In late 2010, I decided to invite all members of Habbox Forum to take part in a huge survey; that would determine what Habbox’s favourite songs of the 2000-2009 decade are. After two months that consisted of you nominating your favourite songs, me compiling the list, and you voting for your favourite songs from that very list – the top ten favourite songs have been chosen. These songs will be revealed in a three part series this week right here on Habbox. So, without further ado, here is the first part of the best songs of the noughties, as voted by you…
10. MGMT – TIME TO PRETEND
Written by: Andrew VanWyngarden, Ben Goldwasser
This debut single by American psychedelic rock band MGMT was the opener from their first album Oracular Spectacular, released back in 2008. Just like many other MGMT songs, the track was hugely critically acclaimed, and was also a favourite for media usage, being played in TV advertisements all around the world.
Despite the widespread love for this song, it never really took off commercially, not performing well in barely any charts across the globe. But regardless of its average chart performance, the song has become one of the most loved of the noughties, with many bands performing cover versions since its release.
‘Time to Pretend’ is famous for its synth riff which serves as the intro for the song. The inspiration for the music in the song is certainly a strange one: “We wrote Time to Pretend our senior year of college, and the music was inspired by a praying mantis we had in our house. She laid eggs and it died, and we laid the egg case on this kinda model pirate ship on the mantle piece, and the eggs hatched and all these baby praying mantises were climbing up the rigging of the ship, and it was pretty crazy…” Pretty crazy indeed! The song tells the story of an aspiring rock performer, dreaming of a famous rock stars life, resulting in a genius piece of work.
9. GREEN DAY – BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS
Written by: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool
Released in 2004 as a single from their fantastic album ‘American Idiot’, ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ has become one of the legendary Green Day’s signature songs.
However, there were criticisms from fans of British band Oasis that Green Day had ripped off the chord progression from their song ‘Wonderwall’ for this song, but despite this, the song went on to receive critical and commercial success, even winning a Grammy for Record of the Year at the 2006 ceremony, and going on to become their most successful song ever in the United States.
Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote all of the lyrics, whilst in his son Joey’s bedroom. It is sung from the point of view of Jesus of Suburbia, the main character from the concept album ‘American Idiot’. A rock anthem paced at a moderate tempo, Armstrong’s lyrics are touching, depressing and clever at the same time, displaying why Green Day are one of the biggest rock bands on the planet.
8. KINGS OF LEON – SEX ON FIRE
Written by: Nathan Followill, Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill
Kings of Leon’s break into huge mainstream success was arguably down to this song alone. Acting as the lead single from their fourth album ‘Only by the Night’, the song marked the King’s transition from a southern rock Nashville group, into a loud, chart invading arena rock band. The song received a lot of praise from critics, however some branded the lyrics as “silly”, most notably the hook: “your sex is on fire”, a fair point I suppose, as, let’s be honest, is there any actual meaning? It was originally supposed to be “set us on fire”, but was changed due to a ‘running joke’ in the studio. Oh well, it’s catchy!
The song was a success, particularly in the UK where it peaked at number one, and was #14 in the End of Decade chart. It is also the third most downloaded digital single ever in the UK. Despite its following in the UK, the song didn’t really take off in the US, peaking at #56 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite this, the song is one of the bands most famous, and a favourite at their live shows.
7. M.I.A. – PAPER PLANES
Written by: Mathangi Arulpragasam, Wesley Pentz
‘Paper Planes’ was the breakthrough into the mainstream for Sri Lankan rapper/singer M.I.A. The song became a surprise hit from her 2007 album ‘Kala’, after it gained attention from being used in the trailer for the movie ‘Pineapple Express’ starring Seth Rogen. As a result, it hit the top 20 in the UK, and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. M.I.A. herself was surprised at the mainstream success of the song, telling Rolling Stone magazine: “I always took pride in being a little underground — it really is a very unlikely record to cross over.”
M.I.A. recorded the track with DJ/Producer Diplo in Brooklyn. Musically, the song is based around a sample from the song ‘Straight to Hell’ by The Clash. The chorus is famous for its controversial gun shots, which were censored on the radio, much to M.I.A.’s annoyance. Lyrically, ‘Paper Planes’ has been described as a satire. “Paper Planes is about people driving taxicabs all day and living in a ****** apartment and ‘appearing’ really threatening to society. But not being so. Because, by the time you’ve finished working a 20-hour shift, you’re so tired you [just] want to get home to the family,” she explained.
The song is truly a highlight from ‘Kala’, and is one of my personal favourites from this list!
That’s all for part one! Share your views in the comments as well – who will be number one on our list? Keep posted here for the next instalment later this week!
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