2005 in Music: A Power Hour Review
Each week for the next 10 weeks, we will be doing a power hour while listening to one minute of the top 60 songs of the each of the last ten years. Don’t ask us why, it just felt like it was really important that we do this. Next up: 2005.
There was a lot going on in 2005 that I think we all wish never happened: New Orleans was underwater, Michael Jackson was on trial for child abuse, the Patriots won their third goddamn Super Bowl, and Staind was having a viable career making music. And I’ll be square with you — there was a lot of music made in 2005 that I think we all wish was never recorded, and Papa Roach was responsible for like 85% of it. America was in a complacent place, and you could hear it in the bridge of every Rob Thomas song to grace the CD collections of older sisters across the country.
But from the opening piano strains of Mariah’s number 1 slow jam “We Belong Together” grooving into your body, it’s also clear that 2005 was… decent. It sure as hell wasn’t the pure pop gold we were blessed with in 2004, but as far as Wikipedia knows John Ashcroft didn’t sing this song once in 2005.
So grab your favorite locally-brewed light beer, fire up the Guitar Hero, and prepare to take a trip back to the time of gauchos, frosted tips, and the death rattle of nu metal.
And please let’s all just watch this video and thank God for Kanye.
The numbers may not back this up [ed. note: they don’t], but 2005’s top pop at least feels a lot whiter and a lot more feminine than 2004. Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson dominated, and there was a glut of warmed-over shit rock such as the likes of Lifehouse, post-90s Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day clogging up the charts.
To make matters even worse, a minute’s up before the hooks to either “Gold Digger” or “Since U Been Gone” properly drop, and the situation starts to deteriorate from there. By the time 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” stretches metaphor to its furthest limit since Billy Shakespeare started writing sex jokes (and I am forced to remember middle school me claiming that I “got women sprung like all the time”), I’ve sloppily fired off two separate texts claiming that Kelly Clarkson is the most underappreciated pop geniuses of our generation.
“Shake It Off” comes up, but not Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” and I waste my entire minute with Mariah wondering if I should pause her to play TSwift, only to suffer crushing self-loathing for considering worshipping false divas, only to then argue with myself that mayb–
I’M COMING OUT OF MY CAGE AND I’VE BEEN DOING JUST FINE
Things get a bit less chronological and a substantial bit more haphazard from here, but there was Rihanna before she was Rihanna, Chris Brown before he was Chris Brown, and a joke that totally could be made about that but I won’t because how could anything in the world be more ridiculous than the fact that there was once a time in the very recent past when Bow Wow released a fucking GREATEST HITS ALBUM at the age of 23 — a feat that is either highly impressive or just about the most depressing fact of all time considering that it amounts to Bow Wow himself admitting to have peaked personally, professionally, and artistically at the same age when most regular adults are successfully transitioning from collaborating with Ciara on hit singles to doing normal adult things like bickering in IKEA and undertipping waitresses at your high school friends’ weddings.
Anyways, there’s something about drinking an inordinate amount on a Wednesday night while listening to Papa Roach that makes you breathe deep, look around, and seriously ponder how the hell your life ended up this way. But I digress.
It’s not entirely clear why Lil Jon “had to do it again” on “Lovers and Friends.” Nor is it immediately apparent who the fuck David Banner was or why he was tryna so hard to get my pussy wet, or how Nelly and Tim McGraw’s “Over and Over” didn’t turn out worse than it totally should have. All that I know is that I said I wouldn’t do this, but WILL SMITH’S “SWITCH” SHOULD TOTALLY BE ADRIAN PETERSON’S WALK UP SONG.
There, I said it. And, speaking of terrible things that were actually said and done by people on the internet, this happened:
It’s okay, @UrbGardenersRep, at least your oversight wasn’t quite as bad as us all allowing Nickelback to hit the Top 50 for the second year in a row, nor as upsetting as the prospect that perhaps Ludacris and Bobby V’s super human ability to pimp all over the world may have resulted in the current ebola epidemic. These are the theories that keep me up at night, at least on nights when I’m opening my 7th beer to the dulcet, blood diamond-mining tones of Akon.
So did I break down and cry during Usher’s “My Boo?” Of course not. I only cried out every last tear of my body because that beat — that fucking dope-ass Jesus Christ on a mathlete scholarship beat — that song is genius.
And did I finally break the seal to Trick Daddy’s “Sugar?” Oh you fucking bet I did. And you know what? Afterwards I just ran the faucet and pretended to wash my hands, so that maybe my roommate would mistake the person who drinks copious amounts on weeknights while listening to Trillville and Howie Day with a decent human being who cares about hygiene and his fellow man.
In the end, 2005 was probably perfectly summed up by the Click Five’s “Just the Girl,” which still got two listens despite it barely charting at #89: Not quite as bad as you remember it, but not a year you’re particularly missing either.
And once more for good measure, let’s all watch Mike Myers and Chris Tucker bug out after Kanye delivers one of the greatest pop cultural moments of the decade, because it’s our civic duty and because it never felt more right: