It’s been far too long since I’ve made a random playlist, told you to listen to it and written something relating back to myself about each song. I bet you missed it. Don’t lie. Recently I’ve been diving back into the world of 2000’s she-pop music. It all started with JLo and Shakira rocking the halftime show, then Jessica Simpson was like hey y’all I’ve been an alcoholic for my entire life and I wrote a book about it and I was like welp guess I need to start rotating her hits again and it spiraled into a 7 hour playlist of every girl pop song I grooved to from ages 11-19–basically these ladies raised me and I wanted to reminisce on those times. SO NOW YOU GET TO AS WELL! (Guys too. Don’t even for a second pretend you didn’t have these songs in heavy rotation.) To show just how dedicated I am, I busted out the ole CD’s to get into the song selecting mood and also feel like it’s 2005.
A timely drop for Valentine’s Day because these ladies either sang about being in love or telling their boo to kick rocks so there’s something in here for everyone on this year’s VDay. ENJOY.
1. With You – Jessica Simpson. This was peak Newlyweds (how I’d like to memorialize each of them forever in my memory) and when Jess really started to lean into being a real dum dum. The song was basically about being yourself in a relationship and the video featured all of the things she was directly razzed about from their reality show. Calling a Platypus “plat-amuh-pus”, chicken or tuna, buffalo wings, her boobs getting in the way when she golfed, how she hated cleaning and was a real dirtbag to live with. It’s everything we love about Jess and what made her relatable and WHY THAT SHOW SHOULD STILL BE AIRING TODAY. Rest in Peace, Nick & Jess, Newlyweds Era.
2. So What – P!nk. Ah, another classic music video that tells the exact opposite story as the one before. Pink even references ya girl Jessica Simp in this song–GrL PoWeR! I’ve always had a soft spot for this song because of the story behind it. Pink was known as the badass B who didn’t fit in with the rest of the pop princesses but she was cool as hell with it and then she was dating Carey Hart who was like Bad Boy personified in his motocross lyfe. But then they broke up and she wrote this song and was like whatevs I’m still famous so we’ll be alright. PLOT TWIST THOUGH, she’s actually a softie and when she went to make this video she reached back out to Carey for the first time since they’d broken up and asked if he would be in the video AND HEARTS FLUTTER EVERYWHERE because him appearing in this video led to their reunion. What a great love story. She yells at him in her music video and he’s like k let’s get back togets and now they’ve been married for 13 years. Since I’ve always been a music video nerd I remember watching a behind the scenes (probably on TRL) where Pink was so nervous to have him onset that she had to get a little buzz on and LOOK AT THEM NOW. Also, goes without saying this song bangs.
3. No One – Alicia Keys. Taking it doooooown a notch with the soulful Alicia Keys. Nowadays you can find Alicia using her calm zen voice and piano playin talents to host the Grammy’s but honestly nothing has really changed about her. She wails on the keys and makes you want to close your eyes, bop your head and try to hit the highest of notes. Which obviously, I can. In my car–solo concert style.
4. Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson. Kelly is queen of the breakup tell-off because that’s basically all she released for her first few albums that I listened to on repeat and just felt so UNDERSTOOD. Justin Guarini must’ve done a real number on her, that curly headed f*ck. This is one of her best numbers to scream sing to and I highly encourage that you do so. HERE I AM ONCE AGAIN just hits harder if you’re screaming at the top of your lungs.
5. If You Had My Love – Jennifer Lopez. Obviously I just did a whole blog dedicated to JLo’s hits and what I wanted her to perform at the super bowl–she performed 4 of those songs so shout out to JLo for reading my blog and being a woman of the people. Regardless, I’m not going to yap about the same songs here because that would just be redundant for my avid Salty Ju followers. Also, I could’ve picked any Jenny song and it would be a homerun. This particular tune is Jenny telling her mans how it’s gotta be because she’s not about to date a sleazeball. Ironically, the video (yes I’m going to reference basically every music video because this was the music video era and they all delivered the drama) is just a creepy guy sitting on his couch watching JLo dance around her house on his computer, watchmewatchu style. Yoikes not a turn I was expecting the song to make when she’s telling you to not mess this up, installing cameras in her house and peeping on her from afar is probably the quickest way to do that, sir.
6. Everything – FeFe Dobson. My homie FeFe wasn’t necessarily a heavy-hitter in the pop world like your Britney’s and your Mandy’s, but she holds a special place in my heart for when I was going through my punk pop phase and therefore I felt the need to give her a shout even though she pretty much disappeared after one album. If you look her up now, she’s apparently still making music but her instagram scared me, honestly and she’s married to a guy whose aesthetic is tattooed alternative cowboy rapper, so I’m out on that. Let’s just focus on the time period when she turned “do do dooooo” into actual lyrics.
