Words by Nick Hodgins

For many people, “Over My Head” is simply a love song by The Fray, “Apologize” is a sad song about a break up, “I Knew You Were Trouble” is a hit single by T Swift, and “Heartless” is a classic Kanye West song. For others, the first thing that comes to mind might be A Day to Remember or Silverstein, We Came as Romans, or even the Word Alive; and for that, we have the Punk Goes Pop franchise to thank.

Created by Fearless Records in 2002, the Punk Goes Pop compilation albums have been chopping up and spitting out mainstream pop, top 100 singles, and summer bangers ever since. From the Backstreet Boys all the way up to the Chainsmokers, from Yellowcard to State Champs, Punk Goes Pop has been making pop bearable for 15 years now, leaving us with the most recent release Punk Goes Pop Vol. 7.

Punk Goes Pop 7 is a thirteen track album consisting of the latest pop anthems from this summer and the previous one, including songs originally by the Biebs, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Drake, and more. Chances are, if you don’t live under a rock, you’ve heard most of these songs already whether you realize it or not. The beauty of this franchise is the artists’ ability to take widely successful pop songs and sprinkle some screams, distortion, and dissonant guitar riffs on top, leaving us with some really solid songs.

Dance Gavin Dance takes Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” and adds some mathy guitar licks along with Tilian Pearson’s incredible screams, even switching up lyrics to reference an older song of theirs, singing “Cool jewel be shining so bright, Strawberry Swisher on fire.”

State Champs kick up the tempo of “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes, and Seaway takes the insanely catchy piano riff of the Chainsmoker’s “Closer” and brings it over to the fretboard. Capsize punkifies “Fake Love” by Drake, while Andy Black of Black Veil Brides and Juliet Simms slow it down for a huge rendition of Adele’s “When We Were Young.”

Like it or not, pop music is popular for a reason, and most of the time whether you want to admit it or not, the songs are good. Maybe you’re right there with the masses singing along, or maybe you can tolerate these songs but deep down you know something is missing – Punk Goes Pop cures that itch. Next time you find yourself out at the bar and “Love Yourself” comes on, you can confidently sing along too, only this time you’ll be providing the screams.


Punk Goes Pop Vol. 7
Various Artists
Fearless Records
© July 14, 2017



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