Ever since its inception in the '00s, pop punk always seemed to get a bad reputation. Whether you wanted to call it pop punk or emo rock, this was the kind of music that seemed destined for the sounds of middle school, back when teenagers had nothing more to complain about than not being allowed to take out the car for a weekend. In between the more whiny stripes of pop punk acts, there was a lot of quality material hidden just below the surface.
It took a while for pop punk to grow into its sound, but once it reached maturity, these bands weren't afraid to take some risks every now and again. While one major complaint is that every album sounds the same, you're not going to have that sort of problem here, with each of these records being the perfect gateway for every stripe of music fan.
For every band that falls on the more punk side of the spectrum, there's always going to be those acts that provide a nice first taste of what the genre has to offer and actually manages to push beyond the genre tag and make for something completely different. It might be a little more saccharine than your average rock and roll, but there's nothing wrong with having a sweet tooth every now and again.
10. From Under the Cork Tree - Fall Out Boy
As the pop punk genre infiltrated every single mall in America, it was getting a bad reputation for being a bit too whiny. Since they were the soundtrack to every '00s kid's adolescence, this felt more like songs that had to do with getting up in the morning than having any actual substance behind it. Once the emo stripe of pop punk started to catch fire, Fall Out Boy actually gave us something that we didn't think was possible...actual poetic lyrics.
From the looks of them though, these weren't exactly the most dangerous band in the scene or anything, especially with Pete Wentz's eyeliner making him one of the kings of the Hot Topic brand of pop punk. No, the real star of the show on this outing is the lyrics, complete with song titles that are much too long for anyone to even keep track of. Beneath the catchy hooks, most of these songs spoke to the kids that felt like they didn't fit in, whether that was being unlucky in love on Sugar We're Goin Down or letting all of your inhibitions go on Dance Dance.
There's also a lot more variety on this album than just a bunch of power chords, as Andy Hurley puts his drum kit through its paces with some metallic fills and Patrick Stump's powerhouse vocals almost coming close to soul territory in some spots. In the era when Hot Topic reigned supreme, this was the kind of record that gave us a place to fit in.