NOW That’s What I Call Music! 67 brings back two artists from NOW That’s What I Call Music! 63, a first for the series
NOW That’s What I Call Music, the series compiling hits of the moment, started 20 years ago with Janet Jackson‘s Hot 100 #1 “Together Again.” Since then, the music business has been disrupted multiple times, first by Napster and the iPod, today by streaming and Instagram stars. NOW That’s What I Call Music! 67 arrived this August and shows some of the challenges pop music faces in 2018. The first NOW had 15 of 17 hits make the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 or the Billboard Airplay Chart, which was merged into Hot 100 tracking in December 1998. NOW 67, on the other hand, only has 9 top 40 Hot 100 hits out of the 21 tracks on the album. When NOW turned 10 years old in 2008, the series started including a section called NOW What’s Next, spotlighting emerging artists. On NOW What’s Next 67 there are five tracks by eight artists.
What’s distinctive about NOW What’s Next 67 is that two of the eight artists were also part of NOW What’s Next 63. New Jersey’s Jeremy Zucker performed the poppy “Keep My Head Afloat” on NOW What’s Next 63. For NOW What’s Next 67 @jeremyzucker is less enthusiastic on “All The Kids Are Depressed,” a title that is keeping Zucker from getting terrestrial radio airplay. The other returning artist is Detroit’s Quinn XCII (that’s Quinn 92, not a distant relation of Charli XCX). On NOW What’s Next 63, @quinnxcii sang “Straightjacket” about a crazy girlfriend in his best Travie McCoy croon. XCII no longer raps on a duet with pop singer Phoebe Ryan on NOW 67‘s “Middle Finger.” Instead, he is trying to create energy similar to that of the recent Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato hit “No Promises.” The energy of “No Promises” was originally co-produced by the duo known as Loote, who appear on NOW What’s Next 67 with “Your Side Of The Bed,” a generic Millennial pop number that does not live up to the catchiness of “No Promises.”
Phoebe Ryan made the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016 as a featured artist on the Chainsmokers’ “All We Know“
If having Phoebe Ryan pair up with Quinn XCII does not satisfy your craving for collaborations, NOW What’s Next 67 also offers up Lost Kings ft. Norma Jean Martine on “When We Were Young,” a song with no ties to hits by Adele or The Killers. Instead, the Los Angeles DJs and London-based @njeanmartine reminisce about their childhood over a mid-tempo EDM groove. Finally, completing the latest Now What’s Next cohort is Jacksonville’s YK Osiris, an R&B singer whose million Instagram followers exceed the total of all other NOW What’s Next 67 artists combined. His “Valentine,” an emotional heartbreak ballad, is not only the most powerful track among the NOW What’s Next candidates, but is also nearly as good of an R&B highlight as Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up,” a Hot 100 #5 that appears among the hits of NOW 67. “Valentine” has notched over 25 million plays on YouTube, check out the music video below and look for the next edition of NOW That’s What I Call Music! in late October.