best 2007 scene albums
[Photos via Avril Lavigne, Cobra Starship, Paramore/YouTube, The Rocket Summer]

In 2007, the scene was rocking harder and louder than anyone could have imagined. Myspace favorites such as Fall Out Boy and Paramore were crafting their emo sounds into unforgettable albums that established them as legends. While staying true to their roots in emo and punk, scene music introduced synthesizers and screamo elements to create the newest sound for the genre. 

Scene bands were finding heightened success with T-shirts and CDs in Hot Topic, scoring the cover of major music magazines and becoming staples to the Warped Tour lineup. In particular, 2007 was an inventive time for scene music and redefined what scene was and could be. No longer was it simply categorized as a subsection of punk, emo, pop punk and hardcore—scene became an all-encompassing genre that showcased the creativity of any artist or band who chose to break from the norm.

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Put on your red skinny jeans and throw up the iconic Cobra Starship fangs. Here are 20 essential scene albums from 2007.

All Time Low – So Wrong, It’s Right

So Wrong, It’s Right is the second album from All Time Low and the one that established their inherently pop-punk sensibilities and musicality. While they attempted to venture into more emo territory in tracks such as “Come One, Come All,” they hit their stride with the unforgettable Dear Maria, Count Me In.” To this day, All Time Low continue to create some of the greatest pop-punk albums of all time.

The Almost – Southern Weather

Making their debut with Southern Weather, the Almost are fronted by Underoath drummer/clean vocalist Aaron Gillespie. Far less aggressive than the music he had produced previously, the Almost have a much more alternative, emo and pop-rock sound in comparison, making them inherently unique from Gillespie’s former band. Southern Weather has a wide range of tonality with heavy tracks like “Drive There Now!” and the soft emo nature of “Dirty And Left Out.”

Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire

Just two years after forming, Angels & Airwaves released sophomore LP I-Empire and created one of the most impressive pop-rock albums to date. Fronted by Tom DeLonge, the release allowed him to dive further into new territory that he never explored among the pop-punk elements of blink-182 and Box Car Racer. Featuring hints of new wave, I-Empire established some of the band’s most beloved tracks to date with “Everything’s Magic” and “Secret Crowds.”

Avril Lavigne – The Best Damn Thing

The third album from Avril Lavigne, The Best Damn Thing, abandoned the rock and punk influences from her older albums and created an all-new image for the star. Lavigne’s newfound lyricism and vocals grew with her into adulthood. The Best Damn Thing includes songs that range from inherently emo (“When You’re Gone”) to pop anthems (“Girlfriend”). It was an unforgettable feat in her music career and played a pivotal role in changing both the look and feel of the genre.

Cartel – Cartel

Cartel’s self-titled album displays how dedicated the band were to keeping their original sound and wanting to perfect it (even from inside a bubble). With tracks such as “Tonight” and “The Fortunate,” Cartel prove that pop punk, indie and alternative belong together when they’re mixed right. 

Chiodos – Bone Palace Ballet

The second album by Chiodos, Bone Palace Ballet, is a remarkable contribution to the scene. It framed the past, present and future of the genre with Craig Owens’ uniquely high-pitched, punchy vocals alongside brass and string instruments to create an entire musical atmosphere unlike any other. While the album is conceptual when listened through from start to finish, each song stands on its own. Ultimately, Bone Palace Ballet is an album that offers refinement to mixing genres in a way that only Chiodos can provide.

Circa Survive – On Letting Go

The second album from Circa Survive, On Letting Go, stays true to their original sound but included higher production values and much tighter instrumentation. They spent time on this album, refining the unique vocals of Anthony Green alongside the emotionally heavy lyrics and their mix of emo, punk and alternative. On Letting Go questions life, heartbreak and the pursuit of capital in a multitude of creative and thought-provoking ways. 

Cobra Starship – ¡Viva La Cobra!

Cobra Starship followed up their 2006 debut album with ¡Viva La Cobra! With better production quality, they amplified their synth and keyboard-heavy electropop. With the singles “Guilty Pleasure” and “The City Is At War,” Cobra Starship created an album that is remarkably reminiscent of the music you would play if the world was coming to an end in a burst of electronic splendor and a rainbow of skinny jeans.

Fall Out Boy – Infinity On High

In a shocking twist for longtime fans of Fall Out Boy, their third album, Infinity On High, found the band changing their sound altogether. Some remember it as the moment the beloved Midwesteners “sold out,” but they ran with it. Opening track “Thriller” declares their awareness of the controversial change with “Crowds are won and lost and won again/But our hearts beat for the die-hards.” While their classic alt-emo playing was left behind, their experimentation with refined vocals and tightened guitar riffs on Infinity On High was exactly what was needed to reinvigorate the scene. 

