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Back to 2007 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Ah, 2007, an album ranking year that I don’t think will get the worst of Reddit angry with me, but a year that feels transitional in our music scene. While 2005 felt like a pop-punk apex, and 2006 felt like bands exploring new sounds and taking big swings, I look back on 2007 and see the shifts that started the year before playing out in significant ways. A music scene that now has spread and is straddling pop, punk, alternative, hardcore, and everything in between at a rapid pace. Reading over the staff list from 2007 shows me a shift not just in the taste of the staff and community underway, but the beginning of a changing of the guard in just what kind of music was extremely popular within the music scene itself.

    On the pop-punk side, you see the genre start to morph. We’re just about to begin the neon-phase, and bands like Four Year Strong and The Wonder Years are gaining in popularity. Bands from the previous era are trying to find out where they fit in. The Starting Line release Direction and have a surefire hit in “Island” that never finds its footing with the mainstream, and the band will go on hiatus not long after. Yellowcard returns with Paper Walls, which I called a redemption, and one of the better pop-punk albums released in years, but it also never quite catches on, and the band will also go on their hiatus within a year. The Academy Is… take a shot with Santi, and while loved by a few die-hards, it seemed to pause any momentum they had. Motion City Soundtrack leans into the melody with Even If It Kills You, and I will never understand the community backlash to that album. To this day, I’m still angry it wasn’t better received at the time, and while I love a lot of what came next, I could never shake that it felt like a regression. The kings of the old guard, Fall Out Boy, show they’re not ready to give up the crown when they put out Infinity on High. A band at the peak of their powers let me “leak” a track on our website, we get featured on MTV, and the group continues their tradition of being extremely polarizing within the scene while having a knack for keeping their sound updated and fresh enough to continue to see mainstream success. A trick they’ll deploy for years to come.

    And it’s not just pop-punk in this metamorphosis. Looking at the staff list, we see Say Anything’s In Defense of a Genre at the top. A double album that is filled with a who’s who of guest vocalists from the scene. An album that even at the time, we weren’t certain what to do with such a collection. Was it genius? Was it trash? Everyone with a keyboard had an opinion. It was an album that felt so anticipated and big on the website, the kind of record that felt like an event to discuss. That release and Anberlin’s Cities are the two albums that scream “” to me on this list. Two bands that if you read our website, you knew about and probably loved, but they weren’t the kind of thing anyone else was talking about.

    This year sees Thrice following up Vheissu by going the elemental four EP route, and a little band called The Gaslight Anthem sneaking into the top thirty with Sink or Swim, a small taste of a group that would virtually define the entire website’s aesthetic within a few years. I am not surprised at all to see Jimmy Eat World in the top three, with Chase This Light holding up about as well as an album can all these years later. However, I am shocked at the high placement of Saves the Day’s Under the Boards. I don’t remember that album being that well-received on the website, and I don’t remember having many conversations about it at the time, or in years to follow.

    These changes within our music world I also see reflected in the industry itself. Not only with labels trying to figure out what to do with the genre, but an artist like Radiohead releasing In Rainbows and upending the model for releasing and selling music in general. It’s interesting how many conversations at the time were centered around if this would be what every artist would do one day, what role labels would have going forward, and how much debate was around the entire idea of piracy in general. These years felt like peak internet-music-piracy and the era of leaks. Where everyone online knew how to find them, and the high-profile leaks, like Fall Out Boy’s Infinity on High, were covered by major publications and became events unto themselves. The release date didn’t matter to the forum kids nearly as much as the leak date. And it wouldn’t be until streaming services became that norm that this genie would find its way, just a little, back into the bottle. This year, in hindsight, is also where it feels to me that the internet had officially transitioned from a thing for a group of computer nerds into the thing where everyone was. From 2005 to 2008, MySpace was the most visited website on the internet, and this was right where I went from feeling like our community was the perfect size to feeling like it was untenable, and I needed help. I’d sell to Buzznet the following year.

