dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's Chart Rigger's Top 40 Pop Singles Of The '00s!

In early August, D'luv and Chart Rigger sidekick MoogaBoo began sifting through the past decade's pop singles. It wasn't the best 10 years for the genre—in fact, pop music seemed to go underground in America for the bulk of the George Bush years. But we still sussed out what we feel are the primo tunes that impacted the planet, in our not-so-humble opinions.

While re-visiting and re-listening, it dawned on us that sometimes the obvious choices ("Can't Get You Out Of My Head," "Umbrella," etc.) weren't always the best the respective artists had to offer. So instead, the two of us culled together what we feel to be 40 single releases from around the world that defined the first decade of the 21st century, taking into consideration merit, the test of time and personal and public favorites.

It was tough to narrow down—and, by all means, there were definitely more outstanding songs than could be featured from the last 10 years. That said, here now are Chart Rigger's picks for the top 40 singles of the '00s.


40. Ricky Martin with Christina Aguilera - "Nobody Wants To Be Lonely" (2001)

MOOG Says: "Two singing sensations, one undeniable chorus and 18 hairstylists couldn't get this higher than #13 in the American charts, but it's wedged forever in my heart."

CHARTS: ITALY #1, SWE #3, U.K. #4, U.S #13

39. Elton John - "Are You Ready For Love" (2003)

MOOG Says: "Somehow this re-released 1979 obscurity encapsulated everything I was feeling in 2003. I actually get a little tearzy when I hear it now, which either makes me a.) very old, b.) a big softy, or c.) Elton."

CHARTS: U.K. #1, U.S. Dance #1

38. Miley Cyrus - "See You Again" (2008)

D'LUV Says: "When this single came out, a dancey electro-pop number was the last thing anyone expected from Miley. It became her first Top 10 hit, and the be-wigged Hannah Montana alter ego was pushed down the stairs as a tween starlet was born!"

CHARTS: CAN #4, AUS #6, U.S. #10

37. Emma Bunton - "Maybe" (2003)

MOOG Says: "Emma's unflagging enthusiasm and retro-styled fuck-me pumps made this one of the best Spice Girls solo outings (admittedly, there weren't a lot from which to choose). If those first few bars don't get you frugging down the hallway, you might be dead."

CHARTS: U.K. #6, U.S. Dance #6

36. Madonna - "Hung Up" (2005)

D'LUV Says: "After American Life, Madge needed to pull something classy out of her skirt, STAT. Anyway, in lieu of that, she at least offered up this ABBA-sampling jam, which made Stuart Price a household name. Well, in gay households, at least."

CHARTS: U.K. #1, GER #1, U.S. #7

35. Michelle Branch - "All You Wanted" (2002)

D'LUV Says: "People often forget that Michelle Branch's guitar-girlie-pop hit the scene just before Avril Lavigne. She sorta got shafted when Maverick went bust as her second album came out."

CHARTS: U.S. #6, AUS #25, U.K. #33

34. *NSYNC - "Bye Bye Bye" (2000)

D'LUV Says: "In March 2000, I bought a discman and this import CD single at Virgin Megastore. I then promptly drove to Santa Monica and rollerbladed for three hours with 'Bye Bye Bye' on a continuous loop. The height of the teen pop/Cheiron revolution."

CHARTS: AUS #1, SWE #3, U.S. #4

33. Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out" (2004)

MOOG Says: "This always reminds me of one electric night in Pittsburgh when, after catching FF on SNL, I set out to the disco blasting the big, sexy guitar riff in my car with the moon roof open. There was much debauchery and dancing."

CHARTS: U.K. #3, CAN #7, U.S. #66

32. Girls Aloud - "Call The Shots" (2007)

MOOG Says: "In 2007, the GA broads decided to get classy, so they turned in their tube dresses and green-screen videos for an adult (not ADULT XXX) look at relationships. Et voila—their best song! (And two more years of not having to hook.)"

CHARTS: U.K. #3, IRE #9

31. Pink - "Just Like A Pill" (2002)

D'LUV Says: "Pink's current Max Martin output is great, but there was just an overall excitement when she first reinvented herself. 'Get The Party Started' was gimmicky, but 'Just Like A Pill' just plain rawked. Pink's greatest hits—when it comes out—will put most others to shame."

CHARTS: U.K. #1, SWE #5, U.S. #8

30. Rihanna - "Take A Bow" (2008)

MOOG Says: "People will be shocked that one of Rihanna's ballads (actually, it's more mid-tempo!) made this list. Well, in its defense, 'Take a Bow' has a melody and a lyrical depth that put the rest of her schlocky catalog in the shade. And peace out to Hillary."

CHARTS: U.S. #1, U.K. #1, CAN #1

29. Justin Timberlake - "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around" (2007)

MOOG Says: "This is the single that made Madonna want to work with Justin. No, really—his halo of dollar signs had nothing to do with it. Anyway, Justin in bitter-scorned-lover mode is always his best suit."

CHARTS: U.S. #1, AUS #3, U.K. #4

28. Britney Spears - "Stronger" (2000)

D'LUV Says: "From the first play of Britney's Oops... album, 'Stronger' —with its overblown foghorn, its bombastic bass and its irresistible handclaps—was always the song for me. Still sounds 10 times better than anything she's done with Max Martin since."

