Photo: Jack Bridgland
Blink-182 Essentials: 15 Songs That Prove They're Rock's Most Serious Unserious Band
As the classic blink-182 lineup hits the road for their massive world tour, get ready to rock out with a mix of iconic blink hits and hard-hitting deep cuts.
It's been a minute since we've seen the classic blink-182 lineup of Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, and Tom DeLonge together — eight years, to be exact. While the band has gone through some hardships and personnel changes during that time, their music has remained ubiquitous and engrained in today's music landscape.
With new single "Edging" in tow, blink-182 ushered in the latest era of the group — one that kicks into full gear on May 4, when their world tour launches in St. Paul, Minn. After spending the summer rocking arenas throughout the US and Canada, they'll hit Europe in the fall and resume in Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Mexico in 2024.
The trio teased a hit-filled set list with two surprise sets at Coachella, where they were welcomed as heroes. The performances showed that blink-182 still sound (and look) like those punk-rock kids who went streaking in the streets of LA in their music videos — and while they may be a little older, they're still not ready to act their age.
As the beloved rock group begin their latest tour together, GRAMMY.com revisits 15 of blink-182's essential tracks.
"Carousel," Chesire Cat (1995)
When blink-182 first started, Hoppus and DeLonge were just kids who bonded over a shared love of punk rock bands like Bad Religion, NOFX, and The Descendants. They played high schools and small clubs throughout San Diego, creating a buzz in the SoCal punk rock scene.
The first album, Chesire Cat, is a bit rough around the edges, but it is undeniably the start of blink as we know them now. Album opener, "Carousel," moves at a frenetic pace of pent-up energy, and it's our first taste for what was to take over the world a little later on. They sound young and spunky, ready to get the party started.
"Dammit," Dude Ranch (1997)
Forget "Smoke on the Water" — for kids learning guitar in the early 2000s, it was the "Dammit" riff they wanted to master. And in the same vein, "Dammit" as a whole was the perfect introduction to blink-182. Everything we know and love about them — the bouncing guitars, the breakneck drums (albeit not recorded by Barker, who didn't join the band until 1998), the juvenile gossip, the singalong chorus — is all there.
In "Dammit" is the blink-182 too-cool-for-school philosophy. They don't want to go out with you anymore? Whatever. Just tell yourself they'll regret it and shrug, "I guess this is growing up."
"Josie," Dude Ranch (1997)
A fan favorite from blink-182's Dude Ranch, "Josie" doesn't waste any space. It's loud and fast, just like the music that shaped the band growing up in SoCal.
Almost like a little cousin to the Ramones' "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker," "Josie" is a punk rock love song hidden behind brash drums and snot-nosed guitars, about a girl who is out of their league — who laughs at their dumb jokes, drives them when they're too drunk, and doesn't get jealous when they hang with the guys. With her they know that everything is gonna be fine. Who doesn't want a relationship like that?
"What's My Age Again?," Enema of the State (1999)
Mark Hoppus is 51, and both Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge are 47. So as DeLonge's guitar rang out and the band launched into "What's My Age Again?" at Coachella, it felt more like a protest song — because what is age but a number?
"What's My Age Again?" was the first single released from their pivotal Enema of the State album, and the first official taste of the Hoppus/DeLonge/Barker lineup. It is blink-182's mission statement, an anthem for those who never want to grow up. After all, as Hoppus sings, "No one should take themselves so seriously, with many years ahead to fall in line."
Every line is quotable, every riff is memorable, and not a moment is wasted. Now that's how you make one catchy pop punk song and win over a generation in the process.
"All the Small Things," Enema of the State (1999)
If "What's My Age Again?" was a reintroduction, "All the Small Things" was the song that made damn sure you'd never forget. Sure, blink-182 may not have invented SoCal pop punk, but they were the first band to bring it to the mainstream, and "All the Small Things" was what made them a household name. It propelled them into superstardom.
Since its initial breakthrough as an MTV mainstay in 1999, the song has become a classic pop-punk party anthem with its sing-along hook and catchy undulating verses. It's a song about nothing and everything at once; it's about letting go and being free from any troubles. Work sucks, they know — so why not just sing "Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na, na"?
"Going Away to College," Enema of the State (1999)
On Enema deep cut "Going Away to College," blink-182 perfectly captured what it's like for a kid heading off on their own for the first time — heading into the unknown, leaving family and friends you grew up with behind.
"I haven't been this scared in a long time," DeLonge admits in the chorus, one of blink-182's best, most endearing in their catalog. The song is largely an adorably clumsy valentine to a high school sweetheart, and the words Hoppus sings read like a message hastily scribbled on a note in a locker: "This world's an ugly place, but you're so beautiful to me."
"Adam's Song," Enema of the State (1999)
Van Halen were once challenged to write a song other than hooking up with women or partying, so David Lee Roth wrote "Panama" about a car. In a similar way, blink-182 challenged themselves to write about something a little serious. In comes "Adam's Song," a tune sung from the perspective of a depressed teen thinking about ending his life: "Please tell mom this is not her fault," Hoppus pleads over a subdued, dirge-like guitar.
It's a heavy song that changed the idea of what a blink-182 song should sound like. Though the song was almost left off of Enema, "Adam's Song" ended up becoming one of the more important and cherished singles in the band's discography.
"Man Overboard," The Mark, Tom And Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) (2000)
On its surface, "Man Overboard" might seem a bit like a throwaway song as the only studio track on blink-182's 2000 live album, The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!). The band needed a song to help promote the live album, so they turned to a song that didn't make it on the previous year's Enema of the State. Yet, the single is a bright, driving song that's chock full of hooks.
Upon closer look, there is a deeper story of confliction within, and about watching a friend succumb to alcoholism. In many ways, "Man Overboard" served as a sort of predecessor to the more serious content blink-182 would write about the albums that followed it.
"First Date," Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
First dates spawn a range of emotion — hope in the opportunity, butterflies in your stomach. Who wouldn't want to make that excitement last forever, and ever?
On "First Date," DeLonge sounds downright giddy at the prospect. He's so nervous he really can't eat, dreading the thought of the first kiss because it's a target he's "probably gonna miss." Barker's frenetic drumming on the track only heightens the feeling of anticipation, and the combo is a vivid portrayal of punk-rock romanticism.
One of the things blink-182 always does so well is getting right to the point in their songs. There's no count in, no slow build, no BS. One swift drum roll and we're off to the races. "First Date" is a prime example of this; a thrill ride from the jump.
"Reckless Abandon," Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
The hardest part about growing up is that you don't know you're in the "good old days" until you leave them. On the driving Take Off Your Pants and Jacket deep cut "Reckless Abandon," Tom DeLonge waxes poetic about all the good times and those crazy memories from those endless summers gone by. Like a pop-punk "Glory Days," DeLonge looks back at those days with rose colored glasses, practically smirking as he sings in the chorus "we left a scar extra large."
"Reckless Abandon" is a fast-paced, rockin' roller coaster, the blueprint for today's blink-influenced rockers like the Menzingers or Japandroids who write similar anthems yearning for those days of youth. Because of its frenzied pace, "Reckless Abandon" has become a mainstay in blink-182's live setlist — one that is sure to get the crowd rip-roaring.
"Stay Together for the Kids," Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
"Stay Together for the Kids" is blink-182 at their angriest. "It's so pathetic," Hoppus spits in the opening verse, before a wall of guitars blaze through in the chorus, in which DeLonge spitefully yells, "I hope you enjoyed this time, you gave it all away. It's not right."
Like several of blink-182's songs — and rock/pop-punk songs in general — "Stay Together For the Kids" digs into a very painful, yet relatable sentiment. And as blink-182 air their own grievances out in real time, they gave anyone who has also been there something to scream along with.
"Feeling This," blink-182 (2003)
blink-182 was always about Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus. They're the yin and yang at the heart of the band – the McCartney/Lennon of blink-182, if you will. The way they played off each other in their songs and on stage was a major part of blink's appeal.
However, on 2003's self-titled album, it became clear their songwriting was moving in separate directions. That was initially apparent on blink-182's lead single, "Feeling This," one of blink's raunchier tracks. With DeLonge's snarling verse giving way to Hoppus' melodic chorus, "Feeling This" almost sounds like two separate tracks that shouldn't work together — but with the magic of Hoppus and DeLonge, they most certainly do.
"I Miss You," blink-182 (2003)
While "I Miss You" is inarguably one of blink's most iconic songs, it's seen a resurgence within social media and meme culture, particularly thanks to DeLonge's trademark vocal delivery about the voices inside his yyyyeeaaaaad. So, it can be easy to dismiss the song as a novelty — but you'd be wrong.
"I Miss You" is as sentimental as any classic ballad, and blink play it without an ounce of irony; it's as self-aware as it is self-deprecating, but in the end, it's about being lovesick. It's also the first blink-182 track to be recorded with acoustic instruments, with the band unplugging their guitars and using upright bass and drum brushes, giving the song a haunting, ghostly feel — creating a song so affecting that it remains one of their biggest to date.
"After Midnight," Neighborhoods, (2011)
In 2005, blink-182 announced that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus to pursue other projects outside of the group. A few years later in 2008, two incidents brought the band back together: Longtime collaborator and producer Jerry Finn passed away, and Travis Barker was involved in a near-fatal plane crash. The trio reconciled, and in 2009, they appeared at the 51st Grammy Awards together with the announcement that they would be picking up where they left off and a new album was on the way.
That album, 2011's Neighborhoods, sees the band coping with life's near-misses and unpredictability. While much of the album is composed of old demos and separate ideas, "After Midnight" sounds like the band writing as a cohesive unit again. With Barker's skittery drum beat and the song's soaring chorus, it has a sort of grandeur that was a new look for blink-182, but they wore it well.
