Jen’s Top 10 Albums Turning 10 in 2023

Jennifer Moglia, Show Programming Manager

Every time I write the date at the top of my notebook paper when I sit down in a classroom, I have a small breakdown. The fact that the year is 2023 and 2013 was a decade ago truly confirms my belief that I have no concept of time.

Saying “2013” out loud evokes a lot of emotions in me. I’m brought back to a simpler time, filled with Tumblr blogs, complicated Starbucks “secret menu” orders, denim jackets paired with plaid skirts, crop tops, and tights, movies based on young adult novels, and, of course, some music that would soon become absolutely iconic.

Would you believe me if I told you that “Midnight Memories” by One Direction turns ten years old this year? What about Beyonce’s legendary self-titled record? Or the last Big Time Rush album of their Nickelodeon era, “24/Seven?” Time flies when you’re fangirling, huh?

To celebrate so many amazing albums entering their tween years this year, I decided to list my top 10 favorite albums that will be turning 10 in 2023, in no particular order. Let’s hope we don’t feel old by the end of it.

If you relate to the simultaneous nostalgia and terror I felt while writing this piece, be sure to tune into Strawberry Skies this Thursday from 7-8 PM to reminisce on these tunes and many more! You can check out the corresponding Spotify playlist here.

“What You Don’t See” – The Story So Far

When it comes to 2010s pop-punk bands, The Story So Far is miles above the rest. It was impossible to count how many kids had TSSF flags on their walls and lyrics like “don’t paint me black when I used to be golden” in their Twitter bios just a few years ago.

Formed in 2007, the band released a few EPs before their debut LP “Under Soil and Dirt” dropped in 2011. “What You Don’t See,” released in March 2013, debuted at number 46 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, and for good reason.

The album opener “Things I Can’t Change” became one of the band’s most popular songs. Tracks like “All Wrong” and “Bad Luck” are staples in their discography as well. 

The real star of this record, and my personal favorite TSSF song is “Empty Space,” 2.5 minutes of high-energy pop-punk magic that has accumulated over 26 million streams on Spotify. Although they’ve released more complex and arguably better albums since “What You Don’t See,” The Story So Far certainly avoided the sophomore slump and became pop-punk icons with this record.

“Talon of the Hawk” – The Front Bottoms

One of the first concerts that I attended after moving into my freshman dorm at Quinnipiac University was The Front Bottoms’ show at College Street Music Hall in September 2021. TFB was one of my favorite bands throughout middle school, and it was an incredibly cathartic experience to finally see them live.

The highlight, of course, was hearing songs from the band’s iconic second full-length, “Talon of the Hawk.” I consider The Front Bottoms’ self-titled debut to be a perfect album, but there’s something about “Talon” that feels more mature and polished, all without losing the gritty authenticity that the band established in 2011.

The LP touches on a variety of subjects, from “Tattooed Tears” exploring the acceptance of an imperfect relationship to “Santa Monica” reflecting on how parental trauma can impact future romance. “Skeleton” and “Peach” are the sweetest love songs you’ll hear from a band as pessimistic as TFB, and “Lone Star” recently saw a resurgence on TikTok.

“Talon of the Hawk” is also responsible for the band’s most popular song, “Twin Sized Mattress,” an ode to the chaos and recklessness of growing up that has been streamed over 130 million times on Spotify. If you’d like to relive all of the messiness and beauty that this album holds, the band will be playing “Talon” in full to celebrate the record’s tenth anniversary this summer, including a date at New Haven, CT’s College Street Music Hall. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 AM.

“Youth” – Citizen

When I think of a band that does the emo sound almost better than the original emo bands of the 2000s, the first one that comes to mind is Citizen. The dark, brooding, sometimes theatrical sound that this band has developed is absolutely immersive, and it all started with “Youth.”

Preceded by a split EP with fellow Run for Cover Records band Turnover and their debut solo EP “Young States,” “Youth” was the first full-length released by the Toledo, OH-based alternative outfit. Ten years later, three tracks from this album are in the band’s top five most streamed songs on Spotify, all three of them exceeding 13 million plays.

Listeners are drawn in with “Roam The Room” and “Figure You Out” before the one-two punch of “The Summer” and “Sleep,” two of the band’s most popular and most heartwrenching songs. In “The Night I Drove Alone,” singer Mat Kerekes wonders if he should’ve crashed his car while thinking about someone who changed their mind, and you feel every ounce of his pain.

My favorite track on this album is “Speaking With A Ghost,” a song so versatile that I’ve listened to it on late-night drives, while running at the gym, and even just while doing homework. I’ll be celebrating the 10th birthday of my favorite Citizen album by seeing them on tour this summer with special guests Fiddlehead. Most dates are sold out or low on tickets, but if you’d like to see this album performed in its entirety, you can visit the band’s website.

“Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” – Panic! At the Disco

I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed in a band’s decline as I’ve been in the fall of Panic! At the Disco. However, something fans tend to disagree on is when this decline began.

