I am primarily a rock and roll fan, but way back during the end of high school and beginning of college I listened to contemporary pop instead including the first couple dozen Now That’s What I Call Music albums with all of the big contemporary pop hits on them. I then moved on to a heavy focus in classic rock and roll instead, but over the last several years there’s been a dozen pop songs from the Now series that I still enjoy pretty regularly.
Here are the half dozen songs from that album series that after all of these years have remained with me including such big name groups as Black Eyed Peas, Nickelback, Fall Out Boy and Lenny Kravitz, who despite being more of a classic rocker somehow made it onto the album series as well.
I am not including songs by groups of mine that I already consider my favorites such as Aerosmith with Jaded and Just Push Play, Bon Jovi with Everyday and It’s My Life, U2 with Beautiful Day and Vertigo, Moby with We Are All Made of Stars and Saliva with Always. I decided to push myself creatively on this list by mentioning songs by artists that only have a couple singles I actually like instead.
12. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins: This might be the only country song in all of my music that I actually listen to regularly, and it’s not a great representation of country I must admit, but it’s such a terrible song I think it’s hilarious. The whole song has this guy singing in a very southern drawl about a woman’s badonkadonk. It’s a complete parody or satire of country music, but I think it works.
11. Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna: I love songs about travel and movement such as Moving On or Run With the Pack by Bad Company, and I think Rihanna adds some pretty sexy appeal to this driving song similar to Trampled Under Foot by Led Zeppelin in the way that it compares a car to getting it on.
10. I Think I’m Paranoid by Garbage: This might be the only grunge song in all of my music that I actually listen to regularly because I’m not a big fan of grunge either, but it’s a very interesting song I think similar to something Ozzy Osbourne would make such as Paranoid.
9. Beat It by Fall Out Boy: Most of the time I will hear a cover of a classic song such as a cover of the Stroke by Billy Squier, which was featured during the movie trailer for Expendables 3, kind of a strange song choice to begin with but whatever, and get upset that a modern pop artist with seemingly no talent would ruin a classic but sometimes such as Kanye West’s cover of Stronger by Daft Punk I think that the cover works really well. This is one of those times because I think that Fall Out Boy despite lacking the guitar ability of Eddie Van Halen makes a really rocking cover of this old classic by Michael Jackson.
8. Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy: Fall Out Boy made a couple of just simple fun rockers and I think that this is probably their best one.
7. American Woman by Lenny Kravitz: There are a couple of covers on this list and this is one of them, this time a cover of a song by the Guess Who.
6. Where Are We Running? by Lenny Kravitz: An energetic rocker by one of the best contemporary music artists in my opinion.
5. Hero by Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott: I know many people who both lambast Nickelback and the Toby Maguire Spiderman movies, so this seems like a strange choice, but I actually think that this is one of the few times Chad Kroeger made something that sounds inspirational and deep.
4. Rockstar by Nickelback: I know many people who dislike this song particularly by Nickelback, but I think that it is a great description of the self centered rock and roll life style.
3. Let’s Get It Started by the Black Eyed Peas: This is the only song I still listen to by the immensely popular group called Black Eyed Peas, but in my opinion of all the music that came out when I was a teenager and high schooler during the middle to late 2000s, this is its ultimate party anthem and is definitive of the music we had when I grew up.
2. Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz: Lenny Kravitz manages to make an interesting, trippy song this time around that’s been featured in at least one airline commercial.
1. Dig In by Lenny Kravitz: This song was a grower for me. When I first heard some songs by Lenny Kravitz I was much more of a fan of Fly Away and American Woman than I was of this one, but when I heard it during the end credits of The Return spring of 2012 with some people on my dorm hall, this became the most nostalgic song from the entire Now That’s What I Call Music series and also in my opinion the best.