- “Man Overboard”- Man Overboard
In 2011, one of the leading artists to drive the original pop punk sound put out one of the staples for the scene, and that album is none other than Man Overboard’s self-titled album. This album amplifies the pop punk sound and aesthetic, for it drives with that hard juxtaposition moving from instrumentals to lyrical lines. This allows for the vocals to primarily shine as the audience is receiving some ornate instrumental riffs here and there. The make of the album is unique in nature, for Man Overboard drives on their ornate sound that distinguishes them against any other pop punk artist in the game even today. This album, conceptually, isn’t overly exciting; however, the lyrics that are heard on the album are ones that make audience members want to scream them at the top of their lungs, which just makes this album all the more crucial to anyone’s music library.
Top Tracks: “Rare”, “Atlas”, and “Dead End Dreams”
- “Disgusting”- Beartooth
In 2014, Beartooth came to fully take the post-hardcore/metal scene by storm, and this album is still one like no other. This album takes audience members on such a wild journey, musically speaking, for the band provides track after track that is just breath-taking, for each selection is so different while being so interconnected at the same time. Throughout the album, larger than life instrumental lines crash through the overly relatable and pointed lyrical lines, which help to enhance the likability factor of this record. When one moves through this record, it is hard for someone not to attach themselves to it, for the sound of this album resonates at such a different tone than any other album in the scene. This ornate factor of this album helps to make this one of the leading albums for the metal scene of music, which is what places this album on this list, without a doubt.
Top Tracks: “Beaten in Lips”, “In Between”, and “Ignorance is Bliss”
- “The Flood (Deluxe edition)”- Of Mice & Men
After a solid debut album, Of Mice & Men gave the metal world an album that can’t be denied in 2011. This album brings the heat for this list because it is arguably the heaviest make in the bunch, and it is one of the most intense albums within my library. Throughout the deluxe reissue of “The Flood”, Of Mice & Men hits audience members with their heavy nature with contrasting, glorious vocals that helps to provide the audience with some softer moments to resonate with. When listening to this album, instrumentally speaking, the band gives the listeners over the top instrumentals that don’t hold back for even a second. These instrumentals allow the make of each track to expand, since the vocalist is given a wider range to give the audience content that is larger than life. Through this, the band is able to utilize silence to off-set some of the lyrical and instrumental melodies that make each track unique to the next. This record is a staple for anyone who loves music from the metal/hardcore scene, which isn’t surprising because this album began to push the metal scene to see how far the band can push their intensity level while still giving audience members a record they can personally identify with.
Top Tracks: “The Depths”, “Still YDG’n”, and “The Flood”
- “The Enemy of the World”- Four Year Strong
Every Album that Four Year Strong has released before and after this album hit hard within the pop punk scene; however, in 2010, the band truly broke barriers by giving audience members their sound in a more refined and innovative light. This album drives on the witty nature of lyrical content, which is enhanced by the ornate nature of each instrumental lick that is heard throughout the album. The instrumentalists give the audience complex rhythms that melodically content to the lyrical line that is being voiced, at any given time. This allows the band to set up those witty lyrical segments in such a manner that they juxtapose the instrumental motive at that time. This gives the audience musical moments in which they can scream the lyrics at the top of their lungs, and just live their true best life- living through every track on this record. This album packs a punch, for no artist is able to pull of an effect like Four Year Strong can through their music, and this album sits at the very top of that claim.
Top Tracks: “What the Hell is a Gigawatt?”, “It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now”, and “Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)”
- “Cinematics”- Set If Off
Set It Off grew a slight fan base from their debut album “Horrible Kids”; however, when the band released this album, especially the deluxe edition in 2013, the masses woke up, and they quickly jumped on board to what Set It Off was bringing to the music game. This album is the perfect mixture of theatrics to pop punk, which gives the band the opportunity to truly stretch their musical phrases. This will help them to bring in various genre influences to help expand their sound as each song resonates as if one could belt out every single note. Throughout this album, the band tells a specific story throughout each individual song that creates and overall plot that drives the theme of “Cinematics”. This is iconic for the album because it takes the audience on a journey that is dramatic, just like the implied theme of this album, which makes the album all the more successful. Additionally, throughout the record, the band utilizes standard pop punk techniques, instrumentally speaking, which helps the overall sound of this album to startle audience members, for there are receiving an almost pop punk meets musical theatre vibe, and what more could someone want?
Top Tracks: “I’d Rather Drown”, “Plastic Promises”, and “Kill the Lights”
- “The Young and the Hopeless”- Good Charlotte
Just to start with this one, this album is an iconic piece of musical history, so of course it made the cut. This album provides solid track after solid track. The sequencing the band gives the audience when moving from song to song sets them up to listen to this album continuously from top to bottom. When looking at the musical nuances of this album, it can be said that the instrumentals are primarily simple. This allows the melody and harmony of the vocalists to ring and remain with the audience as they are receiving overly memorable lyrical figures. Although the instrumentals may be simple, the techniques the band utilized throughout this album became some of the staple moves, instrumentally speaking, when looking forward in the pop punk scene from then onward. With that being said, this record gave audience members moments where they can just put this album on, let it spin, and just sit back and enjoy fantastic music, and that’s something that someone will forever hold on to. This album resonates in such a light that it will take listeners back to old memories, which is what places it in this list.
