The 10 Best Pop-Punk Albums of the 2000s: A Discussion
We asked manager and host of ‘Waldman's Words’ on idobi Radio, Scott Waldman, to take on the challenge of ranking the 10 Best Pop-Punk Albums of the 2000s. He enlisted friend and fellow musician Tom Kunzman to help him out. See what albums topped their list below:
Understatement: The early-2000s were the glory days for pop-punk music in both the underground and the mainstream. Tom Kunzman of 18th & Addison (pop-punk band to some; rock ’n’ roll band to all) and I were asked to rank the (100 percent subjective) best pop-punk albums of the past decade year-by-year. As always when doing these retrospective pieces, we decided to only list each band once, promoting a spirit of community and oligarchy quite similar to the vibe of the scene that we were discussing. Sorry? AND, while some albums listed here may not be considered pop-punk records to some, they often get lumped into the pop-punk category by some, and that’s OK (to some, or sum).
That’s the moral of the story (so far) before we even start it: One can argue whether or not a band or album conforms a hyper-specific genre til one is blue in one’s face, but it doesn’t fucking matter. The scene (and its all-knowing genre lords) will never die (for better or worse) if quality songs and albums keep coming. Yup. Sorry part two? That may explain the current resurgence of the genre. Who knows? At the end of the day, it’s only pop punk but we like it.
Anyway, here’s wonderwall:
1. New Found Glory, New Found Glory (2000)
SW: Let’s start with a penultimate one.
TK: New Found Glory blended pop and punk better than most.
SW: Better off dead.
TK: That dad joke was a hit, not a miss.
SW: I saw NFG on tour for this record. The energy in the room was not an eyesore.
TK: It’s safe to say that I’m a sucker for New Found Glory.
2. Good Charlotte, Good Charlotte (2001)
SW: It’s safe to say that I’m a sucker for Good Charlotte, and my love is not complicated.
TK: A great record for all seasons.
SW: I also saw GC on tour for this record. The band covered “A Hard Day’s Night.” I wept little things.
TK: Like me, you’re a crier and not a screamer.
SW: Let me go!
TK: (lets him go)
3. The Starting Line, Say It Like You Mean It (2002)
SW: This is the first non-self titled album on this list!
TK: Do you mean that?
SW: I said it!
TK: Fine. I’m leaving.
SW: Please don’t leave me without saying goodbye.
TK: I’m almost there. I’m going nowhere.
SW: Kenny was so young when the band signed to Drive Thru Records. The world is so glad that he was given a chance here.
TK: Agreed. And we’re not even cheek to cheek here. Let’s up and go to Fall Out Boy.
4. Fall Out Boy, Take This To Your Grave (2003)
TK: (hardcore scream)
5. Bowling for Soup, A Hangover You Don’t Deserve (2004)
SW: There’s no screaming on this record!
TK: Not even almost.
SW: Ooo. That was funny. I definitely don’t want you to shut up and smile.
TK: You were smiling in 1985, because I wasn’t born yet.
SW: True. I was four.
TK: Were trucker hats cool back then?
SW: Fuck you, Tom.
6. Cartel, Chroma (2005)
TK: I appreciate your honestly, but settle down, Scott.
SW: Leave it up to Tom to save us.
TK: Will Pugh’s angelic voice saved many.
SW: Agreed. This may be my favorite front to back release on this list. Without hesitation, the 10 year tour for Chroma was the best album retrospective show that I’ve ever seen.
TK: It was only a matter of time.
7. Boys Like Girls, Boys Like Girls (2006)
SW: Was it five minutes to midnight?
SW: (shocked blank stare)
TK: Anyway, this may be MY favorite front to back release on this list.
SW: And we’re back to self-titled albums!
TK: You’re my heroine.
SW: There goes my hero.
8. Yellowcard, Paper Walls (2007)
TK: Speaking of Foo Fighters, here’s Yellowcard.
SW: Tom, that transition made me afraid.
TK: Violins normally scare me, but this is a perfect pop-punk record.
SW: And it doesn’t get enough love!
TK: It’s certainly a keeper.
SW: Yellowcard wrapped its major label career with a bang that lit up the sky.
9. The Audition, Champion (2008)
SW: This may be a polarizing addition to this here list, but fuck you, Tom.
TK: Hey! You proposed this addition!
SW: Hey! I love this album!
TK: Hey! My fiancée and bandmate Kait loves it too!
SW: Hey! She’s the true champion of your band!
TK: Hey! What gets you through the night!
SW: Hey! Why are we shouting “hey” repeatedly?
TK: We wanted to make it rain.
10. All Time Low, Nothing Personal (2009)
SW: Any pop-punk list from this century better include All Time Low.
TK: Damned if you don’t!
And we’re damned that we’re done.
BONUS: Blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
P.S. We know, we know, we know: Blink-182 is NOT on this list. That’s because we were saving the best (or honorable mention) for last. You can take off your pants and jacket now.
Here is a playlist that contains one song from each aforementioned record: https://open.spotify.com/user/124459245/playlist/62brcLQ0TUyI1jNMHeRnkp?si=XlZqMToFQC-ZDhPmPy-xdQ. For some reason that neither of us can figure out, pizza now gets lumped into the pop-punk category, so inhale a pie or 10 while listening. Your tummies may not thank us later, but your ears sure will. Understatement.
Scott Waldman is the former bassist of The City Drive (Sony Records) and the owner/founder of Waldman Management in Los Angeles, Calif. His current roster includes multiple artists, songwriters and producers, including AFI's Hunter Burgan as a producer and Sum 41/Street Drum Corps drummer Frank Zummo as a solo artist. In addition, Scott is the host of his own weekly radio show, Waldman's Words, on idobi Radio.
Tom Kunzman is a musician and songwriter. He is also one half of the New Jersey based pop-rock duo, 18th & Addison. There aren’t many things Tom cares to do or talk about besides music and he will talk. He will talk a lot.