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2005 week

Sugar, We're Still Goin' Down: A Tribute to the Gloriously Crappy Mall Rock of 2005

2005's mall rock hasn't all aged well, but damn it, we loved it.

In 2005 I had just turned 12 years old. A year previous I bought my first album, The College Dropout, at Target by picking the parental advisory sticker off the cover so my mom would let me use my chore money. I was in the early phases of discovering music on my own, absent of the influence of my mom who listened to mostly British rock and synthpop, and asking to go to the CD store every time I left the house. That same year I would go on to write my first thinkpiece, a four paragraph blurb about Nirvana’s In Utero, for which I received an A.


I was in 5th grade at the time. A girl I had a crush on listened to exclusively pop punk songs and my dumb pre-teen brain decided the only way to impress her was to listen to the music she liked. This was the first time I bought a Fall Out Boy CD. Slowly but surely our young love blossomed (we held hands at one point during lunch) throughout the year and one day in homeroom, right when the bell for classes to end rang, we made it to second base: me asking her to go to the mall.

All malls have two things in common: an abundance of horny teens and Mall Rock. “What is Mall Rock?” you ask. Well, dear reader, Mall Rock is a niche rock which has been catered to specifically appeal to youths aged 12 to 18 whose frequent hang out spot is, you guessed it, the mall. Back in 2005, Mall Rock was code for pop rock, which was a lazy name to describe an established brand of rock (punk, alt, etc) which was also influenced by pop. Sure, the name sounds insulting; however, I would beg to differ considering your song had to be ubiquitous enough to be chosen for thousands of pre-teen and teen ears to enjoy.

In honor of 2005 Week here at Noisey, I compiled the good, the bad, and everything in between of Mall Rock. You can almost smell the Cinnabons.

Note: All the songs used are from the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2005 (with the exception of a few replacements for the ones that overlapped with our tribute to the gloriously corny songs of 2005 []). So, if your favorite song from 2005 doesn’t make the list, build a time machine, go back to 2005, and take it up with Billboard.



Kelly Clarkson - "Since You Been Gone"

Kelly Clarkson, Max Martins, and Dr. Luke (who has a degree in Bangerology from the University of Slapperfornia) found the sweet spot of mixing distraught break up anthem with uptempo dance number and from it came the most karaoked song of all time, according to data that might exist.

The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"

There’s a rumor that only we music insiders know that’s been told in hushed voices of the last decade, passed down from generation to generation and protected with our lives. But I think it’s time that the world knows the dark secret surrounding “Mr. Brightside.” The story goes that The Killers wanted to say “Now they're going to bed / And my stomach is sick / And it's all in my head / But she's touching his dick” instead of chest (because it rhymes with "sick"), but the Bush administration wouldn’t allow them. Now you know one of the deepest secrets the music industry has to offer.

Fall Out Boy - "Sugar We're Goin' Down"

This is the part where I tell you “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” is the best song to be released in 2005, tied with “Dance Dance,” which was also released in 2005, but didn’t chart until 2006. But true Fall Out Boy heads already knew that.

Gavin Degraw - "I Don't Wanna Be"

There are only two directions your life can go when you’re named Gavin: wildly successful (Degraw, Rossdale, McInnes) or wildly unsuccessful (every kid in your high school named Gavin). Luckily for Degraw, he got the One Tree Hill co-sign, the third most powerful co-sign behind The O.C. and Gossip Girl.


Maroon 5 - "She Will Be Loved"

Man, can you imagine explaining to a 12-year-old in 2015 that Maroon 5 used to make nothing but bangers? They would look at you as if you kicked a puppy (even though that song about animals actually slaps).

Fall Out Boy - "Dance, Dance"

So, about the girl from the intro paragraph: Our relationship only lasted about two weeks, but in that time we not only held hands, but hugged more than once. We stayed friends even though we went to different high schools and, once we hit college, slowly drifted apart. I still listen to Fall Out Boy regularly.


Green Day - "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

Someone please tweet Noisey in 11 days and remind us to wake up the guy from Green Day. Get it? Like he says to do in that song.

