Are you ready for this CD? Our journey through the NOW musical library continues with “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 8″…
“NOW That’s What I Call Music! 8” hit CD players on November 20, 2001. This was shortly after the tragic death of singer Aaliyah, and this album was dedicated to her memory. Aaliyah had been featured once before – on “NOW 4” – and was included on “NOW 8” with her song “Rock the Boat.” This album was also the third compilation released in 2001, making it the first time that the NOW series had released three albums in one year. Interesting facts aside, let’s see how well the content of this selection stacks up.
Destiny’s Child takes the opening track for the second time in a row, this time bringing out their hit “Bootylicious.” Much like “Survivor” on the last album, the track seems to lose itself in its own sound. After so much play on the radio, the song fails to stand out. The repetition of “I don’t think you’re ready” is the only thing that is noticeable. I definitely wasn’t ready to hear this song anymore. However, a bad opening doesn’t mean bad news for the whole album.
There are several good tracks on “NOW 8.” For all the hate that I originally gave them back on “NOW 5,” *NYSNC has really started to come into their own, especially with their song “Pop.” While the concept and lyrics may be a bit campy, the beat and flow of the song was exceptional. It’s also partially because the track moves away from their usual theme of love and it allows them to really kick up their music. They weren’t the only act that I started to have a change of heart about, either.
“Crush” by Mandy Moore is actually a pretty decent song. In the past, I talked about how Mandy was always too sweet or too weird in her musical choices, but this song stood out as more mature than her previous releases. The backing track is a little weak, but it’s definitely tolerable. She really finds her own sound in this effort instead of trying to copy other pop-princesses of the time.
Another really positive addition to the album comes in the form of the Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood.” I really had no idea that the Gorillaz dated back to 2001. The earliest I was exposed to them was in 2007, so knowing they started having hits six years prior was pretty mind-blowing. The song is a great one, too. It features a great mix of rap-style lyrics, an entrancing western-inspired background track, and haunting, almost distant vocals. It’s an excellent addition.
Now, all of these previous songs don’t mean the whole album is amazing. “NOW 8” is definitely more of a mediocre offering, but it doesn’t feature too many absolutely terrible songs. “Stutter” by Joe (ft. Mystikal) is one of the more unnecessary tracks on the album. The whole R&B love-sick vibe seems bland with this particular song and makes for an awkward, poor listening experience.
“More Than That” by the Backstreet Boys (in their 8th appearance in a row) continues their downward spiral. If they make it to 9, we can only hope that they can really step up and improve for it. Last, “Fat Lip” by Sum 41 is basically hydrochloric acid for your ears. If you haven’t turned it off after the first excruciating minute, you and I need to have a discussion about musical choices.
I will say this about “NOW 8” overall: it feels like the first NOWs that hit the shelves. It’s got a nice blend of genres that play well together for the most part and create a really varied experience. Again, it traverses the range of pop, rap, smooth R&B, punk, and even a bit of rock vibes. It has gone back to capturing what I believe is the spirit of NOW; varied music that represents all of what’s popular at a time, not just a small genre. In all honesty, despite its bad songs, I could easily listen to this album on a regular basis. “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 8” is a winning mixtape.
For those of you who want to broaden your musical horizons and try some new things, here’s the full track listing for “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 8”:
1. “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child
2. “Pop” by *NSYNC
3. “I’m Real” by Jennifer Lopez
4. “Stutter” (Double Take Remix) by Joe featuring Mystikal
5. “Someone to Call My Lover” by Janet Jackson
6. “AM to PM” by Christina Milian
7. “A Little Bit” by Jessica Simpson
8. “Crush” by Mandy Moore
9. “Rock the Boat” by Aaliyah
10. “U Got It Bad” by Usher
11. “More Than That” by Backstreet Boys
12. “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz
13. “Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys featuring Greg Nice
14. “Me, Myself & I” by JIVEjones
15. “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth
16. “Fat Lip” by Sum 41
17. “The Rock Show” by Blink-182
18. “Bad Day” by Fuel
19. “Be Like That” by 3 Doors Down
20. “Walk On” by U2
Have you listened to the latest episode of the podcast? It’s all about space and Space Jam 2! Click here to listen!
Here’s lots of other things you can also do:
Don’t forget to Like Us On Facebook and to follow us on Twitter!
Check out our Instagram!