Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Songs of the Decade

I got this idea last weekend when I was out running. A great song came on my IPod and I thought to myself that it might be the best song of the past decade (turns out the song is 15 years old, oh well). So I figured I'd make a top ten list. Problem is that I can't figure out what criteria to use or even if I should use the same criteria every year. And I feel like I should mention the best 1-2 dozen songs of the year out of the 2000 or so that are released every year. But then this blog would be long and unwieldy so I'm going to try to be as brief as I can:

2000- Babylon by David Gray. Great lyrics. Great sound. Very different than anything else that was out at the time. Pretty surprised that it became so main stream and popular. Honorable mention to Ms. Jackson by Outkast and Stanby Eminem.

2001- Izzo (H.O.V.A.)by Jay-Z. Very catchy song. Great beat. Good for dancing, working out or just driving in the car. Introduced a whole new slang to the general public. Honorable mention to No More Drama by Mary J. Blige and I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me (I know, it kills me to admit it but that song still gets crazy radio play and is extremely catchy. I really liked it until I realized I was singing about Jesus).

2002- Three Wooden Crosses by Randy Travis. Like many country songs it has a great story and there's a moral. Still on of my favorites. Honorable mention to Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer and I Can by Nas (who inspired this whole blog with one of his hits from the 90's).

2003- What a fantastic year for music. Kanye West Through the Wire or Jesus Walks are equally deserving for first place. It's nice to hear a hip-hop song with good lyrics and an original sound. Honorable mentions to Luther Vandross Dance with My Father and John Mayer Daughters, two great songs that make you want to hug your parents/kids. And to Jet Are You Gonna Be My Girl and The White Stripes Seven Nation Army, two songs that rock from two innovative bands.

2004- Because of You by Kelly Clarkson had the best lyrics of the year and she proved that she could write her own lyrics and break through the inane American Idol pop image and prove herself to be a great artist. Even though Skin by Rascal Flatts has lyrics as good as Clarkson's song she gets the nod because she wrote hers. My Chemical Romance proved that they weren't just for 14 year olds who like to wear eyeliner with Helena and I'm Not Ok. And the Killers and Los Lonely Boys put out songs so unique and catchy that they're still played in heavy rotation (Mr. Brightside and Heaven, respectively).

2005- It's a tie between Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood and Gold Digger by Kanye West. Honorable mention to Jack Johnson for Better Together and all the booty shaking club hits from the Black Eyed Peas and Mariah Carey.

2006- Welcome back R & B! Jennifer Hudson's rendition of And I am Telling You along with her Oscar winning performance in Dreamgirls was a fantastic FU to the idiots from American Idol. That song just gives me chills when it's sung well. Ne-Yo brought back the heart ache and the pain that is the R & B ballad with So Sick and Sexy Love. Honorable mention to Ok Go for the most creative video in a long time for Here it Goes Again, Gnarls Barley for the most creative debut sound ever with Crazy and to booty shaking hits from the Scissor Sisters, Justin Timberlake, Busta Rhymes and Christina Aquilera.

2007- Thanks to Brad Paisley for keeping country light with I'm Still a Guy and Ticks. He's been doing it for years but these two are just great. Another great "I love myself" anthem from Mary J. Blige with Just Fine. Paper Planes from M.I.A. brought her unique sound to the mainstream and Love Is a Beautiful Thing from Phil Vassar gave us a wedding song that didn't make you want to jump off a bridge.

2008- Mrs. Officer from Lil Wayne is hilarious. I find myself smiling, singing and dancing every time it comes on the radio. Don't Think I Don't Think About It and a whole album of quality country music from Darius Rucker. It's the first time since Charlie Pride that a black American was topping the mainstream country charts and selling out concerts. Honorable mention to Poker Face and Paperazzi from Lady Gaga, who clearly doesn't care what people think of her, and to Coldplay and R.E.M. for coming back to their roots.

2009- Hats off to Susan Boyle for I Dreamed a Dream because every time you hear her sing you think of her Cinderella story. 1901 from Phoenix and The Great Defector from BellX1 prove that even though American alternative music has become repetitive teenage pop, Europe still has a lot of talented, unique bands. And to Miley Cyrus. Not for that mind-numbing "Party in the USA" but for "The Climb". Many people that I know didn't even realize that it was her until they'd already starting liking the song. This is proof that after she's done being Hannah Montana, goes through rehab and makes a sex tape, she can come out the other side as a legitimate artist and not just another "Where Are They Now?".

So what I learned through all my Internet searching is that Rolling Stone, Spin and all the other so-called music experts filled their lists with a lot of pop drivel and with multiple bands that sound almost identical. I also learned that there is a lot of music out there that I have never heard and that this completely subjective list is in no way thorough or complete. Bring on the criticism.


  1. Wow its impressive how in depth your post is!

    It's really cool that you included everything from country to rap, but I'm a little saddened you left out the innovative bluegrass, cajun, and middle eastern songs that came out this decade hah!

  2. What about "hey ya" outkast! That was huge in 2003 I think.

  3. I love "Hey Ya" but it was difficult to pick only a few songs each year. I tried to pick deep lyrics over pop hits in years when I was conflicted. Please enlighten me on all the other goodies. I will admit that my range is limited!

  4. How bout norah jones' first hit "don't know why" in 2002 or 2003!

  5. oh, that is a good one, totally forgot about that one

  6. :) Mr. Condescending is on a roll. I love this post. I don't know all the songs, but I'm sure You Tube will help me out. Thanks!

  7. Dutch Girl, I bet you could enlighten us on some great songs that we've never heard off. Mr. Condescending is a smart ass but that's why we love him :)