Missed part four of our Greatest Hits Review? Check it out here!
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS OF ARTISTS AND SONGS.
Thursday, July 28, brought a brand new episode of Greatest Hits on ABC, celebrating music from 1980-2005. This time, hits from 2000 to 2005 were featured, an era not so long ago, with music known all too well.
It seemed like the episode was rushed, with performers taking the stage rapidly throughout the night. Regardless, it was fun. The music got everyone in attendance and probably everyone watching at home on their feet.
The show started with a cold open with our hosts, Arsenio Hall and Kelsea Ballerini, who talked about the summer. They introduced country group Little Big Town (making their second appearance on the show) to sing a portion of Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun” acapella. Though it only lasted about a minute, the group had great harmonizing on the song.
The actual first act was pop-girl group Fifth Harmony, who performed a medley of songs from Beyonce’s first project, Destiny’s Child.
They performed the best song to sing out loud to with your girlfriends, “Say My Name,” “Independent Women,” “Bootylicious,” and “Survivor.” Fifth Harmony sounded very close to Destiny’s Child themselves, which was very cool, but they seemed to put more of a rap/hip-hop feel to the songs.
Although they did a knock-out job with “Say My Name,” only one small problem remained: “Say My Name” came from Destiny’s Child’s album The Writing’s on the Wall, which was released in 1999. Despite this, the group sounded amazing.
The next act to take the stage was R&B singer, actor, and model Mario.
He was joined by R&B singer and actress Zendaya to sing “Let Me Love You” from his 2004 album “Turning Point.” The two worked well together on this sassy love song, and got the audience dancing. They traded lyrics back and forth, and their singing styles really seemed to mush well together.
Kenny Loggins returned for his third appearance on Greatest Hits, this time with Train lead singer Pat Monahan (both shown at the top).
They performed a mashup of Train’s hit “Calling All Angels” and Loggins’ “This is It.” This was probably the best performance of the night, because it really rocked.
Both songs had a nice alternative rock feel to them, and Monahan’s and Loggins’ voices together reminded us a little of Creed. They both had some great guitar work, too. It is pretty safe to say that we loved this performance.
As part of their second appearance on the show, Little Big Town returned to the stage to perform “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys. Unlike their performance of “Wonderwall” the previous week, there was a definite country twist to the song this time.
Just like their performance at the top of the show, there was spectacular harmonizing. Something we didn’t see coming was Jimi Westbrook’s high notes in the middle of the song. We were very impressed by that, and it would make Alicia herself proud.
Next up was, surprisingly, co-host and country singer Kelsea Ballerini to perform a medley of her favorite songs from the early 2000s: portions of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” “This Love” by Maroon 5, and “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears. Ballerini proved to her co-host, Arsenio Hall, that he was not the only one that could host and sing (see part two of our review), and tore up these classic songs.
There was a noticeable country twang when Ballerini sang “…Baby One More Time,” which was a nice twist on the Spears hit. The only thing that was missing from this medley was the kick on the chorus of “This Love.”
Ballerini’s set was the second-best performance of the night. However, two of the three songs were not from the early 2000s. “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” was on Shania Twain’s 1997 album Come On Over, while “…Baby One More Time” was on Britney Spears’ debut album, released in 1999.
The final act of this episode was country singer, Lee Ann Womack. She was joined by pop singer Rachel Platten to sing Womack’s hit “I Hope You Dance” and Platten’s “Stand By You” (released just last year!). They went well together, and tied up the show.
This episode seemed like it was done in a rush. Performers took the stage rapidly, and it seemed like ABC was just trying to get it done and aired. They should have slowed down and took it easy. It may be an hour-long show, but it must be enjoyable for those watching it AND those making it.
This show was supposed to be about music from 2000 to 2005. Why were there so many songs not from this era featured? All it would have took was a quick Internet search to double-check the release year of a song if there was any doubt whether it should be played or not. There was little date consistency in this episode.
Though many stars of the early 2000s music world appeared on the show, there was one genre that was not represented: pop-punk.
The pop-punk revolution was huge during this time, and put many bands in the mainstay, such as Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, blink-182, and many more.
Besides the lapse in date-checking and the rushed feel to the show, this episode was fun to watch.
4 LPs (out of 5)
Predictions: The end is near.
Next week will be a two-hour live season finale, which will reveal the most popular era as chosen by fans on the show’s website.
Not much else has been revealed about next week. Logically, we would hear music from 2005 to 2010. If this is the case, then we could see indie and alternative rock bands like Linkin Park, Modest Mouse, Jimmy Eat World, The White Stripes, and many more. \
We may also see other popular artists of the period like Justin Timberlake, New Kids on the Block, Christina Aguilera, Flo Rida, Jay-Z, Carrie Underwood, and many others.
However, if the finale will be looking at all the eras celebrated throughout the series, then we might see all sorts of genres: hair metal rock bands like Def Leppard, grunge rock bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, country music stars like Toby Keith, R&B stars like Usher, the list goes on.
Come back next week for our review of the Greatest Hits season finale!
Featured photo courtesy of ABC.