The early 2000s were a magical time for all. Though many of us had yet to meet, we have now found that our early-adolescent experiences closely resemble those of our friends, largely due to the era’s musical contributions. As Ben argued last week, the influence of “Top 40” music stretches far and wide, as each song from our past associates with nostalgic meaning. The songs renowned as chart-toppers of the early 00s were unlike any others. Their lyrics, beat, and the memories we correlate them with will never be surpassed, although some of us may lose sight of that as we immerse ourselves in today’s dubstep-dominated airwaves.
Throughout the first week of October, Vh1 aired the long-awaited special, “100 Greatest Songs of the 00’s.” With big shoes to fill after the renowned 90’s edition of the program, my roommates and I had high hopes as we gathered around the TV each night. While I have great respect and admiration for Vh1 specials, I have a bone or two (or ninety) to pick with their compiled list.
Before I delve into criticism of the countdown’s content, I must say a word about the host, Pete Wentz. Maybe I missed something and to others Pete Wentz is an iconic artist of the decade, but regardless, he was possibly the worst host in the whole entire world. Not only did he not move his arms, legs or blink, but also each word he spoke was delivered in a monotone mumble.
After recovering from my disgust with this first situation, I was ready to hear which song barely made the cut at #100. The color drained from my face and my stomach flipped as I heard the first few melodic notes of Sisqo’s “The Thong Song.” 100?!?!?!? This masterpiece should AT LEAST have made the top 20. Shocked, my roommates and I could barely utter words of our disapproval, and only hoped that things would improve from here (but were less than thrilled to see Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” at #97.)
As things progressed, I was much more at peace with the lineup. I had moments of sheer fury as James Blunt, Daughtry and Creed appeared, but for the most part, I was able to remain calm. I felt that classics like “Stacy’s Mom” and “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” had been unfairly placed in the high 80s, and as always, Vh1 threw in a few wildcards like D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” which I had literally never heard of (and hope to never hear again.)
Memories flooded back from my days on the bat mitzvah dance floor with songs like “Get Low,” “Bye Bye Bye,” and personal favorite “Lady Marmalade,” while many of us reminisced about our first slow dances with the revelation of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero.” I was pleased to be reminded of sometimes-forgotten gems like “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” “I’m Real (Murder Remix),” and “Party Up (Up In Here.)” What did NOT please me, however, was watching Colbie Calliat creep in at a whopping #71. I have a personal aversion to Calliat due to a technological difficulty during which a certain friend of mine “accidentally” cleared my iPod, miraculously leaving me with only this one artist in my library. I discovered the mishap upon my arrival at the SERF, and because of the trauma, I have not returned since the incident (which was during my sophomore year.) Henceforth, the sounds of her sickly sweet, soothing voice will forever cause my blood to boil.
Aside from the salting of this ever-present wound, I was comforted to find that my number one girl, Ke$ha, had made the list at #60 with “Tik Tok.” If I had it my way, she would have made the top 10, but clearly not everyone is on board. Her closeness in proximity to Nickelback at #77 was horrifying; commentators described the motley crew as the band everyone “loves to hate” (get real cat, no one is that bad.) Why R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” was chosen over “Ignition (Remix)” will forever remain of life’s great mysteries, but at least the Vh1 ripped the video apart in the overlying commentary.
As the countdown came to a close, I began to panic. While I am well aware that my undying devotion to Rihanna and Drake’s “What’s My Name” is and most likely will remain unrivaled, part of me hoped that it would get the recognition it deserves. With the conclusion of the fifth hour of this special, I decided that it is our duty to ensure that not only will the chosen songs live on (especially Nelly), but promote and sustain those that didn’t make the cut. I’m looking forward to watching our favorite artists grace the screen again in a few years…as background noise to my personal commentary.