    When I look back at my list from this year, two things jump out to me in particular. First, this is a year where the album I thought was going to be a “stands the test of time classic” for me, is not even close to the album I’ve come back to the most. And second, I was terrified to admit to the internet how much I liked pop-music and would pick albums that I thought would make me look cool, over things I was actually listening to and loving. I cannot believe how much time and energy I wasted think about what albums were ok and cool to talk about on AbsolutePunk to avoid being made fun of. More specifically, I was a coward unable to say I really liked female-fronted music, and a goddamn idiot for not having Paramore’s Riot on my list. I read back over my review of that album and see a pathetic little boy qualifying every statement and trying to hide behind miserable snark and being hilariously wrong in so many places. It’s embarrassing.1 Our music scene had a massive sexism problem during this period that I just didn’t see; I was blinded by my privilege and my bullshit. It was a massive failure and something I think about with regret on a regular basis. From the lyrics in the songs to the way the music scene treated women, there are no excuses. We failed. I failed. And I am sorry.

    When I re-ranked the 2007 albums, I used the same arbitrary rules as before, trying to think about the albums I listened to the most over the following years, trying to keep it as true to what was in “our world” at the time and therefore not grabbing a bunch of albums that I discovered way latter that also happened to come out that year.

    Best of 2007 (Re-Ranking)

    1. Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light
    2. Yellowcard – Paper Walls
    3. The Starting Line – Direction
    4. Steel Train – Trampoline
    5. Anberlin – Cities
    6. A Wilhelm Scream – Career Suicide
    7. Motion City Soundtrack – Even if It Kills Me
    8. Paramore – Riot
    9. Fall Out Boy – Infinity on High
    10. Stars – In Our Bedrooms After The War
    11. Cary Brothers – Who You Are
    12. Thrice – The Alchemy Index, Vols. 1 & 2: Fire & Water
    13. The National – Boxer
    14. Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
    15. The Graduate – Anhedonia
    16. Radiohead – In Rainbows
    17. Against Me! – New Wave
    18. Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
    19. Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
    20. Four Year Strong – Rise or Die Trying
    21. Iron and Wine – The Shepard’s Dog
    22. Relient K – Five Score and Seven Years Ago
    23. Eisley – Combinations
    24. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
    25. Straylight Run – The Needles, The Space
    26. New Found Glory – From The Screen To Your Stereo Part 2
    27. Say Anything – In Defense of the Genre
    28. The Gaslight Anthem – Sink Or Swim
    29. Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home
    30. The Academy Is… – Santi

    The album I come back to more than any other from 2007 is Jimmy Eat World’s Chase This Light, and the amount of time I’ve spent with it, hell, I put a song from it on our wedding playlist, makes it an easy pick for the number one spot. After that, it gets pop-punk heavy with Yellowcard and The Starting Line. I think both of these albums are fantastic, and for a long time, I would have said this is my favorite Yellowcard album.2 Steel Train sees a massive jump up the list and this is a great look into the songwriting powerhouse of Jack Antonoff in his early years. That Say Anything album takes a huge plunge and has never been something that stood with me over the years. Maybe the haters were right and it’s just too long? Maybe the content of the songs didn’t attach themselves to me. Conversely, Anberlin’s Cities holds up this day3 and my love for A Wilhelm Scream has only gotten more pronounced with time. The next run in the top ten of Motion City Soundtrack, Paramore, and Fall Out Boy showcase for me that 2007 was one of the last years I loved multiple pop-punk albums all at the same time. In the following years, I’d always find a few in the genre I liked, but I don’t think I’ll ever see a top ten quite like this again.

    Relient K’s Five Score and Seven Years Ago gets brought back to the list, it must have been an honorable mention that year, but I have listened to it more than other releases I originally had on here. The Academy Is… deserve some love, and I don’t know when I discovered Stars and The National, but I know that those two albums ended up playing an outsized role in my musical journey. That Thrice release might be the collection I go back to the least from the band, that Water EP is incredible, but I think I like the combination of all these sounds in their full-lengths better and always reach for one of those instead. I haven’t liked anything from Four Year Strong as much as I liked their debut, but I hardly ever return to it. And the hints of what’s to come from The Gaslight Anthem still excite me. That album would probably be higher, but I know I didn’t discover in great detail until after The ’59 Sound.

