The Collegian
Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Music Mondays: Throwback to 20 great albums released in the 2000s

<p><em>Graphic by YounHee Oh, The Collegian</em></p>

Graphic by YounHee Oh, The Collegian

Editor’s note: Since Conner Evans took over for Myrsini’s Film Fridays column on April 17, here she is on Music Mondays chronicling some of her favorite records. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

If we ever talked in person about music, you would know that “2000s throwback” is my middle name. Sure, I’m open to exploring new sounds, but at the end of the day, I always go back to my 2000s throwback music no matter the genre. 

I invite you to join me and revisit 20 great albums released in the 2000s. The picks are subjective based on my personal music taste. I’m sure there are many more great ones out there waiting for you to rediscover them.

1. “Whoa, Nelly!” by Nelly Furtado (2000) is the debut album of the Canadian-Portuguese singer and songwriter. The album brilliantly blends hip hop and pop sounds with folk, reggae and Brazilian bossa nova melodies. It is one of the purest and most genuine albums of the 2000s.

Recommended songs: “I’m Like A Bird,” “Hey Man,” “Trynna Finda Way,” “Turn Off The Light”

2. “Parachutes” by Coldplay (2000) includes some of the band’s most ageless songs. Coldplay poured all their thoughts and feelings into their debut album and conveyed warmth and melancholy in a perfectly crafted love letter. It is simply beautiful and powerful.

Recommended songs: “Don’t Panic,” “Trouble,” “Yellow,” “Sparks”

3. “Discovery” by Daft Punk (2001) took 80s electro-pop and made it timeless. It is insane how classic dance songs like “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” are nowadays played in clubs and parties, sounding as fresh, catchy and funky as they did in 2001.  

Recommended songs: “One More Time,” “Face To Face,” “Digital Love,” “Something About Us”

4. “Songs About Jane” by Maroon 5 (2002) is a great soulful pop-rock album for all the broken-hearted people in the room. Maroon 5’s debut album showcased their great potential in both musicianship and songwriting with their refreshing and nervy sound and moving lyrics.

Recommended songs: “Sunday Morning,” “She Will Be Loved,” “Through With You,” “The Sun” 

5. “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers (2002) is bold yet cohesive experimentation of a range of unique sounds. From Anthony Kiedis’ funky quasi-rapping to ethereal melodies, all elements are harmoniously blended with the band’s enigmatic lyrics for an intriguing outcome.

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Recommended songs: “The Zephyr Song,” “Can’t Stop,” “Minor Thing,” “By The Way”

6. “A Rush of Blood to the Head” by Coldplay (2002) is lyrically as honest and gracious as “Parachutes,” but it is musically more advanced than the latter. The melodies spring so effortlessly like natural beauty. The growth of the band since their debut album is evident.

Recommended songs: “Clocks,” “The Scientist,” “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” “In My Place”

7. “Absolution” by Muse (2003) is one of the band’s most creative and daring works. The melodies are powerfully moving and movingly powerful. The lyrics are sophisticated and poetic. “Absolution” is exceptional rock music and a gift meant to transcend the heart and the mind. 

Recommended songs: “Sing for Absolution,” “Endlessly,” “Time Is Running Out,” “Hysteria” 

8. “Hot Fuss” by The Killers (2004) should not just be remembered for “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” “Hot Fuss” contains many hidden gems with heartfelt lyrics and retrospective yet progressive electro-rock sounds, boosted by Brandon Flowers’ unique vocals.

Recommended songs: “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” “Believe Me Natalie,” “Mr. Brightside”

9. “Monkey Business” by Black Eyed Peas (2005) doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is: a fresh, catchy and funky dance album. It is a beautiful mix of pop, R&B, hip hop and reggae elements, which defined BEP’s unique musical style and made it hard to replicate. 

Recommended Songs: “Don’t Lie,” “Pump It,” “Don’t Phunk With My Heart,” “My Style (ft. Justin Timberlake)”

10. “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” by Arctic Monkeys (2006) emits raw energy. With his Northern English accent and his bratty style of singing and songwriting, frontman Alex Turner spits deep and brutally honest lyrics, embraced by dynamic rock sounds. 

