I think we can all agree that nostalgia rules these days. With constant revivals of TV and movies from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, it seems like everybody just wants to go back in time. A few years ago, I started listening to 90s and 2000s music on a regular basis, and what can I say? It slaps. But as someone who was born in 1999, I can’t say I’m nostalgic for that time period. Like, Britney Spears’s “Gimme More” was iconic…but I wasn’t aware of it when it dropped because I was 8. Soon, I rediscovered songs that are a bit more recent, and that’s how I realized that 2009-2012, which were my late elementary and early middle school years, was maybe the last great era for pop music.
Is it too early to be nostalgic for that time period? Maybe. We’re only about 10 years out, after all. But some of those songs were just so good. I’m no music connoisseur or anything, but there’s something magical about the fast-paced, energetic music of this time period. A lot of these songs, like “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Call Me Maybe,” and “Grenade” never left my memory, and I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded of them either. But as I traveled back in time, I also came across some songs that I had completely forgotten about, and as soon I heard them, it all came rushing back.
Those are the songs I wanna talk about today. Maybe they’re also buried somewhere deep in your memory like they were in mine. Maybe you don’t remember them at all. But these songs are bops, and they deserve to be recognized. So in no particular order…
I miss Rihanna, guys. I miss her so much. If she can’t put out another album, can she at least collab with Coldplay again? Because this slaps. The VOCALS. The PASSION. The SYNTHESIZER. When they sing “You really hurt me”??? That gets me in my feelings about a tragic break-up I never even had. The music video may be a little cringe-worthy nowadays, but the song is as epic as ever.
It was so difficult for me to find this song. I had no clue what it was called, who sang it, or even what the lyrics were, but somehow I remembered. And then one day the video popped up on Youtube, I clicked it, and I was like…oh my God. This is the song. Apparently, I’m not the only one who’s rediscovered it, because it’s a dumb meme now I guess. Anyway, something about this song’s light, airy tune is still so nice to listen to. Thank you for this bop, Edward Maya. I’m sorry I forgot you.
3. “You Make Me Feel…” Cobra Starship and Sabi, 2011
Whatever happened to Cobra Starship? Between this and “Good Girls Go Bad,” they made some absolute bangers. This song perfectly captures the feeling of dancing the night away and falling a little in love. It’s just pure, infectious fun, and we need something like it on the radio again.
2. “Rocketeer,” Far East Movement and Ryan Tedder, 2010
How did I ever forget this song? Ryan Tedder sounds honestly beautiful on the chorus, and the rest is just as good. It’s a sweet, bubbly song about being in love and feeling on top of the world, and it has cheerful energy that makes you want to hit repeat.
1. “Written in the Stars,” Tinie Tempah and Eric Turner, 2010
I love this song. I really, really do. I think it’s just that it’s so passionate. When Eric Turner sings the chorus, he sounds like he’s putting everything he has into it. When Tinie Tempah raps, it sounds like he’s actually feeling the emotions. You can tell this song meant something to the artists…and it’s super catchy, too.
At the end of the day, I think that’s what makes the music of our childhoods so great. Even if it was just a shallow club banger, the producers and singers really gave it their all. The pop landscape today is growing in many interesting ways, but when it comes to pure, bubbly pop fun, you just can’t beat the early 2010s.