Station Rewind: Favorite 2000s Songs

Unlike the other decades, all of us here at KZUU had the opportunity to live through the 2000s. Just a reminder of some of the biggest things pop culture had to offer: Heelys, Juicy Couture tracksuits, Napster, Blockbuster, iPods, Lizzie McGuire, Britney Spears and the snake at the VMA’s, and Martha Stewart went to prison. The music offered to us opened up a whole world of pop, EDM, and emo hits that none of us could forget if we tried. This week, we go through our favorites of the 2000s.


This song screams the early 2000s! The emo/punk scene was becoming more and more integrated into the culture, and Avril Lavigne was one of the most mainstream of these artists without being too pop. The Best Damn Thing perfectly represents the combination of “Girlboss” culture and “RAWR XD” culture. I love her cheekiness in this song, with lines like “I hate it when a guy doesn’t get the tab, and I have to pull my money out and that looks bad…” The confidence in this song is so fun, and will forever scream it at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on.


This is such a hard one! I’m a little older than the average college student, and I spent many of my young and impressionable years in the mid-to-late 2000s and early 2010s. For this reason, I had many different favorite genres and artists. If I had to choose ONE SONG though, it would have to be Roses by Outkast. Coming off of their 2003 album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Roses has invigorating synth-like bass, catchy organ backing, and one of the greatest music videos of all time. Back in middle school, I had one of those big iPods that could play music videos, and this was the first song/video I bought. I also vaguely remember trying to learn the dance moves that the awkward Love Below gang performs on the stage in front of the school. Anytime this song comes on, whether it be on the radio, my playlists, or the clubs, I will break out in song and dance.

ASHLYN: What Goes Around/ Comes Around (Interlude) BY JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

I think a lot of genres were able to shine during the 2000s, but both pop and Justin Timberlake (as his own genre) definitely dominated my world as a kid growing up. I could have picked a party song, something that would’ve made me want to dance in a club, but What Goes Around is the ideal shower song. It’s dramatic in the most perfect way (and it’s 7 minutes long, so you can really prolong the dramatics), and Justin Timberlake absolutely killed it throughout FutureSex/LoveSounds. Was I old enough to be listening to SexyBack when I was 7? No, but I did get What Goes Around out of it, so I can’t be mad. Not to mention, my mom and I thought he was kinda cute. Girl time in the car was giggling about him and Zac Efron.

Honorable Mentions: Dirrty by Christina Aguilera, Gimmie More by Britney Spears, Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine, Maneater by Nelly Furtado, Big Girls Don’t Cry by Fergie, and Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliot.


What song better encapsulates this time period than a timeless club/radio banger?! Waka Flocka Flame is actually very important to the modern state of trap/hip-hop and this song shows why. Ten+ years after this song has come out, it is still cherished and loved around the globe. The hook is sooooooooooo catchy and wow like it just feels like being young again every time I hear it.


This song is my favorite because I consider Lady Gaga to be someone I’ve idolized my entire life. When Poker Face first came out, I remember my dad not letting my mom show me the music video because he thought it was too inappropriate. This song really opened me up to a whole new world of creativity and self-expression and is still a timeless classic today.


Alright, I think this song choice really needs some explanation so here it goes. Little Isak grew up with classic rock music all around him. I have my mom and dad to graciously thank for this but I remember wanting to be introduced to ‘newer’ rock music. I then went to Youtube and tried to find what was then modern rock music and came upon this song because I’ll never forget the weird video that went along with it. Anyways, I loved this song and would replay it constantly on my iPod nano on the bus going to school. Musically I think it’s a great song too. It’s got that guitar riff in the beginning that hooks you and that chorus reminds me of a grunge-style aggressiveness to it. It’s just so groovy and then just hits you with the guitar blissfulness that takes me back to some good times of discovering new music for the first time.


Sextape by Deftones is one of the greatest songs of the 2000s because it perfectly encapsulates a feeling of longing and lust for another person. The song portrays the image of exposing oneself to another and the union with their lover to the world. Sonically, Sextape sounds lush, delicate, ethereal, and fragile while simultaneously sounding aggressive and dark. Chino Moreno‘s gritty vocals perfectly complement Stephen Carpenter‘s gentle, delayed, and reverberated guitar riff. The instrumental provides a subtle feeling of tension throughout the song, which doesn’t resolve until the final few seconds of the track. Each element comes together to truly create something special, in a way no other song does.


It’s impossible to pick just one song from this decade because every song I can think of is either nostalgic or iconic. Bartender is both! The 2000’s were accompanied by some absolute school dance / frat basement bangers. T-pain and Akon, rise above the rest in my opinion, revolutionizing the genre of hip-hop with their masterful autotune swagger. Very few songs can get the whole club singing and dancing along like Bartender can, and it’s this effect on people our age that justified it as my favorite song from the 2000’s.


Many people have no idea that Miranda Cosgrove, the actress best known for Nickelodeon’s iCarly, actually had a multi-year venture into singing. It’s hard to say whether it’s something she wanted to pursue or it was forced on her by network executives, but in the years following its release, Cosgrove’s music has built a bit of a cult following from nostalgic Zoomers and Millennials. The Sparks Fly album from which this song originates is full of underwritten, overproduced, soulless pop, but it’s these factors that label it as camp 13 years later.

Two-thirds of the way through the album, What Are You Waiting For seems to come out of nowhere. After a slow opening verse, she suddenly delivers an incredibly soulful and passionate chorus unlike any other recording on the release. I get the feeling that this is a song Miranda herself cared about. It’s one of the few songs that truly shows off her incredible singing ability that always gets buried under the outdated synths and bland writing. For me, What Are You Waiting For is a hidden gem that few pop fans are even aware of. Even if the purpose of this release was just to squeeze more profits out of a teen TV star, it managed to miraculously produce a surprisingly profound and compelling love song all but forgotten by the industry.

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