25 Songs from the 00s Everybody Loves for your Quarantine Playlist

25 Songs from the 00s Everybody Loves for your Quarantine Playlist

Two girls drinking Barcardi Breezers. (Photo by: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

If you are fortunate enough to have the resources to quarantine during this pandemic, one thing you will agree is that quarantine and isolation is pretty damn boring. You’ve watched all the films, read all your books, and did the chores you’ve been putting off for months. So now, it’s the noughties’ turn to cheer you up.

Ahh the noughties. It’s the decade I carved an identity for myself in and the decade’s culture that I absorbed the most. It was a combination of a hangover from the 90s, the years of the chav (the official Year of the Chav was 2004 if you’re interested), and the infancy of emo. It’s easy to forget that My Chemical Romance and Paris Hilton were a thing happening at the same time and even easier to forget some of the best jams we’ve been blessed with in music history.

I know the internet is kind of a 00s thing as well. It may have been invented in the 80s, but in my opinion it only truly started taking the shape of what it is now in the 00s. The result of that is the tidal wave of millennial nostalgia talking about culture and music of our childhoods, repeating the same songs every time that we never really stopped listening to anyway.

So I’m going to try and be a bit different. Look, you already know that ‘Mr Brightside’ is timeless and Justin Timberlake was the Justin Bieber of our era. But maybe you’ve forgotten a track or two and maybe they need dusting off and appreciating now we’re all grown up.

Stick the playlist on below, and read on for a list that’ll take you right back to a moment in the past where you’re patiently waiting until your 16th birthday to buy a branded packet of Lambert & Butler for under a fiver. Your ratty Ugg boots that you wore in the rain again are making their way to the park to drink WKDs with your friends and you can’t wait to show off your new Motorola Razr. You’re especially grateful you’re out because your mum bollocked you for spending an obscene amount of money on a polyphonic ringtone and wallpaper advertised in your favourite magazine. You flung your Jane Norman bag in the corner as soon as you got in from school, applied a 47th coat of mascara and white-pink lipstick, and wondered if the boy with the large dyed fringe and skinny jeans would be out tonight.

1. ‘Dilemma’ – Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland

To me, this song is always going to be peak 00s. There’s durags, Nokia phones with keypads and the iconic 00s choice of lip makeup on Kelly Rowland consisting of dark brown lip liner and light pink lip gloss. Will we ever find out if you can actually use Microsoft Excel to text as well?

2. ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ – Jennifer Lopez

I know nobody has forgotten about Jennifer Lopez, I mean with her recent SuperBowl Halftime Show performance and saucy gig in Hustlers (2019), I don’t think we will ever see the last of her and I am absolutely fine with that. But while ‘Jenny from the Block’ gets a shout-out at every house party, ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ is so underrated it’s criminal, and it deserves more hype.

3. ‘Leave (Get Out)’ – Jojo

Jojo made me obsessed with big hoop earrings and dresses over jeans for a very long and ill-informed time. Let’s also not forget that Jojo was 13 YEARS OLD when this hit reached number one in the charts. 13! I was navigating mood swings and falling “in love” every ten minutes at 13, not breaking records and travelling the world. Geez Jojo…

4. ‘God is a DJ’- P!nk

It’s by P!nk. It’s got overly distressed jeans in the video. It’s featured on the Mean Girls (2004) soundtrack. How can you not call this noughties? P!nk has developed as an artist over the years but this is a often forgotten jam of hers that deserves more respect. Never forget your roots, P!nk, they rocked.

5. ‘”The Take Over, The Breaks Over”‘ – Fall Out Boy

When people talk about culture in the 00s, they always forget that the contemporary R&B scene, Wigan Pier scene and emo were all happening simultaneously. Fall Out Boy were one of the more widely accepted emo groups and while there’s hits that charted higher than this one, it is so goddamn catchy and fun you’ll find it hard to not see feet tapping when you play it.

