The Top Alternative Song of the 2000s?
FM 102.1 has been running its top 200 songs of the 2000s countdown all week, so at this point I don't think I'm spoiling anything if I note the countdown's top song: "Seven National Army" by The White Stripes.Â
It's an inspired choice. In a decade when the genre spawned few lasting stars, The White Stripes were one of the few acts that made alternative rock seem as fresh and limitless as it had in the '90s. They were also the only band from the heavily hyped garage-rock revival that demonstrated any sort of staying power (let's face it, The Hives are offering diminishing returns, and for all their greatness, The Strokes arrived with an expiration date as unforgiving as milk). In a decade where bloggers and Internet writers took over the tastemaking responsibilities once reserved for the Rolling Stones and MTVs, The White Stripes were one of the few acts both the old and new guard strongly agreed on, and they brought with them a perceived authenticity severely lacking from alternative rock's new class.
"Seven Nation Army" stands as the Stripes' signature song, an unlikely standard that's been covered by dozens of acts, from the Foo Fighters to The Flaming Lips, and has become ubiquitous in sports stadiums around the world, a fitting rally cry for both soccer teams and alternative rock stations alike.Â