Ride wit Logan for another trip down NOW Lane; he’s not Jaded, This I Promise You.
Today, we move on to the seventh in the “NOW” series. Please, come and take a ride with me as I explore “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 7.”
“NOW That’s What I Call Music! 7” released on July 31, 2001, making me ten years old. At this time, I had a little more exposure to some of the music on the album – whether through a classmate’s CD player, a television commercial, or snippets on the radio. It seems like the “NOW” series was really pegging the hits of the time at this point. There’s also a marked shift in the tone of this album from the previous ones, with “NOW 7” having more hip-hop tracks than its predecessors. However, we should always start from the beginning.
The first track is “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. While the song may be tolerable, I think its consistent play on the radio at the time of release has really torn down its value. I remember this song all too well, playing at any given hour of the day. All that stands out, really, is the repeated chorus of “I’m a survivor.” While it may be good to listen to this song once and remind yourself it exists, it becomes easy to skip on subsequent listens. Other songs on the album that I’m familiar with – fortunately – don’t suffer the same fate.
“Ride wit Me” by Nelly (ft. City Spud) is a song that I remember hating as a young person. When I was ten I really couldn’t stand rap and hip-hop, but over time, this particular song grew on me. It’s got a good beat, flowing lyrics, and a classic hook that you can’t help but sing aloud. I mean, seriously, how often have you found yourself in a group that didn’t shout “Hey! Must be the money!” when that part of the song graced the speakers? It’s still a nice little party song and is easily remembered. There are a few other songs that are both memorable and worth listening to.
One such song is “Danger (Been So Long)” by Mystikal (ft. Nivea) if only for the fun of shouting the repeating “Danger!” when it hits. Another is “Jaded” by Aerosmith, which in addition to being a good song, helps break up the monotony of pop and hip hop with a classic rock edge.
Finally, another song worth a mention is Lifehouse’s “Hanging By A Moment.” It’s a really catchy song, in the same vein of rock as 3 Doors Down or Creed, and is a nice medium-tempo to help round out the album. Not every song is worth a positive mention, though.
While “Survivor” was a great example of a memorable song that was bad, there are several songs that I’d never heard that deserve to stay buried in obscurity.
Mandy Moore continues to show her lack of musical talent with “In My Pocket,” an oriental-inspired musical assault on your ear drums. Her flat voice accompanied by an odd instrumental backing leads to a generally terrible song. I’m pretty sure that young me would’ve plopped this one right in the trash.
Both super-hit boy bands, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, put up terrible songs on this one as well. Backstreet Boys, in their seventh appearance in row, continue their bad showing from the previous “NOW” with their track “The Call.” This pseudo-storytelling song lacks any kind of comprehensible music backing and their sing-talking over it does nothing to improve it. *NSYNC’s “This I Promise You” falls under the category of “typical romantic drivel.”
“NOW” regular Britney Spears also falls from grace with her song “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know.” It’s pretty easy to say that Britney should stick to the faster, stronger, and more pop-driven tracks from previous albums.
As a whole, “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 7” is an odd beast. It’s hard to deny that listening to some of the old, popular tracks that stood out from my childhood is really fun, but I can’t recommend this album to just everyone. If you’re looking for a good nostalgia trip, “NOW 7” is probably the best for the job, but if you just want to add some good music to your library, “NOW 7” is definitely not the one to pick. It’s simply a lackluster entry.
For those who want to take an extended trip down pop-music memory lane, here’s the full track listing for “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 7”:
1. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
2. “All for You” by Janet Jackson
3. “Baby, Come Over (This Is Our Night)” by Samantha Mumba
4. “In My Pocket” by Mandy Moore
5. “Play” by Jennifer Lopez
6. “The Call” (Neptunes Remix) by Backstreet Boys
7. “Playas Gon’ Play” by 3LW
8. “Ride wit Me” by Nelly featuring City Spud
9. “Danger (Been So Long)” by Mystikal featuring Nivea
10. “Fiesta Remix” by R. Kelly featuring Jay-Z and Boo & Gotti
11. “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve featuring Gwen Stefani
12. “What Would You Do?” by City High
13. “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know” by Britney Spears
14. “This I Promise You” by *NSYNC
15. “Never Had a Dream Come True” by S Club 7
16. “Hanging by a Moment” by Lifehouse
17. “Jaded” by Aerosmith
18. “From My Head to My Heart” by Evan and Jaron
19. “Flavor of the Weak” by American Hi-Fi
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