6. ‘Fat Lip’ – Sum 41

Another classic from the emo/pop-punk genre that even the most mainstream of townies can’t resist. Sum 41 remind me of a time where skateboards were a status symbol and everyone wanted to marry someone from Jackass. Lead singer, Deryck Whibley, married Avril Lavigne in 2006 and that was the last time the world made sense to me.

7. ‘Heaven is a Halfpipe (If I Die)’ – OPM

Speaking of skateboards, this tune is legendary. You remember the chorus for sure, but the riffs and beats make it a chilled and catchy number that spreads happy vibes whenever it’s played.

8. ‘Gotta Get Thru This (D’n’D Remix)’ – Daniel Bedingfield

Garage is having a bit of a resurgence, especially the granddaddy of garage, Craig David. In fact I had to force myself to not put Craig David on the playlist, because as much as he was king of the 00s garage sound, we don’t forget about him like we forget about this epic remix.

9. ‘Pure & Simple’ – Hear’Say

Crafted through the reality series Popstars (2001), Hear’Say were one of the thousands of manufactured pop bands driving hipsters mad in the noughties. Maybe not the most popular band or chart-topping song, but listen once and I guarantee it will be in your head all day.

10. ‘Hole in the Head’ – Sugababes

Without a doubt one of the most underrated girlbands of all time. Sugababes formed you in ways you didn’t even realise, that’s how good they were. Sugababes are on the Love Actually (2003) soundtrack and Sugababes told us exactly how to respect ourselves as preteens when it came to boys.

11. ‘No Tomorrow’ – Orson

This is one of those songs that you have no recollection of by name, but when it starts playing, you are totally into it. I also believed that the lead singer, Jason Pebworth, was the lead singer in New Radicals of ‘You Get What You Give’ fame. This apparently is not true, but all I’ll say on the matter is that I’ve never seen Jason Pebworth and Gregg Alexander in the same room at the same time…

12. ‘Last Resort’ – Papa Roach

I know you might be thinking, “Sophie! This is Nu-Metal! This a divisive genre and I won’t have you saying it’s accepted by everybody!”. But I defy anybody to not retort after hearing “CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES” with “THIS IS MY LAST RESORT”. Whether you believe you like it or not, you fucking like it. Everybody likes this song. Why? I don’t know. Papa Roach never set out to be accessible, but for some reason, this song rocks and we all love it.

13. ‘Dy-Na-Mi-Tee’ – Ms. Dynamite

I implore you to listen to this track as a grown-up, because when I did I found that it actually slaps. The entire composition comes together so well and it’s a song that can be played at a house party and a chilled gathering and still garner the same response; respect and the questioning “Why was this not appreciated more when it came out?!”.

14. ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’ – Color Me Badd

This is a song I slept on for years, and I don’t mean in a sexual way. I heard it for the first time in a call center I worked at that tried to make a fun, Google HQ-esque environment including a 90s/00s dance track playlist and from the first few harmonising vocal bars, I was hooked. I guarantee, if you didn’t hear it in the day, you’ll love hearing it now.

15. ‘Heaven’ – DJ Sammy ft. Do

Ahhhhh I bet you forgot that we all indulged in a chavvy phase in the noughties DIDN’T YOU?! This was one of the songs we all transferred over bluetooth more than we were transferring STIs, and for good reason. It’s catchy and gets you in the mood for a Lambrini or two. A must at any decent predrinks.

16. ‘Put a Donk On It’ – Blackout Crew

Very much a pioneer of the Wigan Pier sound going on in the 2000s, ‘Put a Donk On It’ was a meme before memes were a thing. If you heard the hilarious track, you loved it instantly, and when you were drunk the bassline etc. really did genuinely rock.

17. ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’ – Jamie T

The hot flavour of the month, Jamie T was very much a staple at any 00s house party that involved girls in skinny jeans, sailor stripe tops and backcombed hair. It’s a song that takes you back and the rhythm remains catchy after all these years.

