First Impressions 2000s Edition: Simple Plan, Owl City, Bec Cartwright And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 06/28/2017

First Impressions is our weekly roundtable review sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. Usually, we'd take on music from the past week but, in honour of Millennium Month, we've asked the DJs for our upcoming Millennium Bug 2000s party to look back at some hidden gems from the '00s. Grab your tix to our party here

Jessica Mauboy - Burn

Sam: Little did J.Mally know at this point, she was yet to reach her career peak which came with the Simlish version of Saturday Night, still a hallmark of Australian pop culture. Burn, however, was not far off. With the Australian Idol faffery and the essential Flo Rida collab behind her, she was free to do what she was destined to do - craft bangers. Burn is a big, meaty pop song that cleverly turns heartache into a real ailment, hence the need for a doctor. A young wordsmith and icon. 4

Bianca: How did I sleep on this iconic song? Out of all the tracks in this list, it's the one I know the least. But its ability to catch my attention and worm its way into my head means that it's definitely stood the test of time. Can we just note that ol' Jess is wearing her clothes in the pool? It's not lifesaving swimming lessons, sweetie. 

Jemma: This was my jam back in 2008 but can we talk about the video for a minute. Firstly, someone call Kimmy K cause Taylor Swift DEFINITELY stole her Bad Blood idea from Jess and needs to be exposed again. Secondly, was there not enough money in Sony's budget to use a nice pool instead of the local public pool? 4.5 Jemma's Pick 

Nic Kelly: Firstly may we please respect the effort that went into matching Ms Mauboy’s shoes to the convertible she definitely didn’t own at this point in her career. The snappy drums, the glitchy effects in the background of the verses and super quick tempo  were divine assets of Maubs’s close-to-the-end-of-Idol releases. However, considering it was never re-sung in Simlish, it’s not getting a huge vote from me. 3.9

Blue - All Rise

Sam: No one was a fan of just saying it straight in the early '00s so the poor man's Backstreet Boys had to cover up a song about an affair with court metaphors. The Judicial system has never been a popular reference in pop music, mostly because it's very hard to explain in three minutes, but Blue gave it a bloody good crack. You can't take that clever chorus away from them but they really could've done without the rap in the third verse. One Direction would've never done that - a lesson they learnt from songs like these. 3

Bianca: It's got more legal puns than Legally Blonde and more counting than a 5ive song (and I love 5ive), so it's a winner for me. Can we just agree that the subject matter is just so strange? Also, I still can't really figure out what goes down with these kind of songs - are they singing about one girl who's cheated on one of the members? Or all of the members? Or is it four girls who have cheated on four guys? I guess we'll leave it for the court to decide. P.S. I can still nail the rap without fault. Happy to swear this under oath if need be. 

Jemma: TBH I don't really know who these guys are & this song was nowhere near my radar way back when but I'm into it. What's most important is will I have the video choreography down in time for Millennium Bug? P.S. Can confirm Bianca's claim above. 4

Nic:  This has the same brilliant quality to it Sisqo’s Thong Song has and not many hits nowadays can master - the world’s most depressing beat backing the most encouraging lyrics ever. You can rise, push through the lies, and do it whilst wearing baggy denim and a hoodie. That said - whenever I play it in DJ sets (LIKE THE ONE ILL DO AT MILLENNIUM BUG THIS FRIDAY NIGHT AT HUDSON BALLROOM #SPON #AD) it tends to neg out a room and provide a thinking point for “should we move to another club or go get a drink” so if they could work on that for next time, that’d be great. I rest my case. 2.7

Bec Cartwright - All Seats Taken

Sam: Not enough popstars filter from Neighbours and Home And Away anymore since the general public decided you needed to sing to be a popstar. Well, if you had that ridiculous rule in 2002 you would've missed out on this. This is a quintessential, simple early '00s song and it's faultless really. Cartwright sounds like she's barely trying, which is great, and the video kind of tries but not really. After this, she married Lleyton Hewitt and no longer felt the need to serve up half-baked pop songs which is a shame really. At the moment I'm amused by how the backup vocals of, "all booked up" sounds like, "all fucked up" and that's opened the capabilities of this song in ways I never imagined. 4.5

Bianca: It was very important for stars to break away from the clutches of Home and Away and Neighbours before they were sucked in forever (Harold, Toadfish Rebecchie etc). I can't deny that Becky needed to do this, and I can't deny that I wanted to hear more from her back in the day, but I'm kinda glad she didn't pursue her pop career any further. I'm satisfied with the fact that I get to see her face on Women's Day every second week. 

