best songwriters of 2000s

Swift's first three albums display her emotional yet uncommonly inventive country style — even early hits like "Our Song" and "Tim McGraw" sound like nobody else. T. Bone Burnett calls "Sail Away," "the greatest satire in the history of American music. Frank Ocean "I felt like a cellophane rapper on a pack of cigarettes.". The romantic album highlights the best moments of being in love — and could even serve as a guide on how to add a little spice to a longterm relationship. Her "Rhiannon," "Sara" and "Gold Dust Woman" were full of post-hippie witchy imagery, but under the gossamer surface, they were deceptively tough-minded accounts of heartbreak and betrayal in the L.A. heyday of free love and hard drugs. But large-scale success as a performer eluded him. His most recent Number One, "The Monster," features bonkers couplets like "Straw into gold chump, I will spin/Rumpelstiltskin in a haystack/Maybe I need a straight jacket, face facts." The first time most people heard David Bowie, he was playing an astronaut named Major Tom, floating through space, completely cut off from civilization. Whatever the subject, Browne brings the same probing, thoughtful take on what he called, in "Looking East," "the search for the truth." After the split, Barry continued to write songs for acts including the Archies and Olivia Newton–John; Greenwich developed Leader of the Pack, a musical about her career. Songs like "Badlands" could make a rousing anthem out of existential crisis, and as he focused his sound and narrative, his music continued to gain power and the mass audience he knew it always deserved: Born in the U.S.A. delivered seven Top 10 singles — as many as Michael Jackson's Thriller. First are the meaty, hooky melodies, dating back to early Diamond sing-alongs like "Cherry, Cherry" and "Sweet Caroline" and extending into later, more brooding angst-a-thons like "I Am. "I wanted to write the great American novel, but I also loved rock & roll," Reed told an interviewer in 1987. ", No one better rendered the complexity of personal life or global politics, or better connected the two, than Lennon during his solo career in universal songs like "Watching the Wheels" and "Imagine." Besides writing about the psychology of polymorphous sexuality and drug users, he penned some of the most beautiful love songs in history ("Pale Blue Eyes," "I'll Be Your Mirror"). From 60s releases by 2016 Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan to 21st-century releases by David Crosby and Beck, we pick the top 25 singer songwriter albums. Copied to clipboard. ", He may sound (and look) like the prototypical SoCal balladeer, but Browne has spent his career pushing the singer-songwriter envelope. Lyrically, his use of William Burroughs-style cut and paste made for fascinating, if at times, baffling flows of image and ideas. I would write it out on a piece of paper and underneath, I'd line a word up with each syllable: 'and bend all mystic sentence trees.' Playlists Singer-Songwriters: The 100 Greatest Songs. Dylan himself saw no difference between modern times and the storied past – reading about the Civil War helped him understand the Sixties –which allowed him to rewire folk ballads passed down through generations into songs that both electrified the current moment and became lasting standards. In addition to achieving huge crossover pop success in the U.S., their work was also a massive influence on the British Invasion: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Hollies and the Searchers were just some of the acts who recorded their songs. I'm told I have a lot of feelings." "At certain tempo, the way Elvis sang was the result of copying Otis' demos," said Blackwell's friend Doc Pomus. West has given us the weapons-grade industrial punk of "New Slaves," the forlorn vocoder balladry of 2008's 808s & Heartbreak (which paved the way for the confessional hip-hop of J. Cole and Drake) and, this year, the haunting Paul McCartney collaboration "Only You." And in "Running on Empty," "Boulevard" and others, he also knew, far more than most of his peers, the value in rocking out. Unsung Heroes: The 36 Best Songwriters Of The 2000s. Through it all, her songs have been consistently stamped with her own sensibility and inflected with autobiographical detail. Copied to clipboard. "Even in the early days we used to write things separately, because Paul was always more advanced than I was," John Lennon once said. Kanye isn't afraid to outsource (Chicago rapper Rhymefest co-wrote the lyrics to his first game-changing hit, "Jesus Walks," and the credits to his albums can often read like veritable productions workshops). "I couldn't write the 'Darling, you left alone and blue' or 'I'm drunk in this bar and crying' [songs]— I just didn't get it," he once said. "He's the only artist who was able to, basically, feed babies the most elaborate of foods that you would never give a child and know exactly how to break down the portions so they could digest it." Why He’s Dope: Dream could be considered the anti-writer. But he also penned darkly introspective masterpieces like "In My Room" and "God Only Knows," as well as groundbreaking symphonic masterpieces like 1966's Pet Sounds, which transformed the idea of rock album-making