18. ‘Romeo’ – Basement Jaxx

Spoiler alert; there is more than one Basement Jaxx song on this list. They are timeless songs that tend to be “Oh shit I’ve heard this but never knew who it was!” type tracks. ‘Romeo’ is great for predrinks and downtime sessions in your party playlist (if you schedule tracks in your playlist dependent on how drunk your guests are… which I do… and recommend) and is just generally an awesome song to get down to.

19. ‘Bingo Bango’ – Basement Jaxx

I told you I had more than one Basement Jaxx song! This song makes me think of Bend it Like Beckham (2002) and Vinnie Jones, so I reckon that’s enough of a qualifier to be considered a 00s staple as there needs to be. But seriously, this song is infectious and motivates you to really put a swing into any activity you’re currently doing when the tune comes on.

20. ‘Take a Look Around’ – Limp Bizkit

This was a genius marketing move; targeting the ever increasing Nu-Metal wave of the noughties and capitalising on a bunch of greasy, baggy-clothed teens that were looking for media that fit their identity. Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) did that by employing the likes of Limp Bizkit and Metallica for their soundtrack, and ‘Take a Look Around’ still manages to kick ass.

21. ‘Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)’ – Eamon

The opening track to one of the best music urban legends of all time. The story goes that Eamon recorded this song about non-starter Frankee, but didn’t secure the copyrights to the song which enabled Frankee to record her own retort to the song supposedly setting the record straight about their relationship. Speaking of which…

22. ‘F.U.R.B. (F U Right Back)’ – Frankee

Okay, so if you want to keep the idea that Frankee recorded this song in response to Eamon, skip the rest of this and go to entry 23. The real tea is that Eamon has never met Frankee, and in fact her representatives made a great deal for her to use his tunes that Eamon accepted. The rest is history. Even so, it’s a fantastic song to send a dude you’ve just broken up with and until the day I die, whether it was real or not, I will always be on Frankee’s team.

23. ‘Super Duper Love’ – Joss Stone

I defy anybody to not admit this is one of the happiest, chillest songs of all time. From various gossipy resources, it’s been said that Joss Stone didn’t make it into the mainstream for too long because she was ‘difficult’ to work with, which in 2020, makes me ask “Okay, but in reality, which producer etc is it that she didn’t want to sleep with who trashed her career?”.

24. ‘Our Bovine Public’ – The Cribs

The Cribs were the epitome of the drainpipe, backcombed indie scene that was happening in the early 2000s, complete with fans such as Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn. Kate Nash was also partnered with the lead singer for quite a while, making all the indie girls jealous in the process.

25. ‘Duality’ – Slipknot

I know what you’re thinking. But no matter who your crowd consists of, when the party is well underway and they want to just let everything go, Slipknot should come on. It’s the most popular song of theirs and I believe it’s because there’s something about it that taps into you as a human being, and you end up doing some primal dancing if you just let the drums get to you. Try it out at your next party, I’m not lying when I say I’ve seen middle class boomers dance to this.

Gaga, Swift, Beyoncé; Whose Netflix Documentary Takes Home the Prize?

Gaga, Swift, Beyoncé; Whose Netflix Documentary Takes Home the Prize?

Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé IMAGE: Netflix

These past couple of weeks during a bout of insomnia, I decided to watch all three Netflix features of the pop giants pictured above. Lady Gaga’s film Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017) shows the soft underbelly of the events coinciding with the star’s fifth album Joanne and her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana (2020) is a little mini biopic and behind-the-scenes feature focusing on Swift’s public image and personal struggles over the years of her success. Beyoncé finishes the lineup with a bang in Homecoming (2019) which intertwines footage of her Coachella 2018 headlining performance alongside the months of production that went into the show.

