Various Artists: Now That’s What I Call Music! 12

[1 July 2003]

By Tim Slowikowski

PopMatters Associate Interviews Editor

Like Star Jones let loose in a wig factory, I approach my newest assignment with distasteful glee: Reviewing NOW That’s What I Call Music! 12. It’s almost too easy. But, alas, Pop Matters sets ‘em up and I knock ‘em down.

As you can probably guess, I am not a big fan of the latest installment of the ubiquitous “Now” series. I gave up on radio far too long ago to be engaged by the likes of a grown man who insists on calling himself “JC Chasez”. To sum up most of the artists on this disc succinctly, I turn to the genius of one Mr. Chris Rock: “Here today, gone today!”. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008CQUJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/102-2289388-7392140?v=glance&s=music&vi=customer-reviews

1. “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde” by Jay-Z / Beyonce’ Knowles—nice.

2. “Bump, Bump, Bump” by B2k—I used to not like this song and then it played at prom and that night it grew on me.

3. “Jenny From The Block” by Jennifer Lopez—one of my favorite songs of the year.

4. “Don’t Mess With My Man” by Nivea—cute duet.

5. “Luv U Better” by LL Cool J—so-so.

6. “Air Force Ones” by Nelly—nice and catchy.

7. “Made You Look” by Nas—annoying and too angry.

8. “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg—kind of annoying.

9. “Blowin’ Me Up” by J.C. Chasez—grown on me.

10. “Like I Love You” by Justin Timberlake—gayest song of the year but good.

11. “Breathe” by Telepopmusik—too techno.

12. “I Should Be” by Dru Hill—sweet.

13. “Stole” by Kelly Rowland—wow. This song has so much power to me. Oh my gosh, you DO NOT understand!

14. “Miss You” by Aaliyah—one of the theme songs of my 9th grade year (this year).

15. “Angel” by Amanda Perez—theme song of this up-coming summer. One of my all-time favorite songs.

16. “Pretty Baby” by Vanessa Carlton—reminds me of my dog. :) This is such a sweet song! :)

17. “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban—like it.

18. “The Red” by Chevelle—good message

19. “Always” by Saliva—can relate…

20. “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down—love it!

This CD is full of my ALL-TIME favorite songs! I love it!

Thank you, “Nuey”, for your appreciative side of the story. Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not making fun of these sunshine views. I’m simply emulating the high ideals of my heroes at Fox News who say, “We Report. You Decide”. Is there anything more gallant than that? In this spirit, what follows is equal time for my opinion on the matter:

1. “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde” by Jay-Z featuring Beyonce—Fine, I s’pose.

2. “Bump, Bump, Bump” by B2K and P. Diddy—I didn’t like this song but then again I’m not supposed to, for I am not what P. Diddy calls a “sexy mama”. However, for the right amount I will “turn around so you can see that sexy body go bump, bump, bump”. Side note: lyrical profundity on a level not heard since “Blood on the Tracks”.

3. “Jenny From The Block” by Jennifer Lopez—Where do I start? If, for some strange reason, she didn’t prove it to you by living a completely vapid existence, “J. Lo” reminds you she’s “still Jenny from the block”. I guess it’s true because, back in the day, I’m sure she took limos for a two-block ride and had a bazillion assistants at her disposal. Favorite verse: “Love my life and my public / Put God first and can’t forget / To stay real / To me it’s like breathing”. The inherent irony of someone bragging about modesty was just the first in a long line of straws. Now we have Ms. Lopez pseudo-rapping about her public?! She must indeed “put God first”, because, in her world, she is God.

4. “Don’t Mess With My Man” by Nivea featuring Brian and Brandon Casey of Jagged Edge—Isn’t Nivea some kind of lotion?

5. “Luv You Better” by LL Cool J—“Ladies Love Cool James” should stick to acting . . . er, strike that. Change to: “Ladies Love Cool James” should stick to being eaten by genetically enhanced sharks.

6. “Air Force Ones” by Nelly—. . . Next.

7. “Made You Look” by Nas—The only respectable artist on here.

8. “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson—Sizzummer mizzusic fizz0 dizzummies.

9. “Blowin’ Me Up” by JC Chasez—I kept waiting for him to blow up. A real disappointment.

10. “Like I Love You” by Justin Timberlake—Just when you thought it was safe to send your kids to Neverland, Michael Jackson is back and dating Britney!

11. “Breathe” by Telepopmusik—Elevator music for Scientologists.

12. “I Should Be” by Dru Hill—I thought Jodeci broke up.

13. “Stole” by Kelly Rowland—Did she get kicked out of Destiny’s Child too?

14. “Miss You” by Aaliyah—Originally a 2-Pac song until his ghost decided his beyond-the-grave plate was full. Aaliyah won the bidding over Jimi Hendrix and knocked this one out of the park.

15. “Angel” by Amanda Perez—Helped me through the death of my “blankie”.

16. “Pretty Baby” by Vanessa Carlton—Coming to a “Dawson’s Creek” near you.

17. “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban—Made me wish for a Chris Gaines comeback.

18. “The Red” by Chevelle—A truly original masterwork . . . if you leave out Staind, Creed, Nickelback, Trapt, Godsmack, P.O.D., Seether, Finch, etc.

19. “Always” by Saliva—See #18.

20. “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down—See #18. Add this: Nothing like capitalizing on blind patriotism. I-raq & Roll, BABY!!!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this musical edition of Crossfire, with Slow & Nuey. Join us next time for our battle-royale over NOW 13 and Totally Hits 2003.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/various-now12/