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Mixtape: My Chemical Mixtape

A pop punk mixtape for every possible situation and emotion

Remember mixtapes? Crimson Arts does. Welcome to our biweekly feature, where we create mixtapes for every emotion and every season—for breakups, breakdowns, and breakdancing. This week our mixtape is dedicated to pop-punk and teen angst. Listen along.

“Chicago Is So Two Years Ago,” Fall Out Boy

Any discussion of pop punk or millennial emotion that doesn’t center on Fall Out Boy is 100% pointless. “Take This To Your Grave” remains the purest expression of pop punk available, before irony and showmanship began to outshine the earnest woes of restless young adults. Patrick Stump’s nostalgic crooning for Chicago on this track made me homesick before I had even left.

“You’re So Last Summer,” Taking Back Sunday

Being a teen is about wholly investing oneself emotionally in ideas and people with little to no concern for rationality or prudence. No band better conveyed this reckless regard for melodrama than Taking Back Sunday, with lines like “The truth is you could slit my throat / And with my one last gasping breath / I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt.”

“I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” My Chemical Romance

Speaking of melodrama, My Chemical Romance took everyday angst and elevated it to a theatrical level. With every note of the screeching guitar solo and every chant of “I’m not okay,” Gerard Way reveals the depth of his conviction in that operatic disavowal of the idea that he was, in any way, okay.

“Adam’s Song,” Blink-182

From the grand pyrotechnics of My Chemical Romance, we come to the humble melodies of Blink-182. “Adam’s Song” is a sober look back upon the brighter days of 16 and the steps that lead up to a life defined by depression. While the subject matter is dark, Mark Hoppus tells such an alluring tale of youthful optimism that it is difficult not to hear a bit of hope in the song.

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