We asked manager and host of ‘Waldman's Words’ on idobi Radio, Scott Waldman, to take on the challenge of ranking the The Best Emo Albums From 1999-2008. Who better to help with this task than Emo Nite’s Morgan Freed. See what albums topped their list below.

We did it, and it was far from sad. I visited Morgan Freed of Ride Or Cry & Emo Nite to rank the Best Emo Albums from 1999 to 2008, year-by-year. No albums named below were featured in my previous Loudwire pieces on post-hardcore, screamo, metalcore, and pop-punk.

Also, even though Jimmy Eat World could claim the blue ribbon for several years on this list, every band is only mentioned once, leaving more room at the table for glasses.

We throw parties for the music we love:

1. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity (1999)


MF: I don’t think that they make albums like this anymore.

SW: What’s an album?

MF: Funny. I saw Jim from JEW play the album’s long closing track “Goodbye Sky Harbor” by himself. It was the single greatest moment of my life. It’s been all downhill from there.

SW: We can talk about New Found Glory another time. I saw Jimmy Eat World on the “Clarity” tour with At The Drive-In and that’s my concert trump card.

MF: This isn’t just my favorite record on this list: This is the best album of all time, in my opinion.

SW: It’s a 10. Let’s get to the next one that made non-emos pay attention.

2. Dashboard Confessional - The Swiss Army Romance (2000)


MF: We started the century with an album that can’t go unnoticed.

SW: Hold on, Carrabba will save us all.

MF: He did. This album is a full record of acoustic songs played by one man. It truly sounded different and paved the way for each of the next series of albums that we list.

SW: I was there. DC shows were INSANE. Shortly after this album came out, Chris was revered as a pioneer.

MF: I agree.

SW: (fist bumps Morgan)

3. Saves The Day - Stay What You Are (2001)


MF: We had to bump somebody to include this record.

SW: No list about this genre is accurate if it doesn’t include Saves The Day. I wouldn’t go to your funeral if you disagreed, Freed.

MF: And I will say “yes,” that would be a certain tragedy.

SW: I saw STD open for blink-182 and Green Day on the Pop Disaster Tour, and it was far from a tragedy. Let’s go to New Jersey.

4. Midtown - Living Well Is The Best Revenge (2002)

Drive-Thru / MCA
Drive-Thru / MCA

MF: This album was the soundtrack to lots of parties in my high school.

SW: It was just like a movie.

MF: Get it together, Scott.

SW: Still trying. (pauses; no laughter, audible sigh, and a death glare from Morgan). This album has great harmonies.

MF: Perfect. Gabe is tall.

SW: You should know.

5. Brand New - Deja Entendu (2003)

Triple Crown / Razor & Tie
Triple Crown / Razor & Tie

MF: Unfortunately, this list would be a lie without this album.

SW: I don’t disagree. I can’t think of a record that was quoted on away messages more than Deja Entendu.

MF: I think that this album defined the time period and the genre itself.

SW: And it definitely turned more ears toward Long Island...

MF: And now for the crowd favorite!

SW: 2004.

6. My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (2004)


MF: More like 2020.

SW: MCR is back, and this album is most certainly the one that cemented their legacy.

MF: This band / album is probably the most popular reference for emo, whether or not it’s true.

SW: To the end.

MF: Now let’s make our Gerard Way toward our next album.

SW: Take cover.

7. Acceptance - Phantoms (2005)


MF: This is the underdog album of the genre.

SW: I agree. It’s a permanent staple.

MF: It’s not the obvious answer for 2005, but we must give credit where credit is due, and this album slaps.

SW: As hard today as it did 15 years ago.

MF: Nice. Sure does.

SW: We are Jews who love Acceptance.

8. Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now (2006)

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

MF: And now for something a little bit louder now...

SW: Shout.

MF: (slightly louder) And now for something a little bit louder now...

SW: Heeeeeey. By the way, I’m glad that Long Island gets some more love here.

MF: The songs and production on this album were a little bit bigger than we were used to seeing from the band.

SW: It’s a solid major label debut. Back to the indies...

9. Mayday Parade - A Lesson In Romantics (2007)

Fearless Records
Fearless Records

MF: A Lesson In Romantics is the most sing-a-long-y record on this list.

SW: And the band definitely didn’t have anything handed its way. Mayday Parade hustled hard.

MF: Motherfuckers are hustlers.

SW: I love this band. I love this record. I even dug its follow up Anywhere But Here, and I’m glad that the band just toured around it.

MF: I bet someone got pregnant to this album.

SW: Baby all over.

10. Fall Out Boy - Folie A Deux (2008)


(Author’s note: Morgan was high as shit for 2008 and doesn’t remember anything, so he brought in his co-worker Ricky Fernandez to finish the article and angrily left the room.)

RF: What’s going on?

SW: You tell me. I love this album and Morgan doesn’t care.

RF: I care. Post-fame Fall Out Boy made a brutal record. I heard that it was a violent process. If you listen to “What A Catch, Donnie” it sounds like a band’s swan song.

SW: And that medley at the end!

RF: A career retrospective within a song. I never ever heard that before or again.

SW: (Coffee’s For Closers)

I’ve got another (Dashboard) confessional to make: We’re done. You can officially get sad now, but if Emo Nite hits your town, you can happily scream along to all of your favorite bands mentioned here. Enjoy this playlist containing the opening track to each album and don’t forget to ride or cry.

About Morgan Freed

Morgan Freed

Morgan Freed is the co-founder of Ride Or Cry and Emo Nite. Before he was throwing the scene’s biggest party and helping your favorite bands and brands with creative marketing, he grew up in Tucson Arizona during the early ‘90s and 2000s playing in hardcore and emo bands. Freed also has been heavily involved in the recovery community for over a decade and helped start Community Meeting to bring awareness into nightlife culture for youths.

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