The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2007

Recently, my good friend and frequent collaborator Austin Shinn gave me a challenge, one that he would be indulging in as well. Pick your most formative year for music and pick the top ten songs from Billboard’s Year End Hot 100 from that year. I considered several years in the early processes of creating this list, but it occurred to me that one of our favorite music critics had been making top ten lists for…basically half of my life, and ultimately I didn’t feel right rehashing any of the years I covered. And so, in my search, I stumbled upon 2007. Several of my favorite bands and artists had had hit songs this year, and the idea of picking through these tracks, ranking them and making devastating cuts from the final list, excited me so much that I knew 2007 was the year I wanted to pick through.

Which is why, without further ado, I’m counting down….

THE TOP TEN BEST HIT SONGS OF 2007
NUMBER TEN

I know I implied that several of my favorite bands and artists had big hits in the year I chose, and believe me I will get to those, but in my search through the entire Year End Hot 100, I stumbled upon a song I completely forgot exists, and indeed one that I completely forgot I absolutely love.

10. “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat.

A lot of songs that I chose for this list are fairly dark in subject matter, so the placement of a song called “Bubbly” made by a twee folk pop singer named Colbie Caillat may throw some people off. And it’s true that I tend to lean towards darker songs, but let it not be said that I can’t appreciate the occasional cute little acoustic love song.

This track is called “Bubbly,” and Caillat means it. The entire song is about what happens to her when she looks at her lover, and the way she describes it is…possibly the most sickly sweet way she could have. It’s a warm blanket and a cute tap on the nose in song form, and by my count there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Conflate it to a Disney movie, if you will. As you grow up, you’re likely to lean towards the movies that make you think. It’s normal. But at the same time, you just know that you’ll watch a classic Disney movie, and all of the innocent emotions you felt as a kid will come flooding back. That is precisely what “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat did for me as I was researching for this list, and that’s not nothing.

NUMBER NINE

One of the last cuts I made for this list was “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna, and it hurt to leave off. I was first introduced to it when it was featured in Wreck-It Ralph, and I remember instantly loving it. The Rihanna song I actually ended up going with is…not one I used to like. I struggle to say I ever hated it, but it did take me a long time to say I truly loved it. And once I did, I couldn’t believe I ever doubted it’s power.

9. “Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z.

“Umbrella,” though great, is difficult for me to make an interesting case for. Not because it’s not actually a great song, clearly that’s not true, but it’s the kind of great where basically everything you can say about it is that it’s a perfect pop song. The production and instrumental, the way Jay-Z and Rihanna (both absolute icons, can I say) pass the mic off to one another, and the incredible hook that everyone who listened to the radio in 2007 knows by heart…all of these mix together into one perfect track. It’s just too difficult for me to deny anymore.

NUMBER EIGHT

I realized early on that creating this post came with an issue that I couldn’t weasel myself around for long.

I…love…Avril Lavigne’s music. Like, a lot. A lot.

8. “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne.

Maybe it’s not that weird, but in a post 2000s world, I get the feeling that you’re not supposed to unironically love Avril Lavigne. “The girl who released “Hello Kitty,” really?” Yeah, really. 2007 was a gold mine for pop punk hits, and for my money, “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne is the most fun of any of them, though maybe not quite the best.

One of the things I had to come to terms with while writing this list is that Avril Lavigne just straight up knows exactly how to work her way around a hook, and “Girlfriend” is no exception. And one of the keys to unlocking this song, as well as most of Avril Lavigne’s discography, is understanding that…it’s supposed to be fun and silly. You’re not supposed to take a lick of this seriously, and for that reason “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne has always gone down so well for me. But I get that tongue-in-cheek songs are not everybody’s cup of tea, so if you want to hear “Girlfriend” taken dead seriously, you can have….

NUMBER SEVEN

7. “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy.

Quick spoiler: this is not the only Fall Out Boy song on this list. I tried not to double up on artists, which is one reason why I had to choose one Rihanna song, but seeing as Fall Out Boy is one of my favorite bands, I couldn’t live without making one exception. I decided that “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” was a weaker song only because I felt like it didn’t say as much about the artists as people, or the world at large for that matter, as the other track as well as most songs off “Infinity On High.”

But let the record show that “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” is still a fantastic song, and possibly one of the most biting break up anthems Fall Out Boy has ever released, right outside of “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today.” It’s not a polite song, but in Fall Out Boy’s prime they didn’t really do polite songs. In terms of break up songs, “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” isn’t angry in the mopey way. It’s angry in the “oh yeah? Well, look at how happy I am with my new girlfriend. And also f$&k you” kind of way. It’s rude but oh so fun, like most of Fall Out Boy’s best tracks.

NUMBER SIX

And after two high energy pop punk singles, let’s stop the momentum dead in its tracks and talk about a slow building ballad.

6. “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.

I’m not entirely certain what “Chasing Cars” is about, but if I had to guess judging by the countless inclusions on the popular television show Grey’s Anatomy, I should suspect it’s about death. Certainly sounds like that kind of song, anyway, but however you interpret it, it’s hard to deny that it’s a damn sad song. It paints a picture of one story ending or momentarily stopping while everything else continues moving in a way you absolutely cannot keep up with. It’s a simple song, one with very few words and rather easy piano chords, but something about how it all comes together makes “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol feel so, so powerful, and devastatingly realistic. It hurts, yes, but it’s also an extremely gratifying listen, which I believe is how all ballads of this kind should be.

NUMBER FIVE

As I mentioned before, this countdown came from a conversation I had with Austin Shinn. We talk a lot about how many countdown collaborations sound like great ideas, and I hope there are more in the future. One of these ideas was our top twenty favorite break up songs, which is when I discovered that my next pick is one he despises. And…I respect his opinion obviously, but I don’t see how he can even dispute that this is one of the greatest country songs of all time.

Sorry, buddy. Forgive me.

5. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.

Hell yes to this song. Hell yes. It doesn’t take much for me to love a fierce girl power song (“Jagged Little Pill” by Alanis Morrissette is one of my favorite albums of the nineties for that reason), and “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood is one of the best by my count. Forget how well written and structured it is, painting perfect examples of her cheating boyfriend as well as the proper thrashing of his car, but this just sounds fantastic. The production is astoundingly crisp in exactly the way it needs to be, and the operatic backing vocals in the chorus certainly help. Just an absolutely perfect song…and I somehow found four hits from 2007 that I prefer to it. That’s absurd to me.

NUMBER FOUR

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021 was the four year anniversary of the suicide of one of the most iconic and most talented musicians of the century. It’s always a difficult time of year for me because of the tragedy that occurred, but it brings me pleasure to realize that I would be able to rate one of his songs this high on a best list.

Rest In Peace, Chester Bennington. Thanks for all the music.

4. “What I’ve Done” by LINKIN PARK.

It’s difficult to listen to LINKIN PARK in light of what happened to their front man, not only because it feels like you’re listening to a ghost, but also because so many of their songs are deeply tied in with depression and regretting your past. On “What I’ve Done,” Chester Bennington expresses so much regret for his sins, as well as the world’s at large. It’s hard to stomach nowadays, but even with that it’s still a fantastic damn song. “Minutes to Midnight” is far from my favorite LINKIN PARK album (I’ve considered doing a full ranking of their studio albums), but it is chock full of beautifully written angst in a way that presents an interesting case study after that awful day in 2017. “What I’ve Done” is certainly one of the best examples of that.

NUMBER THREE

Alright, alright. I’ll get to the other Fall Out Boy track already.

3. “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” by Fall Out Boy.

Almost every track on “Infinity On High” provides a cynical look at the world of popular artistry, in retaliation to the band smashing onto the scene so hard with their previous album “From Under the Cork Tree.” “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” projects the superficiality of their business in an ingenious way, singing about becoming a cog in the machine while turning it into a sing-along that’s outrageously fun to sing at their concerts, where this song is played with clockwork regularity. Pete Wentz is an incredible writer, and he has arguably never worn sarcasm as well as he does on this hit song, which…contextually maybe shouldn’t have been a hit. Oh well, it’s great.

NUMBER TWO

2. “Face Down” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

And I thought “What I’ve Done” was difficult to write about. If you know a thing about this single, you should know that I am walking on thin ice trying to talk about this in a tasteful way, because “Face Down” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is about a touchy subject: domestic violence.

Like “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” it is a pop punk track that serves as a giant slap in the face to the target, but unlike “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” there is no glory to this. “Face Down” is unequivocally, one hundred percent no fun for anyone. It’s a brutal and brutally honest portrayal of what victims go through with their abusers, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus thankfully takes this topic entirely seriously. The slap in the face comes with telling the man that he should receive absolutely no remorse, and the good will on this single comes with the hope that the victim will leave her abuser in the dust and become a happier person in the process.

It’s about as powerful and sincere as a pop punk song has ever gotten, and it has rightfully earned its spot high on this list. And yet it is not my number one. What’s my top pick? Are you ready?

NUMBER ONE

“Face Down” is a fantastic song for a lot of reasons, but if I’m being honest…my number one was cemented in stone a long time ago. It’s a selection from one of my favorite albums, by one of my favorite bands, and anyone could easily make the case that this is one of the best songs ever written.

What else could I be talking about?

1. “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance.

Of course number one is “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. Was there ever any doubt that this would top my list? This five minute rock epic was the lead single to an astounding rock opera named “The Black Parade,” largely about a cancer patient being forced to deal with his past and his sins and face death head on. And this song in particular, man, I don’t know.

If every track on “The Black Parade” were a hit, they likely would have made up for the entire top ten list. But “Welcome to the Black Parade” is My Chemical Romance’s biggest hit by a huge margin, and if this must be the track I include then so be it. It’s operatic. It’s multi-parted. It packs up every single theme of the finished product in one five minute masterpiece, complete with iconic opening piano notes and a marching band style drum fill to lead it home.

There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that “Welcome to the Black Parade” would top my list, because even if every one of my choices are inescapably good in my opinion, “Welcome to the Black Parade” is a full blown masterpiece, and I knew that for a fact before I even ventured through the other hits of 2007. It’s absolutely perfect, and a must hear for any fan of modern rock. Take my advice.

Read Austin Shinn’s list of The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 1989 here: https://aflickeringlife.wordpress.com

One thought on “The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2007

  1. Haven’t heard of any of these. We live in two very different music worlds. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Like

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