Monday, March 15, 2010


So Fresh  - Hits of Winter 2002
(Sony Music)

We discover So Fresh compilations taste even worse (read: better) a decade stale.

For Christmas in 2003 I received a compilation of So Fresh’s Hits of Winter 2002 from my well-intending mother. It had already been superseded, and even a young me couldn’t care less about what Sony/Universal’s biggest sellers of the season were. But as the pop frenzy of tracks like Pink’s ‘Get This Party Started’ and ‘Whenever, Wherever’ by Shakira bounced around my head, I felt somewhat dizzy off the heady scent of it all. Ronan Keating, Enrique Iglesias, Natalie Imbruglia – they were all there. And they wanted to get this party started.

I was going through my CD collection when packing recently when the nostalgia hit me. I realised it could never be parted with - in ten years time I’ll pick it up again and laugh at the unabashed pop sensibilities of early noughties music. I'll compare it to the popular music of the times, which will probably be string of achingly ‘hip’ indie outfits that automatically invalidate their own existence by being well received. In hindsight, at least ‘Always on Time’ by Ja Rule, Feat. Ashanti never tried to be cool. You never had to listen to these songs and find deeper meaning, or appreciate them on any level other than trying to remember all the lyrics before anyone else in your grade. So Fresh compilations aren’t hiding behind any pretensions – they’re trashy populist gold and for that reason they're worth keeping around.

Does anyone else still have this fine relic hiding somewhere? What about The Hits of Summer 2003? It had ‘The Ketchup Song’ on it, and isn’t that everyone’s favourite failed attempt at starting a modern ‘Macarena’ or ‘Nutbush City Limits’? For instructions on getting the hot potato moves down pat, see the video below.

Upside: As time goes on, it'll only get lamer, hence, awesomer.

Downside: The inclusion of U2's 'Walk On' and Grinspoon's 'Chemical Heart'. They almost detract from the cheese and cheer.

Best lyric: Easily from 'Hero' by Enrique Iglesias: "Would you tremble if I touched your lips?/ Would you laugh? Oh please tell me this/ Now would you die for the one you love?/ Hold me in your arms tonight." A close second was the mastery of Westlife's 'World of Our Own' which begins, "You make me feel funny/ When you come around/Yeah that's what I found out honey" - pure gold.

Sounds like: A Video Hits you recorded from 2002, minus the bad videos with backup dancers.

Which So Fresh is an embarrassing inclusion to your CD collection? Leave a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. I own this one!!! I was given it from an aunty, it is still sitting in my pile of CD's bought in early 2000s.. it's an interesting/embarrassing collection.