CHARTS: SWE #4, U.K. #7, U.S. #11

27. Nelly Furtado - "Say It Right" (2006)

MOOG Says: "I loved the 'adult contemporary' feel of 'Say It Right' when it was out three winters ago—it was very VH1 circa 1990. Maybe because Nelly's hair in the video reminded me of Basia."

CHARTS: U.S. #1, GER #2, U.K. #10

26. Hoku - "Another Dumb Blonde" (2000)

MOOG Says: "If just one dumb blonde, somewhere, was inspired by this piano-laden, robot-kissed anthem to dump her triflin' boyfriend and go to rocket science school, then Hoku's short reign was all worth it."

CHARTS: U.S. #27

25. Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron & Drew Seeley - "Breaking Free" (2006)

D'LUV Says: "'Breaking Free' still makes me smile! Chart Rigger kicked off in 2005, but really found its footing in 2006. I always feel High School Musical—and all its coverage here—was a big part of that."

CHARTS: U.S. #4, U.K. #9

24. Fragma - "Toca's Miracle" (2000)

D'LUV Says: "This will forever dredge up insanely giddy memories of Summer 2000—including MoogaBoo's first visit to Los Angeles, and many drunken, lost nights in clubs over those two weeks. Skip the 2008 remix for the original, which still stands up."

CHARTS: U.K. #1, NOR #2, AUS #8

23. Kylie Minogue - "Love At First Sight" (2002)

D'LUV Says: "I had jury duty in Compton for two effing weeks when this was all over radio. I drank a lot those 14 days, but this cracker—especially the 'Ruff and Jam' 7" mix—got me through."

CHARTS: U.K. #2, AUS #3, U.S. #23

22. Enrique Iglesias - "Be With You" (2000)

MOOG Says: "A peak moment for Enrique, METRO and even Thunderpuss, whose remix was integrated into the video. Sadly, none of these acts can get arrested today. You'll always have the memories, boys!"

CHARTS: U.S. #1, SWE #13

21. JoJo - "Too Little Too Late" (2006)

D'LUV Says: "JoJo was this decade's most inappropriate pop princess, in terms of her lyrical content versus her age at the time. That said, the banterview Moog and I did when this song was out is probably my favorite Chart Rigger post ever."

CHARTS: IRE #2, U.S. #3, U.K. #4

20. Keane - "Everybody's Changing" (2004)

D'LUV Says: "For me, 2003 and 2004 held so many great 'indie-pop' discoveries—The Killers, Snow Patrol, Interpol and Keane. 'Everybody's Changing' was a standout heartbreaker from the first listen."


19. Riva feat. Dannii Minogue - "Who Do You Love Now?" (2001)

MOOG Says: "Although Neon Nights is generally considered by serious critics to be Dannii's definitive work, this pre-album single really brought the whips and poppers."

CHARTS: U.K. #3, BEL #10, AUS #15

18. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - "Murder On The Dancefloor" (2001)

MOOG Says: "I don't know anyone who doesn't love this song—and I live in America, where it flizz-opped so hard they wouldn't even play it in Abercrombie & Fitch. Bonus points for irresistible video dance routine."

CHARTS: ITALY #1, U.K. #2, AUS #3

17. Green Day - "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" (2004)

D'LUV Says: "The topic of Chart Rigger's very first chart roundup, and probably the best rock power ballad—let alone pop song—summing up the overall disillusionment with life in the post-9/11 Bush era."

CHARTS: U.S. #2, IRE #2, U.K. #5

16. Destiny's Child - "Say My Name" (2000)

D'LUV Says: "I took acting classes (Christ almighty!) in 2000, and went to see a fellow student in a play somewhere deep in the Valley. On the drive, I heard 'Say My Name' for the first time. Beyonce has yet to top this."

CHARTS: U.S. #1, AUS #1, FRANCE #1

15. Britney Spears - "Toxic" (2004)

D'LUV Says: "Lightning-in-a-bottle pop that had all the stars—mainly Britney, Cathy Dennis and Bloodshy & Avant—perfectly aligned. Thankfully, time has erased Brit's two-second marriage to Jason Alexander around the same period."

CHARTS: U.K. #1, AUS #1, U.S. #9

14. Bananarama - "Look On The Floor (Hypnotic Tango)" (2005)

MOOG Says: "These ladies single-handedly launched the cougar movement and, setting aside their usual Euro-thump for something a little more elegant, this single was their irresistible siren call."

CHARTS: U.S. Dance #2, SPAIN #12, U.K. #26

13. Robyn with Kleerup - "With Every Heartbeat" (2007)

MOOG Says: "Years later, I'm still trying to figure out how something so minimal can coax so much emotion out of me—and also make me dance. Magical."

CHARTS: U.K #1, U.S. Dance #5, SWE #18

12. Chris Brown - "Forever" (2008)

D'LUV Says: "Our top pick from last year. Chris Brown's temper aside, 'Forever' was still the best out-of-nowhere pop single to grace 2008. Polow Da Don came close to perfection with Fergie's 'Glamorous,' then mastered it here."

