Top Ten Albums Since '90

The Top Ten

1 Is This It - The Strokes

Retro, raw and undoubtedly a classic for a modern age, the Strokes' 2001 debut album completely redefined the indie genre from its humble underground roots into an explosion of extravagance, stylishness and sense of freedom which paved a way for other indie bands such as the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys to follow. A single album rarely manages to turn the tables of the entire music industry, but this cool, classy, badass LP demonstrates that when the zeitgeist comes, it does just that.

2 American Idiot - Green Day

In 2004, Green Day were lurking on the fringes of world recognition, with several UK top 40 hits in the bag, but nobody was expecting just how much of an impact the world's first so-called 'punk rock opera', American Idiot, would make. The album received such high publicity and critical acclaim that it blew Green Day straight into the mainstream.

3 Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

First word that comes to mind? Dance! This beautifully cagey, funky album spawned classics such as Take Me Out and Dark of the Matinée, twisting the Strokes influence into a ridiculously catchy, fast-paced album that sticks in the memory for a long time after.

4 Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Although it may be argued that their earlier effort Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the first stand-out funk rock album, this was the first one that caught people's attention. With roots heavily encompassing the blues and funk genres, Red Hot Chili Peppers turned what was once upon a time considered music for only black people into a near-perfect template for many more, less successfully attempting to mimic their style, enforcing the fact that this album is hard to beat.

5 Wasting Light - Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl and his band seemed to be going downhill slightly, and a Grammy winning album was just what was required to a march back up to the top. Grohl said that the album was about how he felt 'like a survivor' and that it was a reflection of how despite knowing time's grip, the feeling of rejuvenation was still there. It certainly feels like it in this album, where Foo Fighters' originality and flair seem as present as ever.

6 Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - Arctic Monkeys

Breaking the record for the fasting-selling debut album of all time is quite something. But it is hardly a surprise when you listen to the album that did it in 2006. An unrelenting blend of rhythmic, incredibly catchy guitar riffs and the exceptional songwriting ability of frontman Alex Turner makes this one of the most popular indie albums there is, and hard to argue against as one of the best.

7 Nevermind - Nirvana

Kurt Cobain always said that he felt that Nevermind was too soft for his liking, yet for everyone else in the '90's, it sparked a revolution, a new game-changer of music that was never anticipated to be so influential and cause such an unsettling of the mainstream. Alongside with Pearl Jam's Ten, this album made grunge the new classic rock, even with Nirvana's short reign ending in 1994 following Cobain's death.

8 Black Holes & Revelations - Muse

An often overlooked album, this seems to whisper a hint of space rock, but is undoubtedly alternative. The vocal talent of frontman Matt Bellamy is matched by his guitarist ability as well as Chris Wolstenholme's bass playing and Dom Howard's drumming. Muse's flair gives them a right to be bombastic in every way, and the pure energy of this album would alone make it a great album.

9 Innuendo - Queen


10 Ten - Pearl Jam

It's difficult to imagine how a band could ever become so successful yet so shunning of the mainstream. Pearl Jam's attempts to keep a low profile could have stayed like that, but were never maintained due to the popularity of this, their '91 debut, which in time brought them to become one of the most revered rock bands ever.

The Contenders

11 Nightfall in Middle Earth - Blind Guardian
12 A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay

The early Coldplay always seemed to prefer slow melodies, and their humble, refined, but sensationally popular second album could easily compare the band to a less depressed version of Radiohead, yet in time all the more popular.

13 Up the Bracket - The Libertines
14 Octavarium - Dream Theater
15 In Absentia - Porcupine Tree
16 The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails
17 Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - Dream Theater
18 The Fragile - Nine Inch Nails
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