Alice In Chains — Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade
Tue, 16 Jun 2015 13:14:11
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We countdown the best alternative albums of the past 10 years and explore the meaning of the genre...
The word "Alternative" has been passed down through multiple generations of music now, and it's continuously changed. In the most classic sense, we think of it as the Generation X grunge forbearers like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, and everybody else from the iconic Seattle scene. At the same time, Pixies were alternative, and they came from Boston—same thing with Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers, both hailing from Los Angeles. Of course, we can't forget Melvins from Washington even though they sounded different from the general scene associated with their home state. Nowadays, what is alternative? Radio and the industry will tell you it's the folk pop we typically hear on "Alternative" stations. However, where are the guitars?
Truth be told, they haven't gone anywhere. Moreover, there have been some truly monumental "Alternative" albums this past decade—even this year. Most of these will even be widely regarded as classics someday. We wanted to highlight and countdown the Top 15 Alternative Albums of this Decade. They've got the hallmarks of the genre's timeless work, which we all still crank today. Some of these will be from quite recognizable names and others will be from people who still aren't afraid to keep a guitar handy when they're breaking the mold. The point is that Alternative music in the classic sense is stilling being made, and we wanted to spotlight that—even with some gems out this year! As a note, we are counting albums releases since June 2005 to keep in line with the exact decade.
7. Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
At the beginning of 2009's Black Gives Way To Blue, iconic Alice In Chains singer and guitarist Jerry Cantrell sings, "There's no going back to the place we started from." That line on "All Secrets Known" entwines with his instantly recognizable playing practically fusing together for a declaration of purpose from one of Seattle's most important bands. There was no going back, only moving forward, which is what Cantrell, Sean Kinney [drums], Mike Inez [bass], and co-vocalist and guitarist William DuVall did by leaps and bounds here. Black Gives Way To Blue only fortified the legacy that the band had established with untouchable work such as Dirt, Facelift, Alice In Chains, Sap, and Jar Of Flies.
Whether it was the California chug of "Check My Brain" or the fascinatingly psychedelic trip of "Acid Bubble," where everything converged on combustible combo of guitars and vocals, this was Alice In Chains through and through. At the same time, "Take Her Out" boasts one of their most unshakable and haunting melodies ever, while "A Looking In View" gives heart to all the heaviness. Everything sails off into legendary territory on the title track, which even features an assist from Elton John on the piano. This is one of the greatest alternative rock records ever from one of the genre's best. Not much else needs to be said.
Watch The Video for "A Looking In View"
See the other artists and albums on our Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade feature!
'Black Give Way To Blue' from Alice In Chains is available on Virgin Records.