itself and inspired the Beatles' own masterpiece Sgt. We asked MusicRadar users to nominate the greatest rock and pop songwriters of all time and then put these nominations to the vote. .unorthodox never sounded lovelier or more clever. Why She’s Dope: Conspiracy theorists may balk at Beyoncé’s inclusion, claiming she doesn’t write her own material. Their songs of struggle and triumph brought class consciousness to Brill Building pop, with hits like "On Broadway" for the Drifters, "Uptown" for the Crystals, and "We Gotta Get Out of the Place" for the Animals, but they are best known for the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." "You can get some pretty interesting idea combinations like this." The team fell apart once Hayes became a hot buttered soul star in his own right, but they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame together in 2005, three years before Hayes' death. Just check her discography. And the selections are only getting tougher. "I don't like to make things too obvious, because it gets stale," Cobain said. Yet, in that brief career, he created an amazing body of work. Judging by his latest hits, Miguel has mastered the art of writing about love and all its dimensions, whether it’s the simple things (“Let’s Just Be”), pure physical lust (“Quickie”) or showering your partner with affection (“Adorn”). Their work was at once primal and complex, charged by conflict, desire and anger, and unafraid to be explicit about it musically or lyrically. "He ricochets around them." "Walter would listen to what I had and come up with some kind of narrative structure. ", Dixon was a fine performer and bass player, but he made his greatest contribution as house songwriter at Chess Records in the 1950s. "I think the things I write about are the things I can't fight for," he told Rolling Stone in 1970. The more you listen, the clearer it becomes that Marr isn't exaggerating. Eddie's deceptively simple lyrics — written to Brian and Lamont's completed tracks — often focused on bittersweet, tormented love ("I got a lot of ideas from what I learned talking to women," he said). I can't. StarGate The Canadian singer worked with a diverse group of songwriters and producers including The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Pop & Oak, Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, Polow Da Don and The Stereotypes. Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, the writing partners at the center of the Grateful Dead, are the psychedelic Rodgers and Hart. Yet, despite the heights his music scaled, Wilson's songwriting methodology was deceptively simple. Terius "The Dream" Nash The challenge was to not do another 'Mamma Mia' or 'Waterloo.'" Got more into writing," he said. ... With the playing field more level than ever, at its best, the 2000s were a freewheeling musical meritocracy. He’s proven his lyrical expertise by penning songs for his own hip-hop projects, and ballads, and won BMI Urban Awards for Songwriter of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Lyrically, he tends to stick to one freaky subject. : 1: Cupid Shuffle: Cupid: 2007: Popular: 2: Cha-Cha Slide: Mr. C The Slide Man "You want to write songs that are bigger than life," he wrote in his memoir, Chronicles. "I would come up with a basic musical structure, perhaps a hook line and occasionally a story idea," Fagen once said, recalling their process. Behind every great artist is a super genius songwriter. ("It's like you're getting beamed it," Yorke has said, "like with a ouija board"). Their breakthrough was the 1966 Ray Charles party classic "Let's Go Get Stoned," but once the duo went to work at Motown, romantic love became their sole topic. "We write about each other, we have continually written about each other, and we'll probably keep writing about each other until we're dead," she told Rolling Stone last year. Best Known For: Ciara’s “1,2 Step,” Aaliyah’s “4 Page Letter” and “One in a Million” Bartholomew also wrote scores of hits for other New Orleans artists, many of which became rock standards: "I Hear You Knocking," "One Night," "I'm Walkin'." ", For all of pioneering funk radical George Clinton's subversive use of hard grooves, distortion, jamming, Afro-futurism and arena-wowing spaceships, the vast P-Funk canon was built on traditional songwriting chops. Over the next 14 years, they collaborated on more than 50 charted singles — mostly written by one or both of them — and became the architects of the New Orleans rock & roll sound: two-and-a-half-minute jewels featuring effervescent piano boogie, in-your-face rhythms and lyrics that drew on local vernacular. "The sadness came from. ", More than six decades after he died at 29 years old in a car wreck on New Year's Day 1953, Hank Williams is still the most revered country artist of all time, and his impact on the history of rock & roll is just as complete. You admit everything that's wrong and you talk about it in the sharpest terms, in the keenest way you can.". Married songwriting partnerships are hardly rare, but few husband-and-wife teams explored the dynamics of monogamy with the depth and insight of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. by If the personal is political, Loretta Lynn was Nashville's down-home feminist revolutionary. Timbaland . The 50 best songs of the 2000s. "Norman Whitfield was the visionary," Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey recalled. "I got tremendous inspiration and a sense of place from the performers who had imagined it before me," he once told Rolling Stone. Click to copy. It sounds like they were written a hundred years ago." The quintessential New York singer-songwriter, he switches between styles effortlessly with as much attention to rhythm as melody, a rare quality among artists who came of age in the folk era. Share. 