Ten Anthems of the Aughts

It’s the end of a decade
In another ten years’ time
Who can say what we’ll find
what lies waiting down the line
in the end of ’89?
– ABBA, “Happy new year”

The season for reflective (and arbitrary) “best of” lists and canons is upon us, and this year we get a whole decade to reflect on. Here’s my entirely idiosyncratic list of ten of the best songs from the young century’s first decade (“The Aughts”). My (wholly personal) criterion for choosing each as a year’s “anthem” is just that it evoke, more clearly than any other song, that year and its experiences.

2001: Basement Jaxx. “Where’s Your Head At?” XL.
2002: Freelance Hellraiser. “A Stroke of Genie-Us.” n.l.
2003: White Stripes. “Seven Nation Army.” Elephant. V2.
2004: Shapeshifters. “Lola’s Theme.” Positiva.
2005: The New Pornographers. “Sing me Spanish Techno.” Twin Cinema. Mint/Matador.
2006: Scissor Sisters. “I don’t feel like dancin’.” Interscope/Geffen/A&M.
2007: Feist. “1234.” The Reminder. Cherrytree.
2008: The Ting Tings. “That’s not my name.” We Started Nothing. Columbia.
2009: Imogen Heap. “Hide and seek” (Enigma remix). n.l.
2010: The xx. “VCR.” The xx. Young Turks.

Notable mentions:
2003: Black Eyed Peas. “Where is the love?” A&M; The Raveonettes. “That Great Love Sound.” Sony.
2007: Wintersleep. “Weighty Ghost.” Welcome to the Night Sky. Labwork.
2008: Bruce Springsteen. “Girls in their summer clothes.” Magic. Columbia.
2009: Deadmau5. “Ghosts n stuff” (original instrumental mix). Ultra.
2010: OK Go. “This too shall pass.” Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. EMI.

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