Saturday, January 16, 2016

#380, in which a resolution has not been forgotten

You may think that I've already quit on my resolution, or that I've forgotten, or that for whatever reason, this resolution has fallen by the wayside. Don't you worry, though. The only reason I didn't post anything last week was because I got really quite sick and wasn't able to listen to much of anything, let alone write about it.

This week, I listened to NOW! 15, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. 32 was club music nearly the whole way through, but this had a nicer mix of various genres that only rarely made me want to turn off the music and hurl my computer through the window in disgust. (Three of the last four tracks are by blink-182, Good Charlotte, and Fuel, so, you know.) It's toe-tapping, infectious pop, and really, that's exactly what these albums should be in my mind. You get alt-rock, hip-hop, girl pop, and even a bit of punk, so there's something for everyone here. Unless you're a big fan of club music, in which case, may I recommend 32 to you.

The album starts with "It's My Life" by No Doubt, which is a perfect encapsulation of what this project should be. It's enjoyable, catchy, and fun, while not being particularly challenging. It's the musical equivalent of cotton candy. Nothing too tricky about it. "Toxic" is more or less the same thing, although your personal mileage may vary with this one because of the screechy hook. This music should make you want to get up and shake around, and it should stick in your head through the day without making you want to claw your brains out. (Again, your personal mileage with Britney Spears may vary.) Ludacris' "Stand Up" and Chingy's "Holidae In" are similar, but for hip-hop. You'll want to move, you'll want to shake, and you'll feel pretty okay about it.

Yes, this album has a Black Eyed Peas song on it. No, I don't particularly want to dwell on it. Not every song in this project can be a winner.

About halfway through the album, the tone switches from groovy pop to mellower girl pop-type music, for lack of a better term for it. We switch from Nick Cannon and Eamon to Jessica Simpson, Norah Jones, and Sheryl Crow. It's all nice, but the switch is a little jarring. I'm not sure what formula, if any, they used to determine which songs would be included on the album, but it sort of feels like they had to put these songs on them, so they just jammed them in as best as they could. Again, they're lovely, but when the song that precedes them is "Shorty DooWop," it makes for some strange juxtaposition.

Ideally, they would have ended the album with Sheryl Crow, but as I mentioned, they went on and included some truly dire punk pop. I am no great fan of blink-182 or of Good Charlotte, so while I tried not to let my personal biases color my experience with the album, I couldn't help but suffer through the last few tracks. They are not good, and by the time I had slogged through them, I was rewarded with Five for Fighting's "100 Years," which sort of felt like being hit with tire irons for fifteen minutes only to be rewarded with five minutes of a MasterCard commercial.

This album isn't great, by any stretch of the imagination, but for what it is, it's pretty okay. I don't know that I'd recommend purchasing it, but if you're looking for some music to put on while you're cleaning the house to give you a bit of energy, this is a pretty solid choice.

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