I’m going to go through each one, let you know my oh-so important opinion about them all and give you my final thoughts a la Jeffree Star after we’ve gone through the pros and cons together. These are three deities of pop music and pop culture each in their own completely unique ways. Right off the bat, I want to say before I watched these, I liked Lady Gaga the most, Taylor Swift next, then Beyoncé the least. I actively disliked Beyoncé actually, mostly due to the Jonestown style following she has amassed online that compels me to admit she is superior to all no matter what my own taste is. I also don’t really like R&B or hip-hop, so would this show be enough to change my views? Read on to find out…

Gaga: Five Foot Two, Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga still has my heart and probably always will IMAGE: Netflix

As I have said before, I love Gaga. Not so much to the point I would call myself a Little Monster, the name her fandom has bestowed upon themselves, but I enjoy her tunes, what she stands for, and how she comes across. This documentary offers a stripped down Lady Gaga rather than the avant-garde rock star we tend to see gracing the red carpets.

Directed by Chris Moukarbel, the technical work has been generally well received by critics. Leslie Felperin (The Hollywood Reporter) said the feature “is assembled with competence and style, with graceful editing by Greg Arata” and I do agree; the camera work is crisp, and the editing keeps you interested without getting too gimicky. Is that enough to save the lacking content though?

That’s right Little Monsters, I said it! As much as I loved seeing Gaga in my personal clothes goals and garnered a new found respect for her, the journey and desired message of the film was all over the place. One minute it was about Joanne. Then it was about her health problems. Then it was about the Super Bowl. Then it was about her personal life. Each of these topics were explored quite well and I did remain entertained for the whole 100 minutes, but I did frequently find myself asking “What’s the point in this film?”. Lady Gaga, aka Stefani Germanotta, is a relatively transparent celebrity. There was no big reveal about what she’s really like because I think we all know the score by now, we know what we can expect from her even underneath the dramatic costumes. The film also had the chance to thoroughly document the production process and aftermath of Joanne, or show some extensive preparation and exclusive footage of the Super Bowl show, but hopes of these were dashed the further into the film I got.

What I will say is the horrific scenes of Gaga’s fibromyalgia flare ups are eye-opening, both towards her as a person and the condition itself. On at least two occasions the camera documents Gaga bedridden with pain, sobbing as health professionals try to calm her furious muscles. A visit to her doctor also gives a glimpse into the cocktail of medications needed to try and tame the condition, and as Lady Gaga herself says, you really wonder how normal, everyday people can crack on with this horrible syndrome.

But as educational as some parts were, it didn’t save the whole film. Overall it was fine. It didn’t give me the narrative and production value of Homecoming, but it did offer a little more edge and substance than Miss Americana for my liking. Speaking of which…

Miss Americana, Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift wants you to know she’s deep IMAGE: Netflix

The documentary starts with what feels like is going to be a classic Netflix Set-Up-Mic/Drop-Mic intro; you know the ones on the true crime documentaries where some local’s voice-over sets up with, “Thang with Backwatertown is that nuttin’ ever happens here… errbody knows errbody…” – a drone camera is panning over Backwatertown, then BOOM -“Never wudda guessed we’d have a serial killuh here,” mic drop. Taylor sets up with an intimate and relatable monologue about how she has made her life choices dependent on pleasing people. She confesses the compulsive need to be liked and to be seen as a good person. She sets up even further by detailing her early success in her career which made her feel she had achieved her goals.

The mic doesn’t drop though. It makes the start of the film feel very much like a humblebrag from Taylor Swift, and it did take me about a third of the 86 minutes to realise this wouldn’t be a documentary where Swift rubs in being adored and successful to us peasants in the audience.

Produced by Tremolo Productions and directed by Lana Wilson, it’s another Netflix movie that is stylistically efficient. But like Gaga: Five Foot Two, the actual story is all over the place. What is this film actually about? The only answer I can really offer is ‘Taylor Swift’.

There is no definitive project, moment or message until the very last minute and it’s a pretty naive ‘purpose’ of making this documentary in my opinion. Taylor discusses a range of personal issues including her frequently discussed love life, her sexual assault legal battle, that Kanye West drama and body image issues she reveals she still battles with. But by far the most time-consuming issue discussed is Swift’s political voice. We see her muster the courage to approach and begin tearfully pleading with her father and a member of her management team to be allowed to… say stuff about politics.

