A little over 10 years ago, Mayday Parade released their self-titled album. As their anniversary tour kicks off, I revisited their discography and ranked them from best to worst.
1. Mayday Parade (2011)
After going through all of their albums again, I keep going back to their self-titled. Mayday Parade continues to be their strongest work and showcases them the most as artists. With songs like “Oh Well, Oh Well”, “Stay”, and “Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven’t Ended Yet”, it’s clear that this is their best album. After hearing the entire album live in Austin, my opinion on the album before had been solidified. This is the album that truly made them the band the scene knows them as now.
2. A Lesson In Romantics (2007)
This album is an emo staple.
Their debut A Lesson In Romantics has their most popular songs and it is without a doubt a classic. It’s the album that you put on in the summer and reminisce. It’s the album you put on after a breakup. It’s always been the go-to album in their discography and has made its impact in pop-punk music.
3. Monsters In The Closet (2013)
I think of Monsters In The Closet as the sister album to self-titled. The aesthetics and overall sound definitely stemmed from their 2011 album, keeping up with their new brand at the time. The sting accompaniment from their previous album, for example, carries on to this one. Some of the best songs off this album include “Girls”, “12 Through 15”, “Even Robots Need Blankets”, and “Hold Onto Me”.
4. Anywhere but Here (2009)
Just like A Lesson In Romantics, their 2009 album Anywhere but Here has that classic pop-punk sound This album is often forgotten, yet it has some fan favorites. Some tracks that stand out include “Kids In Love”, “Save Your Heart”, “Center of Attention”, and “I Swear This Time I Mean It”.
Fun fact: At the Q&A in Austin for their anniversary tour , lead vocalist Derek Sanders revealed that “I Swear This Time I Mean It” was written similar as a “lullaby” to a woman he had previously dated because she had insomnia.
5. What It Means To Fall Apart (2021)
Their latest album What It Means To Fall Apart has a great mix of new and nostalgic. Tracks like “Kids Of Summer” and “Golden Days” bring back their old sound, while tracks like “Angels Die Too” and “Bad At Love” have their iconic ballads, and a more experimental track like “Heaven”. Overall, What It Means to Fall Apart is a sold piece of work. I’d like to see what else they can do if they were to do another song like “Heaven”, since we never hear any kind of synth in their music.
Not-so-fun fact: According to Derek Sanders at the Q&A in Austin, he recently divorced from his high school sweetheart. Though a lot of Mayday Parade’s songs are about heartbreak, “Bad At Love” seems to be different. The approach of the song sounds more emotional, specifically in Sanders’s voice. The music video also shows high emotions between a couple.
6. Black Lines (2015)
Their most polarizing album, Black Lines comes at no. 6. It was an attempt at an angry, edgy album, but it’s not their strongest. “One Of Them Them Will Destroy The Other” was definitely an anticipated single, as it features the former vocalist of pop-punk band Real Friends. Another great experimental track off the album is “Hollow”. It has a darker sound than we typically hear, and they pulled it off well. The distortional guitar in it is also very notable. This album proves that not all artists who change their sound are “bad artists”. However, compared to the rest of their discography, I don’t think Black Lines is their best album.
7. Sunnyland (2018)
Lastly, Sunnyland ranks as no. 7. While “Is Nowhere” and “Piece of Your Heart”, and “It’s Hard to Be Religious When Certain People are Never Incinerated by Bolts of Lightning” are great songs, the album still does not compare to the rest. It’s a solid comeback album, as it is the first album they released under Rise Records. The alternative sound is a good fit for them, but Sunnyland is not as noticeable and could have used some more substance.