Shudder.
Kylie Minogue – “Come into My World”
After a pretty great run, Kylie has fallen into a bit of a rut, where this could be a bit from any of her other, better singles of the past few years.
Jakatta featuring Seal – “My Vision”
Jakatta are no Adamski. In fairness, Seal has such a great emotive voice this couldn’t be bad. But in comparison to his previous dance crossover efforts, this is a little flat.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – “Music Gets the Best of Me”
It’s almost cruel that they always stick her tracks after Kylie doing it better on these albums. Poor lass.
Kelly Llorenna – “Heart of Gold”
On the cheese scale, this is a camenbert growing blue green fluffy mould. It stinks.
Milk Inc. – “Walk on Water”
This is all getting a bit generic here. If it were a person, it would be wearing a vest and an Obey snapback.
Jan Wayne – “Because the Night”
So much better when it appears to be an 80s power ballad. The euro beat and synths are completely unnecessary and detract from the good bits.
Lasgo – “Pray”
Like so much vocal house, it’s really promising till the vocal kicks in. Ah well.
Scooter – “Posse”
It’s like the worst MC ever, at a rave where only 3 people turned up. Possibly a little endearing in its underwhelmingness.
Coldplay – “In My Place”
Remember when Coldplay weren’t huge and actually had to write good songs to keep going? I miss it. Everyone should just not buy their new album, get them working like this again.
Oasis – “Little by Little”
You’re pretty much safe writing off anything Oasis do from now on.
U2 – “Electrical Storm”
Blander than anything they’ve done before. Like cooked pasta with no seasoning whatsoever.
Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott – “Hero”
No offense Nickelback, but I still know it’s you from the way it plods along like a dog with three legs.
Richard Ashcroft – “Check the Meaning”
Like the Verve, but without anyone to tell him the song needs more work. Not bad, but very dull.
Eva Cassidy – “Imagine”
Could this have been the moment that that godawful trend of recording great songs in a twee lullaby style began? Just listen to the original.
Vanessa Carlton – “A Thousand Miles”
I realise that my masculinity is at threat here… but come on, this is really quite lovely. Overproduced maybe. But still beautiful.
Badly Drawn Boy – “You Were Right”
Is the intro meant to sound like Digital Love? Because it really does. I like Badly Drawn Boy, but this one feels a bit directionless.
Ronan Keating – “I Love It When We Do”
So middle of the road he’s falling over squashed hedgehogs.
Appleton – “Fantasy”
Half of All Saints, and about half as good. My old band played on the same bill as them at a university ball! How far they had sunk…
Ms. Dynamite – “Dy-Na-Mi-Tee”
Possibly the best British R&B song since Neneh Cherry went for cosy domesticity. Or possibly ever…
Beenie Man featuring Janet – “Feel It Boy”
The Neptunes can’t make a bad track at the moment. The fact they’ve managed to blend two seemingly disparate artists is brilliant.
Daniel Bedingfield – “James Dean (I Wanna Know)”
His good song’s been and gone. And so his sister starts plotting her moves…
Eminem – “Without Me”
Come on… Two classic albums and nothing on a Now! album. His first weak (ish) song and they love him. A boat missed here…
Puddle of Mudd – “She Hates Me”
Everyone does, you fake grunge horror.
Bowling for Soup – “Girl All the Bad Guys Want”
Is this not just Teenage Dirtbag all over again? Amusing for two minutes, with a few very funny lines… Her CD changer’s full of singers who are mad at their dad… haha.
Supergrass – “Grace”
Their best has now passed, but this 70’s inflected stomper still hits the right notes. Finally a sound to match the sideburns.
Status Quo – “Jam Side Down”
Strangely anachronistic, though aided by the preceding 70’s revivalism by Supergrass. Still, does this have any place on a pop compilation in 2002?
Raven Maize – “Fascinated”
The best thing I can say about it is that I’ve never come across someone named after birds and grains before.
Who Da Funk featuring Jessica Eve – “Shiny Disco Balls”
Sinister and whispery. Can’t tell if that’s good or bad to be honest.
Oakenfold – “Starry Eyed Surprise”
I’m trying to remember the band that this guy came from. They were terrible. Their big song was called Butterfly. Also, when did Paul Oakenfold lose his first name. It actually has quite a nice backing. But some of the most terrible rapping I have ever heard.
Edit- Crazy Town. They were called Crazy Town. They were awful. My little sister loved them.
19.5 out of 43. 44%. Just terrible. Truly.
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.