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 Contenders: Page 2

21 Love Lockdown - Kanye West (2008)

The biggest problem with Kanye West may be that he is a rapper, and therefore is often measured by hip hop standards, while actually being all about the vibe of the music. On songs like “Love Lockdown” he throws hip hop out of the window completely, and loses himself in a vibrant musical experience, full of memorable piano notes, tribal drums and the most emotional use of autotune ever heard. It is also a rare occasion in which we get to see the softer, more melancholical sides of Kanye’s personality. - Martin_Canine

22 The World is Yours - Arch Enemy (2017)
23 Donaukinder - Rammstein (2009)

Unjustly only a bonus track on “Liebe ist für alle da”, this melodic and haunting tale is one of the band’s most deeply depressing songs. Only describing sceneries, we get a clear impression of the intoxication of the river Danube that kills the animals and destroys the environment. And the most shocking thing: everybody acts as if they didn’t knew about it - that is, until the first children died. Whereas “Mutter” has an overall emotional tone and motivations that can be understood, “Donaukinder” not only confronts us with real issues, it also only tells us the fatal and disastrous results. It is not built up like a story. This is just a description of the scene after the events. - Martin_Canine

24 Dark Fantasy - Kanye West (2010)

On “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, Kanye West lets us take part in his completely insane mind, a fully excessive, sometimes funny, rarely cheerful and always unsettling experience. The opening song, “Dark Fantasy” already sets the tone. It starts off with a modern retelling of a modern retelling of a fairytale, then offers a lush production with choir and piano, before switching to a hip hop beat, with Kanye spitting whatever fragment of thought he may have, and all over again. Yes, it does feel like an introduction, but it’s also great on its own. - Martin_Canine

25 Unforgivable Youth - Lupe Fiasco (2012)

This was another tough one. While Aguilera’s and Beyoncé’s songs were at least comparable, this time I had to decide between this conscious hip hop song and Lana Del Rey’s “Cola”. The latter has a dreamy, melodic tone and fabulous, sensational metaphorical lyrics to describe the lifestyle Lana Del Rey lives - it’s also arguably her biggest earworm. But “Unforgivable Youth” is a hip hop song (also a surprisingly melodic one) centering around the holocausts in American history, and delivering an earth shattering twist in its final verse. Musically, I think both songs are the best possible in their respective genres, but “Unforgivable Youth” was just more meaningful. - Martin_Canine

26 Medusa - Tarja (2013)

With “Medusa”, Tarja reached such a level of perfection that she could indeed compete with some Nightwish releases, but she actually has totally different ideas than Symphonic Metal on here. Instead of creating her own “Ghost Love Score”, she adds psychedelic and oriental musical elements to the epic song, making the song appear to slowly, steadily flow forward. It’s a song that evolves throughout its more than 8 minutes rather than changing sound and mood. The song is a duet with Justin Furstenfeld, which adds a musical feel to it. - Martin_Canine

27 Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst (2014)

In 2014, Conchita Wurst won the international music competition Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Rise Like a Phoenix”, but this is actually the least interesting part, considering it sparked a massive LGBTQ movement in Austria, going so far that traffic lights were altered to depict same sex couples. “Rise Like a Phoenix” is anthemic. Its orchestra and big band loaded instrumentation, soulful belting and classy melody are worthy of a James Bond theme song. And Conchita Wurst has the charisma to get the message across in a way that appears undeniably unusual and extravagant yet never over the top. - Martin_Canine

28 American Oxygen - Rihanna (2015)

After some years of underwhelming music by Rihanna, “American Oxygen” made me perk my ears. In 2015, Rihanna found back to her qualities from the 2000s, and with this song, she tripled the scale. What the song does so perfectly is summing up in only few lines what is the true greatness of the USA, something every non-American will tell you about it as well (Rihanna is from Barbados): you can make a fortune out of nothing. It’s also a feeling, a vibe, something you can breathe in like oxygen. Rihanna feels it, Rihanna lives it, and Rihanna shares it with us. Alex de Kid and Kanye West also outdid themselves with the almost meditative beat work. - Martin_Canine

29 Sanageyama - Dat Adam (2016)

On “Sanageyama”, DatAdam jot down all the problems they have with modern society, issue for issue, line by line. There is too much superficiality, egos are too important, democracy only seemingly works, people forcefully ignore any world problems, not all beings are allowed to live. “Sanageyama” is highly impulsive. During his verse, Taddl gets louder and louder until he is screaming so loud out of true honest rage that the floor starts quaking, and he keeps repeating how much it pisses him off. The music is almost entirely made off minimalistic bleeps. That is until in the final minute a heavy beat starts and a guitar solo is played. A true goosebumps moment. - Martin_Canine

30 unendlichkeit - Cro (2017)

On “unendlichkeit”, Cro, Germany’s shiny big star of the 2010s, gets overwhelmed by all the fame, luxury and possibilities but at the same time realizes that it isn’t enough to earn him a legacy. He wants to leave a landmark to the world that comes after him, he wants to be remembered for something. Cro lets us take part in his most introspective moments and wishes, and how he evolved in the past years since he instantly came from virtually nothing to becoming a chart topper. It also has one of the most alive, intensive melodies and productions since 2011’s “Paradise”. There are two versions of the song, the album version including a rap verse and the video version including a sung verse. They are absolutely equal in quality, in all possible aspects. - Martin_Canine

31 Whiteomega - Moonspell (2012)
32 Dreamer - Spiritual Beggars (2013)
33 King for a Day - Primal Fear (2014)
34 All I Got is You - Deep Purple (2017)
35 Fiddler on the Green - Demons & Wizards (2000)
36 Sinner - Theocracy (2003)
37 New Age Messiah - Edguy (2004)
38 Rain - Gamma Ray (2007)
39 Anthem - Iced Earth (2011)
40 We are Number One - Robbie Rotten (2014)
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Top Remixes

1. Wheel of Time - Blind Guardian (2010)
2. Spit Out the Bone - Metallica (2016)
3. And Then There Was Silence - Blind Guardian (2002)
1. Stan - Eminem (2000)
2. Mutter - Rammstein (2001)
3. Ghost Love Score - Nightwish (2004)



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