You didn't think blink-182 grew up yet, did you? The bouncy new single "EDGING" — the first song in over a decade to feature Hoppus/Delonge/Barker together — is proof that blink-182 have clearly not lost their ability to write tight, catchy, sophomoric pop-punk.
Today, blink-182 have become the unlikeliest of elder statesmen, influencing new generations of kids who are creating their own pop punk anthems. But while the blink-182 on "EDGING" may be older, who says you have to get any wiser?
Photo: Fred Morledge
How Las Vegas Became A Punk Rock Epicenter: From When We Were Young To The Double Down Saloon
Viva Punk Vegas! It might have seemed unthinkable a decade ago, but Sin City is "the most punk city in the U.S." GRAMMY.com spoke with a variety of hardcore and legendary punks about the voracious vibe in Vegas that lends itself to punk spirit.
These days, what happens in Vegas, slays in Vegas when it comes to the harder side of music.
It might have seemed unthinkable a decade ago, but as Fat Mike of NOFX and Fat Wreck Chords has been putting out there for a while now, Sin City is basically "the most punk city in the U.S." at the moment. Some might find this statement debatable, but Vegas has long attracted subculture-driven gatherings, from Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekend to the all-metal Psycho Las Vegas to the mixed bag that was Las Rageous. The latest slate of huge punk and punk-adjacent music events (from Punk Rock Bowling and When We Were Young to the just-announced new lineup of Sick New World 2024) back his claim even further.
Mike’s own Punk Rock Museum, which opened in April of this year, has cemented the city’s alternative music cred — even as it’s still best known for gambling, clubbing, and gorging at buffets.
In fact, A lot of the audacious new activity is centered away from the big casinos and in the downtown area and arts district of what is known as "old Vegas." Just outside of the tourist-trappy, Times Square-like Fremont Experience, there’s a vibrant live music scene anchored by a few key clubs, and an ever-growing slate of fests.
Attendees at 2022's When We Were Young Festival┃Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic
Live Nation’s second annual When We Were Young Festival brought out a largely Millennial crowd to see headliners Green Day and blink-182 this past weekend, alongside over two dozen more recognizable openers from emo/pop-punk's heyday. Tickets sold so well when it was first announced, that a second day was added to the schedule.
Green Day didn’t stop with their fest gigs; the band played a "not-so-secret" pop-up show last Thursday night at one of the most popular venues in town for punk, alternative and heavy music: Fremont Country Club, just blocks from festival grounds. The show served as a warm-up gig as well as an announcement by Billie Joe Armstrong: His band will join Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, and others for a 2024 stadium tour. The band also debuted a timely new track, "The American Dream Is Killing Me."
"People who like punk and other heavy music want to be in a club environment like ours, not a big casino," says Carlos "Big Daddy" Adley, owner of Fremont Country Club and its adjacent music space Backstage Bar & Grill. Both have become live music hotspots not unlike the ones Adley and his wife/partner Ava Berman ran in Los Angeles before they moved to Vegas over a decade ago.
"Fremont East," as the neighborhood is called, will soon see a boutique hotel from the pair. Like everything they do, it will have a rock n’ roll edge that hopes to draw both visitors and locals.
Outside Fremont Country Club┃Photo: Fred Morledge
The duo told GRAMMY.com that a visit to Double Down Saloon, Sin City’s widely-recognized original punk bar and music dive was what first inspired them to come to Vegas and get into the nightlife business there. Double Down has been slinging booze (like Bacon Martinis and "Ass Juice" served in a ceramic toilet bowl mug) and booking live punk sounds since it opened back in 1992.
"It's kind of a stepping stone for a lot of bands," says Cameron Morat, a punk musician and photographer, who also works with the Punk Rock Museum as curator of its rockstar-led tour guide program. "People always assume that Vegas is just the strip, but that's only like four miles long. There's a lot more of the ‘‘other city.’ There are people who are just into music and into going to local shows who don't ever go to the main strip."
In addition to the Double Down, Morat says Vegas has always had a history of throwing local punk shows at spaces like the Huntridge Theater, which is currently being remodeled and set to re-open soon for local live music. He also points to The Usual Place as a venue popular with local punk and rock bands now, and The Dive Bar — a favorite with the mohawk, patched-up battle vest scene, featuring heavy music seven nights a week, including a night promoted by his partner Masuimi Max called Vegas Chaos.
Cameron Morat┃Photo: Kristina Markovich
While glitzy stage shows from legacy artists and mega-pop hit makers like Usher, Elton John, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga still get the most media attention, raucous local shows are starting to factor into a new generation’s vacation planning, too.
"There’s a really good scene here," Morat proclaims. "It's funny because a lot of people, the sort of gatekeepers of punk, ask ‘why is the punk museum in Vegas?’ But it is a punk city, and not just because you've got all the local bands and the venues."
