My idea of a nightmare is watching The Sound of Music in the back seat of a LandRover on a road trip with the Partridge Family. Feel Good Songs is just one step away for me. But others will find this double-disc cornucopia of feel-good, decade-spanning pop songs the perfect antidote to suburban weekend chores.
Feel Good Songs is a lot like variety music radio station Mix FM. In fact, that station calls itself “Feel good” as well. It’s a term synonymous with light, middle-of-the-road, non-alienating pop that has wide appeal for people of all ages – a kind of cross-generational, water-based lubricant.
As far as collections go it is, admittedly, quite impressive in its consistency. Feel Good Songs is a very solid compilation of hits through the decades, mostly from the 90s and 80s. While similar albums often feature a few gems among a trove of duds, this album is an unrelenting succession of happy, smiley, well-known hits.
It kicks off with Queen’s 1979 hit Don’t Stop Me Now, before diving into the 80s with the obligatory Karma Chameleon from Culture Club and Walking on Sunshine from Katrina and the Waves. You’ll find some more recent easy listening goodness with the just-creamed-my-pants falsetto tones of Mika’s Grace Jones, the catchier-than-crabs Hey Ya! from ghetto hipsters Outkast, and Kelly Clarkson’s Since You Been Gone. And where would a compilation album about love and happiness be without John Paul Young’s hawked-on-every-compilation-album hit Love is in the Air?
There were two highlights for me on Disc 1. Beautiful Life from those 90s geniuses of scando-pop, Ace of Base (a song ripped off in a Lincraft ad, much to my dismay as I can only think of the ads lyrics now). And my pick from the entire album – then the truly, truly jubilant Things Can Only Get Better from D:ream.
Do things get better on Disc 2? Well, there’s the graceful optimism of Des’ree’s You Gotta Be and one to cuddle up with your partner to — High from the Lighthouse Family. There’s another dash into the 80s with The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love and Starship’s We Built This City (on cock and soul?). Our Natalie, Our Ben Lee and Our Delta all make it onto Disc 2, as does ABBA’s suggestive, but completely vanilla, Lay Your Love on Me. A highlight on this album’s second disc is Seal’s uplifting Amazing.
Feel Good Songs is easy listening at its most consistent and perky. You might not want the album yourself, but it would make an awesome present for that recovering alcoholic, forty plus relative who has a penchant for commercial radio hits.
Feel Good Songs is in stores now through EMI.
1. Don’t Stop Me Now — Queen
2. Suddenly I See — KT Tunstall
3. Walking on Sunshine — Katrina and the Waves
4. Hey Ya! — Outkast
5. Karma Chameleon — Culture Club
6. Every Heartbeat — Amy Grant
7. Grace Kelly — Mika
8. Since U Been Gone — Kelly Clarkson
9. Shake It — Metro Station
10. Break My Stride — Matthew Wilder
11. Life is a Highway — Tom Cochrane
12. Feels Like Heaven — Urban Cookie Collective (I bet it feels like heaven)
13. Beautiful Life — Ace of Base
14. Love Generation — Bob Sinclair feat Gary Pine
15. Dancing in the Moonlight — Toploader
16. Everybody Wants to Rule the World — Tears for Fears
17. Reach — S Club 7
18. Waiting for a Star to Fall — Boy Meets Girl
19. Things Can Only Get Better — D:ream
20. You Got It — Roy Orbison
21. Bubbly — Colbie Caillat
22. Love is in the Air — John Paul Young
1. We Built This City — Starship
2. Friday I’m In Love — The Cure
3. That Day — Natalie Imbruglia
4. Catch My Disease — Ben Lee
5. Keep On Movin’ — Five
6. Stay Beautiful — The Last Goodnight
7. Believe Again — Delta Goodrum
8. High — Lighthouse Family
9. You Got the Love — The Source feat Candi Staton
10. All Night Long (All Night) — Lionel Richie
11. Dreams — Gabrielle
12. You Gotta Be — Des’ree
13. Proud — Heather Small
14. Good Life (Buena Vida) — Inner City
15. Sunrise — Simply Red
16. Lay Your Love on Me — ABBA
17. Daydream Believer — The Monkees
18. Amazing — Seal
19. The Resolution — Jack’s Mannequin
20. Save the Best ‘Til Last — Vanessa Williams
21. Love Shine a Light — Katrina and the Waves