Baroness — Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade
Wed, 17 Jun 2015 13:15:13
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.
5. Baroness – Yellow & Green
It feels like all of Yellow & Green's majesty hasn't even been completely uncovered yet. The third offering from Atlanta's Baroness is a double-album that touches on a sprawling gamut of emotions via one of the most diverse sonic palettes rock music has seen this century. The group—John Dyer Baizley [lead vocals, guitar, bass, keys], Pete Adams [vocals, guitar], and Allen Bickle [drums]—don't hold anything back, but they manage to conjure and then convey a timeless mystique that urges complete listens from top-to-bottom. They build a mythos that's rich and utterly inviting, while remaining thought provoking throughout.
There are moments of creepy, crawling paranoia such as "Board Up the House" and "Cocainium" where beautiful melodies fray and crack under ponderously dark lyrics. Meanwhile, the likes of "Back Where I Belong" capture a wistful nostalgia with warm instrumentation, bright tones, and delicate delivery. That artful juxtaposition of light and dark defines the journey at the heart of Yellow & Green.
Listen to "Take My Bones Away"
See the other artists and albums on our Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade feature!