RETRO-RANK: Top Ten Songs of the Naughts

27 11 2010

Originally posted January 11, 2010.

A little musical interlude because at this point I should be pretty much back to do these things live…or as live as these posts can be. So I hoped you’ve enjoyed re-reading some of these oldies as much as I liked resharing them. If not, well…we’ll just pretend none of this had ever happened. Rock out to what I thought were the best songs of the 2000s.

10. Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz (2005)

In a decade where CGI came into it’s own, it’s no surprise that one animated band would break the top 10. Gorillaz are the innovative brainchild of Blur’s Damon Albarn and co-creator of Tank Girl, Jamie Hewlitt. This catchy dance number was a follow up to it’s widely successful self-titled debut album which featured “Clint Eastwood.” Take a listen and enjoy this Grammy Awards mash-up with honourable mentioned “Hung Up” by Madonna.

9. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley (2006)

I remember, I remember, I remember when I first heard this song on the radio. Not only did I go crazy for this song but so did everyone else that summer. Also, I give props to anyone who can use inkblots as a viable concept to a video.

8. Hurt – Johnny Cash (2002)

One thing I can’t remember is when a cover of a song became more successful than the original. Johnny Cash’s haunting take on the Nine Inch Nails’s 1994 release was slower and oozed more pain and sadness than the original. And people dug it up. Perhaps because withered and wrinkled Johnny Cash sung it as if it was his own eulogy and a testament to a lifetime of pain. Regardless, he created a hit. Such a hit, even lead singer of NIN has been quoted saying “This song doesn’t belong to me anymore.” I still get goosebumps.

7. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes (2003)

Two band members, two basic instruments, two colours reminiscent of candied mints, and a riff that wont leave your head once it catches you. The White Stripes have made a business of unrelenting punk/blues tunes set to a backdrop of Jack White’s wailing lyrics and Meg White’s addicting beats. Who would’ve thought hit music could be made so simply in an age of overcomplication?

6. Time to Pretend – MGMT (2008)

MGMT (short for “The Management”) has been making quite a bit of waves in the music scene as of late. No small feat for a group just arriving on the scene to crack the top 10 without any true established background. You may think you’ve never heard them before but from the opening synthesizer, you probably have…you just don’t know where. Also, MGMT is up for a 2010 Grammy for their new song “Kids”…Possibly a contender for the next decade? We’ll have to wait and see.

5. Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day (2004)

In 2004, Green Day proved that they’re more than a left over ’90s band and moved themselves up the echelon of musical longevity. The song arose from their album titled “American Idiot” during the turning point in American views of their President. This somber melody really does show the dismay towards the establishment of it’s day. As time marches onward, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” will no doubt prove to be their greatest song. So says I…

4. Single Ladies – Beyoncé (2009)

Never has a song the past decade empowered women so much to get up and dance, and never has a video spawned so many parodies. Check out this future classic SNL sketch starring Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg, and Bobby Moynihan. The video alone would be tied for top spot for the Naughts (you’ll see the one that it’s topped with later on) but this is about the song. Powerful. Yes. Best. Not quite.

3. Jesus Walks – Kanye West (2004)

Before Kanye went all silly on the world and took on poor Taylor Swift or decided to make Mike Myers go all queasy in his boots, he actually put out a great selection of hip hop in the mid 00`s. From the acclaimed album “The College Dropout” which also produced the Ray Charles inspired GoldDigger, Jesus Walks proved that as long as you had a good beat and great rhyme, anything could catch on. This won for best Rap song in 2005 Grammy Awards.

2. Lose Yourself – Eminem (2002)

An Oscar and Grammy winning song, spent a record 12 weeks on the top of the charts in 2002, and over four times Platinum equals an obvious number 2 spot on this list. This inspirational tune solidified Eminem’s status as one of the greatest poets of his time. Pushing aside his juvenile vulgarities and party tracks, Marshall Mathers does produce songs which make you think that end up being ignored. Stan and Beautiful to name but two. From the opening piano, it’s difficult not to feel hopeful.

1. Hey Ya – Outkast (2003)

In 2003, the two members of Outkast (Andre 3000 and Big Boi) decided to change up what makes up a rap album. They produced a dual album entitled “Speakerboxx/The Love Below”. One half entirely of nardcore heavy hip-hop Big Boi tracks (Speakerboxx). The other a more ethereal loved based Andre 3000 spitting rhymes (The Love Below). The “Speakerboxx” half of this album would`ve been good enough for it to win Best Album of the Year with winning hits like “The Way You Move“. But it’s one single song on The Love Below side that propels this album to being one of the best albums of all time: Hey Ya!

A catchy chorus, upbeat rhythms, and one of the best videos of all time with Andre 3000 playing every role in the band. It would be difficult to pick any other song better than this one. Now go pump this track, get on the dance floor and shake it like a Polariod picture. Why? Because this is so cool, it’s ice cold!

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