Last week, as I plugged away writing blogs, working, and beginning a serious cleaning purge, I listened to a lot of music–either iTunes radio or my music library on shuffle. This led to a number of serious throwbacks (particularly to the mid 2000’s) and some nostalgia for my angsty and dramatic middle and high school years–and I know I wasn’t the only one! And aside from the ’90s, which were the best decade period (says the ’90s kid), the mid 2000’s had some of the best music.
If you’re looking for a trip down memory lane, or some good music to fill your otherwise boring week, I have you covered.
1. Jack’s Mannequin | The Mixed Tape | Everything In Transit
This was the first single off the album, released shortly after lead singer Andrew McMahon was diagnosed with leukemia. When it popped up on a playlist last week, it took me right back to 2005. And then down the road to Tree Hill, North Carolina for the Ravens first basketball game of the season.
2. Boys Like Girls | The Great Escape | Boys Like Girls
Ask me how many times I’ve seen Boys Like Girls in concert. Ask me how many family members I’ve dragged along as my “chaperones” to said concerts. I listened to this album nonstop from the moment I discovered it as a freshman until they finally released a second album on the day I started my senior year of high school. And then I kept listening to it and kept going to see them in concert, pretty much until they stopped touring and performing together. If you never rocked out to this song…well, frankly, I don’t believe you. (Nine concerts and my entire immediate family, by the way.)
3. Snow Patrol | Chasing Cars | Eyes Open
If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you recognize this song solely for its presence in the heartbreaking season two finale, “Losing My Religion.” And again, sung by the cast, as the opening song in the episode “Song Beneath the Song.” (Side note: Is everyone else still completely baffled by the musical episode, or is that just me?) And again, when Meredith said goodbye to Derek in “How to Save a Life” (which I’m still not over). This song brings me back to freshman year of high school though–particularly that Halloween when, amidst trick-or-treating, my friends and I lay down in the middle of an empty suburban street and sang “If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?” dramatically. (Side note: Don’t lie in the middle of any streets, kids!)
4. Yellowcard | Ocean Avenue | Ocean Avenue
I have to admit that a lot of my music taste at that time was dictated by my three-years-older-and-a-million-times-cooler sister, and this was definitely a direct result. With songs like “Back Home,” “Twenty Three,” “Miles Apart,” and “Only One,” the whole album is worthy of this list–coming in slightly earlier (July 2003) than most of the other songs–but “Ocean Avenue” has always been the song. I used to listen to it and imagine it was how my life would have turned out if I had never left southern California.
5. Ronnie Day | Falling For You | The Album
I was sitting in the tiny backseat of said three-years-older-and-a-million-times-cooler sister’s then-(now-mine-)car on our way to high school one chilly morning when I first heard this song play on one of her mix CDs. I listened to it for months, and turned many of my friends into fans as well, before I dragged them along to see Ronnie Day perform at The Bamboozle the following spring.
6. All American Rejects | Dirty Little Secret | Move Along
This song (and album) were released early in the summer of 2005 and, despite conflicting reviews from critics, became instant summer hits. It was also featured in the 2006 Amanda Bynes’ RomCom She’s The Man–AKA one of my favorite movies ever–and I dare you not to get this stuck in your head.
7. Anna Nalick | Breathe (2AM) | Wreck of the Day
I went to my first “concert” at a music club at the local mall with my friend and my sister (our “chaperone”) to see Anna Nalick perform. We were only a couple of feet away from the stage and I sat there in awe because I had been so in love with this song in middle school and it was the first time I had heard any song that I liked live. To this day, the signed CD still sits on a shelf in my room.
8. Augustana | Boston | All the Stars and Boulevards
I cannot recall any particular memory or significance associated with this song, but it was released around the mid-2000’s, so it obviously made it onto my angsty teenage playlists and has been one of my long time favorites.
9. Fall Out Boy | Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year | From Under the Cork Tree
(And that’s not even one of the long song titles!) Fall Out Boy’s second album From Under the Cork Tree is still my favorite FOB album, ten years after its release. In fact, the whole album could have easily made this list too. This song was released as a single just in time for the summer of 2005 and everyone could “embrace [their] inner mall kid.”
10. Jack Johnson | Banana Pancakes | In Between Dreams
Ask me what music I listen to on rainy days and this Jack Johnson song will definitely be one of my top three answers. It’s just a good, catchy song to wake up to in the morning. And let’s be real–banana pancakes are delicious!
11. All Time Low | Dear Maria, Count Me In | So Wrong, It’s Right
I listened to All Time Low mostly because they were always on tour with Boys Like Girls, and if I was already paying to go to the show, I might as well know all of the music. Dana, my go-to concert buddy, and I loved dancing and singing to this (even after we realized it was about a stripper) any time we heard it live.
12. Lostprophets | Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast) | Liberation Transmission
“Rooftops” was the first song on my July playlist in 2007 (which means it was my favorite) and I cannot listen to it without being instantly transported to the beach, where I would put it on repeat on my fourth generation Classic iPod for hours and hours and act like a moody, misunderstood teenager.
13. Taking Back Sunday | MakeDamnSure | Louder Now
I know you remember seeing “I just want to break you down so badly, in the worst way” on someone’s profile or away message circa 2006. This was the perfect angsty rock song for the mid 2000’s and it’s still Taking Back Sunday’s most popular single.
Sadly, you have to get back to 2015 now, but part two of the list will be coming later this week! How many of these songs were big hits for you?