The year 2009 brought with it an eclectic blend of genres and voices, demonstrating that music can truly transcend borders. Here are some of the top songs from 2009 that demonstrated this phenomenon.
Selecting the perfect song can be daunting, but these tracks have had an immense effect on fans and continue to shape today’s musicians. So grab your headphones and tune in – you won’t regret it!
Green Day – 21 Guns
Green Day pioneered political punk with their landmark album American Idiot, an explosive takedown of post-9/11 xenophobia. To further develop their songwriting, the band then explored different textures through Warning – a full-on power-pop album that gave them an entirely new dimension they hadn’t had before.
This album marked a turning point for Green Day, ushering in many of their signature themes that would later inform their work. Blending genres from folk to country to slide guitar, they created introspective songs that demonstrated their ability to make music outside their genre.
With their single “Still Breathing,” the band takes on the struggles of struggling individuals, drawing inspiration from real-life figures like drug abusers and suicide victims. Despite its difficult subject matter, the song reached the top of the charts and became one of their biggest hits of the decade.
This track, featuring chiming guitars and falsetto vocals, is an introspective gem. Though less energetic than their previous work, it still manages to wow their fans.
This song masterfully blends rock and country elements, making it a staple in their repertoire. It’s an upbeat and energetic track that will surely get people up on their feet.
Though this album marked a shift for Green Day, its songs were some of their finest ever. It’s no surprise Rolling Stone named it “the greatest record ever,” as these songs demonstrate that while staying true to their punk roots, the band also wants to explore new directions.
Lady Antebellum – I Run to You
In late 2009, this trifecta of country stars released the number one-rated song, “Ole Miss”. Lead guitarist Charles Kelley and his ladylove Hillary Scott put their creative genius to good use to craft this timeless masterpiece that will likely end up in our family photo albums for generations to come. Let us take a spin around the house with some glasses of red and some classic kazoos – who knows? Who knows if we’ll end up on the dance floor! With any luck, this won’t be our last appearance on the dance floor!
Kevin Rudolph – Let It Rock
Rudolf, from Miami, is a master of all trades who makes the most of his instrument. His eclectic sound blends rock, R&B and hip-hop to create unique sounds he loves playing on his guitar – which he calls “soft rock”.
Let It Rock is an impressive song that deserves to be included among the best of 2009. The riff provides plenty of excitement, while the chorus is truly catchy. Released as the first single from Rudolf’s debut album In the City in November 2009, this track has seen over one million downloads in America alone.
On paper, the song has its share of issues but still manages to be an impressive feat of engineering. It features several inventive sound effects like a synthesizer that sounds like a horn and sampled drum line that creates an impact without using actual drums; unfortunately, it may be difficult to hear Rudolf play any actual chords. Another notable gimmick on record is Rudolf’s use of simulated electric guitar which works quite well on tracks like title track or lime-blended “I Song.” Ultimately though, we will see how well this trick performs when tested in 2010! Be sure to check back often for our reviews and facts, or sign up for our newsletter for all updates.
T.I. & J.T. – Dead and Gone
The inspirational lyrics of “Dead and Gone” have been beloved by listeners around the world who are facing similar struggles. Its melodic sound and upbeat message have made it a favorite choice for both fans and critics alike. The video for the track, released in 2009, features both T.I. and Justin Timberlake performing scenes that showcase their ethereal vocals while conveying an inspiring message about rising above adversity and learning from past mistakes.
The lyrics of “Dead and Gone” possess a reflective tone, as if they are being sung by two lovers who are sharing their memories of how much they miss their beloved. The main chorus reflects on how memories can only help us recall happy times but never replace what has been taken away.
The video for “Dead and Gone” was shot in the California desert and features T.I. and Justin Timberlake performing together outside a car. Throughout the bridge and chorus of the song are images of T.I. with his wife, pastor, as well as Philant Johnson’s grave from 2007. Finally, T.I. vows to avoid any more situations which could potentially lead to conflict with Justin Timberlake in future videos.
Zac Brown – Chicken Fried
“Chicken Fried” was the debut song released by Zac Brown and his band as a collective, quickly garnering them an enthusiastic fan base. The tune became a smash hit in country music circles, reaching the summit of the charts.
Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette composed the song for their 2008 album The Foundation.
Zac Brown wrote this song to celebrate the comforts that Southerners take for granted, such as a good pair of jeans, some good fried chicken and other staples of life in the South. Additionally, he included a patriotic bridge dedicated to veterans and soldiers who sacrificed their lives in service of our nation.
This song will have you singing along and smiling. It’s a feel good number suitable for any celebration and one of the top hits of 2009.
One interesting note about this song is that it was originally recorded by another band in 2006. The Lost Trailers had asked permission from Zac Brown for the use of the song but ultimately decided not to make it their single. This caused some complications for Zac Brown who wanted the single kept off radio stations instead.
After several years, Zac Brown and the Zac Brown Band re-recorded the song. This time it went to number one on the country chart and sold over 4 million copies.
The song became an instant classic and helped cement Zac Brown Band’s status as a country band. This achievement proved enormously successful for them and it remains one of their best known compositions to this day.