Records Still Worth Listening to a Decade Later

All-American Rejects / Courtesy of Interscope Records
All-American Rejects / Courtesy of Interscope Records

It’s 2015, which officially makes my favorite year for rock music a whole decade ago. Cobra Starship probably said it best on 2006’s While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets with the track title of “Pop-Punk is Sooooo ’05” as that genre appeared to be the trend. However, unlike the title’s slightly sarcastic tone, I was certainly not complaining. Many of these albums filled my fourth generation Classic iPod throughout high school and are still holding strong to this day—the iPod, not so much. Check out ten of the best rock albums from 2005 (in no particular order, because narrowing it down to that was difficult enough).

From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy: I remember popping this CD into the 6-disc changer stereo of my living room and blasting it on the day I bought it. It ranks among the few albums I can listen to all the way through without skipping a single track. Because honestly, each album usually has at least one song of which you’re just not a huge fan. At the very least, you can entertain yourself with all the movie references (“Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner,” “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me”) and long, witty titles (“I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me,” “Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued”).

Almost Here by The Academy Is…: Despite their current broken up status, The Academy Is… will forever be my favorite artist, but nothing else they put out, while still great in its own right, could compare to the significance of this record musically and lyrically. I mean, “Pick it up, pick it up, it’s what you wanted / Pick it up, pick it up, and you need it too” from “Black Mamba” may or may not still be my cell phone ringtone to this day, partially because I don’t think I could ever think of something more fitting than I did at 15.

What to Do When You Are Dead by Armor For Sleep: While Armor For Sleep also no longer exists and never really achieved any major commercial success like many mentioned here, this album is a must listen for anyone with an appreciation of the genre. As a concept album, it tells the story of the protagonist’s suicide (“Car Underwater) and following journey from “The Truth About Heaven” to “Basement Ghost Singing” and finally “The End of a Fraud.”

Move Along by the All-American Rejects: The All-American Rejects had quite a record to follow thanks their 2002 self-titled debut. Move Along allowed the band to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump with ease as made obvious by its double platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. The expected reference to make here would be that this album was certainly no “Dirty Little Secret,” but tracks like “Move Along” and “It Ends Tonight” are just as worth the listen.

A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! at the Disco: Panic! at the Disco stormed the scene with this impressive debut and its single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The record includes an introduction and intermission, splitting the two halves like a theatrical production—one more electronic and upbeat, the other more piano and strings-driven. Unlike the All-American Rejects, they did hit that slump with their second record, Pretty. Odd., but granted AFYCSO was certainly a hard act to follow.

Plans by Death Cab for Cutie: “Crooked Teeth” and “I Will Follow You into the Dark” were basically the emo anthems of 2005, but the rest of the album was worth a listen as well. Plans was the band’s major label debut in partnership with Atlantic Records after leaving long-time label Barsuk Records. Frontman Benjamin Gibbard expressed concern over corporate involvement, but with songs this good, it was clear he had nothing to be worried about other than what to wear to the 2006 Grammy’s where the record was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album.

All We Know Is Falling by Paramore: While I really loved Paramore’s most recent self-titled effort and have no qualms about their Top 40 success and progression to a more pop sound, there was just something about their debut. I miss the gritty aesthetic present in tracks like “Emergency” and “Pressure” with Hayley Williams famous powerhouse voice overlaying to even it out and drive it home.

Everything in Transit by Jack’s Mannequin: If the mention of this album doesn’t get you singing about mix tapes or a dark shade of blue, then I suggest you delve into this 11-track piano-driven masterpiece as soon as possible. Frontman Andrew McMahon spent the months following Something Corporate’s 2004 hiatus announcement writing what would eventually be his side project’s first album. While I love Something Corporate, I also love this album and am more than glad circumstances allowed it to be made.

Commit This to Memory by Motion City Soundtrack: I first caught on to this band after “Everything Is Alright” made an appearance on a mixed CD given to me by a friend. The rest of the album is just as good at mixing Justin Pierre’s borderline whiny yet calming voice with the electronic and rock mix. Having also been produced by Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus makes this one a hard one to hate.

A Beautiful Lie by Thirty Seconds to Mars: Before Jared Leto was an Oscar-nominated actor, he had roles like rocker Jordan Catalano opposite Claire Danes’ Angela Chase in the 1994 teen drama My-So Called Life­. Fast-forward four years where Leto formed his own real-life rock band who would then eventually give us this fantastic record. Leto first moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a directing career, which is no shock when you see the videos he has directed under various pseudonyms for songs such as “The Kill” and the title track. If those aren’t enough to get you to check out the rest of the band’s artistic vision musically, then I don’t know what will.