Monday, 9 December 2013

The Best of 2003 - 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

by Patrick McGuiggan

I recently read an article on The Point which said pop punk was "a forgotten genre". The news was especially upsetting for me, as I had already begun thinking about writing this article and "back in my day" pop punk was quite popular; bands like Blink 182, Green Day, Sum 41 and The Offspring all had varying degrees of mainstream success. Is the genre forgotten? Well, as Weezer put it on their first album..."Say it ain't so!" There are still successful pop punk stalwarts around today (a few mentioned below), but, on top of that, there are some excellent new bands in the genre like: The Wonder Years, Fireworks, and The Swellers, to name but a few.
Anyway, back to what I originally intended to write about. A few of my favourite albums have been re-released this year as 10th anniversary editions (they aren't all pop punk, I promise), which got me thinking...what were my favourite albums of 2003? I began putting together a Spotify playlist a few weeks ago because, well... I'm a bit sad like that.

There are a few of these albums which I have grown out of; they aren't quite as relatable to me now as they once were to  the 17 year old Mr. McGuiggan (we were very formal back then). Regardless, I still enjoyed the nostalgia of revisiting these albums and putting this list together. So here it is, the list that no one has been waiting for: my favourite albums of 2003:
1. Brand New - Deja Entendu

A dark and incredibly poetic pop punk masterpiece. It is still a regular in my car to this day, which says it all really.
Favourite song - Guernica
Favourite lyric: "The best part of what has happened was the part I must have missed/ So I'm asking you to shine it on and stick around/I'm not writing my goodbyes."
2. The Postal Service - Give Up

A unique and addictive indie/electro-pop classic. It is also still a regular in my car.

Favourite song: Such Great Heights

Favourite lyric: "I'll be your platform shoes/undo what heredity's done to you/ You won't have to strain, to look in to my eyes."

3. Cursive - The Ugly Organ

The Ugly Organ is dark, intense and original. Cursive are one of the best bands I have ever had the fortune to see live; Tim Kasher is a miserable genius.

Favourite song: The Recluse

Favourite lyric: "You gotta sink, gotta sink, gotta sink to swim/Impersonate greater persons/'Cause we all know art is hard/When we don't know who we are."

 4. Death Cab for Cute - Transatlanticism

It's hard to believe Ben Gibbard was able to release this album in the same year as the aforementioned Give Up. It is a beautiful and compelling album, which gets better with each listen.

Favourite song: A Lack of Colour

Favourite lyric: "There's no blame, for how our love did slowly fade /And now that it's gone, it's like it wasn't there at all/And here I rest, where disappointment and regret collide /Lying awake at night"

5. The Jealous Sound - Kill Them with Kindness

Blair Shehan has a distinctive and captivating voice, which perfectly complements this polished rock album; it is an enjoyable listen from start to finish.

Favourite song: The Fold Out

Favourite lyric: "The beauty I have seen, I cannot keep/It seems the more I dream, the less I want to sleep."

6. The Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning

This is a catchy punk pop punk album, full of sad but entertaining songs. They will be playing in the Pyramids this April, with an equally talented band Bayside, don't miss it.    

Favourite song: Blue in the Face

Favourite lyric: "You know I came here, when I needed your soft voice/I needed to hear something, that sounded like an answer/Now I'll stay here, and every day I get one."

7. Blink 182 - Blink 182

I was a long time Blink 182 fan (Enema of the State was one of the first CDs I bought), but thankfully they seemed to grow up around the same time that I did. This was a much more mature album and is probably one of their best. Also, it's fun to sing like Tom Delonge...

Favourite song: Stockholme Syndrome

Favourite lyric: "You're cold with disappointment/While I'm drowning in the next room/The last contagious victim of this plague between us/I'm sick with apprehension,/I'm crippled from exhaustion/And I dread the moment when you finally come to kill me."

8. The Format - Intervention and Lullabies 



Before fun., there was a little known band called The Format, and Interventions and Lullabies was the first of their two outstanding albums. In my opinion, lead singer Nate Ruess' can do no wrong and like both of fun.'s releases this is an extremely catchy indie-pop album.

Favourite song: Tie the Rope

Favourite lyric: "'Cause what's left to lose?/I've done enough/And if I fail well then I fail but I gave it a shot/And these last three years, I know they've been hard./But now it's time to get out of the desert and into the sun; even if its alone."

 9. Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue


A fantastic punk-pop album; the lyrics may not as strong as the other entries in the list, but...they have an electric violinist! I'm not angry at 12yr old me for giving up the violin, I'm just disappointed.

Favourite song: Ocean Avenue

Favourite lyric: "There's a piece of you that's here with me/It's everywhere I go, it's everything I see/When I sleep I dream and it gets me by/I can make believe that you're here tonight/That you're here tonight."

 10. The Early November - The Room's Too Cold

If you can handle the vocals, which are a little whiny at times, this is a great album. I finally managed to see this band at Slam Dunk festival earlier this year...another one crossed off the list. Ace Ender's new album Enola, which was released earlier this year, is also fantastic.

Favourite song: The Course of Human Life

Favourite lyric: "It's never been harder to fall/there's nothing to grab and that's all/I want to hold onto/just another sweep and it'll be fine/but this carpet's got hills and I/can't see this helping at all"

Narrowly missing out:

Fall Out Boy - Take this to Your Grave

Something Corporate - North

John Mayer - Heavier Things

Dashboard Confessional - A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

AFI - Sing the Sorrow

Thrice - The Artist in the Ambulance

Motion City Soundtrack - I am the Movie

The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

Listen to these albums on Spotify: Remembering 2003

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to maybe seeing Alkaline Trio in Southsea, i prefer the album Agony and Irony though, covers a lot of great bands too, good article.


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