Morat, whose own band Soldiers of Destruction, plays around town on occasion, also notes other acts such as Gob Patrol, Suburban Resistance, and Inframundo as having fierce local followings. He says there’s a certain voracious vibe in Vegas that lends itself to punk rock creation, performance and attitude. "A lot of the anger from punk rock — like the disparity of wealth, for instance, is here," he says. "Five minutes down the road, you've got people throwing away a million on the roll of a dice. But you've also got people who are doing like three jobs just trying to pay their rent."
Over at the Punk Rock Museum, Morat, who moved from Los Angeles to Vegas about seven years ago, is keeping busy booking big-name guests to share inspirations and war stories, both weekly, and specifically timed with whatever big festival or event happens to be in town. He says he wants to feature artists that might not be thought of as traditional punk rock, but who have relevant backgrounds and stories to share.
"A lot of these people have punk history the public doesn’t know about," he says. "I think if we just stick to a very small well of people, it's going to get pretty boring. So I'm trying to open it up for a bigger cross-section."
Imagery from "Black Punk Now" | Ed Marshall
The museum is already showing the breadth of punk rock’s influence on music in general. During WWWY, the museum held events tied to its new exhibit "Black Punk Now," curated by James Spooner, director of the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk. As Spooner spoke about the film’s 20th anniversary and his new book of Black punk authors, musicians playing the weekend’s festivities from Sum 41, MxPx, Bayside, Less Than Jake came through to talk too. Warped Tour’s Kevin Lyman and Fat Mike himself also took part in the museum’s new after-dark guided tour series.
Bringing in a wider audience and a new generation of rebellious kids who seek to channel their angst and energy into music is part of what the museum — and, it seems, the myriad of events in Las Vegas these days — is all about. Despite what some punk rock purists and gatekeepers might say, the inclusion of tangent bands and scenes is in the original punk spirit. He’ll be booking guests tied to next year’s Sick New World, the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly bash and even EDC in the future (electronic bangers are not unlike hardcore ones and even Moby was a punk before he became a DJ).
"I think that the museum is great for the punk scene here," he adds. "People will literally come to town just to see the museum, and then if there's a band playing in town in the evening, they'll go. So it's broadening the support for all the bands, local and touring. Some punk bands used to skip Vegas completely on their tours, but not anymore."
Photo: Richard Thigpen
Get Amped For When We Were Young 2023: Sum 41's Deryck Whibley's Favorite Emo Songs By Fellow Performers
Ahead of Sum 41's appearance at When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 21 and 22, lead singer Deryck Whibley curated a playlist of tracks from Blink-182, KennyHoopla, Good Charlotte and more.
For the second year in a row, pop-punk is taking over Las Vegas. The When We Were Young Festival is bringing another slew of emo and pop-punk acts from the mid/late aughts to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Oct. 21 and 22, from Yellowcard to Rise Against to Green Day.
"Fat Lip" rockers Sum 41 are one of the 55 artists playing this year's iteration of WWWY, which will mark two of the Canadian group's final shows (in May, they announced they'll be disbanding after their current tour commitments). Though they've been touring for nearly 30 years, frontman Deryck Whibley tells GRAMMY.com that the front row "looks the same as it did in 2001."
"This music speaks to a younger generation, and the new generation always gets into it," he says. "There's just something about this kind of music that is youthful and exciting, and there's energy there. I think it's always going to be here."
In celebration of the 2023 iteration of When We Were Young Fest, Whibley put together a playlist of 15 songs by his fellow performers, including the Offspring, Blink-182 and the Ataris. Whether or not you're headed to Las Vegas, get your dose of pop-punk nostalgia on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or Pandora.
Photos (L-R): Jody Dominigue; Jack Bridgland; Michael Tranafp; Paras Griffin/Getty Images; Jim Dyson/Getty Images; courtesy of the artist; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images;
15 Must-Hear Albums This October: Troye Sivan, Drake, Blink 182, NCT 127 & More
Don't let the falling leaves bring you down — read on for 15 albums dropping in October from Taylor Swift, Gucci Mane and Riley Green.
Fall has already begun, and 2023 enters its final act with the beginning of October. However, that doesn't mean the music has to slow down — this month offers plenty of new releases for everyone from rap fans to country aficionados.
The month starts with Sufjan Stevens and the release of Javelin, his first fully-written album in eight years. On the same day, after several postponements, Drake will finally put forth For All the Dogs. Later in the month, blink-182 will make a long-awaited return with One More Time…, their first album featuring the original members since 2011, and Migos rapper Offset will drop his sophomore record, Set It Off.
Don't let the falling leaves bring you down — below, GRAMMY.com compiled a guide with 15 must-hear albums dropping October 2023.
Sufjan Stevens - Javelin
Release date: Oct. 6
The last time Sufjan Stevens released an album fully written by himself was 2015's Carrie & Lowell. Javelin, his upcoming tenth studio album, will finally break this spell.
