The Noughties were a fantastic time for music. With some of the finest artists the world has ever known emerging from the industry, there was no shortage of great tracks. But we still wanted to try and name the best ones anyway.
McFly – ‘Five Colours in Her Hair’
The 2000s UK pop-rock scene was, without a shadow of a doubt, dominated by Busted and McFly. So it’s only fitting that my favourite single of the decade is by McFly, written by members of both bands, namely ‘Five Colours in Her Hair’. I wasn’t even a year old when the song was released, but having properly been a McFly fan for about three years now (since the reunion), it weirdly feels nostalgic to remember this song and think about all the hilarious video footage I’ve seen of the boys from around the time.
The song was written in a hotel room in 2003 when Danny and Tom hadn’t even met the rest of their bandmates; it soared to the top of both the mid-week charts and the official charts in its first week of release in 2004, and stayed there for two weeks. For a bunch of newly-signed teenagers living in a paid-for (gross) house together, straight to the top of the charts for their first ever single is a pretty mean feat.
I honestly just love the feel good nature of this single, and it’s B-side, a cover of the The Kinks’ ‘Lola’, is genuinely just so good. It’s one of those songs that the opening for is just so iconic, with it’s catchy “do-do-do-do-do-do”, and you can hear the vibrancy of the song as you listen. It’s a song that you can’t help singing along to, and even though their songwriting ability has definitely improved since then, it’s just a McFly classic, and a tour setlist staple.
Listen to ‘Five Colours In Her Hair’ via Island Records here:
Alicia Keys – ‘Karma’
Argue all you want, but the early noughties were the prime time for RnB and no one was more a queen of that noughties RnB sound than Alicia Keys. Her album, The Diary of Alicia Keys pumped out RnB bangers like there was no tomorrow, whether it be the more ballad-esque ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ or the more funky and fresh styles of ‘Dragon Days’ and ‘Heartburn’. Yet, one song always sticks out, bolstered by smart lyrics, great production, and a different approach to creation, and that is ‘Karma’. The song needs little explaining, for “what goes around comes around / what goes up must come down”, and Alicia’s simple lyricism with a paired-down rhyme works in harmony with the suave beats that the early noughties RnB really prized. Yet, what makes this song so great is that it captures everything great about the noughties RnB scene and encapsulates it. Violins, drums, synths, and Keys’ voice all work to create that unique sound that is recognisably RnB, yet so much more when in the hands of Keys.
Listen to ‘Karma’ here:
Kid Cudi, Crookers – ‘Day ‘N’ Nite – Crookers Remix’
Its not often that a remixed track gets such reconigition and acclaim, but the Crookers remix of this iconic Kid Cudi song seems to be the exception.
‘Day ‘N’ Nite’ featured on Cudi’s concept album Man On The Moon: The End of Day in 2009, an album which still stands strong in many hip-hop fans opinions. The album was produced by none other than Kanye West, and fuses psychedelic, indie pop, RnB, electronica, and rock genres to create an infectious, futuristic feel. Yet, it wasn’t the genre-bending sound that brought this album, and Cudi himself, into public view – it was ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’. The single was the first to be released from the album, charting at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 – Cudi’s highest charting single to date at the time.
But it wasn’t until the Crookers remix that the song truly reached its full potential. Hitting number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, as well as various other high-charting positions across Europe, the remix was a great success. Although the original version of the song is exceptional, this remix brings a certain element of dance and energy that would otherwise be missed from the full album, providing DJs across the globe with an infectious track that is always guaranteed to get people on the dancefloor.
‘Day ‘N’ Nite’ is available to listen to via Universal Motown / UMG. Listen on Spotify below: