Some songs are bound to become classics. And the 2000s (which is basically an extension of the peak of alternative music’s commercial and critical success in the 90s) produced a plethora of unforgettable tracks that avid fans of the genre still have on their playlist up to this day.
These hits offer the rarity of enjoying the right amount of rock and roll all while indulging in their rather deep and profound themes. It’s no question why this ‘alternative’ vibe continues to find their way through our song selections.
And as we say hooray for the coming of some of the greatest alternative rock bands of the latest decade (Coldplay and Goo Goo Dolls) to the country, let’s take a look at some alternative anthems from the 2000s that we still definitely love to play on loop.
“Snow (Hey Oh)” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
A track from their Stadium Arcadium album, the song gave the band their third straight-to-the-top hit on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. According to vocalist Anthony Kiedis, the song is “about surviving” and “starting fresh.” Snow’s guitar riffs and basslines (not to mention the fluidity of its lyrics) are quite hooking that you just can’t stop yourself from playing it all over again.
“Drive” – Incubus
This Make Yourself track is considered as Incubus’s biggest hit and breakthrough single. The song received the Billboard Award for Modern Rock Single of the Year in 2001. The more mellow song from the band, according to lead singer Brandon Boyd, is “about fear, about being driven all your life by it and making decisions from [it].”
“I Miss You” – Blink-182
Co-written by guitarist Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus, the rare all-acoustic song by Blink-182 earned a gold certification for selling over 500,000 copies. The track was inspired by The Cure’s “The Love Cats.”
“Unwell” – Matchbox Twenty
A “metaphor for humanity in general,” this chart-topping smash from Matchbox Twenty gave the band a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or a Group with Vocal in 2004. The track was the second single off the band’s critically acclaimed More Than You Think You Are album.
“Hanging by a Moment” – Lifehouse
Jason Wade originally wrote the song just for himself and for their fans — not for radio. Finishing it in 5-10 minutes, Wade said: “I remember just sitting on the couch in the studio and I heard the melody in my head while I was doing another vocal track, which is really weird, it’ll kinda give you a headache. I don’t recommend it, but anyway, I went into the other room and picked up a guitar and it just kind of happened, so from that moment on I learned when you have to write a song, when the melody is in your head.”
“Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon
Frontman Caleb Followill revealed on his band’s website that the song “is about being far from home.” It received three awards in the 2010 Grammys: Record of the Year, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.
“Fix You” – Coldplay
A collaborative song from all four members of the band, the melancholic X &Y track is said to be written to comfort Gwyneth Paltrow (now Chris Martin’s ex-wife) when her father passed away. In some instances, Martin shared that this much- revered hit is inspired by British band Elbow’s “Grace Under Pressure.”
“Welcome to the Black Parade” – My Chemical Romance
“Welcome to the Black Parade,” off MCR’s The Black Parade album, was originally entitled “The Five of Us are Dying.” In an interview with MTV, Gerard Way said that in general, the effort’s cohesive concept is about a patient who dies of cancer at an early age. On his deathbed, the patient recounts the most powerful memory he has — a parade he went to with his father.
“You Know You’re Right” – Nirvana
This track was actually recorded on January 30, 1994, back when the band was preparing for what would be their last European tour (Kurt Cobain committed suicide in April).The song wasn’t released until eight years later when it was issued as a single and was included in the compilation, Nirvana Greatest Hits.
“Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls
Frontman Johnny Rzeznik wrote this song for the Nicolas Cage-starrer, City of Angels. In the film, Cage plays an angel sent to help humans make their transition to the afterlife. When he falls in love with a human (played by Meg Ryan), he must choose between love and eternal life. Though originally released in 1998, the song’s impact continued until the 2000s and 2010s, even making it to the 2011 UK compilation record, Now That’s What I Call Music! 80.
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Greenday
This song is about estrangement and the recognition that the American Dream can let you down. The singer’s hopes have been crushed, and he finds himself very much alone.
“Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” is actually a title of the famous painting by Gottfried Helnwein depicting Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean and Elvis Presley hanging out in a bar. In a VH1 Storytellers session, Armstrong explained he actually saw the title on another Helnwein painting of James Dean from 1948. “There’s an old James Dean photo where he’s walking in New York and underneath it says ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams.’ It’s a great photo of him, so that’s where I sort of nicked the title from.”
“The Reason” – Hoobastank
This song off the Hoobastank album of the same name is considered as the band’s most commercially successful single up to this date. It peaked at no.2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned the group a nomination for the Song of the Year award during the 47th Grammys.
“Wherever You Will Go” – The Calling
Still the most recognized hit from The Calling, the song was the lead single of their debut record, Camino Palmero.
Lead guitarist Aaron Kamin wrote the song in the perspective of his cousin who passed away and left his wife for 50 years. He also went on to refer to the September 11 attacks that occurred only a few months after the song’s release and said that the song has “become more relevant in our lives as the world has changed recently. It’s been rekindled even more so for us, I think, right about now.”
“Dare You To Move” – Switchfoot
“Dare You to Move” actually first appeared on their album Learning to Breathe under the album “I Dare You to Move.” The remixed version served as a single from the band’s fourth studio album, The Beautiful Letdown.
“Welcome to My Life” – Simple Plan
If there’s an alternative track that the young ones turn to to express teenage angst, it’s probably Simple Plan’s “Welcome to My Life.” The song was released as the lead single of their second studio album, Still Not Getting Any….
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