How the World Changed Over the Course of a Decade: Told by 10 Decade-Old Songs
I’m a huge music fan, and I believe you can learn a lot from listening to music. While some songs contain explicit messages, other songs are begin to feel dated as time progresses. Many of these songs are products of their time, and that tells us a lot about how the world has changed. With this said, I wanted to enjoy a blast from the past re-experience some of the songs that lived on my iPod.
1. Low (Flo Rida featuring T. Pain)– Though this song was technically released in 2007, it rang in the new year at #1 and became the #1 song of the year according to Billboard. This song was intended to be fun and the anthem of the movie Step Up, but the lyrics scream 2008. Everything from the Apple Bottom Jeans and the the boots with the fur to the term “shorty” remind me of fashion that should stay in the late 00’s.
2. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)– 2008 was the era of the iPod, and it’s no secret Apple loves Coldplay. This single’s solidified Coldplay as a band who could appeal to multiple generations and the song’s unique violin intro made it instantly recognizable. At the time, Billboard relied mostly on single sales and radio plays to calculate chart success, and this song excelled in both areas giving it some time atop the charts.
3. I Kissed a Girl (Katy Perry)– Katy Perry’s breakout song relied on a catchy beat and a little bit of controversy to become successful. The song was intended to be fun and not a reflection of Perry’s romantic preferences, but it was also a song that challenged radio stations. While there are far more controversial topics nowadays and this song wouldn’t be censored, there were certainly a few eye brows raised when this song debuted in 2008.
4. Love Song (Sara Bareilles)– Another song technically released in 2007, this song found fame in early 2008 due to its appearance in a Rhapsody commercial which is a clear sign of its age. Upon first listen this song appears to be about a rebellious lover, it’s really about a rebellious singer who didn’t want to write love songs for her record label.
5. No Air (Jordin Sparks featuring T.Pain)– In 2008, Chris Brown has a clean image, which is part of this reason this song worked. America was also really invested in singing competitions and Jordin Sparks was an American Idol winner. This automatically gave the song a huge boost in popularity.
6. Lollipop (Lil Wayne featuring Static Major)– Streaming has changed the music industry a lot and appears to have done a good job of mitigating the damage done by album leaks. In 2008, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter 3 was leaked online, but Wayne redeemed himself with a finished produced that sold over a million copies in a week and produced this #1 single.
7. Touch My Body (Mariah Carey)– The song containing the line “if there’s a camera up in here then I’d best not catch this flick on YouTube.” Social media was really popular by 2008, but the fact that YouTube was mentioned in a Mariah Carey song proved that everyone was hopping on the bandwagon.
8. Live Your Life (T.I. featuring Rihanna)– The chorus of this song sampled a song by European boyband O-Zone. This was be a completely random sample, but Americans know this song as the Numa Numa song from the viral video online. We had gotten to the point were memes were becoming so recognized they were sampled in songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100.
9. Womanizer (Britney Spears)– This song began a bit of a revival in Britney’s career and was the first single from her Circus album. While this album and song will be turning ten this year, the message of this song is just a relevant today.
10. Decode (Paramore)– Paramore, a band who mostly rose to fame due to their Myspace popularity, had definitely hit the mainstream in 2008. They were so popular their single Decode was featured in the first Twilight movie. Paramore is proof that Internet bands could become radio-friendly, but this song is a reminder that society had an odd obsession with vampires at the end of the millennium’s first decade.
Every song tells a story and most of these songs are still being played on the radio today. Next time you hear them, try to remember they ways they represent our society in 2008 and serve as a reflection of how we’ve changed.
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