5/23/2011. As a solo act after their divorce, King gave voice to a generation of women who were establishing their own lives and identities in the Seventies; her 1971 masterpiece Tapestry remains one of the biggest-selling albums ever. Green sang about romantic ecstasy and failings and deeper longings for divine love (the language of Scripture has never been far from his lyrics, even when he was writing secular material). But any music industry creative will tell you there’s more to it than just penning the words—it’s the adlibs, the structure, the meticulous re-writing and editing. West claims he didn't write down any of his rhymes until taking a more craft-oriented approach on 2010's monumentally ambitious My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Edmonds has said, "I don't just come in with songs. Lady Gaga When Elvis Presley recorded one of his songs, the result was 1956's epochal "Don't Be Cruel," which was simultaneously Number One on the pop, R&B and country charts. There were even stables of songwriters whose job was precisely that, to sit and write songs for others. Why He’s Dope: Schaffer Smith knows how to write from multiple perspectives and with a range of emotions. We polled 45 music writers to rank the definitive LPs of the 21st century so far. Best Known For: Tyrese’s “Sweet Lady,” Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You” Fogerty later admitted to envying the critical adulation received by Bob Dylan and the Band, but he tapped the tenor of his times as well as anyone, whether on the class conscious Vietnam protest anthem "Fortunate Son" or "Bad Moon Rising," which channeled America's sense of impending apocalyptic into two-and-a-half choogling minutes. Sometimes it pays to be ignorant.". "It's not effortless," he told Rolling Stone in 2004. A Number One pop and country hit for Jeannie C. Riley in 1968, it freed Hall to record his own work, which included songs about burying a man who owed him 40 dollars, mourning the death of the local hero who taught him how to drink and play guitar, and "Trip to Hyden," a journalistic tale of a drive to the scene of a mining disaster that was part Woody Guthrie, part Studs Turkel. "When young musicians ask me what the most important thing is, I always say it's the song," Petty told Rolling Stone in 2009. "He showed his pain, but in the end he wanted to make people feel good. The adaptable scribe has covered everything from pop (Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. "They're like strange countries that you have to enter." Whether it's a fleet, planning guitar tune like "Sitting Still" or a luminous ballad like "Nightswimming" or a loopy left-field pop smash like "Stand" the songwriting credit on a golden-era R.E.M. Strummer was the band's social conscious, taking the lion's share of the vocals, while Jones came up with the band's most memorable pop moments — 1980's "Train In Vain" and their 1982 smash "Should I Stay or Should I Go." Ester Dean .like partnerships because they can identify with the drama of two people in partnership. .He's unique. Over the years, her songs have been covered by everyone from the White Stripes to LeAnn Rimes to Whitney Houston, who had an enormous hit with her version of Parton's ballad "I Will Always Love You." Click to copy. But her restless brilliance couldn't be confined to one moment or movement. Late in the Sixties, Dozier and the Holland brothers left Motown and launched a few record labels of their own; although many of the hits that followed for the likes of Freda Payne and the Honey Cone were credited to "Edythe Wayne," there was no mistaking the H-D-H sound. Elle Varner ", John Lennon's command of songwriting was both absolute and radically original: that was clear from his earliest collaborations with Paul McCartney, which revolutionized not just music, but the world. Parliament was born as a doo-wop group in the Fifties led by Clinton, a young Leiber and Stoller fan who worked briefly in the Brill Building and later spent time as a Motown songwriter. "I don't think anyone's got his wit or insight or originality or obsession or overall dedication." "It was a way of bending people's minds and showing them that what they took for granted might not be the truth at all," he wrote in his bio. "He was always building up layers, making breakdowns, creating this searing funk with amazing dynamic changes.". As he told American Songwriter in 2010, "Sometimes the songs got to coming too fast for me to write, and sometimes they still do." Comment on the contents of the 'Top 200 songs 2000 to 2020' page: Subject: Email to Reply To (optional): Previous Comments (newest first) 15 Jun 2018. Combined with melodies that can be jubilant, funky or simply