Summer has officially come to an end. School, university and work are all creeping up on us to blow away the hot summer breeze and sweep our carefree days under the rug of Autumn. Leaving nothing but our memories and the echo of songs long forgotten.
A common reaction to the passing of time is to reminisce and as I get older I find myself doing it more and more. I’m not old enough to have been born during the golden era of the 60s, the psychedelic era of the 70s or experimental era of the 80s and I was too young to appreciate the 90s until the early 2000s. Therefore I’ve decided to create a playlist of ten songs for one of the most memorable summers of my childhood and hope some of you can relate to the nostalgia.
Lady Gaga ft. Colby O’Donis – ‘Just Dance’
The song that started my (and many others) obsession with the American singer/songwriter Lady Gaga. A classic party tune that would guarantee to have anyone within the vicinity up and dancing. The R&B influenced, synth-pop, dance-pop single kicked off Gaga’s career in 2008 from her debut studio album Fame and received a Grammy nomination in 2009 for Best Dance Recording but lost out to Daft Punk for their just as icon ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.’ Gaga has described the song as a happy one and wanted it to help people going through hard times such as losing their jobs or homes. ‘Just Dance’ was written in ten minutes and still remains Gaga’s most famous single that has the power to transport you back to wherever you were when you first heard it.
Black Eyed Peas – ‘I Gotta Feeling’
The second single from their fifth album The E.N.D ‘I Gotta Feeling’ was produced by David Guetta and has become a part of music history for classic songs. Upon release of the upbeat dance pop song it hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chat only losing out on the number one spot to ‘Boom Boom Pow’ another song by the group. The song was nominated for Record of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards and won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. It was also nominated Song of the Year at the 2009 World Music Awards and therefore deserves a top spot on this playlist. ‘I Gotta Feeling’ samples the song ‘Take A Dive’ by Bryan Pringle and is built upon a heavy use of auto tune and futuristic synthesizers that was a theme throughout the whole album.
Beyoncé – ‘Single Ladies’
Through countless years Beyoncé has released phenomenal music that resonates with and drives her fans crazy. Nearly any song the American singer releases becomes an instant hit and ‘Single Ladies’ was no different. Creating also an iconic video that has provided us with both an artistic, dance infused visual and numerous parodies that can even reach the same calibre of professionalism. ‘Single Ladies’ won three Grammy Awards in 2010 including Song of the Year and has been considered the best song of both 2008 and the decade. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry of America.
All American Rejects – ‘Gives You Hell’
A song on everyone’s lips in 2009, ‘Gives You Hell’ was the lead single from American rock band The All American Reject’s third studio album. Alongside ‘Dirty Little Secret’ it has been named the band’s most successful song to date and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as being certified platinum for four million shipments. The tongue in cheek song continues the band’s stereotypical ‘high school movie’ sound and contains drunken backing vocals so the chorus sounds like a ‘bunch of drunk assholes.’
Taylor Swift – ‘You Belong With Me’
Back before the media started taking bites out of Taylor Swift’s career she was a sweet country singer/songwriter who released songs about unrequited high school love. No matter your opinion on her now it cannot be denied ‘You Belong With Me’ has become a classic everyone knows the words to even if they are not sure when they learnt them. Swift has said the song was inspired after overhearing a male friend of hers arguing with his girlfriend on the phone. The pop song won Favourite Song at the 2010 Kids’ Choice Awards and was nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The music video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 2009 and created the iconic Kanye West interruption during Swift’s acceptance speech.
3OH!3 – ‘Don’t Trust Me’
Although now becoming a ‘where are they now?’ kind of group, 3OH!3 were hugely popular back at the end of the 2000s with ‘Don’t Trust Me’ probably being their most popular song. The pop single was certified gold by the Recording Industry of America in 2009 and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as having huge mainstream success. The music video received a nomination in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best New Artist but lost to Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face.’
Pink – ‘So What’
Released in 2008 from the American singer’s fifth studio album Funhouse, ‘So What’ has become nearly timeless in its popularity. The angry heartbreak lyrics are based on Pink’s separation from Carey Hart and infuse a musical fury that stays with you long after the track has ended. Although largely successful people were split on whether they thought it was an empowering single or just too childish to be taken seriously but critical acclaim won overall and has since been dubbed one of Pink’s most iconic songs. The song is a perfect performance marrying both Pink’s aggressive female empowerment as well as her silliness to not take herself too seriously. The song was nominated for a few awards and appropriately won Most Addictive Track at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Owl City – ‘Fireflies’
Making a recent re-emergence in the online community Owl City’s ‘Fireflies’ is arguably still as loved and hated as it was back in 2008 when it was released. Possibly the marmite of music even those who don’t like the ‘bleepy synthline’ song have to admit how addictively catchy both the tune and the lyrics are. It was the debut single from the American electronica project and was described by Adam Young as ‘a little song about bugs and not being able to fall asleep at night.’ The single managed worldwide success and is something pure and simple that evokes nostalgia no matter your personal opinion on the track.
The Veronicas – ‘Untouched’
The Veronicas themselves are probably still quite unknown despite being active since 2006 but their debut single ‘Untouched’ is a tune nearly anyone will recognise. The electropop song has been compared to both Pink and Avril Lavigne by having a foot in both the alternative and pop music genres. The lyrics of the song relate to the Australian twins (Jessica and Lisa Origliasso) feelings about separation from loved ones more so than physical separation.
Boys Like Girls – ‘Love Drunk’
The last song on my Summer of 2009 playlist is the one that was probably played the most among myself and my friends, even to this day the opening causes a smile to break out across my face. ‘Love Drunk’ was the lead single from the album of the same name by rock/pop band Boys Like Girls in 2008 and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song received a mixed reception upon its release with some critics enjoying the pop/rock tune whilst others criticised it for its controversial similarity to The Killers ‘Somebody Told Me’ due to the choruses of both songs. The song became popular due also to the music video that featured singer/actress Ashely Tisdale from the first shot who makes all the boys in the video fall for her only to lead to a surprise ending.
Of course these are not all of the songs that made up the summer of 2009 so here are some honourable mentions:
Taylor Swift – ‘Love Story’
Jason Mraz – ‘I’m Yours’
Kanye West – ‘Heartless’
Soulja Boy Tell ’em feat. Sammie – ‘Kiss Me Thru The Phone’
Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne – ‘Down’
T.I. feat. Rihanna – ‘Live Your Life’
Kelly Clarkson – ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’
Flo Rida – ‘Right Round’
Katy Perry – ‘Hot n Cold’
Shinedown – ‘Second Chance’
Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West – ‘Run This Town’
Britney Spears – ‘Circus’
Beyonce – ‘Sweet Dreams’
Sean Kingston – ‘Fire Burning’
Lady Gaga – ‘Paparazzi’
Jason DeRulo – ‘Whatcha Say’
Iyaz – ‘Replay’
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys – ‘Empire State Of Mind’
Shakira – ‘She Wolf’
Rihanna – ‘Disturbia’
Green Day – ‘21 Guns’
Katy Perry – ‘Waking Up In Vegas’
By Skye W.Winwood