Everyone has that one decade of tunes that really resonates with them. Whether you’re a devotee to the synthy beats of the 80s or own a particularly embarrassing copy of some guilty pleasure 90s pop album, there’s just something about it that has people wistfully sighing that they were simply, “born in the wrong decade”.
But for a minute here I’d like to direct your eyeballs and earholes to the decade that doesn’t get as much love as it rightfully should, in my opinion. Yep, today we’re talking about the 2000s and there’s nothing that you can do to stop me, so ha.
It was the decade immediately following the Y2K fear, so the music was excited and upbeat (for the most part). We all survived this big ol’ thing that we thought was gonna wipe us out (insert your preferred noise of excitement here, we’re partial to a woohoo) so it was a time of great joy.
1. Don’t Stop Moving – S Club 7
Anyone who says that they don’t inevitably end up having a little jig or groove to yourself while this is on: you are all liars and I will simply not stand for it. It’s all in the title; do what you’re told. This banger came out in 2001 and has made its mark on the gym playlists of folks all around the world. Trust me when I say it’ll get you through that last kilometre of rowing.
2. 1, 2, Step – Ciara
And then we have the song that helped out wannabe dancers by literally telling them exactly what to do. This tune came out in 2004, right in time for my year four disco to dance in unison to it (yes, I am a child, I know). Look, there aren’t enough tunes in this day and age that one can describe as ‘funky fresh’, but Ciara dared to put it right there in the lyrics and I’ma say it: it paid off.
3. Weir – Killing Heidi
This song is iconic and honestly I was worried it wouldn’t make the cut-off for 200s because I was convinced it was a ’99 hit. BUT I WAS WRONG and I’ve never been so glad to be. I’m literally bouncing in my chair right now listening to it. Killing Heidi is one of the all time Aussie greats and despite the fact that I was the ripe old age of six when it came out, I still listen to it at 24.
4. Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
This is another one that I thought was actually back in the 90s, but once again the 2000s claim another banger from the annals. There is no song that exemplifies being an awkward teenager better than this absolute classic, and the fact that it’s been covered and remixed so many times is demonstrative of the fact that we’re all just teenage dirtbags still, in our souls. Aw.
5. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
That piano. Those vocals. The lyrics that made you feel like the love of your life was all you needed. 2003 was a year for love. And it absolutely didn’t even matter that you couldn’t hit those top notes because you SANG. THEM. ANYWAY. Alicia Keys is a goddess and I will hear no words to the contrary – we are literally nothing if we ain’t got her.
6. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
We go from the most romantic of love songs to the most satisfying of breakup bangers. Legitimately, even though I’d never experienced heartbreak when this came out, it had me feeling so powerful that I could listen to it and strut around like I owned the place. It is the epitome of a fierce female anthem and frankly, the 2000s blessed us with this track. Thank you, Kelly, you gem.
7. Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
Let’s just take a count here: how many of you rocked the loose tie and singlet combo after Avril Lavigne came on the scene with this all time fave? And look, whether or not you believe the bizarre conspiracy theory that says Avril was replaced by a clone named Melissa (seriously world, what is happening), there’s no way you can’t appreciate this song.
8. Can’t Fight The Moonlight – LeAnn Rimes
Hello to everyone who was obsessed with Coyote Ugly: now is your moment. If you swooned at Adam Garcia, cried alongside Piper Perabo and felt strangely conflicted about cheering on John Goodman in a bar dance (weird flex but okay), then you already know that Can’t Fight The Moonlight is a certified banger and an icon of the decade. ‘Nuff said.
9. Easy To Love – The Jezabels
This song can get me tearing up literally every single time I listen to it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. This was right at the end of the 2000s, just as we started raring into gear for a whole new decade that showed so much promise. And whether you know it from it getting you emotional while listening on the radio or sobbing uncontrollably while watching Dance Academy, it’s iconic.
10. Forever Young – Youth Group
Look, I couldn’t help but include this bad boy. It was the my Year 6 farewell song and I have vivid memories of all the girls getting so sad as they swayed to this song, apparently acting like we’d never see these people again (despite the fact that we lived in a small town and chances of running into them again were high). Beautiful.
So if you know what you’re about, you’ll be adding these songs to your playlists quick-smart. And the icing on the cake?
You can actually see one of these acts live, super soon. Australian faves The Jezabels are doing a massive tour at the moment, so check out the dates HERE and live out your 2000s dreams.