By Jack Sharkey, February 24, 2017

Every Friday during 2017 we’re going to offer up five songs from each of the last fifty years that tell the story of music as it existed during that year, and how that music ultimately played a role in getting us to where we are today. We're taking the journey backwards for a different persepctive on how music has evolved over the past half century. Week 8 brings us to 2009, the end of the aughts.


Like every subjective list of art, we hope this will at times make sense and at others spark debate (and maybe even a little criticism). Take the trip with us in 2017 as we look back on the music that got us to where we are today.



As the first decade of the new century came to a close some pretty important shifts in the popular music world were starting to happen. American Idol had a stranglehold on the industry, and Pro-Tools-based music (heavy on bass and drums, minimal mid-range instrumentation) was starting to become the powerhouse genre we would see in the twenty-teens. Rap and hip-hop ruled supreme, along with a smattering of other styles. Holding true to what pop music would be like in the coming years, 2009 really was a mixed stylistic bag.



Viva La Vida - Coldplay Released in August of 2008, from the Today Show to the London Olympics in 2012, you had a hard time avoiding this song. From Imagine Dragons to American Authors, Viva La Vida lives on.



No Surprise - Daughtry In spite of how American Idol changed the music industry (some say for better, other's say for worse) Daughtry was one of the talent show's few alums to have a decent career after the show. Is he formulaic? A bona fide rock star? Is there any substance? His legion of fans prove he is the new paradigm in American rock stars. 



Chicken Fried - Zac Brown Band Hailing from Atlanta Georgia and spawning a thousand imitators, Zac Brown may be responsible for bro-country, which is completely unfair to say. Their imitators are responsible for bro-country, the Zac Brown Band just plays modern country without irony or pretension. 



Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson When Clarkson won the first season of America Idol and she made that horribly cheesy movie with her runner-up Justin Guarini, did any of us actually think that eight years later she would be the force to reckon with in pop music?



Say Hey (I Love You) - Michael Franti & Spearhead If you weren't already a fan of Michael Franti, you pretty much became one watching commercials for Corona. Recorded on a computer in various hotel rooms while Franti & Spearhead were on tour, Say Hey is what happens when you combine a great song with technology. 

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