Ten years is just barely enough time to look back and see what stuck historically and what didn’t. We’re just barely moving away from the low-rise belly exposure of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to the high-waist style of Nicki Minaj. In the same way, ten years is just barely enough time to measure the changes in music. Mostly, it’s something you notice when a favorite song comes on, and it reminds you of a favorite time before you realize it’s ten years ago – ACK.
Looking back on 2003 is entirely jarring like that. Knowing a song is 10 years old, and then realizing what that means does not get easier with repeated listens. But 10 years is the first time we have the distance to realistically look back. It starts to be clear what has staying power and what is fading, and what elements caused a sea shift that continues today.
So, what was getting under your skin in 2003? What still moves you today? Here are four categories of songs that moved us in 2003, and have the power to provoke our memories or emotions today.
Earworms destined to be “Get them on the dancing floor”
Outkast - “Hey Ya.” It’s been 10 years since this pop song burst into life, filling every mall, radio station, commercial break and music player with an infectious sound. Mixing elements of funk and rock, and sporting a video that took the format of a 1960s live telecast in the same fashion that Weezer’s Buddy Holly and Nirvana’s In Bloom did, with a well polished band comprised of 8 different versions of Andre 3000 in green playing to screaming girls in the audience, it was irresistible.
Beyonce - “Crazy in Love.” In the Pantheon of songs that “everyone” knows, this one is a few down the list from “Single Ladies,” and just as much an ear worm. The song’s video paired Beyonce and her future husband Jay Z in a provocative tangle, with her writhing in a variety of skimpy outfits while he maintained a stoic presence. Knowing that these two were really crazy in love just makes the song that much more addictive. Winner of several MTV Video Music awards, including best R&B video. Are you dancing yet?
Sexy back then