Best Songs From 2006

2006 was a year of great songs and notable events. It saw punk rock mecca CBGB hold its final show, with Patti Smith and Flea frontlining the legendary establishment’s closing. Furthermore, music giant Tower Records closed, and MySpace opened a new avenue for music sales.

The following are some of the best songs from 2006 that made the year that much more memorable.

“Rehab” by Amy Winehouse

Song Year: 2006

Amy Winehouse’s signature hit single reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in the United States and worldwide.

This song started the singer’s most productive period—and her untimely downfall.

“Rehab” is mainly autobiographical. Winehouse wrote this song at the peak of her drug addiction when her friends and family tried to convince her to go to rehab.

In the song, she expresses her reluctance to seek help, a message that haunted her fans years later when Winehouse succumbed to her substance abuse in 2011.

“Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley

Song Year: 2006

Cee-Lo Green, the lead singer of Gnarles Barkley, was convinced that he would one day be famous despite years of futile efforts. “Crazy” is about toeing the fine line between insanity and having a dream.

While writing the song, Cee-Lo was going through a divorce and a difficult financial period. He wrote the song to remind himself—and others—that he could succeed in the music industry.

And succeed, he did. The song enjoyed tremendous popularity, topping the charts for weeks.

Today, it is considered one of the best hip-hop songs of all time.

“Irreplaceable” by Beyonce

Song Year: 2006

“Irreplaceable” concerns a woman whose live-in partner has been cheating on her and whom she decides to kick out of her house. She tells the man that he is replaceable despite his beliefs to the contrary.

The song was an immediate hit, and Beyonce’s career has been prolific ever since, winning 28 Grammy Awards and 13 Billboard Music Awards, making her the eighth-most awarded artist.

“Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse

Song Year: 2006

According to composer Matthew Bellamy, “Supermassive Black Hole” compares a woman to the galaxy’s center.

Bellamy explains that he wrote the song after several romantic relationships in which he felt entirely consumed by obsession.

Bellamy wrote that Prince, Kanye West, and Franz Ferdinand inspired the song. Its heavy alternative guitar and dance-like beat have inspired many artists since.

“Temperature” by Sean Paul

Song Year: 2006

“Temperature” was Sean Paul’s most significant hit, and the song dominated the club scene for years, inspiring dozens of hit singles after that.

Rendered in Jamaican patois, the song draws heavily on local colloquialisms and is difficult for English speakers to understand.

However, it touches primarily on themes of attraction and intimacy. Paul encourages a woman to come closer to him to enjoy the warmth of his body.

“Bad Day” by Daniel Powter

Song Year: 2006

Daniel Powter achieved international recognition with his hit single “Bad Day,” The song is about depression and trying to shed light in an otherwise dark place.

The music video demonstrates an interaction between two depressed individuals. The two are mechanically going through the movements of their unsatisfactory daily routines until they finally meet at the end of the song.

“The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani (Feat. Akon)

Song Year: 2006

Gwen Stefani was one of the most famous pop stars of the early 2000s—and “The Sweet Escape” is one of her top hits.

This song discusses Stefani’s attempts to reintroduce love into her otherwise damaged relationship. She asks her partner to join her for a second chance, appealing to him to run away with her and start over.

The song represents an unlikely union between Stefani and Hip-Hop/R&B singer Akon.

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol

Song Year: 2006

“Chasing Cars” was featured on the hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy—three times—and is often cited as an example of the impact of illegal downloads on the music industry.

The song is about a couple seeking to escape their daily life challenges. The singer wants to break free from the rat race and “forget the world.”

“Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Song Year: 2006

The Red Hot Chili Peppers had a prolific year in 2006, releasing many of their top hits in the album Stadium Arcadium, including “Snow” and “Dani California.”

“Snow” is about the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, trying to survive his drug addictions. The song’s title takes after his drugs of choice, China White heroin, and cocaine, which had a massively destructive impact on his life.

“The Funeral” by Band of Horses

Song Year: 2006

Band of Horses became famous after their song, “The Funeral,” appeared in the first iteration of the hit TV show Gossip Girl.

The song is about the singer’s deep-seated dread of popular holidays and birthdays. He sings about the pressure to please others and how meaningless it is since we will all attend funerals one day.

“Steady as She Goes” by The Raconteurs

Song Year: 2006

Jack White, the lead singer of The Raconteurs, reports that this song convinced him to form the band with composer Brendan Benson.  White wrote the lyrics to match Benson’s melody, and the band was born.

The song touches on healthy marriage and partnership. Moreover, it was presumably about White’s wedding. Ultimately, it’s a beautiful song about self-love and loving others.

“Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira

Song Year: 2006

Hit singer Shakira is known for her gorgeous body and incredible dance moves. Her song, “Hips Don’t Lie,” was released in 2006 and enjoyed immediate success.

Shakira revealed the song is about the perfect moment she writes a piece and realizes it is done. She knows when her song is done by the way her hips start to shake when it’s playing, hence the song’s title.

“Gold Digger” by Kanye West (Feat. Jamie Foxx)

“Gold Digger” by Kanye West (Feat. Jamie Foxx)

Song Year: 2006

In 2006, Kanye West was enjoying considerable success and presumably struggling to find a partner with integrity.