    I don’t think 2007 Jason would understand 2020 Jason’s list. I think he’d make fun of me for how high all these pop-punk albums were and be a dick about it. 2020 Jason thinks 2007 Jason sucks though, so I don’t give a shit. What I do know is that I still listen to every single album in this top ten multiple times a year. Those albums, to me, have stood the test of time in ways I could have never predicted. I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since the last Starting Line full-length, and it sometimes feels like it was only yesterday that we were arguing over if Patrick Stump was saying “also into cats.” I can’t figure out where all those days went.

    When people tell me they miss, I feel like bands must feel when fans tell them they miss their old sound; I understand it, but it boils me at the same time. I have a lot of fond memories of that website and going back over all of these best of lists lets me relive many of them. But it also brings up for me so much of the toxicity and how much of that was around me, and within me, as well. It reminds me why I had to start fresh, new, and build something that encapsulated who I am today and not who I was as a teenager. 2007 was a turning point in my life, a year of internal turmoil and strife, of realizing that I’m in over my head while trying to run a website with a flood of kids spending more time online. And as this wave hit, with social networks dominating and everyone searching out music leaks or hunting for new bands on or Purevolume, I would soon make the decision that completely changes the entire course of my career. But we’ll save that for next week.

    I’ve put together a playlist on Spotify and Apple Music featuring music from the re-ranked top thirty. If you’ve never listened to these bands before, now’s as great a time as any.

    Please consider becoming a member so we can keep bringing you articles like this one.

    1. I am, however, still quite proud of the “catchy as balls” line.

    2. Now I’d say it’s Southern Air.

    3. Except “Adelaide.”


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    anonimito likes this.
  2. Ska Senanake


    Dang no Weatherbox, Coheed, The Dear Hunter (Act II!!!). Nice list though, keep these a comin!
    Bartek T. likes this.
  3. Steve_JustAGuy


    Still love that Josh Ritter album so much.
  4. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    On a cursory glance, looks like we'll have more overlap this year. Looking forward to taking a crack at my re-rank when I'm done with work for the day.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  5. earthlight

    Trusted Supporter

    Paper Walls is an absolute masterpiece. It blows my mind to this day how that record did not receive more/better promotion and push from Capitol.
    Yellowcard2006 and CMilliken like this.
  6. RileyWitiw

    more like Supporter

    bands need to stop making long albums. There's a really good 10-12 track album in DOTG but I agree it's bloated. Same thing with that new 1975 album, that Green Day trilogy, Weezer's entire late aughts catalog... a touch of brevity is underrated. Better to leave them wanting more than wanting less.
  7. CAC3


    Direction is such an unbelievably good album. The Starting Line’s albums are all so good, I kind of understand why they seem so unwilling to put out a new one. Hard to top those three albums.
  8. paperlung

    there's no place like my room Supporter

    I listened to Infinity on High to death that year. still love it.
    BoldType, skogsraet and BradBradley like this.
  9. BradBradley


    I totally agree with this in regards to IDOTG. I remember a lot of people complaining about how much filler it had which was... completely true from my standpoint too. My response was always that if it had been distilled down to 10 or so songs, the album would’ve pushed their momentum and acclaim even further. Prior to release, it felt like they/Max could do no wrong (mostly, I think, because a lot of people were only familiar with Is/Was a Real Boy and the For Sale EP but MUCH less familiar with the earlier work that, in my opinion, mostly sucked). Afterwards, it seemed like a misfire for a lot of people. I still think it has a bunch of great tracks and the album stands out to me because it was the first SA album Alex Kent wrote/recorded the bass lines for. That guy was/is(?) an insanely talented musician and he was always a blast to watch play live in SA.
    RileyWitiw likes this.
  10. Drew Baldy


    Man, these write ups have been a lot fun. Been giving me initiative to get back into music again and going through music I haven’t listened to in a long time.
    grimis16 and Jason Tate like this.
  11. JRGComedy

    Trusted Supporter

    Trampoline rules
    Jason Tate likes this.
  12. Pepetito Jun 17, 2020
    (Last edited: Jun 18, 2020)

    Regular Supporter

    Without too much effort-

    1. JEW - chase this light
    2. anberlin - cities
    3. Yellowcard - paper walls
    4. Gaslight anthem - sink or swim
    5. Mayday parade- ALIR
    6 Minus the bear - planet of ice
    7 fall out boy - infinity on high
    8 Kanye- graduation
    9 Matt nathansin- some mad hope
    10All time low- so wrong it’s right
    CMilliken and earthlight like this.
  13. Pepetito

