A DECADE ON

Top 10 Songs of 2009

2009 was ten years ago. Yeah, you heard that right. A lot happened in a decade, but that doesn’t mean the songs that defined 2009 have been forgotten.

If you are stuck specifically thinking about what made that year special in music, this top 10 should remind you.

The year turns 2009. Suddenly you get an overwhelming urge to obsessively layer every necklace you own, and any vest you own and find the thickest belt you can to tie the look together. Perhaps, on a slow Sunday afternoon before a dreaded Monday school morning, you sit listening to the charts on BBC Radio 1. Maybe you see your iPod Nano lying on a desk and become distracted by your recent discoveries on iTunes. No matter what you were doing in 2009, there is no doubt that the songs that followed you everywhere, filling every room and the topic of conversation, looked a little something like this…

Beyoncé – ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’

There’s nothing like empowering worldwide single ladies by slipping into a black leotard and heels and throwing yourself into an iconic dance routine that’ll be viewed by millions. Although released in 2008, the 2009 music video formed the Beyoncé-obsessed frenzy, infected by the contagious hand claps and hip swaying that prove to anyone you’re single and you don’t give a damn.

Dizzee Rascal & Armand van Helden – ‘Bonkers’

Nominated for NME Award for Dancefloor Anthem it’s not a surprise Dizzee Rascal and Armand Van Helden’s song ‘Bonkers’ could be heard from outside night clubs, school discos and house parties all over the UK from 17 May 2009. The goofy rhythmic lyrics “some people think I’m bonkers but I just think I’m free” appealed nationwide, introducing hip-house to popular culture. Despite being blissfully unaware of the lyrics, however, my nine year old self definitely found it very relatable (not).

The Black Eyed Peas – ‘Boom Boom Pow’

It may not be the most lyrically inspiring song (ranging from ‘that boom boom boom’ to ‘The future boom boom boom’) but back in 2009 the Black Eyed Peas and their futuristic style made a lasting impression and no one can argue with a digital Grammy Award for Best Music Video. Listening back to the pop song, it’s easy to find yourself reminiscing, and slightly regretting taking the band for granted before they disappeared.

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Crying Lightning’

Despite the somewhat questionable music video, which finds the indie rock band sitting in a boat for almost four minutes, their accented lyrics (and Alex Turner’s haircut) have no doubt stuck in the mind of anyone who encountered ‘Crying Lightning’ in 2009.

Ke$ha – ‘TiK ToK’

It’s funny how a song can make you feel like you’re covered in glitter and sweat whilst drunkenly causing mayhem in a nightclub when you’re definitely doing none of those things, and actually still in primary school. But inevitably, a song so simple and catchy that teen rebellion becomes relatable to anyone means Kesha’s TiK ToK did exactly that. Showcasing everything tacky and uncomplicated about 21st century pop, the American singer-songwriter was loved by teens and probably hated by every parent who raised them

The XX – ‘Crystalised’

On a slightly different note from Kesha’s somewhat comedic hit, other songs released in 2009 have proven themselves more than worthy of being valued as one of the best. The indie pop band The XX made up of 4 kids from south London exhibits an array of electricity and raw emotion through their duets and electropop style.

Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys – ‘Empire State of Mind’

If you didn’t feel nostalgic for the early 2000’s from the previous songs, then ‘Empire State of Mind’ will help with that. Especially considering Jay Z’s own streaming service Tidal has wiped the single from Spotify. To find “the Concrete jungle where dreams are made of” you’ll have to go back to your 2009 roots – and head to YouTube.

Miley Cyrus – ‘Party in the USA’

Before her wrecking ball days, Cyrus was simply an innocent girl trying to make it big as a pop-star in America, and this youthful (cheesy) tone is perhaps what makes it so memorable and helped her do just that. Well, either that or the viral goat memes that followed in 2013. Either way, I’m not complaining.

Florence and the Machine – ‘Cosmic Love’

The serenity enraptured by Florence Welch is what makes her as a music artist stand out, even to this day. Cosmic Love features the hum of effortless, enchanting drums and harp which ultimately have become a dramatic, magical manifestation of Florence herself. I guess that’s why Florence has been praised for the art of lyric and the art of performance throughout the decade that followed.

La Roux – ‘Bulletproof’

The synth pop act La Roux and her single Bulletproof is the kind of song that just appears in your brain at random moments from time to time. You’re not mad about it, but you’re not entirely sure why you’re humming along to “This time, baby, I’ll be…” on the way to work either.

Featured Image by Becky Sullivan