Pretty much every era has its embarrassing music, but there was something inherently borked about the 2000s that created some especially heinous 00s music. I’m guilty of owning – and still knowing all the words to – some of these songs, and I know you are too, but its time to look back and cringe at our former selves for thinking these were ever, ever good.
The trend of continuously mashing together things that shouldn’t work, throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, and the rapid advancements in technology around music production created this microcosm of music that had people making some grave mistakes.
Here’s a definitive but not exhaustive list of songs that should be ashamed of themselves, but we all probably requested on the radio at one point or another because goddammit they were all earworms.
The Reason – Hoobastank
Quite easily one of the most-hated songs in the mid-00s, but still played so hard that some point during the 2010s, it became kinda cool to ironically support ‘The Reason‘. Was it the sudden yearn for something that seemed devoid of drama or politics? Was it a deep nostalgia attached to all our memories from 2003, when this song was being flogged to an inch of its life on the radio?
Either way, it sucked then and it still sucks now and every time I hear that opening four bars of a low E on a piano, I get the weirdest flashbacks.
Behind Blue Eyes – Limp Bizkit
The moment that Limp Bizkit stopped rapping about buttholes over metal riffs and decided to cover/ruin a The Who song, oh boy. The fact that Fred Durst managed to get cultural clout (and hit number 4 is Aus) for a song that isn’t even an original, and isn’t even a good cover of an original, is pretty sad. And remember how ex-Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland panned it when it was released, saying it was “unbelievably self-indulgent”?
Oh, and the original video was so embarrassing for everyone – especially a scientist Halle Berry (?), who had to snog Fred Durst in a medical gown (???) – that they released a second video compiled only of live show footage.
Thank you, internet, for this bootleg upload with added lyrics so we can all sing along.
I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) – Sandi Thom
God, I just hated this song with the power of a thousand suns when it came out in 2o06. Possibly because it was just not a good song but still copped high rotation on south coast commercial radio, and very likely because I was in the height of my angsty punk teen years, this was like being spat in the face and/or kicked in the teeth by the one thing that I sought comfort in – angry mid 00s music.
All Summer Long – Kid Rock
Honestly, this song sounds so much like ‘Sweet Home Alabama‘ that it irrefutably ruined that Lynyrd Skynyrd song for me. Shame on you, Kid Rock. Shame on you.
The Hampsterdance Song – Hampton And The Hampster
Now I’ll fully admit that I owned the CD single of ‘The Hampsterdance Song‘ by Hampton And The Hampster back in 2000– which actually came from one of the earliest recorded internet memes and was produced as a track by a trio of Canadians known as The Boomtang Boys.
But aside from that personal admission, Christ almighty this song was grating on the nerves. A mash together of both trashy Eurodance (which was huge at the turn of the millennium) with an old line dance country song, the only saving grace of owning this on CD was having the other, less-dominating single, a Eurotrash version of ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy‘ going B2B on one disc. 00s music, it was a real TIME.
Anyway, good luck getting this out of your head.
Hampton’s little cowboy hat is pretty cute though.
Axel F – Crazy Frog
This song, and all derivatives and remixes of this song, will play on an endless loop across the omnipresent speaker system in Hell.
The Non-Clean Version Of ‘Let’s Get It Started’ – Black Eyed Peas
A lot of other lists name ‘My Humps‘ as the worst song from the Black Eyed Peas, but I have it on very good authority (read: owning and listening to the album) that this one sucks harder.
Not because it gets stuck in your head or anything, but because it’s actually really fucking insensitive. What we got on the radio, ‘Let’s Get It Started‘ is the clean, family-friendly version. The album version, in fact, has a huge ableist word in place of every “get it started” lyric (approx. 34 times)
Sure, it makes Will.I.Am‘s first line of “In this context, there’s no disrespect” make a bit more sense, but doesn’t excuse the woefully terrible original lyrics.
We’re revisiting the clean version here because I’ll be fucked if I’m giving the other one airtime.
Shake It – Metro Station
Here we go, we’re dipping into my teen emo year here, hang on tight.
Metro Station, aka the band that Miley Cyrus‘ brother Trace Cyrus, brought this cursed earworm to all of our lives in 2007, and it’s been stuck in my head since. My workmate Matt firmly believes that this song “fucken blows” and I can’t help but agree with him.
I’m so sorry for putting this back into your brain but hey if I have to suffer with lyrics like “I was thinking of ways that I could get inside” and “turn me on so I can turn off the lights” you do too.
Don’t Trust Me – 3OH!3
Sticking on the whole emo thing, 3OH!3 were a part of the whole weird party-punk-cross-club-techno era that would best be described as the kind of music that scene kids with whopping fringes and raccoon-striped hair would listen to (aka. the people I tried so hard to look like/be.)
With absolutely stunning lyrics ranging from “hoes” that won’t trust him, and Helen Keller of all people, this has got to be one of the most cringe-worthy songs to come out of the mid-00s scene.
Stick Stickly – Attack! Attack!
This whole song became a joke, and probably was a joke when it was written.Image: YouTube / Crazy Frog