    Regular Supporter

    After their first album, each subsequent got worse IMO. I don't think I've touched Direction since 2007.
    SFguitar likes this.
  14. okayibelieveyou

    Tam Rogic CSC Prestigious

    I'm curious @Jason Tate - you've obviously made a point here about saying that you wouldn't have said you 'really liked female fronted music' but Eisley have been on your 2005 & 2007 lists and re-ranked lists. In both you haven't expanded on them so just wondered if you think Eisley should be spoken about more in the conversation about female fronted bands, especially in our scene.

    It's probably sacrilege but I have never, and still do not, love Infinity on High. I think there's a stellar EP worth of songs in there but I just can't take to it all.

    A Wilhelm Scream are purely on my list because of Jason waxing lyrical about Career Suicide. A real gem that I found solely because of

    I was in a big pop-punk crossed with screamo phase here so ADTR, Chiodos and TDWP feature. Enter Shikari soundtracked 2006 with all of the songs that they released on TTTS so it's hard to leave it off even if the recorded versions never do live upto the live versions.

    The Starting Line would definitely have the biggest come up here. I was late but I love Direction and it following into The Dangerous Summer a few years later feels fitting and perfect.

    ETID album is incredible and it's my favourite from them still.

    I don't think In Defense is as bloated as some make out. I think I can make it through 16 songs straight before I then start to think no this is waining. I think there is a perfect 12-14 song album in there somewhere though.

    I think my list would look something like this ordered now:

    1. Every Time I Die - Big Dirty
    2. Enter Shikari - Take to the Skies
    3. The Starting Line - Direction
    4. Four Year Strong - Rise or Die Trying
    5. A Day to Remember - For Those Who Have Heart
    6. A Wilhelm Scream - Career Suicide
    7. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
    8. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
    9. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    10. Paramore - Riot
    11. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
    12. Say Anything - In Defence of the Genre
    13. Thrice - Fire & Water
    14. Chiodos - Bone Palace Ballet
    15. Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
    16. Yellowcard - Paper Walls
    17. Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
    18. Tegan and Sara - The Con
    19. Eisley - Combinations
    20. The Devil Wears Prada - Plagues
    Petit nain des Îles likes this.
  15. sosplatano

    Regular Supporter

    One of my golden years, personally. That top 3, in that order, hasn't changed for 13 years.
    1. Cassino - Sounds of Salvation
    2. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
    3. The Starting Line - Direction
    4. Paramore - Riot!
    5. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
    6. Anberlin - Cities
    7. Ride Your Bike - Bad News from the Bar
    8. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
    9. Yellowcard - Paper Walls
    10. Circa Survive - On Letting Go
    11. Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
    12. Sherwood - A Different Light
    13. Say Anything - In Defense of the Genre
    14. August Burns Red - Messengers
    15. Every Time I Die - The Big Dirty
    grimis16 likes this.
  16. irthesteve

    formerly irthesteve Prestigious

    This is my original 2007 list, haven't done a re-ranking so of course things would shift and change a fair amount but it was a damn good year for music

    1. Straylight Run - The Needles The Space
    2. House of Fools - Live & Learn
    3. Limbeck - Limbeck
    4. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
    5. Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home
    6. Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago
    7. Coheed & Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. II: No World For Tomorrow
    8. Big D & The Kids Table - Strictly Rude
    9. Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight
    10. Chiodos - Bone Palace Ballet
    11. Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
    12. Rooney - Calling The World
    13. The Rocket Summer - Do You Feel
    14. Blaqk Audio - CexCells
    15. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals - Lifeline
    16. Feist - The Reminder
    17. The Used - Lies for the Liars
    18. Saves The Day - Under The Boards
    19. The Spill Canvas - No Really, I'm Fine
    20. Dashboard Confessional - The Shade of Poison Trees
  17. Transient_Hymn

    Keep the Rubber Side Down Supporter

    Radiohead. Absolute runaway number 1
    Just disc 2 might be enough honestly.
    Mary V likes this.
  18. pbueddi


    That is an amazing top 2. I love it.
  19. thisisasong


    Just came here to say that TSL’s “Direction” is a highly underrated album.

