Ranking Every AFI Album

I think the concept of ranking things is so fun to do. Fellow fans can see how others view things and compare them with their own rankings. I personally love to watch YouTube videos of people ranking movie franchises because they also always don’t follow the release or chronological order. It’s great to see what a person values over what you personally value. This is all to say that this blog post was a long time coming. Inspired by these tier lists and rankings, I decided I wanted to do my own. So, I thought, why not challenge myself and rank albums of my all-time favorite band?

AFI has been my favorite band since I was 13. Plenty of bands have stolen my heart over the years, but never my whole heart. AFI has always held a space in it, and they probably always will. They’re the reason I got into the music I love today. They were my gateway into the punk, emo, metalcore, and alternative scene, among other genres. I think one thing that makes AFI so special to me is their ability to change genres effortlessly. Very seldom do they stay in the same realm. In fact, it’s expected that the latest AFI album will be different from the last. It’s like they’re constantly reinventing themselves and evolving yet always maintaining who they are. This is why ranking these albums is a bit of a challenge. Each album tends to fall into a different subgenre, so how do you compare a 90s punk album to a 2000s emo album? Like many rankings, it all boils down to taste. So, without further preamble, let’s get into the rankings.

Note: I decided to include the two EPs and the self-titled released in 2004 that’s mostly a re-release.

14) AFI (2004)

Source: Wikipedia

As I said in my note, this album is almost like a re-release or a greatest hits album. Because of this, I don’t throw it on too much. Sure, it has amazing songs on it, but 11 of the 15 tracks can be found on other albums, so I don’t go back to it often. A band having a greatest hits album isn’t a bad thing, but it can be disappointing for fans itching for new content. I personally don’t seek this release out. This would probably be a forgettable release for me if not for it exclusively having “Who Said You Could Touch Me?” which is an amazing track. This track and “Rolling Balls” were vinyl bonus tracks for the album Very Proud of Ya upon release in 1996, so it was a great way for fans to get a chance to listen to these great songs who couldn’t get their hands on the vinyl. This is especially essential today, now that the album is over 25 years old. Speaking on the track listing, it’s a great collection of songs, but it’s mostly songs I can find elsewhere, so it’s going to stay at the bottom.

13) Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes (SYMAOYE)

Source: Wikipedia

The punk days of AFI feel like eons ago when looking at the band’s latest releases. SYMAOYE came out in 1997 and is AFI’s second studio album. While the lyrical content from this era isn’t always groundbreaking, it’s always a fun time. Still, of the three albums I dub as specifically punk in AFI’s discography, SYMAOYE takes my least favorite spot. This isn’t because it’s bad. The other two are just a little better, in my opinion. I don’t find myself seeking this specific album out to listen to often. Still, it does have some amazing tracks including “A Single Second”, “Third Season”, and a song I thought I was edgy listening to in middle school because they curse in it, “Today’s Lesson.” SYMAOYE is a great album to check out if you’re into 90s punk.

12) Very Proud of Ya

Source: Wikipedia

Ranking second out of the three albums I consider AFI’s punk era, Very Proud of Ya is a fun album that always makes me think of an old friend who loved the album because their birthday was right around the album