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Feel Old Yet? 10 Songs That Turn 20 in 2024

Ah, 2004. You have undoubtedly heard at least one of these ten tracks blasting from your older brother or sister's room. One of these tracks may trigger that vague memory and early 2000s nostalgia we all know and some love. Come with me on a blast from the past to a time when low-rise jeans, baby tees, and side bangs were all the rage. Welcome (back) to the early 2000s.


 

"Hollaback Girl" - Gwen Stefani

What is the definition of a "Hollaback Girl"? Well, technically, it's a girl who refuses to defend herself after someone has spoken down on her. The fight song and high school cheerleader vibe of "Hollaback Girl" were intentional. The song is all about confrontation, and confront Stefani did. "Hollaback Girl" was a Courtney Love diss track turned pop anthem after the rocker reportedly called Stefani a cheerleader in a 2004 Seventeen interview. Stefani did not take this lightly and made the cheerleader persona a reality through her 2004 hit "Hollaback Girl". In a 2005 NME interview, Stefani stated, "you want me to be a cheerleader? Well, I will be one, then. And I’ll rule the whole world, just you watch me." The singer made it known to the world through her song that she was NOT a "Hollaback Girl".


"B - A - N - A - N - A - S"


 

"All Falls Down"- Kanye West

The College Dropout ranks as one of Kanye West's top three albums to date, with a staggering ten million dollars worth of sales. "All Falls Down" is the ultimate hit of the album, featuring beautiful vocals from Syleena Johnson and sampled work from Lauryn Hill's "Mystery of Iniquity". Since use of the original sample of "Mystery of Iniquity" was denied for legal reasons, Johnson herself sings Hill's original lyrics in the chorus of "All Falls Down". In a contrast to most modern rap beats, West flows rhythmically to an acoustic guitar. You barely even recognize what's happening in the meticulously planned tune, rather, listeners get lost in the sound. "All Falls Down" remains a classic even 20 years later.


"Now tell me that ain't insecurr. The concept of school seems so securr."


 

"Mr Brightside" - The Killers

The first guitar riffs of this party anthem are an immediate call to the dance floor. There isn't a word of "Mr. Brightside" to which a full bar of people can't sing along. While the initial drop flopped somewhat spectacularly, the re-release in 2004 took off, resulting in the Killers winning two MTV Music Awards in the "Best New Artist in a Video" and "Best Art Direction" categories, as well as two others in the iHeartRadio Music Video awards "People's Choice: Favourite International Group" and "Best International Video - Group" categories. Frontman Brandon Flowers refers to real life experience, writing the song about avoiding seeing an ex with someone else at just 19 years old.


"It was only a kiss. It was only a kiss."


 

"Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson

At just 22 years old, Kelly Clarkson produced what may be the biggest breakup song of the new millenium: "Since U Been Gone". She went on to win a GRAMMY in 2006 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, marking a pivotal shift in her career from American Idol Winner to GRAMMY Award winning performer. Written by songwriter and producer duo Max Martin and Lukasz Gottwald, the song was originally pitched to P!nk and Hilary Duff, who both turned it down.


"Since U Been Gone" created some of the fundamental principles of the pop genre: heartbreak , a repeating chorus guaranteed to get stuck in your head, and a young female artist bringing the passion and emotion. Clarkson put her heart into each note of "Since U Been Gone", striking a chord with heartbroken teens across the globe.


"You had the chance, you blew it / Out of sight, out of mind."


 

"Gasolina" - Daddy Yankee

This song deserves an honorable mention for being one that marked some initial stepping stones of the reggaetón genre. Emerging in 2004, the LatinX music community positively shifted into the spotlight as the catchy beats and high-energy melody of "Gasolina" became a dance party favorite for those in the States.


"Gasolina" stayed at #1 on Billboard's Top Latin Album charts for 24 consecutive weeks, not only establishing the reggaetón debut, but also becoming the top Latin album in the 2000s.


Daddy Yankee's Puerto Rican influence fueled the "Gasolina" movement; he previously stated to Billboard, "I think part of the success of the track was people looking for some hidden meaning: ‘Was I talking about alcohol, about drugs?’ That track is completely literal. It’s one of the most innocent songs I’ve ever written.”


"Dame la gasolina."


 

"Heaven" - Los Lonely Boys

The three-brother group Los Lonely Boys dedicated this song to lead guitarist Henry Garza's late son. The song was intended to be a prayer to him, a desperate plea about yearning to escape this world to be reunited with his son. Garza's son died as an infant from S.I.D.S.


According to Genius, Henry stated,“losing a son, when I was 18 years old. That’s where the music comes from, deep inside. What God has entrusted us with is to make the music. My brothers remember lots of stuff too. It’s trying out there. I was blessed with more kids after the death of my son. I’m blessed with a real family, real music. Trying to provide for your family is hard. We’re living proof that you can make dreams happen.”


"How far is heaven? Yeah, Lord, can you tell me?"


 

"My Boo" - Usher Feat. Alicia Keys

In the song, Alicia Keys and Usher act as a couple reflecting back on their past love, making it known to one another that they were the best each other ever had. They duet in perfect tune as they reminisce about their shared past and young love. "My Boo" was the fourth #1 hit from Usher's Confessions album, following "Yeah!", "Burn", and "Confessions, Pt. 2". The album sold over ten million copies in America, earning Diamond certification. Although it's unconfirmed whether or not the two artists actually dated, they portray a convincing act as they sing to one another about love.


"I don't know about y'all but I know and uh it's the only way we know how to rock."


 

"Are You Gonna Be My Girl" - Jet

This upbeat and classic tune paved the way for early 2000s alternative music. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" is known for its classy, upbeat riffs and iconic bassline. The primary objective for the birth of the song was to gravitate towards what Jet wanted their primary demographic to be, women. An ode to getting girls and wondering, "are they going to be theirs?" In an article by loudersong.com, frontman Nic Cester stated, "We had something women could dance to. We knew that if girls came to our shows, guys would follow.” 


"Because you look so fine and I really wanna make you mine."


 

"1, 2 Step" - Ciara feat. Missy Elliot

Demonstrated fantastically in the music video below, this hip-hop and R&B classic was meant to have audiences dancing the famous "1, 2 Step". The song was written by Ciara and Missy Elliot and produced by Jazzy Pha in Atlanta, where the music video also takes place. It was recorded two years prior to its initial release in 2004. Ciara and Missy Elliot established a pivotal mark for the history of dance and female hip hop artists with their collaboration "1,2 Step".


"Let me see you 1, 2 Step."


 

"Somewhere Only We Know" - Keane

Known for its appearance in LOL starring Miley Cyrus, "Somewhere Only We Know" made its debut in the first album released by English rock band Keane. The piano continues throughout the duration of the song and is the primary instrument used for its rhythmic progression.


Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane stated , "I was thinking of something like David Bowie's 'Heroes', which you drive along to a really rocking beat...It was one of the first things we recorded for the album."


"I walked across an empty land. I knew the pathway like the back of my hand."


 

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