|Cultural origins||Mid 1990s, United States|
|Midwestern United States · Florida|
AllMusic describes emo pop as blending "youthful angst" with "slick production" and mainstream appeal, using "high-pitched melodies, rhythmic guitars, and lyrics concerning adolescence, relationships, and heartbreak."
Britain's The Guardian described emo pop as a cross between "saccharine boy band pop" and emo. Newer emo pop bands have toned down extremities in loud/soft changes to cultivate a more widespread appeal.
Emo pop was influenced by emo and pop punk. Bands such as The Wrens, Weezer, Sense Field and Jawbreaker were emo bands who influenced and set the blueprints for the emo pop genre. The Get Up Kids even made a major emo pop album called Something to Write Home About. They also influenced many newer emo pop bands like Fall Out Boy who were also influenced by bands like New Found Glory, Green Day, Screeching Weasel, Lifetime, Earth Crisis, Gorilla Biscuits and The Ramones. Pop punk band Blink-182 have been a very big influence on emo pop. The new generation of pop punk, emo pop and alternative rock fans view the Blink-182 sound as "hugely influential," with even Montgomery writing, "... without them, there'd be no Fall Out Boy, no Paramore, or no Fueled by Ramen Records." The emo/punk rock band Jawbreaker has influenced bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance.
Emo pop began in the 1990s. Bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, The Promise Ring, The Starting Line, Saves the Day, and The Movielife were bands who started the emo pop style. Jimmy Eat World made an early emo pop sound off their album Static Prevails and their Clarity album, which was very influential on modern emo.
Independent success (Late 1990s and early 2000s)
Emo pop began to have independent success in the late 1990s. The Get Up Kids had sold over 15,000 copies of their debut album Four Minute Mile (1997) before signing to Vagrant Records, who promoted the band strongly and put them on tours opening for famous bands like Weezer. Their 1999 album Something to Write Home About was a major success, reaching No. 31 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart.
Mainstream popularity (2000s)
As the genre coalesced, the record label Fueled by Ramen became a center of the movement, releasing platinum selling albums from bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco and Paramore. Two main regional scenes developed in Florida, pioneered by label Fueled by Ramen, and in the Midwest, promoted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, which rose to the front of the style in the mid-2000s after the single "Sugar, We're Goin Down" received heavy airplay, climbing to number eight on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 music charts. In 2008, the band Cash Cash released Take It to the Floor, which Allmusic stated could be "the definitive statement of airheaded, glittery, and content-free emo-pop". Allmusic further stated that with this release "the transformation of emo from the expression of intensely felt, ripped-from-the-throat feelings played by bands directly influenced by post-punk and hardcore to mall-friendly Day-Glo pop played by kids who look about as authentic as the "punks" on an old episode of Quincy did back in the '70s was made pretty much complete". Also in 2008, You Me at Six released their debut album Take Off Your Colours, which had been described by AllMusic's Jon O'Brien as "follow[ing] the "emo-pop for dummies"' handbook word-for-word." The album would later be certified gold in the UK.
Decline in popularity (2010s)
Since the early 2010s, emo pop's fame has been declining. While many emo pop bands are still popular, some of them have abandoned their emo pop style. The emo pop band Panic! at the Disco's 2013 album Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! abandons their emo pop sound which is heard primarily on A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and has many characteristics and influences from hip hop music, new wave music, electropop and synthpop. Cash Cash have also abandoned the influences of emo heard on Take It to the Floor and began incorporating more elements of dance music. They are now an EDM producer trio. Even the two emo pop bands Paramore and Fall Out Boy abandoned their emo style with Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll and Paramore's self-titled album. Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll album has characteristics of pop music, alternative rock, pop rock and general pop punk. Paramore's self-titled album has some characteristics from power pop, pop rock and new wave.
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They peddle "emo-pop", a sort of cross between saccharine boy-band pop and whatever it is that bands like Panic! at the Disco and Fall Out Boy do – emo, let's be frank.
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