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50 Songs Of The Decade (2000 – 2009)

Date August 31, 2011

(photo by dcdead)

I released my 50 albums of the decade list two years ago with all intentions to follow it up with a matching songs list. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. No such list ever materialized and I kindof gave up on the idea. That is until earlier this summer when I took a weekend trip to visit some friends in Chicago and decided to soundtrack the drive with a playlist of my favorite songs from 2000-2009. I thought the mix turned out pretty good so I chiseled it down to my absolute favorite 50 songs, gave them a mostly-arbitrary ranking and now I’m sharing it with you. Of course, belating this list for two years has given me the necessary perspective to narrow this list down to only the essentials. These are the tracks that I play over and over and never get tired of, the songs that always make me turn the volume up when they shuffle on my iPod, basically the songs that are “really, really ridiculously good looking” and not just “so hot right now”.

A few words of about this list, I’m not claiming to have made an end-all be-all “greatest songs of the naughts” list, just my personal favorites. A few folks took offense to the lack of  some genres (ahem, hip hop) on the albums list but hopefully this one will counterbalance that woeful underrepresentation somewhat. Furthermore, I didn’t do full reviews of each track, because seriously, who has that kind of time, but I’ve created a Spotify Playlist where you can listen to all of the tracks (there’s also vimeo/youtube videos linked to each one). In keeping with my yearly songs lists I’ve limited myself to one track per artist.  If you scroll all the way down you’ll see some songs that “just missed” and some per-year stats (‘05 reins supreme again in my book). So here it is, the long overdue top 50 songs of the decade according to me. Feel free to dispute or agree with my choices in the comments. Enjoy!

music for kids who can’t read good presents: 50 Songs Of The Decade (2000 – 2009)

Most easily found on: The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

Most easily found on: The Execution Of All Things

Most easily found on: Bows + Arrows

Most easily found on: Veckatimest

Most easily found on: Sticking Fingers Into Sockets

Most easily found on: Black Sheep Boy

Most easily found on: White Blood Cells

Most easily found on: Let It Die

Most easily found on: Shut Up I Am Dreaming

Most easily found on: Give Up

Follow the jump to see the rest!

Most easily found on: Made In The Dark

Most easily found on: The Moon & Antarctica

Most easily found on: Oh You’re So Silent Jens

Most easily found on: Merriweather Post Pavillion

Most easily found on: Heart

Most easily found on: Boys and Girls in America

Most easily found on: Return To Cookie Mountain

Most easily found on: Castaways and Cutouts

Most easily found on: Gulag Orkestrar

Most easily found on: St. Elsewhere

Most easily found on: Silent Alarm

Most easily found on: Turn On The Bright Lights

Most easily found on: Kala

Most easily found on: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Most easily found on: Underground Kingz

Most easily found on: Fleet Foxes

Most easily found on: Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

Most easily found on: You Forgot It In People

Most easily found on: Andrew Bird And The Mysterious Production Of Eggs

Most easily found on: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out

Most easily found on: Twin Cinema

Most easily found on: Tallahassee

Most easily found on: Person Pitch

Most easily found on: Everything All The Time

Most easily found on: The College Dropout

Most easily found on: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Most easily found on: Apologies To The Queen Mary

Most easily found on: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Most easily found on: Push Barman To Open Wounds

Most easily found on: Discovery

Most easily found on: Alligator

Most easily found on: Around The Well

Most easily found on: Deep Cuts

Most easily found on: Stankonia

Most easily found on: Kid A

Most easily found on: Illinois

Most easily found on: Takk

Most easily found on: Funeral

Most easily found on: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Most easily found on: Sound Of Silver

Spotify Playlist: musicforants.com’s 50 Songs Of The Decade

Just Missed:
The Shins: “New Slang”
Peter, Bjorn and John: “Young Folks”
Elliott Smith: “Everything Reminds Me Of Her”
The Strokes: “Last Nite”
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Maps”
Joanna Newsom: “Sawdust & Diamonds”
The Antlers: “Two”
M83: “Don’t Save Us From Flames”
Mates of State: “Beautiful Dreamer”
Cut Copy: “Hearts On Fire”

By Year:
2000 (5 Songs, Highest Placing: #6)
2001 (2 Songs, Highest Placing: #11)
2002 (5 Songs, Highest Placing: #2)
2003 (6 Songs, Highest Placing: #8)
2004 (4 Songs, Highest Placing: #3)
2005 (10 Songs, Highest Placing: #4)
2006 (7 Songs, Highest Placing: #17)
2007 (6 Songs, Highest Placing: #1)
2008 (2 Songs, Highest Placing: #25)
2009 (3 Songs, Highest Placing: #13)

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16 Responses to “50 Songs Of The Decade (2000 – 2009)”

  1. Joslynm said:

    Ah! Amazing, love it.

    (via twitter)

  2. meatysauce said:

    Great stuff guys ‘n gals

    (via twitter)

  3. Dusty said:

    the omisssion of Maps is major!

  4. Taylor said:

    @Dusty: “Maps” is in the Just Missed section!

  5. Suskie said:

    July July was your favorite Decemberists song, eh? Interesting choice.

    Definitely agree with your #1 pick, and I see a lot of my favorites (I’ll Believe in Anything, Hoppipolla, etc.) on there. I’m consistently surprised that B.O.B. is picked as Outkast’s best song, though. Hey Ya always struck me as their most iconic track and it’s one of the few popular songs that I don’t mind being overplayed (and boy howdy was it ever overplayed).

  6. timcasteel said:

    What we need more of in the world: good Spotify playlists

    (via twitter)

  7. BryanHamblin said:


    (via twitter)

  8. Rahim said:

    i was going to suggest someone make a spotify playlist of these and you had already done it, thank you sir!

  9. Tyler said:

    Gotta agree with Suskie – B.O.B. is a Pitchfork pick. Go with your heart on that one. Hey Ya! would be in this indie-lover’s top 3 songs of the decade – maybe #1. The whole Arcade Fire album could be #3, but I’d probably go with Power’s Out.

    My top five would probably be The Knife – Silent Shout (though I agree Heartbeats probably deserves it more), Outkast – Hey Ya, LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends, Any Arcade Fire song from Funeral, and The Smashing Pumpkins – Stand Inside Your Love.

    I have never been able to get sick of any of those songs, no matter how many times I’ve played them. Hey Ya! should be on the list though. Definitely top 10.

    I always love your lists and I was glad to have a Spotify playlist.

  10. Taylor said:

    Both great songs obviously but the simple fact is that in 2011, I listen to and enjoy “B.O.B.” way more then “Hey Ya!” which I would hope is because I genuinely like it more and not because it’s the critics choice vs. the populist choice.

  11. Antonio said:

    Really amazing!

  12. Tpixel said:

    I am irrationally angry at the exclusion of Bon Iver.

  13. Jasper said:

    Fantastic list man! Love the inclusion of “The Predatory Wasp…..” in the top 5. Definitely way too overshadowed by ‘Chicago’ and a lot of other Illinois tracks.

  14. Julia said:

    modest mouse and stars ! had forgotten about those two! great list

  15. Brett said:


  16. Taylor said:

    @Brett: see number 31