50. Collective Soul – Collective Soul (1995)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Post-grunge
I asked for this album for Christmas in 1995 and got it along with my first walkman cassette player! I was totally stoked. I wore this cassette out! I later bought the CD of course and proceeded to listen to that a million times. This is the quintessential Collective Soul album. They have put out some good stuff afterwards but this was the album for them. Meaningful and uplifting lyrics mixed with a very effective combo of acoustic and distorted guitar. A well produced album that wasn’t over-produced. An album’s worth of good songs that flow like a good album should. One of the best post-grunge albums of it’s time, in my opinion.
Genre: Indie Rock, New Wave
Some of the most heartfelt lyrics on any album I have ever heard. I have used a bunch of songs from this album on mix CDs that I have made for friends. I would love to put this album higher on the list because it is amazing but it just goes to show you how stiff the competition is. Super anxious to hear the follow up to this album and see where this very talented band goes in the future. I should also note that they are a very good live!
48. Mastodon – Crack the Skye (2009)
Genre: Progressive Metal, Sludge Metal
The musicianship on this album is outstanding. The guitar riffs and the drums are particularly phenomenal. This is a hard rock/metal album you can get lost in. Mastodon is definitely one of the best metal bands going right now. The album site is worth checking out and adds to the experience of the album. Well done.
47. The Bravery – The Bravery (2005)
Genre: Indie Rock, Post-punk Revival, Dance-punk
I like catchy Indie Rock music a lot. I also love dancy-synth music. But I’m not talking Cure or Depeche Mode. Bleck! The Bravery probably borrowed a lot from their forefathers but I don’t really care. This album is really good and I was all about it once it grew on me. Do you ever get into an album and then just want to share it with everybody? Yeah, this was one of those albums for me. I told everyone about this album! The songs I didn’t like at first ended up becoming my favorites and the songs that were instantly catchy got catchier.
46. Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil (2005)
Genre: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
I’m not too crazy about any of their other albums but I am crazy about this one. When I got into this album I listened to it non stop for months. I kept finding nooks and crannies in the songs. This is an album to check out if you are into hard-rock or metal for sure. Just a fair warning, it might have to grow on you at first but you will love it. A great album, no skips.
45. Anti-Flag – The Terror State (2003)
Genre: Punk Rock
It’s pretty simple with this one. One of the best political punk albums I’ve ever heard and the songs are all good. Boy were they pissed off at George W. Bush and the government when they made this album!
44. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003)
Genre: Indie Rock, Garage Rock
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are in a class of their own. They are truly unique. They are one of my favorite bands for sure. My buddy Alex let me borrow this album a few years ago and I hated it. I gave it back to him and told him I hated it. I didn’t like the song “Maps” either. I got into their 2009 album It’s Blitz and I became a huge fan. I went back and got Fever to Tell and Show Your Bones. It was then I realized the brilliance of Fever to Tell. Now I love “Maps” and basically anything that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs create.
43. Papa Roach – Getting Away With Murder (2004)
Genre: Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal
I know what you’re thinking…”Papa Roach? Really?” Seriously, this album is really good. They ditched the Rap Rock/Nu Metal sound and went for a more straight-up hard rock sound. I remember thinking, “did anybody see this album coming?” Maybe it was just the way I perceived the situation but it seemed like Papa Roach was kind of dead in the water and this album definitely revived them. It’s not too surprising because there is something special about the third album for a lot of bands on this list. They strike it big with their debut, fall flat with the sophomore release and either stagnate with their third release or return to kick more ass. Papa Roach returned to kick more ass with this release. I think they got together and said lets make our best album. The lyrics are real and honest, the guitar riffs are great to rock out to, and the drums and bass are driving and effective. One song flows into the next and before you know it you’re thinking wow, this album is good and you want to listen to it again. All killer, no filler.
42. Foster the People – Torches (2011)
Genre: Indie Pop, Alternative Rock, Indie Dance, Indietronica, Neo-psychedelia
This album should be a bit higher on the list but since it is not time-tested yet, I have to put it where it belongs. This album was a big surprise to me because I had only heard the singles released from this album, and although the singles are really good, the non-singles are in a way – better. This made for a complete sounding, versatile album, chalk full of a bunch of good songs that have positive lyrics. The story of lead singer Mark Foster is a must read.
41. The Black Keys – El Camino (2011)
Genre: Garage Rock, Blues Rock
Dirty, sexy, crunchy, and catchy are the adjectives I use to describe The Black Keys music. El Camino is a fantastic album and definitely their best, at least in my opinion. All killer no filler. I can only guess how many singles this album will end up having! Lots of great tracks to add to mixes.