Various - Now 62
Now compilations are normally a mixed bag, and volume 62 is no exception. Here you'll find everything from teeny-boppers McFly to, er, balding oldie Elton John. Like the charts, it's mostly pretty average, occasionally scraping the bottom of the barrel (granny's favourite Westlife, wobbly-headed bore David Gray) or offering up some hope that the general public really aren't that stupid after all.
Sugababes and Pussycat Dolls give some decent r'n'b/pop, even if neither are quite as sexy as Goldfrapp's Ooh La La. DARE, Gorillaz' packaging of Shaun Ryder, is more evidence for the cartoon band being singles' act of the year. The Magic Numbers' Love Me Like You is a masterclass in the art of songwriting, while Damian Marley's Welcome To Jamrock is pleasingly dub-edged reggae, a sort of lost sound these days.
This reviewer will grudgingly admit Robbie Williams' Tripping is the best thing he's done (not saying much, but still), and Girls Aloud's Biology demonstrates an adventurous spirit lacking in supposedly hipper fare. (With it's mish-mash of parts, it could be the pop answer to Paranoid Android.) Just don't tell anyone, okay?