Mostly recorded at Stevens' home studio and featuring contributions from several friends (including the National's Bryce Dessner), the 10 tracks of Javelin bring back sounds of "70s Los Angeles' studio opulence" and vibes of a "detailed yet plain" self-portrait, according to a press release.
The album also features a cover of Neil Young's "There's a World" and an ambitious, 48-page art book with collages and essays written by Stevens. Javelin is preceded by the soothing single "So You Are Tired" and the spaced-out "Will Anybody Ever Love Me?"
NCT 127 - Fact Check
Release date: Oct. 6
Within the NCT constellation, NCT 127 is the subgroup anchored in South Korea's buzzing capital, Seoul. Since debuting in 2016, the nine-member ensemble has been infusing the city's vibrancy with innovative EDM and hip hop mixes.
On Oct. 6, NCT 127 will return with their fifth studio album, Fact Check, bringing in another round of their experimental K-pop sound. Consisting of nine songs, including lead single "Fact
Check (Mysterious; 不可思議)," the album expresses 127's confidence.
So far, they released a wealth of teasers that are linked to NCT's overall "dream" concept, video contents, and a highlight medley of the album tracks. After the recent ronclusion of NCT Nation, NCT's first full-group concert in South Korea and Japan, fans are expecting 127 to announce tour dates.
BoyWithUke - Lucid Dreams
Release date: Oct. 6
Mysterious masked singer and TikTok phenomenon BoyWithUke will continue his dream-themed saga with the release of Lucid Dreams, his fourth studio album.
According to a statement by the Korean American star, Lucid Dreams is meant to express "my desires, my fears, my past, and my dreams." He also adds that the each song on the album is "like a different step on the path. I'm facing past traumas, making the music I want to make, and figuring out who I am."
That development can be seen on pre-releases "Migraine" and "Trauma," where he opens up about mental health and childhood struggles over signature ukulele strings. In his own words, this album is truly "BoyWithUke blossoming, spreading his wings, and finding himself."
Drake - For All the Dogs
Release date: Oct. 6
The album's tracklist is still a mystery, but it will reportedly feature names like Nicki Minaj, Bad Bunny, and Yeat, with production credits from 40, Bnyx, and Lil Yachty, among others. For All the Dogs is also linked to the Canadian rapper's debut poetry book, Titles Ruin Everything: A Stream of Consciousness — a 168-page collection written in partnership with longtime friend and songwriter Kenza Samir.
The album follows Drake's two 2022 studio albums: Honestly, Nevermind and Her Loss, in collaboration with 21 Savage. Currently, Drake is finishing up his It's All A Blur North American tour — one of the reasons why the album has been postponed before.
Troye Sivan - Something to Give Each Other
Release date: Oct. 13
On an Instagram post, Australian singer Troye Sivan stated: "This album is my something to give you — a kiss on a dancefloor, a date turned into a weekend, a crush, a winter, a summer. Party after party, after party after after party. Heartbreak, freedom. Community, sisterhood, friendship. All that."
Something to Give Each Other is Sivan's first full-length album in five years, following 2018's Bloom. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he revealed many of the inspirations behind this work, including partying, movies like Lost in Translation and Before Sunrise, and simple, ice-cold glasses of beer.
The trippy atmosphere of the album can be felt through pre-release singles "Rush" and "Got Me Started" — which features a sample of Bag Raider's omnipresent 2011 hit, "Shooting Stars."
Offset - Set It Off
Release date: Oct. 13
Migos rapper Offset said in a statement that his sophomore album, Set It Off, took over two years to finalize. "This season is personal for me. It marks a new chapter in my life," he added.
A follow-up to his 2019 debut LP, Father of 4, the album will feature appearances by stellar names such as rapper Future, Travis Scott, Chloe Bailey, and Latto, as well as Offset's wife Cardi B, who appears on single "Jealousy."
Later in the statement, Offset said he feels "like Michael Jackson coming from a successful group breaking records to superstardom on my own. This body of work is healing for me and a letter to my fans and supporters." Lead single "Fan" brings back that comparison through many Michael Jackson references in the music video — a clever choice for the rapper's keen self-awareness.
Metric - Formentera II
Release date: Oct. 13
Exactly one year after the release of Formentera, indie royalty Metric took to social media to announce their ninth studio album, Formentera II. "Sometimes I feel like I'm in a damn maze and maybe you do too, or maybe you have it totally together, or maybe you feel like you're always floating somewhere in between," they wrote. "Wherever you're at right now, I am here to guide you to the rocking️ conclusion of our Formentera I & II odyssey."
The Canadian band also shared lead single "Just the Once," which was described by vocalist Emily Haines as a "regret disco" song in a press statement. "It's a song for when you need to dance yourself clean," she added. "Beneath the sparkling surface, there's a lyrical exploration of a simple word with many meanings. Once is a word that plays a game of opposites."
