Saturday, 26 December 2009

Songs of the 2000s

Recently I was hosting a music quiz in which I played the first 10-20 seconds of a song and people had to guess the title and artist. All of the music came from my own record/cd collection. There was no problem for the 70s, 80s and 90s but then the 2000s came along and my music collection rapidly dwindled.

Surely there are just as many good tunes in the past ten years? Is the dearth of them on my shelves due to my age (did I simply just stop buying music in my late 20s?) or the lack of exposure to decent music in New Zealand. If you don’t like country, hip-hop, dub or ‘singer-songwriter’ music you’re pretty much stuffed living here. I don’t.

So, after much thought (this is what we do on Christmas Eve round our way) Him Outdoors and I came up with our favourite ditties of the decade (in date order). Feel free to differ:

  1. Last Nite – The Strokes (2001)
    My new favourite going-out song; it’s a guitar thing.

  2. The Scientist – Coldplay (2002)
    Heartbreaking vocals and transcendent guitars, it can make you cry every time – if you like that sort of thing.

  3. Get Loose – the D4 (2002)
    Solid rocking record – saw them live at Rippon Festival and they were far and away the best thing there (apart from the wine)

  4. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes (2003)
    A fantastic guitar riff that became a football terrace chant – the match is simply sublime.

  5. Where is the Love? – The Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake (2003)
    Protest music doesn’t always have to be angry, but it does have to have a point. This is the velvet glove approach.

  6. I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs (2004)
    Classic indie anthem – I would have loved this when I was a student. I love it now.

  7. American Idiot – Green Day (2004)
    You’ve got to love the under-three minute American punk single of which this is a pretty good example; ‘I’m not part of a redneck agenda’ – I bet they don’t play many gigs down south...

  8. Love Generation – Bob Sinclair (2005)
    At last reggae lovers can play something other than Bob Marley (thank the lord) – this was the song of the summer and goes perfectly with a game of cricket and a pint of cider.

  9. In the Morning – Razorlight (2006)
    Taming their ‘raw edgy’ sound with a more mainstream feel got them accused of being derivative (NME journalists are alive and well I see) but comparisons with The Strokes and The Who are nothing to be sniffed at.

  10. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor – The Arctic Monkeys (2006)
    My sister sent me this album with the words, ‘everyone’s listening to this’ and rightly so.

  11. Smile – Lily Allen (2006)
    Whatever you think of her, the girl makes a good record. She once described her music as that of ‘a sort of over-excitable teenager who desperately wanted attention.’ Maybe so, but most teenagers aren’t that talented – or that interesting.

  12. Rehab – Amy Winehouse (2007)
    Okay, so she’s a mess, but if you leave the tabloid gossip aside and just listen to the songs, you’ll find a great voice and a depth of emotion. This may not be her best, but it’s her signature tune.

  13. Grace Kelly – Mika (2007)
    A prime slice of bubblegum pop with layers of musical theatre; this is perfectly written and insanely catchy – I couldn’t get it out of my head when cycling. Thank God he didn’t listen to the record execs who advised him to ‘be a bit more like Craig David’ – Yawn.

  14. Paper Planes – M.I.A. (2007)
    I loved this rebel song when I first heard it – good sample of The Clash in there – and then I saw the film Slumdog Millionaire and I loved it even more.

  15. No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand (2009)
    I bet this sounds good on the dance floor – another swirling electropop, guitar bass and drum mix to wave your arms around to.

  16. Invaders Must Die – The Prodigy (2009)
    The band who claim their music is ‘full of electric dance/punk, noise and power’ have made their best album (of which this is the eponymous single) for a good ten years. ‘We are The Prodigy’ they intone – welcome back.