Four Year Strong – Rise Or Die Trying

Four Year Strong came out of left field with the heaviest pop-punk album of the year, Rise Or Die Trying. Their playing is reminiscent of hardcore, while their vocals and lyrics toed the line between pop punk and alternative. “Bada Bing! Wit’ A Pipe!” perfectly encapsulates their sound as a band with a mix of tight guitar riffs, heavy bass drum, synthesizers and the freedom of expression true to pop punk. 

Mayday Parade – A Lesson In Romantics

Making their debut with A Lesson In Romantics, Mayday Parade unexpectedly created one of the most integral albums to scene culture in the 2010s. The album’s lyrics are fueled with heartbreak and love in songs such as opener “Jamie All Over” followed by “Black Cat.” Mayday Parade captured the essence of what it was like to experience a romantic relationship while being a touring musician that was also relatable to the masses. True to the emo and alternative genre, A Lesson In Romantics is an outlet for anyone experiencing a deeply emotional time in their life. 

Metro Station – Metro Station

When Trace Cyrus and Mason Musso formed Metro Station, they absolutely exploded. The most bombastic track from their self-titled album, Shake It,” soared in popularity among scenesters and sparked an even greater interest in the electric side of the scene. With Metro Station, the genre continued to grow away from its roots in dark sensibilities and started amplifying the color palette and sound of the scene. 

Motion City Soundtrack – Even If It Kills Me

The third album from Motion City Soundtrack, Even If It Kills Me, is one long adventure of power pop, emo pop and alternative tendencies. Keyboardist/synthesizer aficionado Jesse Johnson packs nearly every track with upbeat electric sounds, while vocalist Justin Pierre provides an unforgettable sonic experience for the listener. The album showcases the two sides of a love story. In “It Had To Be You,” they reflect on falling for a person and questioning what went wrong as well as why. The emotive song is then juxtaposed with the politically driven “Hello Helicopter,” which is both apathetic and resentful.

Paramore – Riot!

It’s nearly impossible to listen to a scene playlist without the entire tracklist of Paramore’s Riot! included. By this time, Hayley Williams and co. went full force with their brand of emo-rock. Riot! includes emotionally driven lyrics with songs such as “For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic” and their unforgettable anthem of heartbreak with “That’s What You Get.” Toss in the since-retired mega-hit “Misery Business,” and it set Paramore on a forward trajectory for scene stardom.

The Rocket Summer – Do You Feel

The Rocket Summer’s Do You Feel is fueled by emo pop, indie and power pop. Bryce Avary’s vocals embrace a sensitivity while powerfully provoking a call to love yourself and others without apology. Utilizing brass instruments along with piano, the Rocket Summer set their sound apart from any other with upbeat lyrics and tonality. 

The Spill Canvas – No Really, I’m Fine

In the fall of 2007, the Spill Canvas released their third album, No Really, I’m Fine. It’s a distinctly emo album with lyrics that plead for the reciprocation of feeling from an unrequited love, such as in the track “All Over You.” While the ensemble creates an upbeat atmosphere, the emotionally driven lyrics mixed with heartfelt vocals create a true-to-form emo album that deeply influenced the scene. 

The Starting Line – Direction

By 2007, the Starting Line grew away from the yearnings of youth and transformed their sound with their next album, Direction. They abandoned their traditionally pop-punk sensibilities for much heavier instrumentations and started utilizing delay pedals, unique harmonies and even a few breakdowns. On Direction, the Starting Line mixed alternative rock and hardcore to create an entirely new identity. 

Sum 41 – Underclass Hero

While 2004’s Chuck may have made people think Sum 41 were growing away from their punk roots, Underclass Hero announced a return to form. With the title track stating “Now I’m desensitized, I state my place in nowhere/Burning the flag, a different generation,” Sum 41 proclaimed that they weren’t done with their anarchistic beliefs that made them so popular in the first place. Underclass Hero stands out because of the band’s ability to return to their original sound, perfect it and nurture its growth.

The Used – Lies For The Liars

The Used’s third album, Lies For The Liars, stays true to their roots but transforms it with sped-up tempos and an in-your-face attitude. In their single “Pretty Handsome Awkward,” the Used employ more rock, a shift in tempos in several instances, screams from the iconic vocalist Bert McCracken and punchy lyrics. It resulted in a transformative album and gave them the opportunity to highlight their vast range of talents.

We The Kings – We The Kings

We The Kings made their debut with their 2007 self-titled album—filled with heartfelt lyrics about young love and experiencing the “honeymoon phase” of relationships. They have a uniquely pop-punk emo sound that’s perfectly captured in “Secret Valentine” and “Skyway Avenue.” Each track on We The Kings finds a way to pull at the heart strings of a generation of youth that yearns for the romantic aspects of everyday life.