    I remember they had the chance to work with Neal Avron, who produced for FOB on From Under the Cork Tree. However they passed on Neal in favor of Howard Benson. I’m not sure if the exact reason why they passed on Neal was ever revealed.

    But you could definitely tell there was some regret in that decision based on some interviews I’ve seen with TSL members.

    “Direction” never found its intended footing with the mainstream, while Fall Out Boy absolutely exploded when Sugar, We’re Going Down was released as a single.
  20. SFguitar


    Surprised to see no mention of ATL's SWIR. I've been trying to get back into it recently and it really sounds dated. They made such a huge leap on NP. It's still a notable album for the scene though.
    Pepetito likes this.
  21. FTank

    Trusted Prestigious

    Looking back at these lists has been great for filling in my knowledge of these years (I was 12 in 2007 and not listening to a ton of different music). A quick top ten off the top of my head:

    1. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
    2. Yellowcard – Paper Walls
    3. Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
    4. All Time Low - So Wrong, It's Right
    5. Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
    6. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    7. Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High
    8. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
    9. Paramore - Riot!
    10. Saves the Day - Under the Boards

    So yeah, a lot of pop punk on there. I wasn't listening to almost anything else at the time, and never quite ended up filling in the gaps later, so I'll be checking out some lists on here
  22. sooner518


    damn that Sherwood album was great.
    irthesteve and Pepetito like this.
  23. Craig Manning Jun 17, 2020
    (Last edited: Jun 17, 2020)
    Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    This one has changed on a re-rank a lot since actual 2007. Chase This Light was definitely my most-played album that year, but looking back, Some Mad Hope just means more to me. Didn't hear the other three albums in my top five until 1-2 years later, but those records hold up extremely well.
    1. Matt Nathanson - Some Mad Hope
    2. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
    3. Cary Brothers - Who You Are
    4. Will Hoge - Draw the Curtains
    5. Jesse Malin - Glitter in the Gutter
    6. Jon McLaughlin - Indiana
    7. Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
    8. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - Once OST
    9. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
    10. The National - Boxer
    11. Moses Mayfield - The Inside
    12. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd’s Dog
    13. Emerson Hart - Cigarettes & Gasoline
    14. Yellowcard - Paper Walls
    15. Jason Isbell - Sirens of the Ditch
    16. Kanye West - Graduation
    17. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
    18. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    19. Ingrid Michaelson - Girls and Boys
    20. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
    21. Paramore - Riot!
    22. Black Lab - Passion Leaves a Trace
    23. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - This Is Somewhere
    24. Anberlin - Cities
    25. Jackson Waters - Come Undone
    26. Missy Higgins - On a Clear Night
    27. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests…
    28. The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim
    29. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
    30. Dashboard Confessional - The Shade of Poison Trees
    anonimito and pbueddi like this.
  24. phaynes12 Jun 17, 2020
    (Last edited: Jun 17, 2020)

    playing in the band Supporter

    what a solid year. some all-time classic albums for me.

    honorable mentions:
    foo fighters - echoes silence patience grace; EL-P - i’ll sleep when you’re dead; chevelle - vena sera; interpol - our love to admire

    25. the shins - wincing the night away
    24. kings of leon - because of the times
    23. dustin kensrue - please come home
    22. baroness - the red album
    21. thrice - alchemy index vols. 1&2
    20. arcade fire - neon bible
    19. poison the well - versions
    18. every time i die - the big dirty
    17. band of horses - cease to begin
    16. gaslight anthem - sink or swim
    15. bright eyes - cassadaga
    14. jimmy eat world - chase this light
    13. dinosaur jr - beyond
    12. nine inch nails - year zero
    11. explosions in the sky - all of the sudden i miss everyone
    10. kanye - graduation
    9. as cities burn - come now sleep
    8. the white stripes - icky thump
    7. jay z - american gangster
    6. spoon - ga ga ga ga ga
    5. queens of the stone age - era vulgaris
    4. arctic monkeys - favorite worst nightmare
    3. the national - boxer
    2. wilco - sky blue sky
    1. radiohead - in rainbows
    Mary V likes this.
  25. marceting


    I'd like to give a shout to The Almost's Southern Weather. Revisited it during quar, lots of jams.