Let’s be honest: 2005 was a difficult period for all of us. Cargo shorts were trendy, Shelly from sixth period wouldn’t stop mean-AIMing you, and you were at the mercy of your finicky Motorola Razr. (God mom! Why can’t I just get a Sidekick like Macy?!) Oh, and it was also a very emotional period for music rampant with sad white boy crooners. Like we said before: difficult.
If you had pimples between 2000 and 2005, then these types of singer-songwriters were your saving grace. Their silky voices and angst-ridden lyrics kept you warm in your frigid pre-algebra classroom. You instantly identified with Teddy Geiger’s desire to give up his right arm for a crush. (C’mon, wasn’t that all of us in 2005?)
Teddy and these seven kings represent the best of the sad white boy crooner genre. We salute their heart-on-sleeve mentalities. It definitely made seventh grade more bearable.
This Canadian singer arguably had the theme song to 2005: “Bad Day.” The whiny, wonderful ballad is the ultimate soundtrack for a rainy day, and it cemented Daniel’s place as a sad white boy crooner. Unfortunately, Daniel never trumped the fever pitch of “Bad Day,” but his 2005 self-titled album is chock-full of similar tear-inducing fare. When you stubbed a finger in your locker, this was your go-to jam.
The sun-drenched acoustic masterpiece that is “Collide” permeated every eighth grade dance from 2004 to 2006. And the same type of soft guitar lullabies exist on the track’s supporting album Stop All the World Now (2003). Mr. Day will forever be the perfect Sunday cuddle buddy.
James still enjoys an illustrious career, but his 2005 hit “You’re Beautiful” is the essential white boy crooner song. The unrequited love! The angst! You definitely listened to this while staring at your dream bae making out with some scrub. Why. Can’t. You. Love. Me?!
Granted, Ryan’s biggest hit was the bright and airy “On the Way Down,” but he definitely earns a spot on this list for tracks like “40 Kinds of Sadness” and “True.” In the latter, he literally sings, “I won’t talk, I won’t breathe, I won’t move ’til you finally see that you belong with me.” That is the definition of sad Caucasian male desperate for love.
Queen Kristin Cavallari makes a cameo in this ode to thirsting after the popular girl, “For You I Will.” Shaggy-haired Teddy plays the sweaty-palmed music geek in love with beefy douche du jour’s main squeeze (Kristin). This scenario is the epitome of the sad white boy crooner.
Ashley Parker Angel
The swooped hair, angry guitar, and depressing lyrics about getting over a girlfriend—it’s all so wonderfully 2006. Ashley doesn’t exactly croon, but he does pine after ladies set to frantic guitar beats. And that’s good enough for us.
Edwin’s 1999 hit “I’ll Be” is the ultimate love song, and it alone is enough to give him the white boy crooner status. When you sing lyrics like, “I’ll be love’s suicide,” there really isn’t a question.
Whether it’s the breezy rock-pop calls of “Barely Breathing” or melancholy “Half Life,” Duncan knows how to pout and sing simultaneously—a requirement for any white boy crooner.