Wolf Alice — Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:48:18
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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.
15. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
Wolf Alice's My Love Is Cool officially drops June 23 via Dirty Hit/RCA Records, and it's a truly an alternative rock opus. The record tempers glistening melodies and robust guitars, yielding a fantastic friction that serves as the backdrop to evocatively whimsical lyrical stories. The production from Mike Crossey [Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Black Keys] expands the already massive tones, while preserving a rush of live energy.
However, it's the chemistry between frontwoman Ellie Rowsell [vocals/guitar], Joff Oddie [guitar], Joel Amey [drums], and Theo Ellis [bass] that makes the songs themselves really soar. A thick drum beat propels "Your Loves Whore" just before Rowsell's voice transfixes with an elegant darkness that the world hasn't heard en masse since In Utero or Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Meanwhile, "Moaning Lisa Smile" paints its own picture in broad strokes of distortion and dynamics before "You're A Germ" hits heights of heavenly heaviness few ever reach.
The most striking thing about My Love Is Cool remains the whimsy at its heart. The lyrics temper vivid imagery with fits of raw emotion, weaving together a pastiche that unfolds like a fairy tale anthology. They've created a world you'll never want to leave on this debut, and rock music is the better for it.
Watch The Video for "Giant Peach"
See the other artists and albums on our Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade feature!
See our Spotlight on Wolf Alice!
'My Love Is Cool' by Wolf Alice is released June 23, 2015 on Dirty Hit/RCA Records.