Continuing the trend of music exploration, we embark on a journey into “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 15.” Let’s see if the positive review train keeps rolling with this iteration.
Released on March 23, 2004, “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 15” puts a whole host of songs into one convenient package – it’s just a shame that most of the songs aren’t that great. They are, however, totally recognizable! This “NOW” album contains more songs that I’d heard before than any other one so far. They weren’t the good songs that I remember, but I do remember them. Regardless, it’s time to let you know about them, starting from the top.
The album opens with “It’s My Life” by No Doubt. No doubt you won’t forget this song. It’s got a bit of a catchy beat behind it, but it shifts between a floating, dreamlike tone in the verses to a harder techno-rock in the chorus. This makes it seem like two different songs cut-and-pasted together, and Gwen Stefani’s breathy-to-yelling transition on the vocals just adds to that feeling. I remember it being played on the radio a lot when I was younger, but I was indifferent. Now, I don’t like it.
“Bounce” by Sarah Connor is another negatively noteworthy song on this album. First of all, it’s incredibly generic sounding hybrid pop/hip-hop. Picture everything that makes those genres what they are, and then mash them into a song. Repetitive synthesized beat, repetitive simple lyrics, and a monotone female singer that fails to show range add up to a spectacular failure. I wanted to skip this song halfway through it because I remembered it from lots of radio plays and several movies, but, alas, it’s my duty to listen to them all.
Another really terrible song is “I Don’t Want You Back” by Eamon. It’s a slow-jam, R&B-style song, but it’s incredibly depressing and features a lot of swearing. It’s the opposite of most songs in this style, with Eamon telling his lost love to keep going instead of trying to beg for her back. It just makes it seem like dropping the F-bomb is the only way to get your point across in a breakup…which just seems like a bad idea.
The terribleness continues with “With You” by Jessica Simpson, “Sunrise” by Norah Jones, and “The First Cut is the Deepest” by Sheryl Crow. The third one holds a special place of hatred in my heart. Sheryl Crow is widely considered a country artist, but the song is almost poppy. This led to the song being played 1000 times a day across EVERY radio station in my area. Crow’s screechy, whiny vocals don’t improve it at all. As clichéd as it sounds, if I never hear this song again, it will be too soon.
Moving to the “good” songs, I have to make an interesting observation. My opinion of some of these songs has completely shifted over the years. Previously, I considered songs like “Holidae In” by Chingy featuring Ludacris & Snoop Dogg aural garbage, but now I find myself more interested in them. “Gangsta Nation” by Westside Connection featuring Nate Dogg is another song I would’ve bypassed. Not to say these Dogg featuring songs are particularly good, but they do fall into the “tolerable” category.
With that, we come to one of the main problems of this album. There are only a few really good songs, while most are just “tolerable.” “Toxic” by Britney Spears is an addictive song that brings her back into the limelight after missing out on 4 “NOW”s. “100 Years” by Five for Fighting is a pretty good song considering what it’s placed with here.
There’s just not a mass of stand-outs.
“NOW That’s What I Call Music! 15” has unfortunately stepped back into negative review land. The album is 90% bad, with the horrible songs drowning out the one or two genuinely great hits on the album. It’s like getting a package of meat that was shipped unrefrigerated. There might be some good bits you could pick out, but it’s totally not worth your time. Please save yourself the trouble – skip “NOW 15.”
Even though I just told you to skip it, here’s the full track listing for “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 15”:
1. “It’s My Life” by No Doubt
2. “Toxic” by Britney Spears
3. “Stand Up” by Ludacris featuring Shawnna
4. “Holidae In” by Chingy featuring Ludacris and Snoop Dogg
5. “Gangsta Nation” by Westside Connection featuring Nate Dogg
6. “Bounce” by Sarah Connor
7. “Shut Up” by The Black Eyed Peas
8. “Gigolo” by Nick Cannon featuring R. Kelly
9. “Me, Myself and I” by Beyoncé
10. “Shorty Doowop” by Baby Bash featuring Perla Cruz and Russel Lee
11. “I Don’t Want You Back” by Eamon
12. “With You” by Jessica Simpson
13. “Sunrise” by Norah Jones
14. “The First Cut Is the Deepest” by Sheryl Crow
15. “Everything” by Fefe Dobson
16. “(I Hate) Everything About You” by Three Days Grace
17. “Feeling This” by Blink-182
18. “Hold On” by Good Charlotte
19. “Falls on Me” by Fuel
20. “100 Years” by Five for Fighting