I’m a millennial who was born in the ’90s, and while I attribute plenty of childhood memories to that decade, my true coming of age era was the ’00s. This means that every single photo of my outfits from high school make me want to die, but my truth is my truth. I fit almost every stereotype of a teen from that era. Yes, I went to Hot Topic all the time, yes, I had my emo phase. Yes, I owned a flip phone. Yes, I rocked too much lip gloss and thought that wearing a dress over boot cut jeans was a good look.
The ’00s is the decade I can actually remember the entirety of, and I still claim 2007 as my favorite year of those 10 years. The last Harry Potter book came out, Paris Hilton went to jail, and some of the best music of the ’00s was released. It’s that last bit I want to focus on. From classics like Kanye West’s “Graduation” to underrated bops like Britney Spears’ “Blackout,” here are 18 albums that you won’t believe turn 10 in 2017. Get ready for a little trip down memory lane.
1. Kanye West – Graduation
Some people call this Kanye’s pop album, which…okay, fair. It was very hip-pop, but even if it isn’t as “deep” as Kanye’s newer songs, so what? If you want to have a Kanye dance party, this is the album you turn to. Why? It has “Stronger,” “Good Life,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and “Flashing Lights.” Go off.
2. MIA – Kala
If you haven’t given M.I.A. a shot, please listen to her sophomore album, Kala. It is basically jam after jam after jam and it gave us “Paper Planes” so…get on that.
3. Paramore – Riot!
Um, I’m about to sing all the words to “Misery Business” right now. Please, join me. Yes, in retrospect it’s super slut shaming and we’re, like, above that now. But that song was a banger.
4. Jay Z – American Gangster
Jay Z was actually inspired to make this album by the movie of the same name. I mean, Jay-Z gangster days were way beyond him at this point, but his reminiscing didn’t come across as ham fisted. Hey, even President Obama thought this album was solid, and the dude has really good taste in music, believe it or not.
5. Feist – The Reminder
Feist was basically the OG of indie lady whisper songs. But snark aside, this album is sincerely good and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
6. Hilary Duff – Dignity
…You know what? “With Love” was a good song, okay? And you know what? Maybe Hilary should stick to acting and not really venture into the musical territory so much, but this album wasn’t too bad as far as actress-to-singer albums go.
7. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
As an Arctic Monkeys fan, I’ve got to say: This album was absolutely formative. To this day, I don’t skip through a single track, and it really has aged well considering it’s 10 years old now. This is a must listen for any fan of British indie-rock.
8. T-Pain – Epiphany
This album got us singing, “Can I buy you a drink?” before we were even able to drink alcohol. Bless. And bless that auto-tune.
9. Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad
Rih Rih as we know it was basically solidified by this album. I mean, where would she be without “Umbrella” (ella, ella, eh, eh, eh,)?
10. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
Arcade Fire was snobby indie boy bread and butter, and Neon Bible just solidified that trope.
11. Avril Lavigne – The Best Damn Thing
Honestly, I missed the “Sk8r Boi” Avril and was not feeling her, “HEY HEY YOU YOU I DON’T LIKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND,” phase…but I’m not too proud to pretend that I didn’t sing along.
12. Radiohead – In Rainbows
As a Radiohead fan, I’ve got to say that this album really holds up and remains–in my opinion–one of their absolute best. Now I’m gonna go listen to “Reckoner” and cry, bye.
13. The Jonas Brothers – Self-Titled
Oh man…back when they were rocking purity rings. Um, a lot has changed now, but it’s funny to look back on this album. Oh, and “S.O.S.” is still a jam, right? Are we all on the same page about that? Cool. I thought I was way too cool for the Jonas Brothers back then but I know a bop when I hear one.
14. Fall Out Boy – Infinity On High
Could you call yourself a pop-punk/emo/whatever fan of the ’00s without having this album on repeat? Nope. Fall Out Boy still brings on the feels, and so does this album 10 years later.
15. Britney Spears – Blackout
So, 2007 wasn’t a great year for Britney, and the response to this album was mostly reflected of the public’s response to her: Flop. But after giving it a proper listen, this album seriously has some of Britney’s best songs on it.
16. Soulja Boy – Tellem.com
I mean…iconic, right? Everyone was trying to Crank Dat, making it one of the first truly viral music videos and dance crazes of the YouTube era. Now he’s just beefin with Chris Brown. Bring us the jams, Soulja!
17. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Basically, the sensitive indie bro playbook. I couldn’t find a single sad girl playlist in the late ’00s and early ’10s without “Flume” or “Skinny Love” on it.
18. Ashley Tisdale – Headstrong
Okay, so her singing career didn’t really go anywhere…but I still stand by this: “He Said She Said” was a bop and will always be a bop.
Which of these albums do you still love today? Which did you love back then but can’t listen to without cringing now? Tell us in the comments!