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Top-Played Songs of the '00s Paints a Bleak Musical Picture

Staind  Most people I know sort of shrug their shoulders about popular music. Some of it is okay, very little of it is really good, most of it is lowest-common-denominator crap deemed fit for human consumption, like so much Grade D beef. A necessary evil of sorts.

Staind  Not everyone is invested enough to seek out less mainstream music and many people, for various reasons, rely on traditional, terrestrial radio (and its counterparts) for their connection to that aspect of popular culture. The music industry invests a lot into making popular music suitable for the radio and aurally satisfactory for the most number of listeners.

Nielsen Media Research released its list of the songs that were played most on commercial radio during the last decade. It's mostly kind of shitty:

Country: "Something Like That" by Tim McGraw, 487,343 spins

I have very little tolerance for country music, particularly mainstream country, so I have no idea if I've even heard this song.

CHR/Top 40: "Yeah" by Usher featuring Ludacris & Lil Jon, 416,267 spins

While I'm not yearning to hear this song much anymore, it's a pretty classic party jam and inherently fun, so I can see why this got so much play.

Hot AC: "Drops Of Jupiter" (Tell Me) by Train, 338,749 spins

Whoa. Train. I wonder what the hell those guys are up to. For a one-hit wonder, it's pretty cool to be part of such a notable list, so I'll give them props for that. And this song was okay.

Alternative: "Last Resort" by Papa Roach, 221,767 spins

HAAAAATE. Oh my god. I was just inching my way out of the MTV, 18-24 demographic when this got really popular and it was a total, "HI YOU'RE OLD NOW AND THINK KIDS LISTEN TO NOISE THESE DAYS" kick in the pants.

Rhythmic: "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, 206,864 spins

This is a shitty song. I know this. However...*small voice* I love it and am always wearing my Apple Bottom jeans and boots with the fur in spirit.

Album Rock: "It's Been Awhile" by Staind, 189,195 spins

Also hate. I worked in a record store when Staind were popular. It was a pretty dark time in life.

Urban: "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell, 169,511 spins

As far as Snoop/Pharrell collaborations go, I much prefer "Beautiful," but this will do as well. By the way, where the hell is Pharrell these days?

Urban AC: "Think About You" by Luther Vandross, 147,818 spins

I love Luther (RIP), but I can't say that I know this song.

Gospel: "Never Would Have Made It" by Marvin Sapp, 92,603 spins

Smooth Jazz: "Pacific Coast Highway" by Nils, 29,328 spins

Yeah, uh, I don't listen to Gospel or Smooth Jazz (why is that a category? Also, Pittsburgh had a whole Smooth Jazz station for a few years in the late 80s/early 90s. It sucked.) so I can't speak for either of these songs.

So, there you have it. A snapshot of this portion of our musical history. It could be worse, I suppose. But I do know that rock music really needs to pick up its game for the '10s. I guess it does well because people listen to it no matter what and forgive just about every assault on the ears, but seriously...STAIND?

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As a completely unsuccessful musician, I find some sort of schadenfreudic pleasure in how bad most Top 40 music it. Because, really, in that sort of company, who wants to be popular?

Sour grapes, I know. But oddly comforting.


I think Train would be at least a three-hit-wonder, at least on pop radio in Chicago/the midwest. We had "Meet Virginia" circa 1999, "Drops of Jupiter" circa 2001, and "Hey Soul Sister" last year.

Also, I can't even read the title of "Drop it Like It's Hot" without thinking of the Weird Al Polkarama that has some of that song in it. I'll be singing that ALL DAY now.


All I can say is THANK GOD Nickelback didn't make that list. I would have thought that raging piece of crap "Rock Star" would've eeked it's way on there.


See these ice cubes? See this ice creams? Love it. Also very happy Nickelback didn't end up on this list. I've heard that everytime one of their songs play, God kills a Llama.


I was a Borders music supervisor when a Staind cd was released - it was gray, that's all I know about it. It somehow ended up in one of my piles of promos - I blame my ex-boyfriend for that, too - and it wouldn't go away. I never opened it, never listened to it, it was just there, laughing, as if it had always been. I'd like to think I "lost" it when I last moved but I'm moving again and will be reconfiguring all of my storage unit crap and I have this sinking feeling it's out there waiting, still in the shrink wrap.

I could not pick out a Papa Roach song and am quite sure I don't want to but every summer I seem to have friends who go see them on purpose at a festival of some revolving, random list of bands and yet they remain the constant. Puddle of Mudd (d?) seems to have joined them.

I love "Yeah" and "Low," can't lie. And dude, where my GIRLS AT? This is a sad list. I don't know why I love reading about bad music so much.


Train was a 3-hit wonder before Soul Sister (currently on the charts). I can't remember that 3rd hit...but I know it's out there. I actually like the Train of old. That Soul Sister crap? Notsomuch. It's like they thought, "Hey! That Jason Mraz guy keeps landing on the charts...must be that ukulele thing he plays. HEY! LET'S THROW SOME UKULELE INTO OUR NEXT SONG!" And the masses bought into it. It's a pretty horrific song...but it's everywhere. The band was even on Medium, one night, plucking away. The dead apparently sold their souls so Train could plug that song.

I really do like that Staind song. "I can still remember just the way you taste..." Makes me feel kinda dirty. LOL. Those other songs, however? Never heard of any of 'em.


Ok, I already knew I was Not Cool.... but seriously? I have heard of Tim McGraw and know some Luther Vandross and THAT'S IT, I have no idea who the rest of those people are.

Apparently forty is the new eighty.

Miss Lis

I'm not familiar with the little ditty from Papa Roach that you reference, but their song "scars" was on heavy rotation at the place I worked, and I can honestly say I was awed with how crassly awful it is.

Fawn Amber

Huh. I like almost all of these. Apparently 37 is the new trend follower. :)

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