Michael Buble – “Nice ‘n’ Easy” – (2005)

Nice ‘n’ Easy was the title of a 1960 Sinatra album with this as the title track. It’s one of Sinatra’s signature songs (one of his many, anyway) and while I think Buble does a pretty decent cover of it, it takes either a certain arrogance or balls to even cover Sinatra and think you can do it over and over again. Like him or not, he pulls this one off.

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Jack Johnson – “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” – (2005)

Jack Johnson is one of the unsung musical heroes of the 2000s. His music is really good, really relaxed, and really happy. It’s chill. But he never realized the commercial, mainstream success of some of his peers (who aren’t nearly as good as he is). But talk to people and everyone loves him. Then why won’t radio stations play it as much as they play some of the garbage that they do? In Between Dreams might be his best album to date and this song only reached #66 on the Hot 100. At least it got him a Grammy nomination.

Michael Bublé – “Feeling Good” – (2005)

Sorry in advance, but I have a lot of Michael Bublé songs to add to this site’s “Ultimate Playlist.” I’ll try to space them out, but they will be coming. This cover of a song originally recorded by Cy Grant (and made famous by Nina Simone) is, possibly, my favorite Bublé song.

#22 – Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.” – (2005)

Bet you didn’t think Gorillaz would be on this list twice, did you? This is my favorite song from them and it was their highest charting single they’ve had. There’s this hip-hop type beat underneath this song but the opening lyrics are almost whispered in a monotone voice. Then there’s the chorus about windmills. Then there’s a rap. This song is all over the place. But it’s so infectious that it is irresistible. It’s an awesome, feel good song (see what I did there?).

#26 – Jack Johnson – “Good People” – (2005)

This has been kind of a chill week, song-wise, hasn’t it? Jason Mraz, Michael Franti and now Jack Johnson? Well chill was in during the oughts. There are other really good songs from Jack Johnson from this decade, but this one kind of stands above the rest for its combination of awesomeness and radio-friendliness (I’ve never heard “Banana Pancakes” on the radio). This song is actually a “protest song” about television violence – but that kind of gets lost among the acoustic guitar and relaxed nature of Johnson’s singing. It’s a great song, whatever it’s about.

#35 – Damian Marley – “Welcome To Jamrock” – (2005)

Some people don’t like Damian Marley. Either because they can’t understand what he’s saying or they don’t trust him based on his appearance (which is a load of crap, by the way). This is one of my favorite reggae songs (might actually be my favorite if I stopped to think about it) and it’s hardcore reggae – none of this pop/crossover business. It’s borderline hip-hop. Damian is Bob Marley’s youngest son and, strangely, I’m writing this post on his 35th birthday. Happy Birthday. And don’t ask why this is so high up on the list.

#41 – Rob Thomas – “Lonely No More” – (2005)

If you’ve been paying attention, Rob Thomas has kind of dominated this list. Matchboxy Twenty has been on here at least twice so far and now here’s Rob Thomas solo. He almost made it twice by himself. Not to mention, he kicked off the decade with our #1 Song of the 90s (“Smooth”). This is his first solo single and his biggest solo hit thus far (and he’s had some major hits). What sets it apart from the songs he did with Matchbox is that it sounds more of a combination of Marc Anthony and “Smooth” than it does Matchbox Twenty (that combination probably makes no sense to you, but it does to me – it has a Latin beat). It’s just more of a pop-feeling song and it set Rob Thomas off on an all-conquering pop music path. And we’re all better because of it.

#49 – Oasis – “Lyla” – (2005)

This is my favorite Oasis song that didn’t come out in the 1990s. It was the first single from Don’t Believe the Truth and it was a U.K. #1. All I really have to say about it is that it’s a really good example of that British alternative rock sound that Oasis has mastered better than just about anybody. Love it.

#55 – OK Go – “Here It Goes Again” – (2005)

YouTube was launched to the public in November of 2005. It just so happened that a no-name alternative rock band from Chicago called OK Go had just recorded a new album and shot a music video for it featuring the band performing a synchronized dance on a series of treadmills in one continuous take. It’s one of the coolest music videos ever and it put this band on the map. Without the timing of YouTube, you would have never heard this song. But everyone has seen the video – it received tens of millions of views over the course of the years (and multiple postings). It should be in the YouTube Hall of Fame, if such a thing were to exist. The song is okay, but it transcends the music aspect and is the poster-child for “Going Viral” and all of that (and unfortunately for the band, it has pigeon-holed them into creating outlandish videos that overshadow their music). This song was a turning point in the decade.

#83 – Carrie Underwood – “Before He Cheats” – (2005)

Uh-oh. Country? Yep, sorry. Carrie Underwood is the second-coming of Shania Twain: beautiful, talented country-pop crossover artist with solid fan bases that only operate in one spectrum. The song, for me, cemented Carrie Underwood as the best thing to come out of that awful American Idol thing. This was a country #1 for a month and a top ten hit on the Hot 100, Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs, and Adult Contemporary charts. And the Canadian Hot 100. While it is a country song – like all of Ms. Underwood’s best songs – has a rock flair to it that makes it successful on other charts. Did I mention how beautiful she is?

Well I’m wasting no time in starting our next countdown: the Top 100 Songs of the Noughties. The 100 greatest songs released between 2000 and 2009. I chose to call it “the noughties” because that is my favorite name for the decade and the “00s” looks dumb and isn’t as fun to say. Now, in previous countdowns I’ve instituted rules such as “one song per artist.” That’s not the case this time around. And I know the theme of this blog is “re-discover songs from your past” and 2009 wasn’t all that long ago. But the entire decade has ended (were in the 4th year of the next decade, if I may scare you a little). Enough time has passed to sort through the music and find what I thought was the best – and that’s just it. It’s my opinion. You probably won’t agree, but at least you’ll get an insight into my warped mind. But seriously, I will try and make an argument as to why each song is here.

Also, you may notice a slight favoring of songs from the year 2000 and early 2001. This is because I love the 1990s and the 1990s didn’t end until 9/11. Think about it. They didn’t. At least not musically (okay, 2001 was pretty different from 2000, which was just an extension of 1999). There is also a favoring of later in the decade with the middle part getting skimmed over. Because it sucked. Almost all of these songs got regular radio airplay on pop music stations (with very few, and worthy, exceptions). The two songs I feature this week were “leftovers” – songs I don’t remember hearing on the radio that I personally discovered after the decade had ended. Here we go…

Olav Basoski feat. Michie One – “Waterman” – (2005)

Olav Basoski is a Dutch DJ and remixer best known for this song he did with Michie One – a British reggae singer. It’s very upbeat and there’s just something about dancehall vocalists that really draws me in. I like how they can speak so quickly with that wonderful accent and still be mostly understandable. It was actually a hit in the U.K. and the U.S. (but mostly on the dance charts in the U.S.). It’s pretty catchy.

Michael Bublé – “Home” – (2005)

One my way to Europe, when I arrived in Toronto to catch my connecting flight, the first song I heard playing in the airport concourse was a Michael Bublé song. It seemed expected nothing less. When I got to the airport in Toronto to catch the final flight of my journey, this was the song I listened to, waiting in some far away section of the airport for the little commuter jets. It was like 7 in the morning and there was hardly anyone there. It was weird being home. And I want to go back. We’ll be back in a week or so with some more hits from the 80s, 90s, or maybe some other decade. Maybe we’ll start another countdown. We’ll see what I feel like in a week or so…