7. Cry – Mandy Moore. I guess Mandy Moore does her best work when soundtracking a movie because I was deciding between Center Stage Mandy or A Walk to Remember Mandy for her feature on this playlist. Both wildly different stories and wouldn’t you know I went with the depressing one. Tearjerker classic A Walk to Remember was on TV a few weeks ago and I find myself equal parts ashamed and proud to admit that I could still recite the dialogue out loud word for word. Mostly because there will never be a more cringeworthy exchange than having a guy say I’m going to kiss you and replying “I might be bad at it.” Oh Jamie, you kiss virgin nerd bomber. Thank you for making me feel better as I laugh at you on my couch very much unemployed watching a 17 year old movie in the middle of a weekday. Either way, when Landon stares out at the water in the end SPOILER ALERT and says our love is like the wind, I can’t see it but I can feel it and you hear Mandy begin “I’ll always remember”, that’s a surefire way to have a single tear roll down your cheek. Thank you, Mandy.
8. Whenever, Wherever – Shakira. Even though I boo’ed the TV when Shakira came on first at the super bowl halftime show and I shouted DID JLO CALL IN SICK?! I still love Shakira. I just love JLo more and wanted a full JLo-Bowl with no interruptions. And I think that’s ok. I love Shakira but not like half-time show sort of love. I can still appreciate dem hips and self awareness for small boobs. Shaki paved the way for body confidence noting that it was lucky her breasts are small so they’re not confused with mountains. And you know what, same gurl. I’d never want someone to think my rack is the Alps cause that would be weird as hell.
9. Complicated – Avril Lavigne. You’ll notice that I’ve sprinkled in a few punk pop galz because at the end of the day, no matter how badass they tried to seem, anyone who tried to call themselves punk in the 2000’s were really just popstars who wore more eyeliner. Avril gave us the gift of incorporating a sassy uh-huh into a song and for that we should forever be grateful. But seriously, why ya gotta make things so complicated? Just chill the hell out. AND TELLLLLLLLL MEEEEEEEEE.
10. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani. Ah, this brings me back to my 8th grade school trip to Cleveland (because Cleveland counts as a vacation destination when you grow up in Syracuse) and all my rich friends who had their first iPods bumped this beat on the 6 hour bus ride so we could all flirt by sharing earbuds and spelling bananas. CLASSIC. Also the DJ at Turning Stone popped this off a couple of weekends ago and several adults lost their shit so it’s a timeless jam that I can confirm we ladies still stomp our feet like this to. CAUSE WE AIN’T NO HUSSY HOLLABACK GUUUUUUUUURLZ. (Also lolz to the time period when Gwen only hung out with a Japanese posse called her Harajuku girls. What a time to be alive.)
11. Irreplaceable – Beyoncé. I could’ve included a Bey club beat here, but my heart told me to slow it down and sass it up with this one. This was Thank U, Next before Ariana was just a twinkle in her dirtbag father’s eye. With just one dubz finger pointing movement, Queen B told her man to take everything he own in a box to the left and get the hell out of her house. Before there was Becky with the good hair or BOY BYE, there was TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT and I think that’s an important lesson to remember. No matter what age Beyoncé is, she’ll always remind you that she’s a strong goddess and you ain’t shit without her.
12. Boyfriend – Ashlee Simpson. We couldn’t shout out Jess without Ash, otherwise Ash would get all emo again and be like I’M LIVIN IN THE SHADOW, OF SOMEONE ELSE’S DREAM. Wah, wah, wah. This bop is less I’m jelly of my sister for being more famous, and more shut your face because I didn’t steal your boyf and isn’t that just so much more fun?! Makes ya wanna hop around and shake ya boyfriend-less booty.
13. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera. I’ve been having a real soft spot for the lady slow jamz on this mix. Sometimes you just wanna belt out and be in your feels and nothing puts you in your feels more than whispering “don’t look at me” before singing about how beautiful you are, probably in the mirror after a few hundred glasses of wine. Judge me, I don’t care. WORDS CAN’T BRING ME DOWN.
14. Come Clean – Hilary Duff. I can’t have an anthem playlist without the anthem for rich high school idiots who live near a beach. Just kidding, disassociate this song from Laguna because it’s a heater all on its own and has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with 16 year olds who spring break in Cabo. There’s no nostalgia quite like hearing the beginning weird whistle sounds of this song and knowing that you’re about to let that rain fall down.
15. Lucky – Britney Spears. Brit has had an entire career pre and post shaved head breakdown of smash hits and yet none of them are on the same playing field as Lucky. Lucky is the one song that unites us all. It’s so incredibly stupid and yet it’s the best storytelling song out there, complete with actual knocks on the door. If you don’t act this song out start to finish–beginning with a dramatic AF “this is the story about a girl named Lucky” then I don’t even want to know you as a person.