10 Best Pop-Punk Songs of All Time
There’s no way to deny it at this point: Pop-punk is back. Love it or hate it, those high school jams from the first half of the ‘00s have circled back around as part of the current “emo revival.”
Get ready to jump, scream, and sing your teenage heart out, here are the 10 best pop-punk songs that you've totally forgotten about.
10. “Ocean Avenue” - Yellowcard
If there’s one band that sums up 2003-04 pop-punk in a nutshell, it almost has to be Yellowcard. The Jacksonville-based band has actually put out nine albums over the last 18 years, but the only time they’ve been culturally relevant in the mainstream was with their 2003 smash hit. They might not have lasted the test of time, but don’t pretend like you didn’t love this song. For that summer, we were all 16 and it felt so right.
9. “Josie” - Blink-182
Not to be confused with Blink’s later tune “Online Songs” (which starts out with the word “Josie”), this early track set the tone (and the tempo) for future pop-punk love songs. Seventeen years later, every guy can still appreciate the qualities that Mark Hoppus’ made-up girlfriend represents. Particularly if she looks like Alyssa Milano.
8. “My Own Worst Enemy” - Lit
If Yellowcard represented early-2000s one-hit wonder pop-punk music, there’s no competition for who the predecessor was. Lit never did anything else worth noting, but this one is the late-’90s anthem of making bad decisions. If you haven’t drunkenly belted out the chorus to “My Own Worst Enemy” with an equally inebriated group of friends, were you even really ever a pop-punk kid?
7. “Dear Maria, Count Me In” - All Time Low
All right, so this one came from the next generation of pop-punk bands, but it’s every bit as good as the other songs on this list. Considering that they even started in high school by covering other pop-punk songs, All Time Low's “Dear Maria, Count Me In” is really as well-crafted of a pop-punk song as you can get. As much of the newer wave of pop-punk music is, it’s by pop-punk fans for pop-punk fans, and it’s damn good.
6. “The Middle” - Jimmy Eat World
As unintelligible as the chorus might be, there’s no denying “The Middle” its place as one of the most iconic pop-punk songs ever. It’s catchy, uplifting, and fun to sing along to even if you don’t have any idea what the actual words are. Oh, and it might also be considered one of the best songs to ever come out of Arizona.
5. “Misery Business” - Paramore
To be fair, Paramore almost didn’t get included on this list because it’s tough to know exactly where to draw the line between “emo” and “pop-punk.” We decided Paramore was pop-punk enough for the list, whereas contemporaries like The Used, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New all fell to the dark side. Regardless of how you feel about Paramore now that they’re wildly successful and selling out shows all over the world, their first (and most popular) big hit is still a song for the ages.
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