10 Essential emo songs/videos

10. "Sugar, We're Going Down," Fall Out Boy

This Chicago-based band has disintegrated into a mainstream rock band. And along with Panic! At The Disco they're giving emo a bad name. But once upon a time these guys sounded like they meant it.

Check out the surreal video for this song featuring an emo kid with antlers and a deer hunter partially transformed into a deer. Lots of fun.

9. "The Best of Me," The Starting Line

This pick is especially for people who think emo bands don't have a sense of humor. And to show how there's a thin line between punk and emo -- and that's a good thing.

This irresistibly catchy -- and positive! --song by this Philadelphia band also has a clever video that is both a parody and a tribute to the famous John Cusack boom box scene in the movie "Say Anything."

8. "All That I've Got," The Used

This is a power ballad with a sing-along chorus done emo style. The video also shows the Goth imagery that emo bands sometimes embrace. It features a child wandering through a Gothic-laced, fairy-tale world.

7. "Saying Sorry," Hawthorne Heights

This song is two people saying goodbye. But it's unclear whether it's a temporary parting of ways or a messy breakup. But it probably doesn't matter. Because emo bands are obsessed with breakups, the thought of them or anything that reminds them of breakups.

But this Ohio band makes a song about that sad parting all so catchy with an infectious chorus that sounds like it's channeled through The Ramones.

6. "Your Heart is an Empty Room," Death Cab for Cutie

It's oh-so-challenging to come up with a brief description for this song. Hmmm delicately beautiful, hauntingly melancholy, achingly bittersweet. Take your pick.

However you'd describe it it's all enhanced by a sparse animated black-and-white video of what looks like an emo couple trying to get their act together again after an argument.

5. "A Decade Under the Influence," Taking Back Sunday

It's not clear what this song is about. But it doesn't really matter. All that matters is there's something uneasy going on here because the line "I got a bad feeling about this" is constantly repeated.

The song also effectively features some "screamo." That's when the singer screams the words. It's annoying when done often (as the group Underoath does). But here it works because the vocalist screams just to emphasize what words particularly set him off emotionally.

4. "First Day of My Life," Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes is led by singer-songwriter Coner Oberst, a great lyricist who has kind of become the Bob Dylan of emo. He's so revered he's achieved what most emo artists haven't: major credibility with the alternative music establishment.

The video features a series of swooning couples hanging out on a sofa listening to music. Awww emo can be sweet too.

3. "Hands Down," Dashboard Confessional

Along with Bright Eyes' Coner Oberst singer-songwriter Chris Carrabba is emo's most respected singer-songwriter. And Carrabba really helped define emo as a genre with his confessional journal-style lyrics.

2. "Work," Jimmy Eat World

Like vintage punk, emo makes you feel that the song lyrics are life-and-death feelings. This song and video has that sense of urgency.

The video uses the song to build a mini documentary featuring some real high school students in Wisconsin talking about their problems, their hopes and their desire to move onto something better. Think that sounds "One Tree Hill" style cheesy? No way. The video captures some expressions of students in key moments. It's surprisingly moving.

1. "Famous Last Words," My Chemical Romance

The world's best-known emo band takes a rock video cliché and makes it work.

There's fire everywhere in this video and the drummer even burned his leg while filming it -- which forced them to cancel a show at the Allentown Fair in 2006.

But hey, this is no KISS video. This fire has meaning. The band looks exhausted and world weary as if they're crawling from the wreckage burning behind them.

And there's a reason for that.

Singer Gerard Way says the band wrote the song at their lowest moment. The band members were plagued by personal problems and the song was written as a defiant anthem to encourage them all to keep going.

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