That’s it. It’s well intentioned and I understand this is a young woman with no requirement to be politically informed, but it is just quite embarrassing to watch. She’s about 28-years-old when she sobs, “I need to be on the right side of history. … Dad, I need you to forgive me for doing it, because I’m doing it,” in regards to her decision to vocally disagree with Republican Senator, Marsha Blackburn.

It makes me physically cringe when grown women allow their daddies to still buy into this ‘My Little Girl Princess’ trope, and even aside from this, it feels like a reveal of a very white, privileged lifestyle, that Taylor has just discovered that oh em gee, did you like, know politics like, effects people?! It might be harsh to say because like I’ve stated, she is ambitious to make genuine, positive change and that is always a good thing; it just came off as a little naive and patronising to the viewer. I also couldn’t help but note that Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga only have 3 years between their ages, and yet from the get-go, Gaga has been outspoken politically and vocalised her opinions and allegiances whenever she liked. I guess Taylor didn’t get the memo.

On the flipside, this documentary does show how hands-on and astoundingly hardworking Taylor Swift is. We get to be a fly-on-the-wall in multiple recording sessions and I was truly blown away by the level of professionalism and production prowess the pop star demonstrates. If I’m honest, I would have loved a documentary solely dedicated to showing her creative process.

All in all, I thought this was a bit dull and self-involved. Taylor Swift comes across as sweet, hopeful, incredibly talented and just beginning to find her feet in terms of her independence. I can relate to her doubts and fears a hell of a lot, but like Lady Gaga’s feature, I found myself shrugging at the end, as though to say “Ehhhh” in that way Gru’s mother does in Despicable Me.

Homecoming, Beyoncé

Beyoncé honors black culture and heritage in Homecoming IMAGE: phillyvoice.com

Here’s the big one, freaks and geeks. Is Homecoming good enough to turn I, a well-known Beyoncé ‘hater’, a person who has ridiculed the obsession, a woman who has staunchly stood against the infatuation, into a disciple of the songstress?

Absolutely fucking yes.

Homecoming is so good. It’s beyond good. I went in with no loyalty or high hopes as well, so I can only imagine what a treat this must have been for lifelong members of the Beyhive (Beyoncé’s fandom, like of Gaga’s Little Monsters).

Where the other films failed, this one delivered; the topic is clear from the start, this is a feature about Beyoncé headlining Coachella and all the work that went into preparing for that show. We are treated to some personal snippets of her life, such as Beyoncé’s grueling regime to get back to performance-level fitness as well as what life is like for her as a mother and wife. There is a repeating motif of black pride throughout the documentary with beautifully inserted Maya Angelou voice-overs and a vast ensemble nodding to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs as she states throughout the performance) in their performance and attire. I’m white and feel white people have had far too much of a voice when it comes to the discussion of race and pride throughout history, so all I will say is that those concepts I just mentioned among others make this performance feel historic and important. Find a POC writer if you want a more in depth analysis and explanation, and be sure to share and support their work.

Back to the gig. The performance side of the film is just sheer joy. It’s like you’ve stumbled upon the coolest, happiest party by accident, and the host is handing you a beer before bringing you in to dance.

In keeping with the homecoming theme, throughout the performance we’ve got bleachers, marching bands, baton twirlers, breakdancing, pom-pom boots, and of course the homecoming queen herself.

Considering this is her comeback after dipping out of music to raise her family, Beyoncé is on fire in this movie. She dances alongside her troupe like she never had the break. Her vocals are incredible as she demonstrates both range and technique flawlessly. The crowd is going absolutely mental each time the camera pans to them as Beyoncé sings fan favourites, medleys of her hits, and even brings Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to the stage for a mini Destiny’s Child reunion.

Speaking of the camera, as if a powerful message and incredible performance wasn’t enough; Beyoncé wrote, produced and directed the movie as well! Ed Burke assists as co-director to achieve a genuinely interesting and beautiful piece of cinematography with this project and I must say if Beyoncé truly had as much of a hand in directing this as is implied, I can’t wait to see what she’ll do with that talent next.

