Then That's What They Called Music
is a series of posts on the Onion AV Club where writer Nathan Rabin (previously
) listens to all of the NOW! That's What I Call Music CDs from 1999 onwards. The essays read like a history of a forgotten world, reminding you of terrible yet infectious pop tunes, and are full of great links, snappy writing and one man's struggle to deal with why the Black Eyed Peas, the most corporate band
in America, are so popular.
Particular hi/low lights include reminding us all that in a time not so long along, Limp Bizkit
were incredibly popular (Rabin: "I expected a never-ending deluge of crappy “Nookie” sound-alikes to follow, but Durst really wanted to direct movies like the ferociously mediocre 2009 Ice Cube family feature The Longshots. The group is apparently hard at work on a comeback album, though its commercial chances may be hindered by the fact that without his signature baseball cap, Durst looks like your uncle’s business partner.")
There's also the story of City High
, a promising hip-hop lite trio who broke up in the way only a group featuring two guys and a girl can, and a reminder of Redman's
surely ironic apperance on MTV Cribs
("it's a subversive exercise in reverse wish-fulfillment, where he showed MTV his incredibly nondescript New Jersey home, a shambles where the doorbell only works if you push two wires together, and some random dude is perpetually asleep on the couch") and the amazing story of Beyonce producer Scott Storch
, who spent $30 million in a year on booze, drugs, women and cars. The rest, as the line goes, he just wasted.
The full series is well worth exploring - Rabin is currently up to Volume 23, November 2006