This was quite a decent comeback for Bono and the boys. It's not up there with their best eighties songs like 'New Years Day' or 'With Or Without You', but it's definitely quite anthemic, if not a little overplayed now, and one of their better later efforts.
I miss the variety of the charts back then! Steps were probably the cheesiest form of pop but I was always a sucker for their unashamedly feel-good tunes. Admittedly they had a few that were a bit too bad even for me, but I think this falls just on the right side of that borderline! Despite the fact that it's blatantly based around Chic's 'Everybody Dance' (with a little bit of the Brothers' Johnson's 'Stomp' thrown in), it's a pretty infectious pop song.
The Spice Girls ruled the charts between 1996 and 1998, so this comeback single was always destined to go to #1 whatever. I have to say though, I had totally forgotten what both songs sounded like so it can't have had much of an impression on me. 'Holler' is them trying to sound grown up and cool, with it's summery R&B vibes - Unfortunately though it just feels very flat, and average at best, and I really do think they would have been better sticking to that pure pop sound that made them famous in the first place.
'Let Love Lead The Way' is a ballad, but nowhere near to the standard of their slow numbers of previous years such as '2 Become 1', 'Too Much' or 'Mama'. In fact it's not good at all, and not even as good as 'Holler'.
I had to look this up to check it wasn't a cover, because this actually isn't that bad at all! It's got one of those 'arms in the air' choruses that reminds me a bit of 'Mull Of Kintyre' or Rod Stewart's 'Rhythm Of My Heart', and it's definitely one of their better efforts in my opinion.
I didn't think I knew this but on hearing it I can definitely remember it, and I think I actually quite liked it at the time. It doesn't sound too bad now to be honest, and it's certainly more inspired than their cover of 'Take On Me'. Yeah, it has quite a nice feel to it - I'd probably give it about a 7/10.
Well now this is on a totally different level to most of the pop songs of the time - it's a Diane Warren song for a start, and it's sung by the vocal talent who gave us 'How Do I Live' (also a Diane Warren song) a couple of years earlier - Leann Rimes was normally a country singer, but this is just pure glorious pop, and it's taken from the soundtrack to 'Coyote Ugly' (which I haven't seen). It's barely aged at all, I could see this being a hit today.
I think this was the single that propelled Beyonce and the girls into the next level, and something a bit more special than your average R&B girl group. It's another one from a film soundtrack - Charlie's Angels in this case, and they're letting us know they are 'Here and they are not to be messed with!' It's an in-your-face track, and there was no escaping it at the time. Very Good.
We're in December now, so let's see if I can get to the end of 2000 today!
S Club 7 - Never Had A Dream Come True
Not to be confused with the Stevie Wonder song of the same name! The S Clubs had a few chart toppers but their best song (for me anyway), Reach, only got as far as the runner-up spot earlier in the year (it was behind Sonique though, so I think it was justified). Back to this one though and it's quite a lovely little ballad - one of those cosy little 'Winter warmers' that you often find in the top ten at Christmas time. Like quite a few songs it always reminds me of Peter Kay's Car Share now!
Before I start, can I just say that I absolutely adore the Dido song 'Thank You', which is sampled on this song, and I think it's probably down to him that she became big when she did. I never really used to like 'Stan' but it has grown on me a bit over the years and I like the fact it tells a story, albeit a morbid one - of a crazed fan who ends up killing himself! Yeah, I have to admit I was wrong for all those years and this is actually a piece of brilliance!
Well the good news is, I've finally reached the end of 2000 with this 3 week chart topper! The bad news is, I've got to spend the next three minutes listening to a children's TV theme. To be fair though, it's not the worst song I've had to sit through in this year (see Robbie Williams, Mariah & Westlife etc.) and I can see why it was popular with kids everywhere - what kid doesn't love building? It's not something I would ever sit and listen to through choice again, but it's fine if you're 5 years old!
My celebrity crushes : Monika Sedziuviene, Kristina Ivanova (YVA).
In my head I like to imagine LastDreamer in the land of Lithuania right now with a suitcase of simcards, a box of chocolates and a wedding ring. It would be a great base for an epic Eurovision fan fiction.