Hands down, this was the best of the lot. It’s also the longest, clocking in at 137 minutes, but the flits between performance and preparation mean it doesn’t actually feel that long. I never thought I would rescind my views on Beyoncé, and though her music is still not necessarily to my taste, I have a new-found, well overdue respect for her and I can’t get Drunk in Love out of my head.

So I did basically just mash three reviews into one! But what I want to make clear as I’m wrapping up is that I will not be comparing these artists against each other as women; I am comparing the quality, the artistry, and the content of these films. In the past I have been all too eager to jump on a keyboard and say how I think total strangers “seem like a bitch”, or how “I read somewhere that they were fake and rude”. Enough is enough. Tabloid culture has made it normal to slag off human beings for qualities we as the slagger-offer don’t even know are truthful. I have no idea what these women are like as people. I know I liked Beyoncé’s film the best and I liked Miss Americana the least. I know I disagreed with some of the personal admissions of these starlets, but it doesn’t mean they should be ridiculed for it. I know it’s unrealistic to say you will support and love every single thing any person ever does, but I think if someone’s message isn’t actively damaging or harmful, shouldn’t you just agree to disagree?

I agree to disagree with Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. I agree to agree with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Watch the documentaries for yourself, and let me know if you agree or disagree with me.

Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?

Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?

On the odd chance somebody from outside my tiny Cheshire village finds and likes this writing blog, I suppose an introduction is in order.

I’m Sophie. I’m 26. I’m basically always cranky.

Honestly I’m just using the exact template WordPress already gave me. You may call it lazy, but I call it efficient, and I think that little exchange sums up like 75% of who I am as a person.

We’ll call this blog article an introduction, but depending on how you feel about it I might rename it a warning. WordPress has asked me, ‘Why do this?’

  • Because it gives new readers context. What am I about? Why should you read my blog?
  • Because it will help me focus my own ideas about my blog and what I’d like to do with it.

Quite honestly, I’m simply using this blog to flex my writing skills. I miss writing creatively and writing critically. It’s taken me until the age of 26 to start owning skills that people have been telling me I’ve had since I was about 2.

I want to write professionally. How realistic that is, we’ll find out as we go along, but finding my voice, practicing my craft and having a ramble about society, culture, and food online seems like a relatively harmless way to get started.

I’m also convinced it will save the people I love from having to let me know go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…

Here’s some basics about me, but if you could also imagine me 5st lighter that would be great too:

  • I grew up in Holmes Chapel and now live in Stockport
  • My mum was Scottish and I absolutely milk the celtic roots of my heritage because of it
  • Dogs are my most favourite thing of all time I love them all
  • I am fat. Doesn’t affect my personality but if I need to put it on Tinder, I need to put it on here
  • I have two brothers, one older, one younger
  • Being the only girl and the middle child is just too much
  • My dad is essentially ‘off the grid’ and has no concept of modern pricing after being housebound for the best part of a decade
  • I have blue eyes and brown hair that is constantly getting bleached and dyed
  • My partner has the same birthday as me aside from the year
  • My ex-partner had the same birthday as Adolf Hitler. I have the same birthday as Eva Braun. That should have been a sign
  • I like certain pockets of every music genre, but I tend to lean towards the indie/rock side of things
  • I’ve seen all the films
  • I fucking hate lasagne

By no means do I think this is the best or necessarily the worst about me. Just stuff of note and things that have shaped me into who I am. It’s an amuse bouche of me I suppose, enough to show if I’ll provoke an attack from you or if I would amuse you.

Hopefully it’s enough to convince you to join me on this online journey. I didn’t enjoy writing that sentence, I felt like a very seedy old man who listens to prog-rock and has a wizard painted on his sketchy van.

But I’ve written it now, no turning back, we’re in this together, us against the world. Hot takes on societal expectations, articles with sociology and psychology themes. Critiques on Netflix dramas and documentaries. Fantasising about food and bragging about places I get to eat at.

God help us all.