CHARTS: IRE #1, U.S. #2, U.K. #4

11. Kylie Minogue - "On A Night Like This" (2000)

MOOG Says: "Kylie gettin' back to tuneful, trashy Euro—and, a Rutger Hauer cameo in the video defines such an exercise—was the best thing she ever did. Some of her bigger singles almost pale in comparison."

CHARTS: AUS #1, U.K. #2


10. The Feeling - "Never Be Lonely" (2006)

D'LUV Says: "So simple, yet such powerful pop. There's a reason this song helped The Feeling become the most-played act on U.K. radio in 2006. And I still have naughty dreams about frontman Dan Gillespie Sells."
MOOG Says: "Perfectly re-created the sound of the AM-lite music one heard in the early '80s at the orthodontist's office. Yes, that's a compliment. Pardon me for having emotions for my orthodontist."

9. Texas - "Inner Smile" (2001)

MOOG Says: "Texas were really happening for a minute there, thanks in large part to Gregg whatsisname from the New Young Radicals. This was the finest fruit of their collaboration—an uplifting, lusty pop dynamo."
D'LUV Says: "Bend It Like Beckham would never have been the same without 'Inner Smile.' Still adds a hop to my step every time I hear it out."

8. Saint Etienne - "How We Used To Live" (2000)

D'LUV Says: "A near-perfect epic—pretty much three songs in one—with a killer second 'stanza'. It's ultimately hampered by its 8:50 run time, but still absolutely worth it if you've got the patience."
MOOG Says: "The Etiennes, forever sounding like a sequined disco dress strewn against the rocks and debris of some urban waterway, summed up the '00s before they'd even begun."
CHARTS: Run time made it ineligible to chart in the U.K.

7. All Saints - "Pure Shores" (2000)

MOOG Says: "William Orbit's turn-of-the-century dreampop soothed our fears of Y2K, Internet meltdowns and the oncoming non-stop media saturation of Jennifer Lopez."
D'LUV Says: "Another one of my rollerblading classics at the beach. Still sends me dreaming when I hear it."
CHARTS: U.K. #1, IRE #1, ITALY #1

6. Sugababes - "Push The Button" (2005)

D'LUV Says: "Sheesh—this was already two incarnations ago for the Sugababes. Their absolute peak, both creatively and lineup-wise."
MOOG Says: "Too bad they hit the eject button and flung Mutya out the window after this. Things were never quite as funky—or fun—again."
CHARTS: U.K. #1, AUS #3, SWE #4

5. Mariah Carey - "We Belong Together" (2005)

MOOG Says: "Mimi, Jermaine Dupri plus some chintzy keyboards. And, presto—a new standard for the American songbook."
D'LUV Says: "Mariah was given one Get Out Of Jail card after Glitter, and, boy, did she ever make the most of it. The electrifying ballad we always knew she had in her."
CHARTS: U.S. #1, AUS #1, U.K. #2

4. The Killers - "Somebody Told Me" (2004)

D'LUV Says: "Brandon Flowers was Chart Rigger's first great lust. 'Somebody Told Me' thankfully made it OK to bring synthesizers and sexual ambiguity back to pop."
MOOG Says: "Sexy, rock-y and dancey, with a queer edge effectively delivering on everything the mid-'00s promised to be."
CHARTS: U.K. #3, DEN #6, U.S. #51

3. Lady GaGa - "Poker Face" (2009)

MOOG Says: "Whether this broad becomes the next Madonna or the next A'me Lorain, she's got one certified, timeless, gold-plated classic under her leotard belt."
D'LUV Says: "In total recessionista fashion, The Fame became the soundtrack to my months on the dole earlier this year. And 'Poker Face' will forever remind me of those bittersweet, freeing days, and 2009 in general."
CHARTS: U.S. #1, U.K. #1, JAP #1, AUS #1

2. Daft Punk - "One More Time" (2000)

D'LUV Says: "In November 2000, Bush scammed his way into the White House. But at least we got this defiantly-celebratory Euro jam as a consolation prize."
MOOG Says: "Post-rave party anthem that even mainstream overexposure couldn't destroy. I swear I can still smell rum and coke every time I hear it."
CHARTS: U.S. Dance #1, FRANCE #1, CAN #1, U.K. #2

1. Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone" (2004)

MOOG Says: "We all know Kelly's an ungrateful twerp—it's her brand. But even she should get on her knees and thank the gods (Uncle Clive, Max Martin, Dr. Luke etc.) for this, the bitch anthem that re-inflated her career and launched a thousand imitators."
D'LUV Says: "It all comes full circle, as this was Chart Rigger's very first year-end top pick, back in 2005. Ultimately, Kelly's pop anthem wins out due to it being arguably the most unifying single across the board this past decade. Plus, it still just plain rocks."
CHARTS: CAN #1, U.S. #2, IRE #4, U.K. #5

* The Best Pop Singles Of 2008
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2007
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2006
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2005
* The Worst Singles Of 2008
* The Worst Singles Of 2007
* The Worst Singles Of 2006

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