There was a period of time in the mid-to-late ’00s when pop singer/songwriters were leaning into their most honeyed sensibilities. Instead of booming choruses and house-infused beats, they were strumming out a simple guitar tune that left the listener floating away into pure bliss. These are the songs we’ve chosen for this list.
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From Colbie Caillat to John Mayer, find five songs that fit perfectly with the change of the seasons, below.
5. “Bubbly,” Colbie Caillat
We’re starting off strong with the soft pop queen herself, Colbie Caillat. “Bubbly” has a texture to it that instantly recalls the era in which it was released. Though it might feel a little silly to be nostalgic for 2007, you can’t help but feel a little whistful for simpler times when this one comes on.
Perfectly coding some intense feelings behind naivety, Caillat delivered a Top 5 hit with “Bubbly” that still hits today. Try not to hum along to the chorus: It starts in my toes, and I crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes, I always know / That you make me smile, please stay for a while now / Just take your time, wherever you go.
4. “Say,” John Mayer
John Mayer shook up the music industry after launching his career in the late ’90s. It’s hard to think of someone quite like the Connecticut native, though many have tried to emulate the same magic since. Though he has evolved into what he has deemed “sob rock” these days, the early days of his career were rife with soft pop hits.
Any song from Mayer’s ’00s catalog could fit well on this list, but we’ve gone with “Say.” The song keeps a steady tempo from start to finish – so much so that it borders on easy listening. The perfect backdrop for an easy-breezy day.
3. “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles
Picking up the pace slightly, Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song” is a coded slight at her record label. She was struggling to produce a “big single” for them in 2007 and wrote this track out of frustration. Ironically, the song became one of her claims to fame.
Though many of us can’t relate to the plight of a struggling musician, you feel the need to live in Bareilles’ shoes for these four minutes. With the driving up-tempo of “Love Song,” it’s fodder for singing along with the windows down.
2. “Heal Over,” KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall is no stranger to an anthem – “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See” for example. But, her voice also lends itself well to more somber notes. In “Heal Over,” Tunstall sweeps the listener in with her lilting voice and rich harmonies.
Though it’s not an unknown track in Tunstall’s catalog, it could deserve more love. Give this one a spin and relax into Tunstall’s stilling vocals.
1. “Lucky,” Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
Taking things back to Caillat for a moment, she collaborated with Jason Mraz on this swaying duet in 2008. Both artists’ vocals have that undefinable quality that sets them apart from their peers. There is no mistaking either when they hop on a track.
“Lucky” is a classic of the mid-’00s. It earned the pair a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
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