A Decade of Music Overlooked

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Simple Plan, Promotion” by Chapman Baehler (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Simple Plan – One of the top pop-punk bands of the late 2000s.

This past summer, I discovered a new genre of music. One I connected with on a personal level. One that I would like to shed some light on, as it has gone underappreciated for over a decade: pop-punk.

According to Google, pop-punk is defined as…

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According to the Alternative Press, the rise and fall of pop-punk popularity, a subgenre of alternative music, started in the mid 1990s and ended in the late 2000s. The popularity of pop-punk was, as some say, short-lived.

However, I am here to argue a different case. Yes, a decade is a short time for a new brand of music to live and then die out, but that’s not entirely what happened. Like any grand opening, timing is critical, and pop-punk just happened to start in the wrong time period for our generation to appreciate it.

Every one of you (students) reading this was probably born roughly between 2000 and 2004. This is the end of pop-punk’s life, so why don’t we all listen to it then? Well, the answer is straightforward: Most likely our parents were listening to music from their past, as that’s what they grew up with, or, even if they had the radio playing the music that was “modern” during that time, like pop-punk, we were all too young to remember it.

Just try to think of the songs from between 2008-2013, the period right after the pop-punk explosion. Except for 106.7 Lite FM and the occasional party, those songs are practically gone. So why would songs from before that even be a thought in our minds?

So, why listen to this underappreciated genre?

Deepness, catchiness, and rebellious. What I mean by this is that all songs of this music branch can be split into those three categories, and they are the main reasons why both I and other pop-punk fans like the songs. The following paragraphs will explain each:

Deepness: While not the powerful and life-changing tone that the legendary Johnny Cash delivers, pop-punk songs are, indeed, deep. They are relatable on a personal level, at least during one point in everybody’s life. The lyrics may be childish at times, but for the most part, the words are well written and meaningful. Most of the songs are about the hardships of growing up, love, heartbreak, positivity, or even the feeling of summer. Besides this all, a lot of the songs contain social commentary, critiquing the faults of society and people, which we are all guilty of doing. For the best example, “Astronaut” by Simple Plan is rated on several websites as the number one song for loneliness.

Catchiness: With irresistible tracks and choruses, pop-punk songs are catchy. They’re the kind of songs that get stuck in your head, and you can’t help but sing to yourself. Overall, pop-punk songs are great for long car rides, singing in the shower, days on the beach, or for parties. Or, maybe even for performing at one of the Lakeland Coffee Houses! A great example of a catchy song is “Ohio (Come Back To Texas)” by Bowling for Soup.

Rebellious. At some point in our lives, if not multiple times, we all feel the need to rebel against something. It might be against school work, our parents, rules, or anything else. Pop-punk takes it to a new level with rebellious songs in which the singer refuses to let other people ruin or control their life. There is no better example than “I Refuse” by Simple Plan.

Overall, pop-punk is a genre of music that never got a chance to flourish, with only a select few bands making it mainstream. Due to its unfortunate timing, which caused it to be in between our parents and ourselves, the music branch failed to live up to its true potential for our generation.

Type “pop-punk alternative rock bands” into the search bar and behold the countless bands, some of which you might even recognize. We all have different music styles and lyric tastes, so discover which groups you like. It’s a new year, and whether you’re a new you or your same old-self, try adding some new music to your life.