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Top 10 Rock Songs of the 2000s

Top 10 Rock Songs of the 2000s
VOICE OVER: Patrick Mealey WRITTEN BY: Andy Hammersmith
These tracks represent the finest examples of the genre at the start of the 21st century. For this list, we'll be looking at the best rock songs from the years 2000 to 2009. Our countdown includes “Welcome to the Black Parade”, “Mr. Brightside”, “American Idiot”, and more!

Top 10 Rock Songs of the 2000s


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rock Songs of the 2000s.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best rock songs from the years 2000 to 2009. These tracks represent the finest examples of the genre at the start of the 21st century.

Did we forget one of your favorite rock compositions? Let us know in the comments below.

#10: “Welcome to the Black Parade” (2006)

My Chemical Romance

Emo to their core, My Chemical Romance created one of the rock subgenre's most notable songs. Lead singer Gerard Way rallies the group for one of their sonic masterpieces in thrilling fashion. In a triumphant introduction, the vocalist lures audiences into a conceptual feast for the ears. It even manages to delve into punk at one point without missing a beat. The accompanying music video complements the whole production by revealing the more cinematic aspects of the song itself. Way's ability to transition between the operatic beginning and hard rock conclusion, along with the expert orchestration around him, never fails to sweep audiences off of their feet.

#9: “No One Knows” (2002)

Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age is maybe the most significant band from the desert rock movement, going fully mainstream with "No One Knows." A clever rhythm gets the song going in a unique composition from their hit "Songs for the Deaf" album. Drummer Dave Grohl joins the band to lay down a precise part worthy of his previously lauded work. Leading the pack, Josh Homme proves himself as one of the underrated frontmen of the 2000s with his assured performance. Not the first or last winner from the band, this piece sees them at the height of their popularity.

#8: “Best of You” (2005)

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters have been flying the flag for modern rock for multiple decades. "Best of You" captures them in one of their many high points as performers and songwriters. Singer Dave Grohl lights up the track right from the get-go, delivering an introductory verse that perfectly sets the tone. Grohl strains his voice with all of the passion he can muster in one of his most aggressive deliveries ever. Taylor Hawkins’ drumming brings out the finer points of the song's structure, punctuating the chorus in all of the right parts. The frontman's scream and Hawkins' drum rolls are just two highlights from a piece loaded with pure emotion.

#7: “Uprising” (2009)

Muse

Muse was an established act before the success of "Uprising," but the track made them a worldwide talking point. The English band brings a thumping beat and surging guitar chords to this motivating track. Using pointed lyrics, singer Matt Bellamy gives one of his finest performances on mic. The vocalist tackles political messages with a layered sound that supports the angry words. Building with intensity, the rock group never relents in an epic result that reminds people of Muse's finer qualities. "Uprising" and its accompanying album effectively represent the outer reaches of modern glam rock.

#6: “Mr. Brightside” (2003)

The Killers

Many audiences were introduced to the Killers with this hit single. With "Mr. Brightside," the group brings together all of their greatest assets into an impressive debut. Brandon Flowers lays out the lyrics like a deeply personal novel, telling the story of a man discovering his partner's affair. The opening riff and compelling melody lure listeners into a fully-realized world. By the time the hook comes around, the track truly shines in all of its rock glory. The Killers made their presence known with a defining song of the alternative movement that kickstarted their commendable career.

#5: “In the End” (2001)

Linkin Park

While definitely a nu metal song, Linkin Park's "In the End" also has a foot firmly planted in hard rock. The guitars are on full blast in this multi-genre epic from the early part of the decade. All these years later, it retains all of its raw energy with an explosive vocal from Chester Bennington. He and rapper Mike Shinoda trade lyrics in a deep exploration of humanity. Leave it to Linkin Park to investigate the darkness in everyone's soul and rock out in the best way possible. The dense production buzzes from every corner with a song that pumps people up to this day.

#4: “Take Me Out” (2004)

Franz Ferdinand

"Take Me Out" holds one of the most infectious and electric compositions of the 2000s. The Scottish band divides the track into two distinct sections with equally engrossing material. Breaking after an extended intro, a perfect transition leads into the main section with a groove that is undeniably awesome. Their driving guitar parts combine modern rock, post-punk, and alternative influences into one captivating production. With chart success on both sides of the Atlantic, the single was received well by audiences and critics alike. The end product is a dynamic work and Franz Ferdinand's permanent stamp on pop culture.

#3: “Last Nite” (2001)

The Strokes

The Strokes helped restore the coolness of music with their garage rock homage "Last Nite." From their massive album "Is This It," the band sneaks up on listeners with its inviting guitar riff. Singer Julian Casablancas' raspy voice provides the entire track with a gritty charm that few can replicate. It perfectly captures the young New York lifestyle that the group came out of and represented better than anyone. The production emphasizes their instrumentation, not needing to disguise any of their fantastic performances. This also contributed to the growing post-punk revival and remains one of its greatest examples.

#2: “American Idiot” (2004)

Green Day

Green Day had a big decade in the 90s, but that was nothing compared to their comeback in the 2000s. "American Idiot" shot them back into the charts with a title track that was their angriest statement yet. The political lyrics make Billie Joe Armstrong's opinions clear, along with a few killer power chords. Armstrong's satirical look at America stirs up controversy and doesn't care what anybody else thinks. It's an earworm like few others of its kind, proudly flaunting its pop-punk nature to perfect effect. The rest of the band gives the track extra depth as the anthemic single leaves your ears ringing in the best possible way.

Before we unveil our top pick of the decade, here are some honorable mentions

“Bring Me to Life” (2003), Evanescence
Amy Lee & Her Bandmates Create a Goth Metal Classic with an Unmistakable Chorus

“Obstacle 1” (2002), Interpol
Interpol Crafts a Post-Punk Revival Track Full of Intriguing Lyrics & Precise Guitar Sounds

“Maps” (2003), Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Alternative Act Make Themselves Known in a Major Way with Karen O’s Great Vocals

“I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003), The Darkness
This Glam Rock Throwback Was a Surprise & Welcome Hit in the Early 2000s

“Kryptonite” (2000), 3 Doors Down
An Alternative Rock Song That Tackles Serious Themes Using a Man of Steel Metaphor

#1: “Seven Nation Army” (2003)

The White Stripes

"Seven Nation Army" is not only one of the best rock songs of the decade. It transcends its era as a timeless anthem. A simple guitar lick serves as the foundation for one of the 21st century's most famous tracks. Jack and Meg White both prove that the feel of a great song doesn't depend on complexity. Both the riff and standard drum pattern build into a true crescendo. Beyond rock playlists and the occasional reference in media, this piece has become a chant for sporting events around the world. It also encapsulates the true power and ingenuity of the White Stripes.
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