Kelly Clarkson - "Behind These Hazel Eyes"

This song isn’t nearly as good as “Since U Been Gone,” but it’s a decent song. That’s all you can really ask for in life after a success is having another success that’s not as good, but well respected.

Weezer - "Beverly Hills"

What would happen if you went to Beverly Hills once and then made a song about it? If you’ve ever thought this sentence to yourself, you’re in luck, because Weezer has you covered. This music video being shot at the Playboy Mansion reminds me of a better time when “Yeah, I read Playboy for the articles” was code for “Hey, I jerk off [wink].” Now, people actually read Playboy for the articles and never jerk off. It’s sad.


Rob Thomas - "Lonely No More"

A lesser-known fact about myself is I’m a Rob Thomas stan (Robnatics as we call ourselves) and I earnestly believe “Smooth,” his collaboration with Santana, is one of the best songs of all time. It’s genuinely shocking this song only has 6.5 million plays on YouTube.

Green Day - "Holiday"

Someone please tweet Noisey in 11 days and remind us to wake up the guy from Green Day. Get it? Like he says to do in that song.

Nickelback - "Photograph"

Nickelback makes acceptable music and if you disagree you’re a coward who loves attention and fitting in online. Step outside of the box and accept “Photograph” is a perfectly acceptable song.

Howie Day - "Collide"

Remember listening to this song riding with your mom in her minivan and realizing it was about sex, but somehow ended up being OK? Without a doubt, this is the best thing a grown man named Howie has ever made. I don’t even recognize any other Howies at this point. Sorry, Mandel.

Green Day - "Wake Me Up When September Ends"

Someone please tweet Noisey in 11 days and remind us to wake up the guy from Green Day. Get it? Like he says to do in that song.

Coldplay - "Speed of Sound"

Comedian TJ Miller (of Yogi Bear fame) has a great bit where he talks about being so sad that you start understanding Coldplay songs. I’ve only ever been that sad once: When I was a senior in high school, a girl I had a crush on started dating one of my friends, and I listened to “Speed of Sound” in my car and cried. It’s in that moment when you understand why Chris Martin thinks birds fly at the speed of sound.


Jesse McCartney - "Beautiful Soul"

Jesse McCartney doesn’t want to fuck you; he wants to fuck your soul. Jesse McCartney thinks you look better without makeup, girl. All these other guys are after you for your looks, but Jesse McCartney understands there’s more to life than beauty. Jesse McCartney needs some substance, baby. “Beautiful Soul” is like the Male Feminist Anthem, but it still slaps despite that.

The Click - "Five Just the Girl"

Honestly, I didn’t know this song had a title, because I always thought it was called “that song that played at every junior high dance from like 2005 to 2008.” Realistically, this song was playing while someone grinded for the first time.

Green Day - "Jesus of Suburbia"

Someone please tweet Noisey in 11 days and remind us to wake up the guy from Green Day. Get it? Like he says to do in that song.


Papa Roach - "Scars"

Unlike the name suggests, Papa Roach is a group of four dudes and not one roach who is a father. I had no idea either, and this song is awful.

Three Doors - "Down Let Me Go"

Three Doors Down has many good songs, including but not limited to: “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You.” As you can see, “Let Me Go” is not on that list.

Ryan Cabrera - "True"

Ryan Cabrera made a song that will forever be included on such listicles as: 15 Songs That Remind You Of That Time You Got Drunk At Your Best Friend’s Wedding And Cried In The Coat Closet Because Your Girlfriend Left You.


Jack Johnson - "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"

This may surprise you, but Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz aka Mr. Steal Your Fedora are two different people. Was Jack Johnson the original Trop House? Someone call up Kygo and have him and Jack Johnson collab.

Jimmy Eat World - "Work"

I don’t even remember this song. And before you’re like, “Bro, how do you not remember this song?” Please understand I was holding hands and going to malls at the age of 12, OK? I didn’t have time to be surfing the airwaves, looking for Jimmy Eat World’s newest track.

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