Modern Rock Tracks Review: 2009

Welcome to another Modern Rock Tracks Review. Let’s get started.

Second Chance-Shinedown: We start off with Second Chance, the big hit from Shinedown. I think it’s a decent song with some good instrumentation and the writing ain’t half-bad. Brent Smith, Shinedown’s frontman, had this to say about the song:

It’s important for you to hear this… When I grew up, everyone was okay with being in a bubble. They were cool in their circle. That’s fine. But no one should discourage someone if they have a dream, if they want something more […] This song was difficult for me to write the lyrics to because it’s about my mother and my father, and about the day I said goodbye to them, because I had to go try, and I’m still trying, every day, to become a man. So, this song is about that. It’s about the moment that you wake up and you decide you want to go for every single dream you ever want.

-Brent Smith, Pointfest 22

I give this song a 3.5/5.

Love Hurts-Incubus: No, this is not the cover to that Nazareth song of the same name. That’s for the best because this Love Hurts from Incubus is better. Yeah, the writing is cliched and treads familiar territory when it comes to love, but what drives this song for me is the music and Brandon Boyd’s performance. I dig this song, which is why I’m giving it a 4/5.

Brother-Pearl Jam: Funny story about this song; it’s been around since 1991 as an outtake from Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten. The instrumental version appeared on Lost Dogs, a collection of B-sides from the band. When the reissue version of Ten was released in 2009, the original song was included in the tracklist. So how is Brother? Honestly, it’s great. The music is that hard-hitting grunge sound that fit the 90s like a glove and Eddie Vedder kills it vocally. Vedder said the song was about the concept of Big Brother, the totalitarian ruler in the George Orwell novel 1984. This song is awesome, so why didn’t it make it on to Ten proper? Anyways, I’m giving it a perfect 5/5.

Use Somebody-Kings Of Leon: Now we’ve reached the song that Kings Of Leon became best known for after Sex On Fire. Use Somebody was one of the biggest hits of 2009, peaking at number 4 on the Hot 100 and making the Year End list of 2009 and 2010. And it deserves the success it has gotten because it’s pretty good. The music is set to be played at arenas with the atmospheric guitar riffs, the spacey keys, and the millennial whoops. Caleb Followill puts on a passionate performance as he yearns for someone to comfort him. It’s the band’s best song and I’m giving it a 4.5/5.

Feel Good Drag-Anberlin: It’s fine. 3/5.

Know Your Enemy-Green Day: This is another song from Green Day that I like. Musically, the band goes back to their punk roots while the writing continues the social-political route they’ve been on. It’s the best of both worlds that’s getting a 4/5 from me.

New Divide-Linkin Park: Remember what I said about the Transformers movies and Linkin Park? Yeah, that still applies. New Divide was made for the second Bayformers movie and it’s just as good as What I’ve Done. The mixture of electronic synths and rocking guitars are blended well as well as Chester singing his ass off, making for a perfect Transformers soundtrack. Linkin Park would make another song for the third Transformers movie, which didn’t see the same success as the previous songs, but it’s an underrated track IMO. Anyways, I’m giving New Divide a perfect 5/5.

Panic Switch-Silversun Pickups: Next, we have Panic Switch from Silversun Pickups. This song is awesome. I like how intense the music is thanks to the distorted guitar riffs, that groovy bassline, and the drum work. It actually fits the writing, which is centered on a nervous breakdown. This band deserves more success because they have some good stuff here. I’m giving this song a 5/5.

Notion-Kings Of Leon: I see that Kings Of Leon scored another number one hit on this chart with Notion, but nobody talks about it as much as they do their other ones. Listening to it, I get why. Not saying that the song is bad, it does have some decent music, but it’s kinda derivative of other songs of its kind that are more memorable. This goes in one ear and out the other. Overall, I’m giving this song a generous 3/5.

Uprising-Muse: I’ve been wanting to dig more into Muse’s catalog. I’ve heard a couple of songs from them and I liked what I heard. That includes Uprising, which has those alien synths playing alongside the distorted groove and wailing guitar riffs that showcase a love for prog/glam rock of the 70s. There’s also frontman Matt Bellamy, who’s just going all in on his performance here as he sells the idea of a revolution of the people. A message that’s both timely and timeless at the same time. I’m giving this song a perfect 5/5.

Check My Brain-Alice In Chains: The final song that we’ll be talking about comes from another band of grunge veterans, Alice In Chains. Check My Brain is the band’s only Hot 100 hit in their decades-long career and while I wouldn’t call it their best song, it’s a good gateway to their catalog. It has that classic heavy grunge sound and the vocals match the intensity of this music. This is good stuff right here and I’m giving it a 4/5.




Brother, New Divide


Notion (this is for being more forgettable than outright bad)

And those were the number one songs on the Modern Rock Tracks chart of 2009. And thus, we’ve reached the conclusion to this series looking back at some of the rock music that dominated the airwaves of the 2000s. Next month, we got an Anime Review, a Top 40 Review, and, of course, the Worst and Best Songs lists for 2020. You don’t want to miss out on that.




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