Recommended songs: “A Certain Romance,” “When The Sun Goes Down,” “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor,” “Mardy Bum”

11. “Loose” by Nelly Furtado (2006) proves the musical masterminds that Furtado and album co-producer Timbaland are, mixing the former’s playful lyrics and vocals with the latter’s synth dance beats. Their collab revitalized their careers and the pop music industry as we know it. 

Recommended songs: “All Good Things (Come to an End),” “Promiscuous (ft. Timbaland),” “Say It Right,” “Do It”

12. “Black Holes and Revelations” by Muse (2006) is indeed a revelation. Inventive and bold like “Absolution” but with a more sociopolitical direction in songwriting, this is an epic rock record. A sincere and almost flawless work of art with a diverse range of sounds and noble ideas.

Recommended songs: “Starlight,” “Knights of Cydonia,” “Glorious,” “Map of the Problematique”

13. “FutureSex/LoveSounds” by Justin Timberlake (2006) is one of the most musically complex pop albums of the 2000s with its fusion of R&B, synth-pop, rap and new wave sounds. Timberlake, Furtado and Timbaland ruled the music world in 2006, and I was all about it!

Recommended songs: “What Goes Around… Comes Around,” “My Love (ft. T.I.),” “Summer Love,” “Until The End of Time (ft. Beyoncé)”

14. “Continuum” by John Mayer (2006) blends pop-rock with blues in a way that is distinctive of Mayer’s identity and style as an artist. With his soothing melodies and lyrics, Mayer offered originality and a dose of truth, unlike some of the mainstream radio hits of the time.

Recommended Songs: “I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You),” “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room,” “Gravity,” “The Heart of Life”

15. “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” by Maroon 5 (2007) gives us something to believe in. This album displays a variety of musical styles and influences and proves that simple lyrics that may sound basic can be accessible, profitable, and simultaneously, expressive, and substantial.

Recommended songs: “Won’t Go Home Without You,” “Not Falling Apart,” “Makes Me Wonder,” “Wake Up Call”

16. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse (2007) is where class, funk and pure talent fuse with R&B, reggae and soul to create a heartfelt masterpiece. With this album, Winehouse and mastermind producer Mark Ronson reintroduced British soul in the United States and the world.

Recommended songs: “Back To Black,” “You Know I’m No Good,” “Love Is A Losing Game,” “Tears Dry On Their Own”

17. “Year of the Gentleman” by Ne-Yo (2008) has not faded into the background for me. It is one of Ne-Yo’s most mature and confident albums. The tracks range from R&B dancefloor hits to melancholic ballads with sincere lyrics that jump from heartache and regret to lust and flirt.

Recommended songs: “Fade Into The Background,” “Closer,” “Mad,” “Stop This World”

18. “Paper Trail” by T.I. (2008) is a special rap record for its inventive sound, self-reflective lyrics and the number of A-list artists featured in it, ranging from other rappers like Jay-Z and Kanye West to artists outside of the rap scene like John Legend and Timberlake.

Recommended songs: “Live Your Life (ft. Rihanna),” “Slide Show (ft. Legend),” “Dead and Gone (ft. Timberlake),” “You Ain’t Missin’ Nothing”

19. “One Love” by David Guetta (2009) is a compilation of some undeniably strong singles. In “One Love,” the French DJ proves how catchy dance beats and the striking vocals of a remarkable list of artists can result in something much more than just good electro-dance music.

Recommended songs: “Memories (ft. Kid Cudi),” “Missing You (ft. Novel),” “When Love Takes Over (ft. Kelly Rowland),” “Gettin’ Over You (ft. Fergie & LMAO)”

20. “Battle Studies” by John Mayer (2009) explores the themes of love and heartbreak in such a down-to-earth way with Mayer’s truthful and intimate songwriting. Honestly, the underrated “Edge of Desire” is a standalone proof of Mayer’s musical and lyrical genius. 

Recommended songs: “Edge of Desire,” “Heartbreak Warfare,” “War of My Life,” “Assassin”

Contact contributor Myrsini Manou-Georgila at myrsini.manougeorgila@richmond.edu. 

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