I was recommended Grantland.com a few weeks ago, and now I am essentially hooked. The series of posts that pulled me in related to their bracket for the best song of the millenium. As this bracket and songs from the 2000s are the centerpiece of conversation for this post, I have put the full bracket in below for convenience. Feel free to click the image to enlarge.
Aside from noting the Wichita State-esque run that “Mr. Brightside” made to the final four and readers going crazy over various outcomes, there are a plethora of songs that didn’t make the field of 64, so many so that an NIT of best songs of the millenium could most definitely be formed. Although Grantland did post its own article about song that didn’t make the cut, I still had a lot of hits in my mind that I’m surprised weren’t mentioned. The following includes these songs:
Rock Music That Everyone Can Enjoy
If you asked someone if they liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they would undoubtedly say, “Yes”. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone that absolutely hates them, unless they are some type of genre purist, and that genre is country or hip-hop. As one of RHCP’s three (count ’em, three) songs that have reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, “Dani California” is completely unalienable to listeners and standard in structure. There’s nothing about the song that could turn people away except for the outro guitar solo, but this lead draws more rock fans in that it does push casual listeners away.
As for “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?”, this is Jet at its finest. You’ve got a tambourine intro, thumping bass drum, a couple audible bass riffs sprinkled in, and simple lyrics that people can sing along to. It’s just a classic pop/rock track. And was the highlight of the Madden ’04 soundtrack for me. There’s no doubt this Australian band took notes from casual- rock-listener-favorite AC/DC.
My Soft Spot For the Black Eyed Peas
“I Gotta Feeling” was THE party song when it was out. How can you compete with its flowing optimism? Everyone loves a song that can affirm you are actually having a good time going out, regardless of your hangover prospects for the following morning. Numbers-wise, it’s proven how effective the happy-go-lucky lyrics were. It was the longest-running number one song of 2009 (14 weeks on Hot 100) and was the most downloaded song of all time as of February, 2010.
“Let’s Get It Started” (an edit of the less-than-P.C. “Let’s Get Retarted”) was constantly coming through on radio as far as I’m concerned, and received extra exposure when it was used by the NBA at the height of its popularity. It’s a legitimate pump up song, so much so that it won the grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
What is probably the best composed/written B.E.P. song of the bunch (or nearly anything they’ve ever put out), “Where Is The Love?” features uncredited vocals by Justin Timberlake that make the hook, and are accompanied by verses that would have won the group the VMA for Best Video With a Social Message if that was a thing in 2004. Beyond the actual quality of the song, it happened to be popular as well, peaking at 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Country Songs That I Actually Enjoy
“Springsteen” by Eric Church made this bracket, and I’ve never even heard of that song. There are plenty other country songs that are more popular just by their lyrical content. Take “Chicken Fried” and “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)”. Maybe it’s just because I’m from Wisconsin, but something about the chorus from “Chicken Fried” feels just right, if you will. As for “Save a Horse”, I found it to be a pretty popular song to sing along to at middle school dances…
I know “Jesus Walks” was the song that put Yeezy on the map, but I would argue that “Stronger” was the song that launched the rapper into superstardom. Before he was popular in hip-hop, and after “Stronger” he transcended into popular music. He may not have been the geniuses Daft Punk are to come up with the base of the music for the song, but he was the genius to collaborate with them.
I know I hardly covered all of the songs of the 2000s that were great. Let me know your personal faves in the comments, or on Facebook/Twitter. Let’s hope the music of this millenium just keeps getting better.