Various - Now That's What I Call Music! 73
It could just be the summer effect (beer, sun, holidays, exposed flesh), but the latest outing for the popular chart-mopping series seems more aurally pleasing than usual. Contrary to the impression one gets from regularly participating in The Music Fix weekly singles round-up, it may well be that the single is not dead after all. Hurrah!
Take Fire, for example. Ridiculing Kasabian might be an increasingly popular British pastime, but, pulling off, as it does, a couple of inspired gear changes, I can't see any justification for filing this single as standard lad rock. Also consider the eclectic pop goodness of The Veronicas' Untouched (cold shower anyone?), La Roux's In For The Kill and Empire of the Sun's We Are The People. Calvin Harris and Deadmau5, with I'm Not Alone and I Remember respectively, demonstrate that the slightly cheesy trance anthem can, occasionally, be a thing of wonder, while both Dizzee Rascal and The Prodigy thrill with their spiky sonic brutality.
Still, Now 73 doesn't all smell of roses. Dull r'n'b renders half of disc two unlistenable. Pitbull's I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) is possibly the most annoying song of the summer. If you don’t know it by name, all I need write is uno dos tres cuatro. Unintentional hilarity comes in the shape of Paolo Nutini's newfound silly voice on Candy and Britney's excruciatingly embarrassing If You Seek Amy (geddit?), which makes you wonder why some waste energy on slagging off harmless tat like Cascada (also present). Not so funny is Poppiholla, Chicane’s re-working of Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla, which one at least hopes is a practical joke. (This, after all, is the man who gave Bryan Adams a spot on a dance record.) As they say in Iceland, may you choke on rotten shark meat and be eaten by puffins!