A Throwback Playlist For When It All Feels A Bit Much

Life is tough sometimes. Obligations, work, stress, whatever, it can all to get to you. When that happens, one thing helps me get back into a good mood: nostalgic jams. So, today I decided to make a playlist of songs that I loved at primary school (from 2003–2010) to play when I get stressed, and hopefully to help you, too. It was the age of R&B and pop rock, manufactured by labels to create stars that rarely lasted. The fashion, as we’ll see in all the music videos, was also quite something. Let’s get into it.

Let Me Love You by Mario: This song is undoubtedly the best song ever released called Let Me Love You, and that’s a surprisingly crowded field. A super romantic slow song, and not as problematic as a lot of these tracks can be. I will never not bob my head and sing a long a little bit when this song comes on. It is a lovely song.

Hey Ya! by Outkast: Hey Ya is another song that basically everyone loves. It’s a universally beloved track from a wonderful and influential group. Some days you just need to shake it like a Polaroid picture, and no song helps me get down like Hey Ya. Bust out a falsetto and party out. Bonus points for the music video, which is a revelation and an iconic part of my childhood (before my mum banned music videos in the house).

Mr Brightside by The Killers: Duh. This song rocks, and everyone knows it.

Miss Independent by Ne-Yo: Funny Ne-Yo anecdote — I read about him in one of those kids magazines that used to exist when print publishing was still a profitable business, and one of the trivia facts was that he chose the name after his “favourite” Matrix character. Years later when I finally watched the Matrix, I realised that he named himself after the MAIN Matrix character in a total basic move. This song is lovely, and if its a gateway into Ne-Yo’s YouTube back catalogue, you’re so welcome because there is a lot of greatness there.

Thnks fr th Mmrs by Fall Out Boy: This song just gets points for everything. Weird fedora hat and sideburns on the lead singer with an emo fringe on the lead guitarist? Check. Taking the vowels out of the title, ruining attempts to type it on any new phone? Check. Planet of the Apes-style music video? Check. Band named after a bit character on the Simpsons? Check. Man, this is a great track.

Slow Jamz by Twista feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx: I’m pretty sure I wasn’t actually aware of this song when I was at primary school, or at least I hope not because it is far too explicit for someone of that age. It’s a song that does what it says on the tin. Special shout out to Jamie Foxx and Kanye, both of whom look kind of ridiculous in this video (see Jamie Foxx’s sunglasses) when considering the level of their stardom now, and neither of whom appear to have aged since this song came out.

Beautiful by Akon feat. Colby O’Donis, Kardinal Offishall: Man, remember Akon? I think his album was one of my first that I ever bought. This song is so indicative of the 2000s, where Akon sings about respecting that the woman in question is “independent” while also just subjecting her to his and two other guys’ male gaze through a song and music video where he literally sits on a chair and watches her dance.

Replay by Iyaz: I don’t know what happened to Iyaz, and I don’t really care, but this song is so great. He compares a girl to an iPod, which immediately dates the song, and he’s singing in front of a national flag of his home country, the Virgin Islands. Definitely a jam, but funny to remember that this was a song that everyone was playing all the time, or at least I definitely was.

Whatcha Say by Jason Derulo: I am not ashamed to say that I own the Jason Derulo album, and it is full of hits. This was his break out song, and featured the classic “J-J-J-J.R” and “Jasoooon Deruuulooo” over the intro, finishing up with “Beluga Heights”. It must also be noted that Jason Derulo has probably one of the top 3 Carpool Karaokes, which I had not expected at all.

Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars: I miss this Bruno Mars. This is arguably the perfect love song, and although it’s been ruined by fifteen million covers, it’s still so good to go back and listen to. Another debut album that is worth a revisit, because it is so different from the music he makes now. I credit this song with many of my romantic tendencies as a now 19 year old, and boy, that voice is knockout good.

So there you have it. A little playlist to put you in a better mood when it gets too much. Click at the bottom to get this playlist on Apple Music, and if you want to turn it into a Spotify one let me know and I’ll tweet it out. I hope you enjoy, and tweet me your nostalgia jams (I’m @reallyreillyh on Twitter).

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