Top Tracks: “Wondering”, “The Day That I Die”, and “The Story of My Old Man”
- “I’m Not Dead”- P!nk
This is the only pop/alternative album to make the cut for this list, and let me tell you, don’t let that degrade the stature of this album; rather, let that prove its master-like qualities that drove this album to be near the top. Throughout this album, P!nk gives audience members a variety of song types that span the range of fast to slow, span her range as a vocalist, and stretch her musical influences when talking about the different instrumental and vocal approaches she utilizes throughout. On the majority of the selections, the vocalist is in the limelight; however, the lyrical lines that are heard throughout every track are complemented by the instrumentals that surround it. This helps to give the audience a more modern sound, while also giving them more than just basic chord progressions like most music in the pop musical genre. P!nk made a name for herself throughout every piece of music she has released; however, this one resonates the most, in my opinion, for she provides a strong balance of tempos and song styles on this album, which would make this piece more appealing to more people.
Top Tracks: “I’m Not Dead”, “Dear Mr. President”, and “’Cuz I Can”
- “Blink 182”- Blink 182
Again, another classic album that galvanized the pop punk scene needs to make an appearance on this list, and how in the world could I neglect this one? This album is a musical masterpiece: Point. Blank. Period. Throughout this album, the band gives their audience a variety of vocal types when utilizing the timbres of both of the vocalists that the band utilizes. Additionally, the band toys with texture throughout every track, for on some tracks the band’s instrumentals are quite minimal; however, in some other cases, the band allows the instrumentals to just spin and take the reign on the track. This high contrast gives the band enough room to swiftly insert the lyrics perfectly in the center, which will help them to juxtapose the rest of the surroundings. This will help the memorable lyrical lines pop and resonate with audience members, which will help drive the success of this album due to its catchy aftermath. In general, any pop punk album that you’ve heard pulls nuances from tactics that Blink 182 has utilized in some way, shape, or form, and those tactics primarily derive from this release.
Top Tracks: “Easy Target”, “Feeling This”, and “Stockholm Syndrome”
- “Hybrid Theory”- Linkin Park
All right, now we are getting to the big guns. When looking at albums that changed the game and are most certainly a must for anyone and everyone: this album must make the cut. When Linkin Park released “Hybrid Theory”, the world was never going to be the same, physically, figuratively, or musically, and that was and is perfectly okay. This album drives through the band’s characteristic vocals that bounce back and forth between sung, screamed, and rapped techniques. This layering affect is successful for this album, for it became the perfect mixture of musical genres that the world wasn’t aware they needed. When looking at this album, the band gives their audience a dense musical texture when talking about the various musical timbres that are included, for the band itself brings forth musicians that carry various instrumental timbres. This helped to set this record out from the pack from the beginning, for they were meshing their various musical genres through these tone colors. From here, the limits were none because the band turned all of those blurred genres into their very own sound. They were able to do so by keeping each track semi-related, making sure that each of them sounded as if they led to the next. This gave the audience a sense of security when moving from track to track since each selection has its own identity that branches it away from the picture as a whole, but there is always at least one musical nuance that keeps everything connected. Honestly, as the previous albums have galvanized the land of pop punk, this album did the same for the alternative, metal, rock, and hardcore scenes of music. There are few albums that can compare to this one, but in the end this one is the only one that will always matter.
Top Tracks: “In the End”, “A Place for My Head”, and “Forgotten”
- “Feel Something”- Movements
All right, all right. The last album of the discussion is the one, the only “Feel Something” by Movements. Its rather crazy that this album was just released almost a year ago, yet it is one of the most, if not the most, influential album in my life. This album pulls the audience in through the relatable lyrical content that hits the heart strings within every track that made the cut. Additionally, the band plays with simple instrumental lines that are present to enhance the vocal line and drive home the individual mood of every song. This helps to set the overall vibe of the record when moving along from track to track as one moves from top to bottom. When one puts this album on, if you listen to it from front to bottom, the band will take you on an emotional journey that will return you to a hard, almost painful mental state; however, the band will then build you back up until you would reach the final selection on the album, where one would find that final sense of closure. As stated before, this record takes the audience on a journey because this album itself is a journey. Each track represented takes listeners through a different mental, emotional roller coaster, that they may not realize that they’ve felt before. However, the band’s goal is certainly met by the end because you will definitely feel something; actually, you’ll feel a lot of things. Honestly, this album is a musical masterpiece through and through, and people are going to be talking about this album months and years from now. This album was the next evolutionary step in the pop punk scene of music, and truthfully, nothing compares to this album in the slightest. Many albums may try to replicate the techniques, both vocal and instrumental, to try to emulate the quality of this album; however, they’ll only be swallowed by the grey.
Top Tracks: “The Grey”, “Suffer Through”, and “Fever Dream”
“Hollow Bodies”- blessthefall
“Welcome to the Neighbourhood”- Boston Manor
“As You Please”- Citizen
“The Fallout”- Crown the Empire
“Rise or Die Trying”- Four Year Strong
“The Hype”- Hoodie Allen
“A Lesson in Romantics”- Mayday Parade
“Maybe This Place is the Same, and We’re Just Changing”- Real Friends
“Fragile Figures”- Secrets
“Chemical Miracle”- Trophy Eyes