Various - Now 61

The latest instalment of the long-running Now series does the expected job of reflecting what's popular with single buyers. Thus most of what's here can be broken down into new guitar bands (Kaiser Chiefs, Hard-Fi), R&B (Mario, Mariah Carey) or pop (Charlotte Church, Rachel Stevens), with a sense of creative poverty evenly spread between genres. One wonders also if there should be a term invented for songs which are so irritatingly horrible that exposure to them could be damaging to a person's mental health - step forward Akon, Roll Deep, James Blunt and, of course, Crazy Frog. Now 61 does include some fine tunes (by the likes of Gorillaz, The Magic Numbers and Deep Dish), but ultimately just performs the same function as commercial radio. For chart tarts only.



out of 10
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