In support of the release, Metric revealed another single, "Who Would You Be For Me," and will be playing special concerts in NYC, L.A., Toronto, London, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Santiago starting Oct. 10. The concerts will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut LP, Old World Underground, Where Are You?
Riley Green - Ain't My Last Rodeo
Release date: Oct. 13
Alabama country star Riley Green has a moving story behind his second full-length album. Echoing the 2019 hit "I Wish Grandpas Never Died," Ain't My Last Rodeo came from one of the last conversations the singer shared with his late grandfather, Buford Green, who was an essential figure shaping his love for music and nature.
"I was fortunate enough to grow up within about three miles of my grandparents, so they were a huge part of my growing up and who I am — and this album is a lot of who I am," Green said in a press release. "This is really the first time I was able to really take my time, write and record songs that really felt like a cohesive album."
Ain't My Last Rodeo features 12 tracks (including a cover of Tim McGraw's "Damn Country Music") and collaborations with Jelly Roll and Luke Combs. In February 2024, Green will embark on a 34-stop tour throughout the U.S.
The Drums - Jonny
Release date: Oct. 13
As its title suggests, the Drums' upcoming sixth studio album, Jonny, dives deep into current solo member Jonny Pierce's life. According to a press release, the album mainly explores "the deep-rooted childhood trauma Pierce experienced growing up in a cult-like religious community in upstate New York."
The singer explains further: "When I finished Jonny, I listened to it, and I heard my soul reflected back at me. It is devastating and triumphant, it is lost and found, it is confused and certain, it is wise and foolish. It is male and female, it is hard and gentle.
"To encapsulate one's whole self in an album, to honor each and every part of you, even the parts that feel at odds with each other, is to make something deeply human, and because my religion is humanism, the album becomes a sacred place for me to worship. Each feeling a different pew, each song a hymn to the human heart."
In the past few months, Pierce gave insight into the 16-track, indie-pop collection through singles "I Want It All," "Plastic Envelope," "Protect Him Always," "Obvious," and "Better." Jonny is the band's first full release since 2019's Brutalism.
Gucci Mane - A Breath of Fresh Air
Release date: Oct. 17
Following 2016's Ice Daddy, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane's sixteenth studio album will be named A Breath of Fresh Air.
In it, Mane is likely in his most vulnerable, relatable state yet. "I kind of wanted to let people know that I go through pain," he stated in an interview for Apple Music (via Revolt). "Like I said, I didn't want to have so much just superficial topics. I hit people and let them know, 'Hey, this was going on,' but it ain't a bad thing. It's okay to be happy. You know what I'm saying?"
According to iTunes, the album is set to have two discs and 24 songs, including singles "Bluffin" featuring Lil Baby, "Pissy" featuring Roddy Ricch and Nardo Wick, "King Snipe" with Kodak Black, and "06 Gucci" with DaBaby and 21 Savage.
blink-182 - One More Time…
Release date: Oct. 20
blink-182's newest single, "One More Time," is a hard-earned reflection about what really matters in life. The punk rock trio, which hadn't been reunited since 2011's Neighborhoods, now realizes how personal struggles impacted their friendship, and how they hope to make it different in the future.
"I wish they told us, it shouldn't take a sickness/ or airplanes falling out of the sky," they sing, referencing Travis Barker's 2008 plane crash and Mark Hoppus' 2021 cancer diagnosis. "I miss you, took time, but I admit it/ It still hurts even after all these years."
A proof of maturity since they stepped into music in 1992, the heartfelt single is also the title track off upcoming LP One More Time... Featuring 2022's "Edging" and "More Than You Know" as well, the album was recorded mostly during their reunion tour this year, and boasts 17 tracks in total.
Sampha - Lahai
Release date: Oct. 20
Lahai is Sampha's grandfather's name and his own middle name. Now, it will become part of his musical history — the singer's sophomore studio album and follow up to 2017's acclaimed Process is due Oct. 20.
Over social media, Sampha described the record through a series of words as intriguing as his music: "Fever Dreams. Continuums. Dancing. Generations. Syncopation. Bridges. Grief. Motherlands. Love. Spirit. Fear. Flesh. Flight." Featuring contributions from singers like Yaeji, El Guincho and Yussef Dayes, it will feature 14 tracks that seemingly take a more positive tone than his previous work.
In a statement about lead single "Spirit 2.0," the south London singer said "it's about the importance of connection to both myself and others, and the beauty and harsh realities of just existing. It's about acknowledging those moments when you need help — that requires real strength."
Starting Oct. 12 in his hometown, Sampha will play a string of concerts throughout the U.K., Europe, and North America, wrapping it up on December 4 in Berlin, Germany.
Poolside - Blame It All On Love
Release date: Oct. 20
"I've spent 15 years being like, 'f—your rules,' and I finally feel like I'm not trying to prove anything or anyone wrong," says Jeffrey Paradise, the man behind "daytime disco" project Poolside, in a statement about his upcoming album, Blame It All On Love.
