Arguably two of the greatest long term effects from the War of Independence on America (besides the Constitution, you geeks) 1. Chronic disdain for taxes and 2. a wierd general inferiority complex towards/fetish for British culture. Don't believe me? Ask the estimated billion American teenage girls who watched the entire (estimated) sixteen-and-a-half hour royal wedding this year.
But I digress. Sometimes that cultural awe is manifested in our eager consumption of really freaking good British music, whether we're talkin' the Beatles rock 'n' roll invasion of the '60s, or the infinitely less polite punk rock D-Day style attack a decade later. Fast-forward a generation, and British music is crossing the border in the more portable compilation of "NOW That's What I Call British," a wacky, at times, baffling smorgasbord of some popular tracks to emerge from the Queen's loyal subjects over the past few years.
If you're thinking the songs on this album seem random, it's 'cause they are. The only thing the tracks appear to have in common is their nation of birth. So don't expect it to flow as easily as your Pandora music station. It's kind of the musical equivalent of a meal composed of fish, crumpets, and London's best Indian dessert.
But we're not ones to knock anybody for a little schizophrenic eccentricity. If anything, the broad scope of the album is cool, savvy even, because there's a little something for every freedom-lovin', Coca-Cola belching American to enjoy. I'm most partial to the Radiohead and Florence and the Machine tracks, but my local teeny-boppers can enjoy the Natasha Beddingfield track, and any club kids worth their cover charge can get their hips shaking to Calvin Harris's "Close to You." The compilation also has a heavy dose of nostalgia, pulling in the perennially tragic James Blunt and the charming weirdos of the Gorillaz.
Basically, If you were a fan of popular music at any point over the past few years, you'll find something to remind you why America has never quite gotten over its neuroses about our posh, controlling cousins. So, in the name of tradition, take an acoustic trip across the pond and enjoy the work of our much more well-mannered (oops, did we say that) neighbors.
Stream NOW That's What I Call British below.