Was the band’s only good album the 2005 debut, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out?” Or did things finally go downhill with their 2022 record “Viva Las Vengeance?” 

It’s all up for debate, but I’ve heard far too many fans claim that the band’s last notable record was “Vices & Virtues.” While I absolutely love that album, fans that believe this do an unfortunate disservice to “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die.”

P!ATD has explored a ton of genres throughout the band’s career, from emo, to folk, to pop-punk, to pop-rock. “Too Weird” sees the band fuse elements of electronic, pop, rock, and dance music to create a unique listening experience that most fans of the band weren’t expecting at the time.

Ballads like “This is Gospel” and “The End of all Things” tackled more mature topics than the band had before, like addiction/recovery and marriage. There are still some fun pop-rock hits, like “Vegas Lights,” “Miss Jackson,” and “Nicotine,” but the best moments on this album occur when the band is experimenting.

“Girl That You Love” and “Collar Full” play with overproduced vocals and electronic production that was brand new territory for a band previously placed into the emo genre. My favorite songs on the LP are “Far Too Young To Die” and “Casual Affair,” tracks with soaring choruses and heavy percussion that drive the whole album.

While Panic! Broke up earlier this year and, as mentioned earlier, their more recent music isn’t my favorite, I’ll always look back on this album and this era of the band fondly. We need more experimentation in alternative music.

I did a Strawberry Skies episode counting down my favorite Panic! At The Disco songs last semester, which you can listen to the Spotify playlist for here.

“Save Rock & Roll” – Fall Out Boy

2013 was a hell of a year for emo kids. Not only did Panic! At the Disco release an album, but Fall Out Boy did too, and so did Paramore. The latter two bands also toured together on this album cycle, a tour that I attended and definitely shed some tears at. (For what it’s worth, Paramore’s self-titled record would certainly be an honorable mention on this list.)

“Save Rock & Roll” was Fall Out Boy’s first album back after the members went on hiatus for five long years. I still remember the day that this album was announced like it was yesterday, seeing the photo of the band tossing their old albums into a bonfire and rising like “The Phoenix,” the opening track of “SR&R.”

This album helped catapult FOB back into the mainstream with singles like “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)” and “Alone Together.” There were also some unlikely collaborations with artists like rapper Big Sean on “The Mighty Fall,” Zedd’s “Clarity” singer Foxes on “Just One Yesterday,” legendary rockstar Courtney Love on “Rat A Tat” and the iconic Elton John on the album’s closer and title track.

Coming back after a hiatus in any career path is intimidating, but doing so in an industry as fast-paced as music can seem impossible. “Save Rock & Roll” breathed new life into Fall Out Boy as a band and into the rock genre as a whole.

Some of my favorite tracks on this album are “Miss Missing You,” “Death Valley,” and “Young Volcanoes;” they all have very different sounds and lyrics, which is indicative of the rest of this record. If the last time Fall Out Boy waited five years to release an album went this well, I can’t wait to hear what they do on the upcoming “So Much (For) Stardust” this spring.

I did a Strawberry Skies episode counting down my favorite Fall Out Boy songs last semester, which you can listen to the Spotify playlist for here.


“The 1975” – The 1975

The 1975, like Panic! At The Disco is a band that I tend to have a complicated relationship with. Frontman Matty Healy’s antics are weird at best and bigoted at worst, and I have mixed feelings about pretty much everything they’ve released since 2018.

However, when I think about debut albums and self-titled albums in particular, this band’s first LP immediately comes to mind. Not only did the music on this album have Tumblr-using teens everywhere in a chokehold, the black-and-white aesthetic was seen on all of their Instagram profiles for years to come.

These songs are so incredibly immersive and influential that simply hearing them brings me back to a different point in time. From the opening drum beats in “The City” to the immediately recognizable guitar riff in “Chocolate,” this album defined the sound of indie and pop-rock for much of the 2010s.

The writing on this album is spectacular and does an amazing job of putting listeners right into the situations that Healy is singing about, whether he’s listening to his crush complain about her awful boyfriend in “Sex” or exploring a new relationship in “Heart Out” or “Settle Down.”

This album also birthed potentially the band’s most iconic song, “Robbers,” about a couple that tricks themselves into thinking they’re right for each other on the surface when in reality they’re “robbing” each other of a healthy relationship. It’s a masterclass in lyrical storytelling and the music video is just as stunning.

No matter how I feel about The 1975 today or 20 years from now, their self-titled debut LP will always hold a special place in my heart and in the hearts of fangirls everywhere. 


“Vessel” – Twenty One Pilots

I’m realizing that a common theme throughout this list is bands that put out some of their best work a decade ago and haven’t quite been the same since. Unfortunately for Twenty One Pilots, this is exactly how I feel about them.

I heard “Vessel” for the first time a few months after it was released when my Girl Scout camp counselor (shoutout Jodi) played the opening track “Ode to Sleep” for me. I had never listened to anything like it before, and I immediately went home to check out the full album.