Jemma: Whatever happened to the routine Home and Away/Neighbours stars turned wannabe singers? This was always a skip on my so fresh CD. Give me Holly Valance Kiss Kiss over this any day. 2

Nic: Rebecca ‘Bec’ June Hewitt nee Cartwright’s All Seats Taken, better known as The Best Of Barbie Party Mix Volume 2 Track 17, had all the hallmarks of a early 2000s pop hit: the tried and tested method of its artist acting in a popular Australian soapie, visual accompaniment involving the subject performing a seemingly banal task like working in a bowling alley in a seductive manner and a significantly disappointing chart peak of #10. Also this iconic line from its Wikipedia article: “The song was originally penned for the female finalists of Popstars 3. However, because none of them won the series it was given to Bec Cartwright instead.” So it is obviously getting a huge mark from me. 4.7

Armand Van Helden - My My My

Sam: I actually bought this song back in 2005. I was 12 and clearly a raver-in-the-making. Another 13 years later and it still feels like gospel music for a non-religious man. Every inch of me tingles when that vocal sample hits and I feel like I'm having an outer-body experience. Having said that, I would no longer confidently drop this at a party with confidence that it was going to satisfy the rest of the audience. If I had the video on hand though, I would be confident. As the YouTube uploader comments, it's "both sexy and hilarious". Wow. 3.5

Bianca: This was the song I'd always include on mixtape CDs that I'd bring to highschool parties and would BEG the parents to let me take over the sound system. "Please, let me put on my CD. There's no vibe and the dancefloor is dead. I promise I'll get the party started." And, boy, did I get those parties started. 3.5 

Jemma: STILL A JAM. 10 year old me got down to this and 22 year old me definitely still does. 3.5

Nic: Whilst this is a timeless diva-vocalled fast-paced dance classic, it could have very easily been over in 30 seconds. There’s not enough to it. 2.6

Simple Plan - Welcome To My Life

Sam: At the time this came out, I could've confidently answered yes to the first four questions of this song. Looking back, I was being melodramatic, overcome by the fact I was wearing skinny black jeans and being encouraged to embrace a misery inside that I could never truly find. Fast forward to now and this song still manages to conjure the same feelings deep inside me. You can talk about your Good Charlotte's and your My Chemical Romance's but neither of them wrote a song as good as this. One that saw them just go, "you know what, let's hold nothing back and tap into the shakable psyche of young teens." Actually, it seems a bit fucked now I really look into it. 2

Bianca: It was kinda my jam back in the day but unfortunately it's 2 DEEP 4 ME these days. I can't believe I used to think Simple Plan were 'badass'... 
Jemma: I was a very dramatic kid so you can only imagine how much I 'related' to this song. 2
Nic:  There’s only about 7 words from this I can actually sing along to and whilst I love the angst in Simple Plan’s work, they did like four songs better than this during this era and it’s more whiney than angsty. 2.2

Owl City - Fireflies

Sam: I certainly wouldn't believe my eyes if 10 million fireflies lit up the world while I fell asleep and I also could've never believed a song so perfect would come into existence. The twinkling synth, the over-pronounced American accent, the way the hook dances into the bridge - it's a masterpiece. He also presents some baffling thoughts like, "It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep." Well, it's actually quite hard to say anything when you're asleep, so the fact he's even contemplating saying he'd rather stay awake is impressive. It's also impressive that he managed to trap just "a few" of the 10 million fireflies in a jar to call on when his dreams get "bizarre". Honestly, I don't think I'd cope if my sleep was this busy but I'm glad Owl City's is because it gave him the inspo for this jam. 5 Sam's Pick

Bianca: EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS SONG IS TERRIBLE BUT PERFECT AT THE SAME TIME. The lyrics are absurd, the backing track is elementary, the American accent is so prominent and the video clip is, for lack of a better word, lame. But somehow, back in 2009, it spoke to me on so many levels and it earned the honour of the repeat button on my iTunes. I welcome Fireflies' resurgence in 2017. 5 Bianca's Pick 

Jemma: Fellow Tap Tap Revenge-rs assemble (pls tell me someone remembers cause that iPhone game consumed my life for 2 weeks in 2009). I couldn't think of a more fitting one hit wonder to resurface 8 years later as a meme, 'cause what an absolute hit it was. 4.5
Nic: There’s such a wonderful innocence to this production masterclass. For the decade before last week’s emergence of the mathematics behind one thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs - I was content in knowing that at least some hugging was occurring, over a light yet perfectly layered little bop of an instrumental. Such a timeless electronica classic. 4.9 Nic's Pick