from pop eater
While we can't wait to get this decade over with, one thing that will be missed is the music. The summer songs. The bangin' club hits. The unexpected cross-overs from one genre to the next. Holdovers from the '90s like Britney and Justin grew up and delivered, and we got to help create new stars like Kelly Clarkson and resurrect old ones like Kylie Minogue. It wasn't all great ('PopoZão,' anyone?), but when it came to the Top 40 set, this here was a great time to love music. Though we know you'll have serious problems with it, here now are our picks for the Top 10 Pop songs of the '00s:
10. 'Crazy,' Gnarls Barkley (2006)
Cee-Lo's haunting vocals seem to drift above the track's eerily minimalist guitar riff, and it never fails to give us chills. Creepy, sure. But it's also bouncy, catchy, and undeniably cool. In short, an amazing pop song. Oh, and the video is crazy as hell.
9. 'Cry Me a River,' Justin Timberlake (2002)
The decade's great break up song accomplishes so very much in a few minutes: It highlights a deeper, wounded side of Justin Timberlake that immediately cuts the chord to his boy-band image, paints a darker side of Britney Spears that only adds to her mystery while also painting their relationship as something greater than all the tabloid headline space devoted to it and highlights the layered Timbaland production that would only blossom further on 'Futuresex/LoveSounds.'
8. 'Hollaback Girl,' Gwen Stefani (2005)
This is one of those songs that (for better or worse) can't get out of your head. And the second you have ... "I ain't no hollaback girl," comes from a passing car or something. It's infectious, and we love that Gwen introduced us to a new word and female anthem.
7. 'Take Me Out,' Franz Ferdinand (2004)
Speaking of cross-over tracks, here's a group of modern rock scenesters from Scotland taking New York downtown punk, disco and '80s new wave and mashing it into a crowdpleaser that doesn't sound out of place blasting during half-time at an NBA game. A smash hit that was still cool for the indie kids to love.
6. 'Umbrella,' Rihanna (2007)
This song was 2007, plain and simple. The sheer fact that it's still constantly in radio rotation is a sign of its grip and power. Rihanna may have broken out earlier with a catchy tune here and there, but the scope and staying power of 'Umbrella' made her superstar she is today. Plus, if you think it's about rain gear, word is it's a bit more subversive than that ... but you'll have to investigate yourself on that one.
5. 'Can't Get You Out of My Head,' Kylie Minogue (2001)
The ultimate comeback kid. Fourteen years after 'Loco-Motion hit the top ten, the Aussie sexpot found herself "La la la"-ing her way up the U.S. charts with one of the greatest dance-pop cuts of all time.
4. 'Yeah!,' Usher (2004)
Just like Rihanna owned '07, Usher crushed '04. Lil' Jon brought the crunk and Ush brought the smoove and salacious vocals to this still-played-on-radio classic. In it, the eight-note keyboard reel just keeps on banging out its addictive story ... and we just keep on listening. Need more proof of 'Yeah!'s greatness? It was 2004's best-performing single and sits at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs list.
3. 'Since You've Been Gone,' Kelly Clarkson (2005)
Kelly's contagious blast of heartbreak became the pop song that even the indie stars loved to rock out to (Ted Leo's amazing cover, anyone?) while also proving that 'American Idol' could launch legitimate talent who could conquer the charts on their own terms.
2. 'Toxic,' Britney Spears (2004)
In what is perhaps Britney's crowning pop achievment (though '3' is slowly approaching equally awesome levels), 'Toxic' let Britney be everything she was known for just before her big breakdown. The synthy beat is just as fast and sexy as Britney's vocals ... and the video. Oh my. Two words: Sheer bodysuit.
1. 'Hey Ya!,' OutKast (2003)
The ultimate example of the cross-over hit that you could see yourself partying to in college just as easily as you could watch your parents sweat to it in spin class. Any way you digest it, the funk-rock-R&B-hip-hop hybrid is a portable party. Love our pals at Pitchfork's way of summing it up perfectly: A record that sounded like everything on the radio and nothing anyone had heard before.