Top Ten Songs of the 21st Century that are the Best of Their Respective Year

So that there is no mistake: this list is NOT about the best songs of the 21st century. It is about the songs that are the best of each year. The idea is that everyone adds ONE SONG PER YEAR that they consider the greatest of it (if it isn't already on the list), and then vote for the song they like best out of the ones added. The difference to a list about the best 21st century songs is that in such a list one especially strong year would be absolutely dominating (in my case, 2011 has countless of my favorite songs of this young century and would take up a majority of space in the top spots, but I can only add one song, which is my absolute favorite), on here this wouldn't be the case and each year will be featured equally.

The Top Ten

1 Wheel of Time - Blind Guardian (2010)
2 Spit Out the Bone - Metallica (2016)
3 And Then There Was Silence - Blind Guardian (2002)

This song was first released as a single in 2001 but it was on their 2002 album. - Metal_Treasure

4 Stan - Eminem (2000)

"Stan” is one of the most notorious examples of storytelling in music, and one of the most goosebumps inducing and jaw dropping ones on top.
In six minutes, Eminem creates a character so complex and tragic that he actually feels real. The issues Stan has can be found in society, mostly when a person doesn’t get the attention and love he needs, and they to compensate this by an exaggerated attachment to a celebrity or even fictional character they can relate to. Stan lives anything but a fulfilled life, and Eminem’s music was the only spark of understanding he ever felt, and feels like it is torn away from him. It’s also one of the first truly self reflective songs of Eminem, when he started realizing his music has impact on the world, way more than it was intended to be. Also the bitter irony of the final verse has some of the most brilliant and depressing lyricism I ever experienced. - Martin_Canine

5 I Am - Theocracy (2011)
6 Mutter - Rammstein (2001)

"Mutter” tells the story of an artificially created child who never had a mother giving birth to him or caring for him. He feels hate and rage towards his mother and drowns her. Like all Rammstein songs, this song’s advanced poetry is widely interpretable, and among the most common interpretations is it being about a clone, enraged and jealous of his natural counterpart who felt motherly love, killing his mother for not having there for him too. Another is more metaphorical: the artificial nature of the protagonist, most notably implied by the lack of a navel, stands for neglect and how the mother didn’t care for her child, and the killing part is only psychologically, erasing the mother from his memory and moving on. Whatever the interpretation is, “Mutter” is a striking poem working with drawing associations by description of sceneries, and it is the greatest and arguably most emotional example of Rammstein’s songwriting craft. It also has their most powerful music. - Martin_Canine

7 Mana - Equilibrium (2008)
8 Ghost Love Score - Nightwish (2004)

What Nightwish created with “Ghost Love Score” isn’t simply a song, it’s an adventure. It’s a 10 minute journey through various stunning soundscapes, and the diverse tone of the segments starts painting pictures in your head with the first tone, only to evolve from there on. The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Tarja Turunen work in perfect harmony to make Tuomas Holopainen’s dream world come to life, and they take us to joyous and glorious, threatening, or calm and delicate places, with perfect transitions. - Martin_Canine

9 Damien - Iced Earth (2001)
10 The Throne - Blind Guardian (2015)

The Contenders

11 American Life - Madonna (2003)

Maybe the challenging experimentalism of “American Life” was ahead of its time, and way too hard to handle for mainstream audiences of the early 2000s. The song definitely wasn’t praised the way it should have been and still isn’t hailed as one of her classics. Like much of the album, there is a symbiosis of melodic, minimalistic folk and equally minimalistic but distorted and even a bit daring electronic elements. But on here, she uses it to get a thought process across, about her materialistic world and by contrasting the glamorous lifestyle everybody dreams of with a grittier, dirty industry and way of thinking. “American Life” is an unsettling song at times, but it is Madonna at her most stirring, most artful. - Martin_Canine

12 Mensch - Herbert Grönemeyer (2002)

Herbert Grönemeyer wrote “Mensch” after a hiatus due to the loss of his wife and his brother. The sadness, but also the will to continue in life, is present throughout the entire song - and album, for that matter. While trying to cope with the depression, the song also works as an essay on the oddities of the human species, which he sings are the reason why he will ultimately be able to further live his life. It also is an outstanding song musically, having a soft, melodic composition, modern day drum kits and a characteristic, toned down yet strong vocal performance. - Martin_Canine

13 Everything Burns - Ben Moody & Anastacia (2005)

A song of such a power would have deserved to be in a movie better than “Fantastic Four”. It would belonged on a movie dwelling more on personal conflict and the search for understanding. Ben Moody, who is best known for his work with Evanescence, has packed all the insecure and negative feelings into the writing of this song about a girl ignored by the world that still keeps on singing until the world has to hear her in all her overwhelming emotion. International superstar Anastacia gives her heart to the performance - you can almost hear the tears in her eyes during the first verse - but when she sings the final chorus, everything burns. And with what fire. - Martin_Canine

14 Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (2006)

Before anybody points it out, I already realized my mistake, this song is from 2006. And it stands as my favorite song from that year. In that case, I'll think of another song from 2007 to put on here, and I'll just leave the Christina Aguilera song on here in case someone wants to vote for it. - Martin_Canine

"Welcome to the Black Parade”, as well as the album it is from, may be the only modern work from a popular rock genre that has the same big ambition of the 70s concept albums. But as great as the whole album is, this is the moment that everybody remembers. The bittersweet nostalgia, the gentle piano intro, the thundering parade-like drums, the powerful guitars, the punk-ish main part and the cinematic ending section of the song - this song is so filled up with action that it indeed feels like witnessing the many different trucks of a parade, seeing all through a child’s eye. - Martin_Canine

15 Sacrifice - Edguy (2006)
16 Orbital Elements - Obscura (2009)
17 Oh Mother - Christina Aguilera (2006)

I originally chose this song as my favorite of 2006, but I mistook My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade" as being from 2007, but it was released a year earlier. Now, "Oh Mother" is no longer on my remix as it was replaced by the My Chemical Romance track, but of course you can still vote for it or include it on yours.

Original text:
I must say this was the hardest to choose. This and Beyoncé’s “Listen” are the most stunning soul pieces of the 21st century, and both were released in 2006. And I came to the conclusion that Beyoncé’s song has the greater vocal performance, and is even equivalent to the big divas of the 60s, but that Aguilera’s “Oh Mother” is far, far, far, far more hard hitting on an emotional level. Aguilera pours her heart out, she bleeds her lines rather than singing them, and we can feel in every line, every nuance of every word, how she wants to hold and protect her mother so bad. Probably the most ...more - Martin_Canine

18 Paradise - Coldplay (2011)

As I said in the description, 2011 is arguably my favorite music year of the 21st century, or at least of the 2010s, but even with amazing music of all kinds of genres (including Eko Fresh and Kollegah releasing the two single greatest German hip hop songs of all time), it was clear from the beginning that “Paradise” needs to be number one. I am not even such a hardcore Coldplay fan (I really liked everything I heard by them so far, but little blew me away), but this song is just mind blowing. Every piano note, drum kit, word, keyboard, string, guitar - it manages to give a feeling that little songs give me: freedom. The song’s premise of fleeing the world through fantasy couldn’t have been executed any better. Close your eyes to this song, and watch your paradise emerge. - Martin_Canine

19 Crimson King - Demons & Wizards (2005)

BuT hOw DoEs It WoRk? - Jackamalio

20 Rolling in the Deep - Adele (2010)
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