"It's just pure, unfiltered expression, and that's why I'm really excited about this record," he adds. The album bears 11 tracks described as "funky, soulful, laidback, and full of hooks" — as can be seen in singles like "Float Away," "Each Night" featuring Mazy, and "Back To Life" with Panama. According to the same statement, "the production marks a return to his live music roots and finds ease in simple and radiant layers of sound, even as it comes face-to-face with the complex reality of one's dreams come true."
Blame It All On Love is the follow-up to 2020 and 2021's duo Low Season and High Season. Poolside is on tour across the U.S. until Oct. 14.
Black Pumas - Chronicles of a Diamond
Release date: Oct. 27
Black Pumas' long-awaited second studio album, Chronicles of a Diamond, is "wilder and weirder" than its predecessor, according to an official statement. It is also the Austin-based duo's "fullest expression" of "frenetic creativity and limitless vision."
The album contains 10 tracks that expand on their trademark psychedelic soul sounds, as it can be seen in singles "More Than a Love Song" and "Mrs. Postman." "I wanted to make something we'd be thrilled to play live 200 days a year," says singer/songwriter Eric Burton in the same statement. "I wanted to be able to laugh, cry, bob my head, do the thing: it was all very much a selfish endeavor."
After the release, the Black Pumas will embark on a U.S. tour starting Dec. 4 in Austin, Texas, and follow into an European tour starting March 15 in Paris.
Taylor Swift - 1989 (Taylor's Version)
Release date: Oct. 27
Just three months after the release of Speak Now (Taylor's Version), Swifties will be treated to the singer's fourth re-recorded album this month: 2014's 1989. "To be perfectly honest, this is my most FAVORITE re-record I've ever done because the five From The Vault tracks are so insane," she revealed over social media.
As usual with Swift, the announcement of the album was marked by a slew of hints, starting with the news' date — Aug. 9, or 8/9 — during the final U.S. stop of her Eras Tour at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium. On that day, she also debuted new, blue outfits that alluded to 1989's assigned color. Afterwards, the discovery continued through a partnership with Google Search for fans to solve word puzzles in order to discover the titles of the five "From the Vault" tracks.
The album, which Swift said "changed my life in countless ways" will be available in digital, cassette, CD, and vinyl. She will also release deluxe versions in four different colors: crystal skies blue, rose garden pink, aquamarine green, and sunrise boulevard yellow.
Photo: Nigel Crane/Redferns
10 Pop-Punk Albums Turning 20 In 2023: Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, The Ataris & More
Twenty years ago, artists within and around pop-punk released some of the genre's most seminal records. GRAMMY.com reflects on 10 of the catchiest and most resonant albums from 2003.
There appeared to be something in the pop-punk waters in 2003. Barely a month went by without a bunch of angsty white guys sporting skinny jeans, button ups and choppy bangs releasing a career landmark.
For some, 2003 saw the debut album that introduced their talents to the world. For others, it was the long deserved mainstream breakthrough after years of toiling on the punk circuit. And for one particular band, their 2003 release was the chance to show they could offer more than toilet humor. But all no doubt benefited from the commercial resurgence of the genre spearheaded a year previously by the likes of Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and Jimmy Eat World. Here's a look at 10 albums released in 2003 now old enough to throw themselves head first into a mosh pit.
Fall Out Boy – Take This to Your Grave
Fall Out Boy were still only on the cusp of adulthood when they recorded debut Take This to Your Grave in conditions producer Sean O'Keefe would compare with going to war. That mix of youthful exuberance and constant creative tension, however, would produce a genuine game-changer.
Drawing upon their love of pop culture and sardonic sense of humor, the quartet tackled typical adolescent themes of alienation, disillusionment and unrequited love like few of their peers had done before. Take This to Your Grave fused the heavy riffs and unclean vocals of the band's Chicago hardcore beginnings with pop-punk melodies into a self-described softcore sound. The album was the beginning of Fall Out Boy's prolific catalog and essentially set the blueprint for every regular Warped Tour act that followed.
Dashboard Confessional – A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar
Thrust into the limelight via a well-received "MTV Unplugged" session and surprise win at the VMAs, cult favorites Dashboard Confessional had to deal with a new weight of expectation for their third album.
Those who'd meticulously pored over Chris Carrabba's previous musical diary entries may have been worried when the one-man-band hired a permanent trio of backing musicians as well as hotshot producer Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters). Yet as its earnest title hints at, A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar largely sticks to the compelling stream-of-consciousness heartbreak and dynamic quiet/loud emo-rock that turned the frontman into the burgeoning scene's ultimate poster boy.
Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue
Seemingly unconcerned with any sellout accusations, Yellowcard relocated from Florida to Los Angeles in 2000, a move which eventually paid off when they landed a deal with Capitol Records. Boasting several songs inspired by their Jacksonville hometown, including the Top 40 title track described by Billboard as the soundtrack to "thousands of overnight camp romances," their fourth studio album suggested the band were keen to show they hadn't entirely abandoned their roots.
Ocean Avenue doesn't deviate too much from their intriguing previous template, either, with Sean Mackin once again proving electric violins and power punk can make for surprisingly harmonious bedfellows. But ruminations on growing older ("Twentythree") and fatherhood ("Life of a Salesman") also hinted that the ever-changing outfit had matured during their time in the bright lights.
Less Than Jake – Anthem
Spawning only their second Top 40 single ("The Science of Selling Yourself Short") and charting at a career high of No.45, Anthem remains legendary skate punks Less Than Jake's commercial peak. The band's fifth album is full of energetic cautionary tales, both fitting in with and warning the thriving pop-punk scene.
That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering it features a collaboration with Billy Bragg, a Cheap Trick cover and the production talents of Rob Cavallo (the man behind Green Day's monster-selling Dookie). Gainesville's finest also demote their famous horn section to bit-players, although the fast and furious "Best Wishes to Your Black Lung" proved they could still be integral to the band’s sound.
Alkaline Trio – Good Mourning
You could always rely on doom merchants Alkaline Trio to put the warped in Warped Tour. And Good Mourning — their first album with now-longtime drummer Derek Grant — didn't disappoint.
The ironically-titled opener "This Could Be Love" is a macabre guide on how to commit the perfect crime of passion ("Step one, slit my throat/Step two, play in my blood"), while "Fatally Yours" boasts a twisted one-liner about a vengeful car-crashing ex ("You told me that you missed me, but you meant with the grill and hood"). The Chicagoans balance all the sadomasochism and misery with surging punk hooks that owe more to the Ramones than the genre’s umpteenth revival.
The Ataris – So Long, Astoria
Inspired by punk hero Richard Hell’s theory that "memories are better than life," the Ataris' breakthrough was largely an emotive exercise in nostalgia. "Summer '79" and "In This Diary" both draw upon frontman Kris Roe's happy Indiana childhood — the album's title actually references favorite film The Goonies. The record is also littered with phrases which appear to have been written for high school graduation speeches ("All You Can Ever Learn Is What You Already Know") and there's even an effective cover of rock's ultimate coming-of-age anthem, Don Henley's "Boys of Summer."
All the reminiscing worked wonders as So Long, Astoria became the pop-punks' first, and indeed last, Top 40 entry.
Brand New – Deja Entendu
Brand New named their second studio effort after the French for "heard before" as a pre-emptive measure against their critics. This would suggest that Deja Entendu mines the same brand of pop-punk and teenage angst as their 2001 debut, yet it's actually a marked departure.
Deja Entendu combines elements of post-hardcore, alternative rock and emo with mature themes of love and death and more film references than a Quentin Tarantino box set: titles include the Home Alone-quoting "Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't" and "Jaws Theme Swimming." It's little wonder that major label Interscope subsequently came calling.
AFI – Sing the Sorrow
After five albums of self-produced gothic-tinged hardcore punk, Californian outfit AFI suddenly appeared to make a concerted bid for the mainstream. They leapt from indie label Nitro to major Dreamworks and unleashed their rage inward instead of against the world, hired Butch Vig (the man who guided Nirvana's Nevermind to blockbuster success), and incorporated choirs, string sections and even spoken word.
Their distinctly Bay Area sound became a multi-layered affair with radio-friendly sheen, and catapulted the scene stalwarts to mainstream success. Sing the Sorrow went all the way to No. 5 on the Billboard 200, but impressively still sounds resolutely AFI.
Saves the Day – In Reverie
Saves the Day found themselves mercilessly dumped by Interscope within weeks of their fourth album's release. Yet, without any major support, the 12-track In Reverie charted at a career high of No. 26.
An intriguing second collaboration with Elliott Smith producer Rob Schnepf, In Reverie shrouds its grisly lyrical imagery (talk of rotting flesh, bottles breaking on faces and veins tied up in knots) in a contrastingly peppy power pop. Saves the Day's sound was inspired by frontman Chris Conley's new-found love of the Beatles. Thankfully, the Princeton outfit bounced back to continue their own magical mystery tour.
Blink-182 – blink-182
You know a band has got serious when they title an album eponymously. Inspired by all three members’ recent introductions to fatherhood and the experimentation of Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker's side project Box Car Racer, Blink-182's fifth album ditched the puerile lyrics and cartoonish punk that had dominated MTV.
In their place were soul-searching meditations on failed romances, unexpected ventures into New Romanticism, post-hardcore and gothic pop, and even a guest appearance from the Cure's Robert Smith. Mark Hoppus revealed he wanted the public's reaction to be, "Wait a minute... that's Blink-182." As exemplified by career-best "I Miss You," the surprise was a pleasant one, too.