Saturday, December 03, 2011

100 Greatest Songs of the 2000s (Part II)

(Preface... this was written on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  Wednesday, the Lovely Steph Leann was admitted to the hospital for labor pains, essentially, and I didn't get to finish tweaking this for posting.  So here I am on the 6th floor of the Brookwood Women's Center, the new one, in a quiet room, and I wanted to finish it up... so here ya go...)

And we continue with our countdown... first, a few reminders--this is a five part Vh1 show, I've already covered Hours 1, 2 and 3 (which you can read here), I've got Hours 4 and 5 coming up below, and just so you know, I'm seeing each song on the countdown for the first time... meaning, I haven't seen the list and know what's coming.  I write it as I watch it appear.

Let's keep moving, with the 40th greatest song of the 2000s decade, according to Vh1...

40... "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" by Fall Out Boy (2005)
I cannot tell you for certain that I could name any song by Fall Out Boy... and I keep thinking of "Number One With a Bullet"... wait?  That's this song?  (the song is playing on the tv and they just got to the "blah blah something merry go round something number one with a bullet")

So this song is not called "Number One With a Bullet"?  Its called "Sugar, We're Goin' Down"?  Perhaps I should have had my late teens in this decade, and I'd probably know more.   Personally, I like "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger.

Incidentally, one of the guys in this band, Pete Wintz, is the host of this entire countdown show.  And he's terrible with a bullet.  His hosting career is going down, down... see what I did there?  Good one, d$!

39... "Chasing Pavement" by ADELE (2008)
Man this chick can sing.  Actually, I didn't discover her until "Rollin' in the Deep", which freakin' rules.  And ADELE is amazing, because she has this special quality that not alot of pop stars have nowadays... talent and a good voice.

But though I know what a pavement is, I am unclear as to why you'd need to chase it.  It doesn't move much.

38... "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus (2009)

Maybe you should listen to the song about 114 times, and maybe that's the breaking point.  That's the threshold.  After that, you like it.  


Did you know that this song had a resurgence on the charts when Osama bin Laden was killed?  To me, that's the final insult... you are this powerful leader for decades, causing fear, death and destruction in your reign, and your death is celebrated by your enemies with a Miley Cyrus song.  Ha!

Me?  Oh, well, I, uh... I hate this song.

No, I don't know all the words, why would you ask such a foolish question as that?  You silly.

Um. No, I don't put my hands up when they are singing my song, and the butterflies fly away (butterfly fly away).  Uh, no, I don't have the video.  Why would... check my iPod?  No, that's private.  Why would you want to do that?  

I think I just saw Chris Hanson, so let's move on.

37...   "Oops!... I Did It Again" by Britney Spears (2000)
"Baby, One More Time..."?  Absolutely.  "Sometimes"?  Heck ya.  "You Drive Me Crazy"?  Sure, why not?

"Oops!... I Did It Again"?  No way.  Terrible song.  And was a terrible entry in the Christina vs. Britney battle.  I mean, who likes crappy, catchy pop junk like this?  (why are you scrolling up to re-read #38?  Come back)

36... "Bye Bye Bye" by *NSync (2000)
Dude.  This song flippin' rules.  I ain't even joking.

Get past the boy-band part of it, and JT, Joey, Chris, Kirkpatrick and NancyLancey could own it.  And this song was awesome.  As a guy, liking the Backstreet Boys was straight-cred destruction.  However, liking *NSync was just normal, cause we all like them.

However, my affection for this song may not be so much the song itself but the redux done a few years back by the cover band *NStynk...

35... "Daughters" by John Mayer (2004)
Fathers, be good to your daughters, don't let them near John Mayer.  

I like John well enough--I really dig "Gravity", "Clarity", "No Such Thing" and of course, "Your Body Is a Wonderland"--but this song not so much.  I think its about ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

34... "All For You" by Janet Jackson (2001)
Yeah!  Love me some Janet!  At least, Janet before the infamous Wardrobe Malfunction at the Super Bowl.  I think she's more of a punchline now, but back in the day, especially back in the 90s, you had "Rhythm Nation" and "Miss You Much" and "Control" and one of my all time favorite songs ever, "Love Will Never Do (without you)"... she's fantastic.

And this song is pretty good too.  A little dirty, though, so don't really study the lyrics.  Have you ever read the lyrics to "If"?  Great song, sounds awesome, and it frustrated me that she sang so fast, I couldn't understand them... so I looked them up.  Holy crap.  I blushed.  I mean, its like, down and freaky.  Wow.  So now you know.

33... "Hurt" by Johnny Cash (2003)
Wow.  So, I feel like cracking wise about this particular song, and Johnny Cash at the time he sang it would be akin to making fun of the opening battle scene of "Saving Private Ryan", or the ending to "Schindler's List" or anything serious and depressing like that.  Not that "Hurt" compares historically to those particular times in our nation's history itself, but you get my drift.

So I won't.

But what I will say is this:  This song, this video, is a pre-death eulogy.  Cash had a successful, but at the same time hard and even horrible, life.  He did this song after his wife, June Carter, had passed, and he passed not too long after.  The video is crushing.  Film clips of a younger him, celebrating, not knowing that some of his life would be so wasted, clips of June Carter and their relationships, so happy yet so stormy and rocky... and the lyrics are so, so moving.  This is truly one of the few songs out there that I would classify as "painful" on so many levels, and I don't even have a connection to the song, other than I have a soul and am not dead inside.

Hurricane Rhett would make fun of this entire piece.

32... "This Love" by Maroon 5 (2004)
I really, really wanted to not like this song.  I wanted to hate this song, and as a result, hate Maroon 5... but I can't help it.  This song is kinda fun, kinda catchy.   And Maroon 5's music is actually not bad.  It's not revolutionary, but it does stick with you.

Sing it with me... This... love... has... taken its toll on me... she says goodbye too many times before (oh-whoa-oh)... everybody!

And Adam Levine gets some major play... at least in his videos.

31... "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse (2007)
Okay... "Amy shoulda gone to Rehab!  Ha!"  There, I said it.  Oh, and, "We tried to make her to go to rehab, and she said No!  No!  No!"  See what I did there?  I kill me.

30... "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani (2005)
Fine.  I'll admit it.  I love the dang fool out of this song.  Its addicting, Gwen is awesome, its stupid, its catchy, its poppy, its ridiculous and it forever changing our mental processes when it comes to fruit.

What with the number one song be, Gwen?  Ah!  You are keeping
yourself from blurting out the answer!  Good job, girly!
Much like any mention of a chick named Stacy, you'll think about how going on her mom has it, a mention many times of a banana will elicit this thought:  Its bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Were I a chick, a cheerleader, gay or all three, this might be my anthem.  I frikkin' love this song.

Still unclear as to what a "Hollaback" girl is, and what makes one "hollaback".  Not sure.

29... "Best of You" by The Foo Fighters (2005)
I guess while I was making time with Gwen and hollering back, I missed this entirely, because I've never even heard this song, like ever in my life.

Don't get me wrong, I dig the Foo Fighters, and "Learn to Fly" is in my Top 100 all time, I think Dave Grohl is awesome, and hearing a snippet of this song, I like it too... but I've never heard  it.  Maybe I should have listened to 107.7 the X more often.

28... "Music" by Madonna (2000)
This song sucks.  So does Madonna any time after 1998.

That is all.

27... "Yeah!" by Usher, feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris (2004)
Another ridiculous, stupid, moronic song with no redeeming value that I just simply love and sometimes will blast out of the Red Robin, making sure my speaker colored thumping lights are thumping like a twitchy ninja, when it comes on.


Kick that, rewind it back, Lil Jon, Luda and Ur-shure got the beat
that make yo' booty go boom!
Gotta tell ya, Usher... underrated talent.  I know, I know, he's sold a bajillion records, though like Nickleback CDs, I don't know anyone that owns one... but Usher doesn't get a ton of mentions when discussing great voices.  He's good.  He's really good.

Then you toss in the stupid stoopid Lil Jon, who says, "The chorus of this was easy.  You just say Yeah... then Yeah... then Yeah... and Yeah again.  We kind of ad-libbed it."   And finally, Ludacris in a cleaner form, at least in his lyrics, and you've got a legendary dance hit.

26... "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes (2003)
Yes, I have heard of them.  I just feel like I'm not hipster enough to like The White Stripes.  She & Him, sure.  Ingrid Michelson, yep.  The White Stripes?   I've not only not heard this song, I've never heard OF this song.

25... "Hot In Herre" by Nelly (2002)
This made me laugh loud.  Serriously.  I've trried to tell my darrling wife, "hey, its getting hot in herre, so take off all yourr clothes", and in the real worrld, it doesn't worrk.  Sorrry.

Let's be rreal herre... I didn't go to a ton of parrties in college, and even less in high school, so I'm not what you'd call, "A Parrty Going Experrt", but I can tell you this from my limited experrience... Chicks that tell you "I am gettin' so hot I'm gonna take my clothes off" are few and farr between.  But when you do stumble acrross such a chick, you might be tempted to think, "Awesome!", and perrhaps at 19, I would have thought that.  Howeverr, I'm old enough to know now that if such a statement is spoken by said chick, its a good bet she has done this beforre, lest you think you arre the test case for this scenarrio.  And in thinking she's prrobably done this beforre, its not a long leap to assume she prrobably has an STD.  And although chicks with venerreal diseases arre still people too, that would be someone you want to be fully clothed.  I'm just sayin'.

24... "Get Ur Freak On" by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott (2001)
As much as a I hate this song, its a good reminder that I am a total music hypocrite, and even snob.  As much as I dig on "When the taxi man turned on the radio and a Jay-Z song was on... a Jay-Z song was on... a Jay-Z song was on!" and goofy lyrics as such, sometimes the lyrics are just too stupid for even me.  And when they are forced together to make a rap, its bad.

Like this song.  Man, do I hate this song.  I hate everything about it.  I hate that beat.  I hate that she hocks a loogie in the middle of it.  I hate that in the video, she spits in a man's mouth... "In yo' face... open yo' mouth, get you a tays..."  I hate the fact it uses "Ur" for "Your".  I hate the video.  I hate the fact I heard this song 3813 times in 2001.

Let's move on before I throw this nearby Katy Perry CD through the window.  I wish I were kidding.

23... "Get the Party Started" by P!nk (2001)
I can't say I hate this song.  I really can't say I like it, either.  I actually could just take it or leave it.  I'm not sure that apathy is what P!nk was going for.

However, I am considering changing my name to dav!d.  Its a thought.

22... "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys
Okay, I have several things to say about this song, but first, I must tell you that I do really like this song.  It think its a career-defining masterpiece.  And I did use the word "Masterpiece" because that's how its performed.

However comma

Have you ever heard the expression "Could sing the phone book and still sound amazing"?  That's what this song reminds me of.  Allow me to put on my lyrical snobbery hat again, and just tell you, I'm bothered by how simple some of the lyrics are.  "Sometimes I love you, sometimes you make me feel blue"?  Really?  "I never felt this way.  How do you give me so pleasure, and cause me so much pain"?  Each verse is only, like, two lines!  Am I being overly dramatic in wanting a little deeper meaning in my lyrics?

No matter... Keys is amazing in this tune.  You know what, forget I said all that.  I love this song.

21... "99 Problems" by Jay-Z (2003)
If you having girl problems, I feel bad for you soon, I got 99 problems but a (crude term for someone of the female persuasion) ain't one...

How is this okay?  Isn't this song a little misogynistic?  Am I being overly critical here?

20... "Toxic" by Britney Spears (2003)

Really?  Really?  10,000 songs in a decade and this is the 20th best of all?  Seriously?

19... "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child (2001)

And they just keep getting better, don't they?  Okay, so this song is fun, and by far better than "Toxic" will ever be, and for the record, I pick Kelly Rowland over Beyonce any day, but I can't put this in my own personal Top 20.  Or 50.  Or 100.  "I don't think you ready for this jelly..." is a fun line, though.

By the way, because of this song, the term "Bootylicious" was added to the dictionary.  This is why the terrorists hate us.

18... "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera (2002)
Two things:
First... it is a good song.  Yes, we've heard it a thousand times, and in 2002, that was per day, but when it comes down to it, it really is a great tune.

Second... I'm happy she beat out "Toxic".  Unlike Britney, Christina has a great non-studio produced voice.  Love it.

(sidebar... I'm reviewing this part of the list with The Lovely Steph Leann, getting any feedback, and with Maroon 5, she simply said, "Oh, I like that song"... but with this one, the floodgates freakin' opened... "Oh my gosh, I hate that Aguilera song!  I hate it!  Hate it!"  She then proceeds to sing it in a horrible mocking screeching tone, accenting the word "beautiful" in a terrible pitch.  She then ends her tirade by saying, "Hate it."  Don't hold back, Steph, tell me how you feel.)

17... "Clocks" by Coldplay (2002)
Who doesn't like this song?  Seriously?  And if they do a 100 Greatest Songs Intros of Like, Ever, you'd have to see this song up there somewhere.

But let's be clear--I, you, maybe even them, have no idea what this song even means.

16... "Single Ladies (put a ring on it)" by Beyonce (2008)
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!
All the single ladies!  All the single ladies! 
(is it in your head yet?  yes?  mission accomplished)

Excuse me Taylor, Imma letcha finish... but Beyonce had one ada greatest videos of all time!

(and yes, I do like this song.  its fun.  even the lovely steph leann likes it)

15... "Beautiful Day" by U2
Dear Bono,
That's enough.  You've had your run, and its been a great one.  U2 is one of the biggest bands in the history of the world, and we all know it.  Your music will live forever, and transcends generations.  Your album "The Joshua Tree" is immaculate.  Songs like "With or Without You" and "Streets Have No Name" and "New Years Day" and even later stuff, lesser known stuff like "Mysterious Ways", is music I am excited to let Campbell Isaiah and/or Lorelei Addison experience. [which we now know as Campbell Isaiah only]

But Bono, its 2011. Apparently you put an album out recently, and no one even knew about it.  Its time to step away.  Its time for you to free up more time for Darfur or the rain forests or Ensley or whatever, and allow Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton time to do more music for Mission Impossible movies, and to say, "Hey, The Edge, its time for us to part."  Let it go, Bono.  Its time


Not sure if this is a performance of "Crazy", and I'm
not sure if that is Danger Mouse in the trooper outfit,
but either way, the picture is cool. 
14..."Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley
Holy crap this song is awesome.  Like, every beat, every second, every minute detail, every word of this song rulz to the maximum allowance of ruling.  "Crazy" is fan-flippin-tastic.

Were I to give my own 2000s list, its easy to put this Top 25, maybe even Top 15.  Cee-Lo Green has this unusual, cool as grits voice, and Danger Mouse is just cool for having the nickname Danger Mouse.  

13... "American Idiot" by Green Day (2004)
I knew this song would come up, and I was dreading it, mostly because I hate it when I throw up in my mouth. And I just did.

These are the same guys that had an album called "Dookie", and sang about going to a shrink and being told that lack of sex will bring you down.  Yes, people can, and do, change.  I get that.  But really, BJ Armstrong, can you just sing your fun songs and quit telling me that liberals are awesome and conservatives suck?  

Sorry... just threw up in my mouth again.

12... "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas (2009)
The first time I ever heard this song, all I could think of, "This is going to be a party anthem and/or a sports anthem and/or a celebration anthem for ages to come."  When B-list celebrities in 1981 were sitting around and discussing the best songs of the decade just completed, I'm sure that someone was saying about "Rock and Roll Part 1" by Gary Glitter the same things they are saying about "I Gotta Feeling"... "Party song..." and "This song is the ultimate going-out song" and "I gotta feeling..." and such.

Personally, I'm a little flabbergasted that "My Humps" hasn't shown up yet... however, we have 11 more to go...

11... "Umbrella" by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z
My main issue with Rihanna?  How her name is spelled.  When I hear her name, I automatically think Fleetwood Mac's classic "Rhiannon", which was an outside consideration for my kid's name (thought I never shared it with The Lovely Steph Leann.  Probably a good thing.)

She's very talented, though through no fault of her own, its a little disconcerting that all of her songs keep breaking all sorts of sales and chart records, and I'm bothered by this.  Why should Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" fall to whatever getting-it-on tune Rihanna is blathering out?

That said, this is an addicting song.  You know, Umbrella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-hey-hey-hey-hey-hey-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-hey-hey-hey-hey-hey-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-ella-hey-hey-hey-hey-hey...

If this doesn't get stuck in your head, I have this to say:

All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!  All the single ladies!

Your welcome.

AND NOW, Vh1's TOP TEN OF the 2000s...

10... "In Da Club" by 50 Cent (2003)
Really?  Like, really?  

9... "We Belong Together" by Post-Skank Mariah Carey (2005)
I have often referenced my inclination to Pre-Skank Mariah and how awesome she was over Post-Skank Mariah, so I won't go into it.. but I will say that everything after 1997's "Butterfly" album is pure skank.  Notably, the song "Honey" is where it all took a turn for the ho.

This song brought her back around again for me.  While not my favorite Mariah (that's a tie between "Vision of Love", "Dreamlover" and "Always Be My Baby"... or maybe "Fantasy"), its vintage.  Its a throwback, yet just hip enough to be in the 2000s.  Ah, pre-skank Mariah, may we see you again soon.  

8... "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys (2009)
This is a quite a love letter to a city... a New York City Anthem, and I'm not sure why the city itself hasn't adopted it as its City Anthem.  

And Alicia Keys is awesome, as always.  I can listen to this song over and over and over, and have.  Great, great song.

7... "Sexyback" by Justin Timberlake (2006)
Oh no he di'nt!  Oh no he di'nt!  This song is my jam, y'all, MY Jam!

Okay, not really... but I can see a few of these songs listed on this countdown not necessarily for their artistic merit, but more for their importance, and this song was a monster.  Timberlake had broken free from *NSync, and was on his way to superstardom, had some huge hits, and then a few years later, released "Future.Love.Sex.Sounds", and this was the lead-off single.  And a catch phrase was born.

Its not even so much that "Sexyback" is cool, it is more that Justin Timberlake singing this is cool.  And how many people do you know have used the term "I'm bringing sexy back..."

6... "Gold Digger" by Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx (2005)
Dude. This song.  Like, this song.  Can't help it.  For all the punk that Kanye is and can be, this song is fantastic.  

Here's the scene... 2005 Video Music Awards.. I was watching (don't ask me why) and out of the floor of the stage rises one Kanye West and one Jamie Foxx, looking all cool and sleek, posed and frozen.  Suddenly, Jamie starts into a "She takes my money... when I'm in need..." then the beat kicks in, and I watch one of the coolest live performances I've ever, ever seen.   And its this song.

I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger... she ain't messin' with no broke (broke)

Do me a favor... holla "We want pre-nupt!" (we want pre-nupt!)

I love love love this song

5... "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson (2004)
Everyone likes this song.  Some people love it, some only like it a little, but to some degree, everyone likes this song.  How can you not?  Its infectious like the basement of the CDC...

The Lovely Steph Leann has joined the room for the Top Ten, and she's over on the couch bobbing her head, watching with total interest.  And when this song comes on the radio, I sing along.  And so do you.  Kelly might never have been better before or since... though I do enjoy "Behind These Hazel Eyes".  Love me some Kelly Clarkson.

4... "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (2002)
We've now hit the first song on this entire countdown that I could make an argument for being the #1 song of the decade.  This song... amazing.  And he even won a stinkin' Oscar for it.

Now, my favorite Eminem song is quite simply "Without Me", a totally hilarious, yet quite incredible rhyme... but "Lose Yourself" might be his actual best work.  I saw "8 Mile" not too long ago, and its not that bad.  

And when Em sings, you believe it.  He's blowing the mic away, he's jamming, he's just rapping and singing with so much ferocity, and you really get into it.  And if you knew the words, you'd sing along, though you probably don't know the words.  

3... "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga (2008)

I have come to accept that Gaga is here to stay.  Perhaps in 1982, fuddy duddies like me were saying the same thing about that new Madonna chick that just came up on the scene... and now, here's Lady Gaga.  

Okay, she's got a great voice.  And "Bad Romance"?  I'm a sucker for it.  And yes, this song is pretty good.  It's catchy.  But #3?  Really?  

2... "Hey Ya!" by Outkast (2003)
Now... if I had to list a "Greatest Songs of the 2000s" and "My Favorite Songs of the 2000s", this song would be #1 on the former list, #2 on the latter list.  "Hey Ya!" is one of the best songs ever performed, crossing all genres of awesome.  Even The Lovely Steph Leann likes it, and she don't go for the blasted rappin' crappin music!  She says, "Its not rap, its pop.  I like pop."

The video?  Best of the 2000s, in my Top Five All Time.  There are EIGHT different Andre 3000s on the stage, and he even manages to slip in a few scandalous lines towards the end (don't read the lyrics if you don't want to know, though its nothing too terrible) but the song is so fun, you don't even notice.

It shows a Beatle-type frenzied performance by the band Andre 3000 and The Love Below, consisting of eight members:  Possum Jenkins on bass... Johnny Vulture on guitar (yes ladies, he's still single)... Benjamin Andre (on keyboard)... Dookie on drums... Andre (ice cold) 3000 on lead vocals... and, of course, The Love Haters on backup vocals.  And all are played by Andre 3000 himself.

And yes, the song asks you to shake it (you can determine what "it" is) like a Polaroid Picture, and Polaroid had to come out with a statement that said, "Hey ya, you used to coulda shaken our pics, but don't do it anymore, you don't have to."

I love this song, man. I really do.

And finally...

1... "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce feat. Jay-Z (2003)
This song?  Beyonce singing along with her babydaddy?

Uh-oh uh-oh uh-oh

No no no

I'm conflicted... while I don't think it should have been the top song of the entire decade, I can't make much of an argument against it--heck, I sing this song sometimes at work.

As Vh1 shows clips from the video, I can only surmise one observation... well, two.  First, she jiggles alot.  And honestly, I'm not sure I'm ready for that jelly.  Secondly, there must have been a heckuva lot of double-sided tape used in those particular outfits.

Great song.  Great choice.    

And there you go.  The Top 100 Songs of the 2000s... agree, disagree, its not my list, its Vh1.  What's my list?  That's a great question... perhaps soon...

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