You can listen to all of the music I mention below through this Spotify playlist!
So 2000-2009, commonly referred sniggeringly as the ‘noughties’, has come and gone – and with it the majority of my twenties. For all of it I listened to what I would deem quality music, and for a good deal of it used Last.fm to track what I listened to (and make recommendations). The visualization above shows my listening habits for part of 2009, courtesy of LastGraph.
It’s not always the case that what you listen to most is the music you actually love the most. In fact, quite often it’s the case that you save music for special occasions or ration it so familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. So here are the three tracks that were made in the ‘noughties’ that I love the most – and why. The links will enable you to listen to the song on Spotify.
John Mayer – 3×5 (2001)
I remember being in Café Rouge in York with Hannah when we heard this for the first time. It must have been 2003 as we were just married. We asked the waiter which album was playing and he replied it was John Mayer’s Room For Squares. I went home and immediately bought the CD. Annoyingly, however, it’s the only album of Mayer’s that isn’t available on Spotify (which I now use instead of CDs and MP3s).
What I love about 3×5 is the feeling of distance, the sense of the inexpressible in the lines:
Today I finally overcame
tryin’ to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to
lose my way but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You’ll be with me next time I go outside
No more 3×5′s…
In perhaps my first use of the term, I’d call it a ‘bittersweet’ song. It’s positive yet mournful at the same time. I wish the live version did the studio version justice. It’s legendary - perhaps even more so in the context of the rest of the album.
The Cinematic Orchestra feat. Roots Manuva – All Things to All Men (2002)
When this came out I was working at HMV in Meadowhall, Sheffield. The Cinematic Orchestra produce that sound that’s all encompassing and envelops you. I absolutely adore, for example, the soundtrack to the film The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos they did recently. The first three-and-a-half minutes is Cinematic Orchestra at the top of the game. Then Roots Manuva’s rhyming kicks in.
His lyrics make little sense. That doesn’t matter. It’s more than the sum of it’s parts. Wonderful. :-p
Bon Iver – Woods (2009)
Like the rest of the known world, I found Bon Iver’s album For Emma, Forever Ago to be beautiful and with an engaging backstory. However, it was when I started using Spotify that I came across the excellent EP Blood Bank – containing the sublime Woods. It’s rare for a track to be perfectly matched in sound, concept, and execution, but that’s exactly what we find here.
Wondeful melodies combine and build up to a crescendo. Use of auto-tune actually adds to atmosphere of the song, being used to make elements sound almost like wolves howling. It’s an extremely atmospheric track. One to play with headphones on, alone. I love it.
- Kings of Convenience - Singing Softly To Me (2001)
- Quantic – Infinite Regression (2001)
- Turin Brakes – The Door (2001)
- Röyksopp – Eple (2001)
- Beck – Lost Cause (2002)
- Ben Kweller – Falling (2002)
- Bonobo – Something For Windy (2003)
- Jack Johnson – Cookie Jar (2003)
- Radiohead – Where I End And You Begin (2003)
- Keane – Untitled 1 (2004)
- Death Cab For Cutie – Soul Meets Body (2005)
- Sigur Rós – Glósóli (2005)
- Arctic Monkeys – Mardy Bum (2006)
- Fink – Biscuits For Breakfast (2006)
- Josh Rouse – Come Back [Light Therapy] (2006)
- The Whitest Boy Alive – Golden Cage (2006)
- UNKLE – Hold My Hand (2007)
- Fleet Foxes – Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (2008)
- Snow Patrol – Crack The Shutters (2008)
- Green Day – ¡Viva La Gloria! (2009)
Although you wouldn’t know it from the above, my tastes are fairly eclectic. I’m as likely to listen to The Prodigy as I am to some Ludovico Einaudi. But the above are those I come back to time and again. I’ll no doubt have made some glaring omissions – if so I’ll come back and edit this.
Hope you enjoy the above songs as much as I do!