Twenty One Pilots is typically associated with other emo acts, but the band’s sound can’t be categorized into one genre. Elements of rock, electronic, rap, pop, and even folk are blended together to create the world of “Vessel,” a journey through love, loss, mental illness, and more.

Some of my favorite songs on this album are “Holding on to You,” “Guns for Hands,” and “Trees” for their bombastic, cathartic instrumentals. Hearing those songs live was still one of the coolest concerts I’ve ever been to.

“Car Radio” and “Migraine” have bubbled back up to the surface on TikTok recently, with people reminiscing on how the songs helped them through their own mental health struggles when they first discovered the band. I think that “Vessel” was the first time I ever listened to music that openly talked about dealing with mental illness, and the lyrics on this record probably contributed to how comfortable I am with talking about my own mental health today.

While I loved 2015’s “Blurryface” and liked 2018’s “Trench,” I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to the band’s most recent effort “Scaled And Icy,” which has been described to me as “supermarket radio music.” I did, however, listen to the band’s “Vessel” 10th-anniversary variety stream back in January, and it was a lovely blast of nostalgia.


“I Love You.” – The Neighbourhood

The last three entries on this list all have black-and-white album art, and while I didn’t necessarily plan it that way, it’s definitely indicative of the aesthetics that dominated social media when all of these records came out. The Neighbourhood’s first releases dropped in 2012, but they gained mainstream attention in 2013 when their single “Sweater Weather” started getting radio play.

Known as a bisexual anthem today, the song now has over two billion streams on Spotify and was a gateway for many mainstream pop listeners to dive into the dark indie-pop/rock world of The Neighbourhood and their debut full-length album “I Love You.” The second song on the LP, “Afraid” is still one of the band’s most popular songs and is a lyrical masterpiece about paranoia and authenticity.

While many of these songs never gained mainstream popularity, there are tracks here that defined my middle school experience. I can’t count how many times I’ve fallen asleep listening to “Staying Up” and “Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh)” or how many times I took the bus home from school listening to “W.D.Y.W.F.M?” and “Float.”

My favorite songs on this album are “Let it Go” and “Flawless,” both showing off vocalist Jesse Rutherford’s vocal chops as well as the versatile sonic abilities of the entire band. This is another band that I haven’t paid attention to in a few years, but I firmly believe that this album will always hold up as an iconic record from the 2010s.

“AM” – Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys are a bit of a one-album wonder for me, as I haven’t listened to anything by them except for this record, “AM.” It being on this list despite that fact is a true testament to how amazing this record is.

Even though it was released over a decade ago, tracks from this album like “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” and “I Wanna Be Yours” have seen a surge in popularity on TikTok over the past few months. I loved both of these songs when they came out and it’s great to see them getting recognition once again.

The opening tracks “Do I Wanna Know?” and “R U Mine?” were some of my favorites when the record came out and they still hold up today. The groovy, guitar-driven pop-rock qualities of these songs are present on the rest of the album as well in moments like “Snap Out Of It” and “Fireside.”

Things slow down on “Mad Sounds” and “No. 1 Party Anthem,” but these songs are just as stunning as the others. My favorites have always been “Arabella” and “Knee Socks” for their masterful storytelling and endlessly catchy hooks.

While I can’t say I’ll be streaming their October 2022 record “The Car,” I will be forever treasuring my logo t-shirt that so many other teenage girls donned in the 2010s. Long live “AM”-era Arctic Monkeys.

“Pure Heroine” – Lorde

While this list is in no particular order, “Pure Heroine,” the debut full-length from indie-pop queen Lorde is definitely the best album on here. The fact that she was just 17 years old when this dropped still absolutely boggles my mind.

The record opens with one of the radio singles from the album, “Tennis Court,” which has the opening lyric, “Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk?” The album ends with “A World Alone,” my favorite track on the LP, which ends with the lyric “People are talking, people are talking, let ‘em talk.” If that isn’t poetry, I don’t know what is.

“Pure Heroine” captures the feeling of watching your youth fade away and knowing that you can’t stop it. From the quiet desperation of “Buzzcut Season” to the intimidating warnings of “Glory And Gore,” Lorde cycles through every feeling that comes with being a teenager and does so beautifully.

The songs that everyone probably remembers from this album are the lead singles “Royals” and “Team,” the former of which won countless awards and the latter being one of my favorite songs of all time to this day, but I think the track everyone should be talking about from this record is “Ribs.” It’s gained a cult following of sorts on social media and among her fans, but to me, it is the ultimate main character in a coming-of-age film song and I love it.

Lorde is an artist that I have kept up with over the past decade, and I loved her follow-ups to this album, the neon dream that is “Melodrama” and sun-soaked “Solar Power.” However, I could never like a single thing that Lorde puts out for the rest of time, and I’d still find “Pure Heroine” to be a flawless debut.