Now (US)
Now That's What I Call Music! 2


2.5
average

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (55 Reviews)
October 11th, 2017 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yup, that's music (again)

For a compilation album to become more than just a collection of hit songs, it needs to check a few boxes. First, the individual tracks themselves have to be actual hits. Second, the tracks you pick have to define the time its looking back on, making sure that the collection of tracks is not only current enough to sell the album when its first released, but also solid enough to warrant repeated “nostalgia” listens in the future. Third, the overall flow and nature of the tracks should at least have some logical order to it.

Like its predecessor, NOW 2 checks all these boxes – at least partially. Starting off with the instantly recognizable *dun dun dun* piano riff of Britney Spears’ immortal “..Baby One More Time” is as good of a start as you could ask for on any pop album. From there, NOW 2 flows quite nicely through a series of instantly recognizable hits from 1998 and early 1999, at least in part due to the first few tracks all relying heavily on piano arrangements. The then-overplayed, but downright joyous New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” (another song with a great piano intro) screams 1999 for anyone who was old enough to remember it. Add in alt/pop hits like Semisonics’ “Closing Time,” Fatboy Slim’s criminally good “Praise You,” and U2’s – saccharine even for soccer moms carrying a water cooler full of Pacific Cooler Capri Suns – “Sweetest Thing” and it begins to add up – wow, this mix isn’t bad for some late 90’s nostalgia. I guarantee that just based off the tracks I mentioned, NOW 2 stayed in the five CD rotation of a lot of high school and college students during the summer of 1999 when this was released.

From there, NOW 2 alternates between gems of the era, and some songs you’d rather not have to listen to ever again. It’s a pattern that will appear on all of the NOW compilation albums in the future. In catering to such a wide audience, it was a given that some listeners would focus on certain genres more than others, utilizing the skip button on their CD players to good use. While NOW 2 certainly represents a slight step up from the true mish-mash of songs on the first edition of NOW, it still has its fair share of songs that should never ever appear next to each other on any playlist. Garbage’s over-driven grunge guitar riffs of “I Think I’m Paranoid” next to Cake’s stripped down “Never There” and then going straight into the smooth polished boy-band style of 98 Degrees is one that the compilers wish they could take back. Then again, how do you order an album whose only merit for including songs is that they were “hits” of some sort?

As you listen deeper into the album, you realize that this compilation is extremely front loaded. The true middle of the album features a song from the Rugrats Movie soundtrack ("Take Me There"), a paint by numbers ballad from the Spice Girls at the end of their time at the top ("Goodbye"), a mandatory Everclear song about hating your Dad ("Father of Mine"), a song that represents the continuing resurgence of ska/reggae influences during the decade ("What I Got"), and an R. Kelly song where he tells the listener that the girl who left him made “some of the best cooking he ever had" ("When A Woman's Fed Up") - all piled next to each other like some sort of ridiculous 90's clown car of hits. Whereas the first few songs of the album flowed perfectly, the rest of the album seems downright rushed and thrown together.

Maybe I’m making too much of it – to my knowledge, all of these songs were at least mildly popular in 1998 and 1999, and there are a decent amount of songs on here that still hold up today as classics of the era. Perhaps this album is best summarized by its final two tracks. Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life” still grooves as well as it ever did – conversely, Baz Luhrmann’s spoken word graduation speech “Wear Sunscreen” which reeks of self-righteousness and graduation parties of 1998 and 1999 does not, never did, and never will. However, both songs remain quintessentially 90’s. That makes NOW 2 a solid effort in the series given the sporadic nature of the music itself during this time, but it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story.



Recent reviews by this author
Now (US) Now That's What I Call Music! 3Superorganism Superorganism
Tame Impala Currents B-Sides and RemixesNoel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Who Built the Moon?
Liam Gallagher As You WereThe Killers Wonderful Wonderful
user ratings (4)
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
October 11th 2017


683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Reviewing this because why not?

Evok
October 11th 2017


7747 Comments


You dedicated 5 paragraphs to a walmart bargain bin cd? Hard pos'd!

ZackSh33
October 11th 2017


683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks! You'd be surprised how obsessed with these CDs some people in my generation are...

SandwichBubble
October 11th 2017


10723 Comments


You'd be surprised how obsessed with these CDs some people in my generation are... [2]

DinosaurJones
October 11th 2017


10208 Comments


These things were always a mixed bag. The other problem with them was that you never appreciated them when they came out because you were still sick as shit of everything on them. Or at least, I was.

Now, over 15 years later, I can appreciate some of the stuff on them again.

ZackSh33
October 11th 2017


683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've been jamming "You Get What You Give" all day. That song was ridiculously overplayed back when this came out, but listening to it with fresh ears makes me appreciate it so much more.

NastyCrab
October 11th 2017


788 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

YGWYG is probably my favorite one-hit wonder

Snake.
October 11th 2017


21822 Comments


why did you review this

ZackSh33
October 11th 2017


683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^^^Reviewing this because why not?

Snake.
October 11th 2017


21822 Comments


i mean every time i see your sputnik handle i'm always annoyed by everything you say/do idk why

reviewing top 40 compilations from the 90s that mean virtually nothing now besides making 5/7 level shitposts don't really help so

BlackwaterPork
October 11th 2017


4390 Comments


How many of these are there now?

DarkSideOfLucca
October 11th 2017


14979 Comments


I never thought I would ever read a review of any Now album

BallsToTheWall
October 11th 2017


49880 Comments


Me neither. Shut up and take my money.

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

ZackSh33
October 11th 2017


683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@snake lol I'm barely on here man sorry I gave you bad vibes?

@blackwater way too many

Spacesh1p
October 11th 2017


7717 Comments


Don't worry, Snake is a miserable person. Review everything.

MrButterfingers
October 11th 2017


130 Comments


Ahahahaha what the FUCK.

ChoccyPhilly
October 11th 2017


11962 Comments


Do the whole discog

Digging: Skream - Skream!

wham49
October 12th 2017


4996 Comments


there are actually some descent songs on here: Sublime, Cake, GArbage, U2 a far cry from the releases now, I think they are in the 50's at this point

Drifter
October 12th 2017


16331 Comments


Can't believe you made fun of that R. Kelly song

Drifter
October 12th 2017


16331 Comments


That song is so fucking GOOD

the album it's on is r&b gold. Hard 5



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy