|Best Songs Of The New Millennium|
Best Songs of the New Millennium (That Are Currently in my iTunes).
This isn't a list of my favorites, and I tried being as objective as possible
about my rankings. Obviously my preferences still play into this, as it's
impossible to remove them completely.
Anyway, this is a list of songs (released 2001-2014) that have made me
say, "Holy shit..." at one point or another.
One of the Boys
"Hot N Cold"
Hudson's synth-driven slice of bubblegum pop about a bipolar relationship (or as
Dane Cook would say "relationshit") will manage to weasel its way into your head if
you let it. The song manages to have some bit to it, underneath all of the
aforementioned bubblegum: "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes/You
PMS like a bitch; I would know."
Split the Country, Split the Streets
"Cotton Crush" - Kevin Devine/Jesse Lacey
Two of the leaders of indie rock scene of the 2000s collaborate with incredible results.
Starts quietly before exploding about halfway through with the perspicacious thought of,
"The quiet can scrape all the calm from your bones, but maybe it should... maybe we
need to be hollowed, to get up and grow and stop fucking around."
I Love You
Musical grit leads into a svelte chorus. Escapes from being pigeonholed as
stereotypical indie rock through (surprisingly enough) hip-hop influences.
The lone bright spot on a trainwreck of an album. A pop ballad for the heartbroken.
"Don't you ever say I just walked away; I will always want you. I can't live a lie,
running for my life... I will always want you."
|46||Kings of Leon|
Aha Shake Heartbreak
"Slow Night, So Long"
The best southern rock song in decades. Caleb Followill presents a not-so-pretty
picture of a (typical?) night out for him. "So far so good, she's absolutely wasted.
She's hanging up and changing her story around... She's opening up, just like she
really knows me. I hate her face, but enjoy the company... you're not so nice, but sex
sells so cheap"
Spunky indie pop, full of inventive lyrical quips, about disjointed topics. The takeaway
is that Vampire Weekend made a complete mess of a song and made it sound fresh.
Probably one of the most adorable singers sounds absolutely blissful while
contemplating where she wants to live out her life in order to escape from the
business of the day-to-day, while the synthesizers and beats behind her are just as
frosty as the song/album title would suggest.
|43||My Chemical Romance|
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Way laments death and loss with great results. In my opinion, "Helena" best
represents My Chemical Romance's sound as a band. When I think of MCR, their
image from this song is what always come to my mind. "So long and goodnight."
She's on my team; that's for damn sure. "Dancing 'round the lies we tell, dancing
'round big eyes, as well. Even the comatose, they don't dance and tell."
|41||Panic! at the Disco|
A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
"I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
Pop-punk meets baroque pop meets emo, with a sense of humor. What the fuck? And
it works beautifully.
|40||Lana Del Rey|
Born to Die
"Summertime Sadness (Remix)" - Lana Del Rey/Cedric Gervais
Grants' moody trip hop song lamenting summertime love and loss somehow becomes
even better with Gervais' spazzy mixing. It loses its best verse... losing positions
because of it, but maintains a spot on this list, in spite of it. Grant's delivery of "Oh.
My. God." is probably the sexiest thing that I've ever heard in a song.
How to Save a Life
"How to Save a Life"
"Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend, somewhere along in the bitterness" A question
that has haunted me for years.
Overflowing with paranoia. Remember that it was, "only a kiss," after all, Mr. Flowers.
A fun, carefree, and danceable nod to nights hittin' da club. The song is so fucking
trashy and devoid of any deep content; the very definition of a guilty pleasure.
As normally full of fluff as pop-rock is, this is surprising massive, especially the chorus
with "If you close your eyes, does it almost like nothing changed at all... how am I
gonna be an optimist about this?" Breathtaking.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
"Monster" - Kanye West/Jay-Z/Rick Ross/Bon Iver/Nikki Minaj
If any other collaborated with Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, and Nikki Minaj on the
same album -- much less the same song -- it'd be a mothafuckin' trainwreck. Only
West could pull something like this off. Shockingly, Minaj delivers the best
performance off the song, raising the track to a level of hysteria, rapping in about five
different voices, and knocking a fucking home run miles out of the park before
Vernon brings it back down to earth with a spooky, etherial vocal riff to close things
|34||Kings of Leon|
Only by the Night
"Sex on Fire"
A massive song that swells and takes on a life of it's own when sung by 50,000 people
in a jam-packed arena.
|33||My Chemical Romance|
The Black Parade
"Famous Last Words"
Who know that glam rock could be this good?
Anberlin's contemplation on new beginnings and the endings that they invariably bring.
"I'm in the business of misery, let's take it from the top: she's got a body like an
hourglass; it's ticking like a clock. It's a matter of time before we all run out. When I
thought he was mine, she caught him by the mouth. I waited eight long months, she
finally set him free. I told him I couldn't lie, he was the only one for me. Two weeks,
we caught on fire. She's got it out for me, but I wear the biggest smile." HOLY SHIT
WHAT A VERSE.
|30||Fall Out Boy|
From Under the Cork Tree
"Sugar, We're Goin Down"
A song that inexplicably made Fall Out Boy emo darlings, as this is pure pop-punk. The
song's wordy chorus and Stump's slurred delivery of it will get stuck in your brain for
years and never leave.
Infectious synthesized indie pop, a reflection on the carelessness of youth. "Your
memories fade, like looking through a fogged mirror."
"Do I Wanna Know"
Indescribably smooth, full of swagger, and asking difficult questions that can only
being asked late at night... "Ever thought of calling when you've had a few, cause I
always do?... crawling back to you... Been wondering if your heart's still open, and if
so, I wanna know what time it shuts."
"Somebody Told Me"
The Killers break out the synths and punchy lyricism, climaxing with the clever and
acidic, "Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like the girlfriend that
I had in February of last year." If only every broken hearted singer could confront his
cheating girlfriend with this much wit.
|26||Death Cab for Cutie|
It turns out that our passenger has a lot to say... and that he wasn't just watching
those evergreen trees whiz by. A beautiful, gentle love song.
Your Favorite Weapon
"Soco Amaretto Lime"
Lazy, scorching summer evenings with nothing to do but drink shitty drinks and be
young in love. While (un)fortunately no one stays eighteen forever, Brand New hands
everyone a little sonic Polaroid to remember what it was like.
A biting condemnation of consumerism, with a massive, wordy chorus that rolls off the
tongue and sounds perfect blaring from a car radio (note to self: blare song from
radio while driving through snotty Atlanta neighborhoods for maximum effect).
|23||Plain White T's|
All That We Needed
"Hey There Delilah"
Brilliant because it's obvious. Every guy that has ever missed a girlfriend wishes that
he wrote this song for her.
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Just about the perfect pop song. I always say it, but there's something charming
about Taylor's self-referential acknowledgments here. Oooooo-whooooo-ooooo-ooo.
So. Fucking. Catchy.
Unquestionably the greatest song ever written about being afraid of the dark. The
lights sound of the song and Goulding's airy vocals are a perfect contrast to the song's
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Distortion and doomy lyrics dominate here. Wintry lyricism ("It was a long and dark
December", "From the rooftops I remember there was snow, white snow", "They were
watching as we froze down below") build to the climax of the song... "I took my love
down to Violet Hill; there we sat in snow. All that time, she was silent, still. So if you
love me, won't you let me know?" It seems apparent that there won't be an answer.
"A World Alone"
A smoky, swirling, electronic piece -- highly danceable. Yelich-O'Connor's youth is on
full display here, but she's smart enough to acknowledge it with "I feel grown up with
you in your car... I know it's dumb," which is the glue that holds the entire song work.
By the end of it all, you get the feeling that she just doesn't give a shit about what
anyone thinks, and that's probably true, and it's probably for the best... because some
damn good music sprang from that attitude.
A tasty slice of pop-rock about learning from one's mistakes.
"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
Something completely different from Green Day's normal punk or even the politically
charged punk-ish message of the rest of the album. High personal and moving...
maybe even painful.
|16||Fall Out Boy|
From Under the Cork Tree
"A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More 'Touch Me'"
The best pop-punk song ever written. Short, sweet, and to the point. Lacks the
catchiness of some of the other songs on the album, but makes up for it through its
message. "You said you'd keep me honest (always), but I won't call you on it."
The queen of breakup songs takes a break from honing her craft and instead steps into
a big sister role. Poignant and nostalgic... but honestly. Taylor reflects on first loves
and offers hope that there is a future beyond them when they invariably end. "When
you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you're going to believe them."
A Rush of Blood to the Head
Classic Coldplay, piano ballads and falsetto, etc. abound. At some point, everyone
wishes that they could start over with someone.
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Brand New question pretty much everything in the universe that there is to be
questioned in five and a half minutes. Beautiful because of its simplicity.
Shoegaze makes a comeback. Commonly compared to Smashing Pumpkins here,
Silversun Pickups put together a track that the Pumpkins probably wish that they had
written themselves. Noisy and ambitious.
The best end of high school/beginning of college breakup song ever written... and it
was written by a girl who was barely even a high school freshman when she wrote it.
"Just a boy in a Chevy truck that had a tendency of gettin' stuck on back roads late at
night, and I was right there beside him all summer long... and then the time we woke
up to find that summer had gone."
|10||Death Cab for Cutie|
"We Looked Like Giants"
A nostalgia-drenched trip back to carefree collegiate (or high school, if that works
better for you) mornings of skipping school for anatomy lessons in grey subcompacts;
a claustrophobic's nightmare. The imagery makes the song: suburban/mountainous
springtimes, tight spaces, cold breezes... all while remembering the days of seemingly
|9||The Postal Service|
"Such Great Heights"
One of, if not the first, notable songs in the electronic movement within the indie
scene. Gibbard's soft, almost whiny, voice and Tamborello's metallic instrumentation
"Mad World" - Gary Jules/Michael Andrews
The only cover song on this list. Jules and Andrews strip down the Tears for Fears
song into a moody piece that is barely even recognizable... and miles better than the
|7||Of Monsters and Men|
My Head Is an Animal
Probably the strangest conversation ever to take place in a song, with folk stylings,
"Play Crack the Sky"
Lacey tackles emo with an acoustic guitar and an extended metaphor involving a
shipwreck. Hauntingly beautiful and as frigid as the water mentioned in the song. "You
know that you are not alone: I need you like water in my lungs."
|5||Lana Del Rey|
Born to Die
Musically, strange mix of '50s swing and trip-hop, while Grant sings about how smitten
she is over her love interest... but it's painfully obvious that he couldn't care less. A
heartbreaking ballad about being illusory happiness and being used. "It's you; it's you;
it's all for you, everything do. I tell you all the time, heaven is a place on earth with
A song that become the voice of an entire generation; sweeping, powerful, and jam-
packed with a full spectrum of emotions. One of the best indie rock songs ever
written. "The children don't grow up; our bodies get bigger, but our hearts get torn
up... I guess we'll just have to adjust."
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
"Runaway" - Kanye West/Pusha T
The emotional centerpiece of Dark Twisted Fantasy. An austere, yet coldly cutting,
piano melody paces a self-depreciating look into West's dysfunctional life, with lyrics
that somehow manage to be both funny and sad, simultaneously.
Same Trailer Different Park
"Merry Go 'Round"
Presents a starkly different view -- cynical and honest -- on life in the rural south than
the works of her counterparts. "We get bored, so we get married -- and just like dust
we settle in this town."
"Somebody That I Used to Know" - Gotye/Kimbra
A sparse, brooding masterpiece, built on a universal theme. Anyone who has ever
had a special relationship decay into a painful mess can relate. The majority of
what's here is De Backer's raw, painful longing for the past. While magnificent
standing on its own, just when one starts to wonder if that's all that's here, Johnson
comes in and delivers a chilling dose of reality with the mirroring perspective. De
Backer and Johnson are aiming at different targets here, but their two halves make
a whole... a whole of one of the few truly perfect songs that I have ever heard.