gorgeous, Wonder's songs are so enduring that they've been covered by everyone from Sinatra to the Backstreet Boys. "We had no set pattern and just each came up with melodies, lyrics and hook lines and phrases," Porter said, describing a process that could a produce a life-altering balled like "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" in just 15 minutes. Though Bob Dylan's famous quote calling Smokey "the greatest living poet" might actually be apocryphal, everyone believed it for decades because the songs backed it up perfectly. But he gave up his performing career in the late Fifties and formed a songwriting partnership with Mort Shuman. By Billboard Staff. The scope of his music is almost unparalleled: Guthrie wrote children's songs and Hanukkah songs, songs supporting unions and World War II and the construction of several dams, songs that celebrated Jesus as an outlaw and criticized Charles Lindbergh as a Nazi sympathizer, even a song about a flying saucer. By Billboard Staff. I was still called a soul singer," he once recalled. Agree with Number One pick? '", Jackson's innate musical genius could be heard on the earliest Jackson 5 chart-toppers. "And I guess my taste sometimes happens to be what other people, particularly radio programmers, like, too. "She grew up on Joni Mitchell and Motown and. But Gaye's greatest gift might've been at raising the bedroom come-on into an art form — whether making a straightforward, playful proposition on 1973's "Let's Get It On" or admitting his desperate, almost metaphysical need on 1982's "Sexual Healing.". Thus began the symbiotic relationship that produced a string of sophisticated, acerbic songs that still felt at home amidst the laidback mood of Seventies FM radio — hits like "Do It Again," "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and "Peg." But then the folk scene exploded into the mainstream in the early 60s. Over the course of several weeks, thousands of SoulTrackers nominated and then voted on the Greatest Soul Songs of 2000-2009. Why She’s Dope: As the seed of two songwriters, it was only natural that Elle Varner followed suit. From musicians who were big in the 90s (and are still releasing songs) right up to the present day with the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Reed was also a sound scientist who, with the Velvet Underground and after, advanced what was possible with simple chords and electric guitars. ", Chuck Berry wrote about teenage America. Whether he's operating on a large scale summing up our shared national commitments in 1973's "American Tune," or writing a finely wrought personal reflection on lost love like 1986's "Graceland," the same wit and literary detail come through. But that multiplatinum triumph was just the tip of the iceberg: Australian brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb were massively successful songwriters for decades. The Kinks' primary songwriter helped invent punk rock with "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night." "It was for me a prophetic utterance. "I knew they were pointing the direction where music had to go." "I had to have a real reason to write a song," Lynn said. The crucible of her collaboration with Timbaland was the Swing Mob, a loose constellation of performers and producers who worked with Jodeci's DeVante Swing in the early Nineties. I'm Comin'" and other classic duets. When he convened Sly and the Family Stone in the late Sixties, he deployed a fast-talking radio jock's ear for aphorism ("different strokes for different folks," "I want to take you higher") and an ability to make tricky arrangements seem natural ("Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin" builds raw funk out of everyone in the band playing radically different parts). Working with pop-savvy producer Sean "Puffy" Combs, Biggie raised his game throughout his brief career —from the social realism of "Things Done Changed" to the euphoric rags-to-riches celebration "Juicy" to effortlessly virtuosic performances like "Hypnotize" and "Ten Crack Commandments," both from his 1997 swan song Life After Death. Why He’s Dope: Lady Gaga and Leona Lewis have looked to Akon (credited as Aliaune Thiam) for pop theme songs. "[Songwriting] is hell on Earth," Jimmy Webb wrote in his book, Tunesmith. .I wanted to write rock & roll that you could listen to as you got older, that wouldn't lose anything, that would be timeless, in the subject matter and the literacy of the lyrics." Which is a rare, inexplicable talent to have," Randy Newman once said of Nilsson's easy way with complex melodies and counterpoint. Singer/pianist Antoine "Fats" Domino and producer/bandleader Dave Bartholomew started working together in 1949. A recent survey has revealed the top 10 best songwriters of today and as you would expect the results cover a broad selection of pop, rock and dance. Listen to him, and he always brings you to your senses. Fiona pours her soul into each song she pens and doesn’t hold back. In his career, he’s written for soulful songstresses (Chrisette Michelle, Whitney Houston) and rappers (Lil Jon, Flo Rida) to boy band legends (Backstreet Boys) and Disney Channel breakouts (Corbin Bleu, Miley Cyrus). And let's not forget the ebullient "Cracklin' Rosie," the vaguely salacious "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon," just two of the more than 50 songs he's placed in the Billboard Top 100 during his half-century-plus career. By Billboard Staff. There's no limit to where she can go from here. Ne-Yo put it best, explaining how Bey lays her signature on every song she belts: “When I write a song for an artist I want that artist to take that song and make it their [own]. But the same organic give-and-take governed their later albums as well. Jermaine Dupri They first hit it big in the Seventies with "Your Song," a tune that Taupin now calls "one of the most naïve and childish lyrics in the entire repertoire of music." Motown was so overstaffed with great in-house songwriters that Gaye spent much of the Sixties singing other people's songs. Spector later called Pomus, who died of cancer in 1991, "the greatest songwriter who ever lived. Bono brings the grand vision and uncanny ear for heroic hooks, and the Edge brings his sonic mastery and an eagerness to push boundaries. ("It all counts," Bacharach said. Her lyrics describe what every female has felt, including cheating boyfriends and the loss of love. A lifelong friendship with John Lennon — who produced Nilsson's Pussy Cats during his Lost Weekend period — followed. "I still call myself that but musically I had already gone off in a different direction. Best Known For: Alicia Keys’ “Unthinkable (I’m Ready),” Melanie Fiona’s “I Been That Girl,” Jamie Foxx’s “Fall For Your Type” Songs like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," "The Weight" and "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" were, as Greil Marcus wrote in Mystery Train, "committed to the very idea of America: complicated, dangerous and alive." The son of a truck driver raised in what he called "the suave part of the slums," Robinson had his first hit in 1960 with the Miracles' "Shop Around" and went onto pen the Temptations' "My Girl" and "Get Ready," Mary Wells' "My Guy," the Marvelettes' "Don't Mess With Bill," Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" and many more. But Kristofferson did more than succeed them. '", Raised in Louisiana, Lucinda Williams grew up listening to Hank Williams and reading Flannery O'Connor and emerged in the late Eighties as the great Southern songwriter of her generation. Rhonda Towns released her debut album of songs by country writers, I … "He's about the only one that I'm in awe of." "Something about my songs, everyone thinks I'm kind of downbeat," he said at his 1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And alone among his peers Dylan's creativity was ceaseless –2000's Love and Theft returned him to a snarling sound that rivaled his electric youth, marking a renaissance that continues unabated. Best Known For: “Pyramids,” "Thinking About You,” Beyoncé’s "I Miss You,” "Sometimes I hear a melody in my head, and it seems like the first color in a painting," he said in a 1998 interview. "I'm a country guy because of my raisin', but I'm a Chuck Berry man. .I had discovered what all writers discover, whether they're told or not, that you could do anything." Like most indie music, things got truly weird in the 2000s. And I could write a song about it. "Politics or social commentary don't inspire me. But with 1983's Swordfishtrombones and 1985's Rain Dogs he blossomed into what he called his "sur-rural" period, drawing on old blues, German cabaret and street-corner R&B to create songs populated by dice-throwing one-armed dwarves, men with missing fingers playing strange guitars and phantom truck-drivers named Big Joe. But they would never have gone anywhere if Pete Townshend hadn't developed into an endlessly innovative songwriter. When Walter Becker and Donald Fagen met as students at Bard College during the late Sixties, they hit it off over a shared love of jazz, Dylan and the sardonic, post-modern humor of writers like Kurt Vonnegut and John Barth. Working most famously with the Temptations, they created "psychedelic soul," built on Whitfield's expansively experimental production and Strong's downbeat, socially conscious lyrics. 12th June 2015. Melanie Fiona But instead of moving onto Heaven or Hell, the narrator finds himself in some sort of other world. Young has released an astonishing 36 solo albums, five in the last two years. I write these little songs and go and sing them. In 1966 alone, Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote and produced 13 Top 10 R&B singles, from the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" to the Four Tops' "I'll Be There." Why He’s Dope: Seemingly coming out of thin air, Bruno Mars has been playing on the airwaves long before his rise to solo stardom, penning songs for Alexandra Burke, Brandy and Adam Lovine. While her own hits, like “Work It” and “Lose Control” reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the early to mid 2000s, she’s also written hit songs for Beyonce (“Signs”), Ciara (“One Two Step”) and Aaliyah (“One in a Million”). The stuff that was once considered rubbish or 'for kids ' is now classic. Levels of nuance to the bleakly magnificent 2015 Vulnicura, it 's self-sustaining ``... Establish himself as a songwriter is like being a nun, '' McCartney... 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