Afroman says his quirky No.1 anthem 'Because I Got High' is about "taking life's heavy blows with a smile"... The video for the laid-back tune stars cult film characters Jay & Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes & director Kevin Smith, whose new movie Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back features 'Because I Got High' on the soundtrack.
True fact: one of my brother's friends had a set of talking Jay And Silent Bob dolls. You could press a little button on Silent Bob's back and... nothing happened. See what they did there?
If '21 Seconds' was a bit of an unusual track to include on a Now album, this is surely all the more so: I can't think of another track anywhere in the series that's so obviously about drug use. Presumably radio stations were keener to play this because they could class it as a morality tale: the protagonist suffers a whole series of misfortunes and ultimately has to stop singing the song altogether due to his devotion to the substance. Mind you, he seems to be having a good enough time of it. And if '21 Seconds' was a minimalist production, this goes a stage futher, with little instrumentation but for a drum machine and bass, though there are multiple vocal parts - I'm not sure whether these are overdubbed Afromen or other people but either way they're obviously intended to give the atmosphere of a party in the studio with everyone egging each other on. And they do, but the finished work is really too self-centred and insidery to appeal to me.
And on that bum note we finally, finally get to the end of Now 50. It feels like it's been going on for ages. And indeed it has, since the more recent albums really do have more songs on them since they don't have to worry about squeezing onto LPs or cassettes; this weighs in at 44 tracks, almost half as many again as Now 1. But moreover, it seems one of the more uninspired sets of songs I've come across: not necessarily the worst but track after track seemed so inert it was a struggle to say anything at all about it. Thus I've been unable to "bank" posts a few days in advance as I usually do, and almost everything has been written at the last minute on the night of publication which forces me to settle for first thoughts about them and makes the posts even less entertaining. On the upside, I've pleasantly surprised myself a couple of times here.
Possibly the most distinctive feature of this album is the number of acts making their only appearances; there are 12 of them, although that admittedly includes some one-off or one-hit-wonder acts. Some acts who had more hits are poorly represented here though.
Just a quick embed of the songs (well 38 of them and three excerpts) and we're done with 2001. See you in another decade.
Also appearing on: Now 51
Available on: The Good Times