For the song  “Gold Digger,” West sampled a 1954 Ray Charles “I Got a Woman.” Charles’ music is about a woman who is generous with her husband, while West’s song touches on the opposite theme of exploitation.

This song is the first to feature an Academy Award-winning actor and to hit #1 in the US top 100.

“Fidelity” by Regina Spektor

Song Year: 2006

Regina Spektor is an unlikely famous artist since she primarily makes folk music.

However, her song “Fidelity” enjoyed impressive popularity after its release in 2006, and Spektor has enjoyed considerable success since.

The song is about a young woman who struggles to trust her partner and listens to her mental chatter instead. Her mistrust causes her to sabotage relationships, breaking her own heart.

“Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige

Song Year: 2006

“Be Without You” was the first single of Mary J Blige’s seventh album, The Breakthrough. The song discusses a relationship in which both parties are so in love as to dread a life apart.

Blige resolves to remain loyal to her partner no matter what, and she prides herself on the strength of their bond despite frequent arguments.

The song is widely considered a Gulf War anthem since it was released around the time the United States reckoned with casualties in the Middle East.

“Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson

Song Year: 2006

“Because of You” was Kelly Clarkson’s third single from her second studio album, Breakaway, produced and released in 2005.

The lyrics are about Clarkson’s parents’ divorce and centers on her desire to avoid repeating the same mistakes in her relationships.

The song hit number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 2 million digital downloads.

“Wolf Like Me” by TV on the Radio

Song Year: 2006

TV on the Radio was a legendary Brooklyn band from the early 2000s.

Their song “Wolf Life Me” gained tremendous popularity upon its release in 2006. The song appears to be about a werewolf, as there are several mentions of a curse throughout. The singer’s mention of turning into a werewolf is akin to losing control of oneself in a relationship.

“Every Time We Touch” by Cascada

Song Year: 2006

Although it was released in 2005, this song only reached the United States airwaves in 2006.

The song was written and produced by German techno and Eurodance trio Cascada. Nearly five months after its release, it hit the Billboard Top 100.

The song is a bubbly pop anthem about the intoxicating feeling of being in love. It was certified gold in mid-2006, and has sold over 2.5 million downloads since then, making it one of the most popular foreign songs in American music history.

“Too Little Too Late” by Jojo

Song Year: 2006

Jojo was one of the top pop artists of the early 2000s, and she released her hit single, “Too Little Too Late,” in 2006.

The song was written by Billy Steinberg, who has had five hit singles on the US charts. The lyrics are about a girl breaking up with her boyfriend. Her partner has not been good to her, so when he asks her to take him back, she says no.

“Waiting on the World To Change” by John Mayer

Song Year: 2006

John Mayer wrote this legendary song to address the general sense of hopelessness among the youth of his generation.

At the time, wars were going on worldwide, and a global recession was in the works.

John Mayer wrote the song to voice this sense of fear and apathy. The narrator is reluctant to protest or advocate change since it won’t make a difference.

“SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake (Feat. Timbaland)

Song Year: 2006

Justin Timberlake, the former member of NSync, released “SexyBack”  with top producer Timbaland in 2006.

Although the song appears to be about a sexy dance at a club, Timberlake claims it is actually about his neighbor’s pet rabbit, Sexy.

The neighbor traveled to Nebraska and asked Timberlake to look after his rabbit. Timberlake wrote the song about bringing the rabbit back to its rightful owner.

“Call Me When You’re Sober” by Evanescence

Song Year: 2006

This alternative, symphonic rock ballad touches on dealing with a partner with alcohol addiction.

Amy Lee, the lead singer, wrote the song for the lead singer of Seether, Shaun Morgan.

Coincidentally, Morgan entered rehab the day the song was released, but he was allegedly furious that Lee aired his business.

“How To Save a Life” by The Fray

Song Year: 2006

Although this song was initially released in 2005, it did not achieve broad popularity until 2006, after it was feated on the hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy.

“How To Save a Life” is the fourth best-selling rock song in digital history, and it has granted the band a permanent spot in the annals of history.

The song is about the many people trying to intervene in a young man’s addiction and self-harm behaviors. They try to tell him what to do when he needs support since he cannot save his best friend’s life.

“When You Were Young” by The Killers

Song Year: 2006

“When You Were Young” is one of the only songs written by all four members of the famous alt-rock band, The Killers.

The song is about growing up and finding one’s place in the world. In leaving the past behind, our perceptions change, and we must surrender our social ties.

The song’s protagonist is a young woman whose life has taken a downturn since she married a man who is unfaithful to her. She reminisces about the days when love was more accessible and relationships were superficial.

“Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John

Song Year: 2006

This song appeared on the hit TV show Gossip Girl in 2006 and experienced immediate success.

The song, written from the perspective of a man who has made significant mistakes in the past, discusses the themes of redemption and finding love despite one’s shortcomings.

It talks about two people who have been through significant challenges in finding and accepting one another despite their flaws.

Top Songs From 2006, Final Thoughts

2006 was an incredible year for music with a wide range of interesting topics explored through songs. From instant classics like Crazy to gems like Steady as She goes, there’s bound to be a song on this list fitting for anyone’s playlist regardless of the preferred music genre.

What were your best songs from 2006? Let us know in the comments.

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