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Now Thats What I Call Music 52 is a two disk compilation album realeased in the summer of 2002. Weirdly, the case and design of the CD packaging and inserts dont really seem very summery and remind me of winter more than anything. The white background and silvery bits with gold text just seem cold and icy, whereas other Now summer albums are orangy and have summery colours. Looking at the track listing, it does not immedietly fill me with excitment, lots of songs by bands that arnt really my cup of tea, S Club Juniors, Liverty X and Britney Spears for example, but there are some decent songs on there. One of my favourite is "Blurry" by Puddle of Mud which is a pretty good rock song. There is also "Just A Little Girl" by Amy Studt, a song I probably would not have ever heard before if I did not have this album. There is also "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" by Oasis. Apart from these songs, the other 39 songs on the album are probably ones I would skip! I guess some people would like Ronan Keating, Scooter, and S Club 7 but there are songs and artists on this album which to me are just rubbish like The Reelists with "Freak Mode" and "Forever" by someone called "Dee Dee"
Definetly not one of the best Now albums, there are much better ones you could get!
Now 52 features a lot of the tracks that remind people of the 2002 summer. Released in July of that year, it features a lot of the tracks which remained popular throughout the summer. Having said that, it seems to have been a rather weak summer if these hits are anything to go by, and in my view, this Now compilation seems one of the weaker offerings from the team. There are a few good tracks, but most of them, although, decent enough, just aren't 'great' enough to be a 'Best Of' selection for that time slot.
Disc 1 starts off with Ronan Keating's If Tomorrow Never Comes and Liberty X's Just A Little. A decent start, but nothing special. The confusion then sets in with a string of average songs such as Dee Dee's Forever and Paffendorf's Be Cool. Kylie's Love At First Sight is boppy and catchy and reminds me well of the summer, but there are a few tracks I hadn't even heard before, such as Shakedown's All Night and the S Club Juniors' 'hit' One Step Closer, which still now makes me cringe.
The second disc starts off with the nice ballad 'It's Okay from Atomic Kitten, and has a few decent tracks that make me smile, such as Pudle Of Mudd's Blurry and Nelly's Hot In Here, but the rest of the tracks, although recognisable once you hear them, aren't household names and don't really appeal to me as big tunes. Although they all ended up being commercially successful, there can't have been much competition around at the time, as I don't particularly find this disc appealing any more. I'm not sure I ever did, to be honest!
It will come as no surprise when I say that I'm not really a fan of this offering from the Now That's What I Call Music team. Now 52 merely echoes my sentiment that the compilations came out much too frequently for a while, and to a certain extent still do. However, if they still sell then it's no surprise they keep doing it, and you can't always please everybody. No doubt there are some tracks on here that people will disagree with me on, and there will be other albums that I love and others will think are dire. Such is music - personal taste, and my personal taste isn't for this album. If you want to buy it, Now 52 is available from amazon.co.uk for around the £4 mark, and is less for a used copy.
Having now owned this for a while, I can give a fair judgement on the second instalment of the Now Series for 2002. I also have Now 53, will possibly do an opinion on that later. Now 52 is a reasonable CD. That sums it up pretty much. Now getting into more depth, lets take a look at each of the CD’s. CD One starts off with Ronan’s #1, “If Tomorrow Never Comes”. It is a nice ballad, not something I would buy or listen to much though. So generally I skip to track two, the fabulous Liberty X #1 hit, “Just A Little”. It really is a fantastic pop/r&b song, which most people seem to like. Now all of a sudden, we have George Michaels #7 song from months ago. Why is it here?! It is utterly boring, and doesn’t fit in whatsoever. Kind of a shaky start, at this stage. Thankfully track 4 is another #1 (oddly enough, the third and final #1 from the CD, a very low amount). “Freak Like Me” from Sugababes is a fantastic slice of pop. The next three tracks are all solid, top 3 pop songs – Kylie, Enrique and Sophie Ellis Bextor. I like all three, they fit in nicely. S Club Juniors are next. Personally, a rather average track. Now, another strange thing occurs. We get hit with 13 odd dance tracks. Only four are worth anything, Scooter, Moony, Flip N Fill and the best song on Now 52, “Tell It To My Heart” from Kelly Llorenna. We then end with S Club 7 just chucked on at the very back of the disc. Disc Two starts with six pop/r&b tunes. The best are Atomic Kitten, Britney, Ashanti, Mary J and Christina Milian. In other words – everyone except the boring N Sync one! Nelly follows, a tune I rather like, and Ms. Dynamite rounds off the start of a good disc. Sadly it all falls apart here. Aaliyah and Oasis (the last track on the disc) are the only other highlights. Sure, Puddle Of Mud, Amy Studt and Sheryl Crow aren’t awful, but none do you listen to any more than
a couple of times. Omera Mumba doesn’t really fit in, missing the top 40 and all. Now 52 has two discs that are nearly equally good, like last years Summer Now – Now 49 which was in the same boat. Sadly, only half the tracks are “good”. In saying that, only about 1 in 10 are “bad” – the rest just don’t suit my taste. Disc One’s tracklist is rather weird with George Michael at track 3, S Club 7 all alone at track 22 and so on. Overall, it is a good sum up of the hits of April – July. I recommend it to anyone who has a varied music taste, and who likes listening to top 40 tunes. The fact that five of my favourite songs on here I already own on their artists actual albums will probably be why I don’t listen to it as much, so if I was unbiased, then it definitely deserves 4 stars.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Ronan Keating - If Tomorrow Never Comes
2 Liberty X - Just A Little
3 George Michael - Freeek!
4 Sugababes - Freak Like Me
5 Kylie Minogue - Love At First Sight
6 Enrique Iglesias - Escape
7 Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Get Over
8 S Club Juniors - One Step Closer
9 Nigel & Marvin - Follow Da Leader
10 Scooter - The Logical
11 Dee Dee - Forever
12 Flip & Fill - Shooting Star
13 Paffendorf - Be Cool
14 Kelly Llorenna - Tell It To My Heart
15 Shy FX & T-Power feat. Di - Shake UR Body
16 Tim Deluxe feat. Sam Obernik - It Just Wont Do
17 Shakedown - At Night
18 Moony - Dove (Ill Be Loving You)
19 Intenso Project - Luv Da Sunshine
20 4 Strings - (Take Me Away) Into The Night
21 MadHouse - Like A Prayer (Almighty Radio Edit)
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Atomic Kitten - Its OK!
2 Britney Spears - Im Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman
3 Ashanti - Foolish
4 Mary J Blige - No More Drama
5 *Nsync - Girlfriend (Album Version)
6 Christina Milian - When You Look At Me
7 Nelly feat. Dani Stevenson - Hot In Herre
8 Ms. Dynamite - It Takes More
9 Omero Mumba - Lil Big Man
10 Aaliyah - Rock The Boat
11 The Reelists - Freak Mode
12 1 Giant Leap - My Culture
13 Amy Studt - Just A Little Girl
14 Sheryl Crow - Soak Up The Sun
15 Doves - Pounding
16 The Space Cowboy - I Would Die 4 U
17 Idlewild - American English
18 Puddle Of Mudd - Blurry
19 Moby - We Are All Made Of Stars
20 Oasis - Stop Crying Your Heart Out