Monday, June 27, 2011

My Opinions On The Top 20 Rock Albums Of The Last Decade Are Way Better Than Yours

Rock music, I'm told, is a dying genre.

Purists from every decade and every walk of life will spout veritable tomes on why the music of their day or of their subgenre is superior, and why rock needs to return to its roots, whichever they may be, to avoid vanishing forever.

Well, I'm here to testify that rock is alive and well, that new rock can be good rock, and that it still frees my soul when the boys give me the beat.  (I'm quoting Bill Withers here.  Sorry, Uncle K.)

I've had a rough day. My parents' home in Michigan, the house that I grew up in, nearly burned to the ground today.  Their entire basement was gutted by fire, and literally everything in the house is damaged by smoke.  Fortunately, they are safe and sound; unfortunately, their cat Mitey Mite, whom I grew up with, didn't make it.

I've been trying to process this today as I've played an outdoor festival, sung the national anthem at a minor-league basketball game, had band practice, grocery shopped (I was out of spinach and I couldn't go on), and tried to get a million other things done.  I didn't even have time to eat, much less think, until around 11 PM.

When my agenda finally lay conquered in some kind of Pyrrhic victory, I pulled over on the side of the road, connected my iPod, tilted my seat back, and did something I hadn't done in awhile. I listened to music.  Not to critique; not in the studio; not to learn a love song for someone's wedding; not for writing inspiration.  I simply listened, and let it take me where I needed to go.

I simply listened.  Broke out some hard rock.  Some metalcore.  Some indie pop.  Some post-alt-art-math-scream-prog-rock (or however it is that Porcupine Tree should be categorized). The point is, I listened to songs that I like.

When I finally finished this cathartic experience and realized that there were frozen foods (or Foods Formerly Known As Frozen) in my trunk, I drove home.  I started to analyze just what I'd been listening to.  Even though I swear by the music I grew up on, I realized that almost all of what had calmed my soul was rock, and almost all of it had been released within the last decade.

Being a stats geek, I felt the need to quantify, for you, in the form of a list, my Top 20 Rock Albums Of The Last Decade.

I'm talking about cohesive albums here, not releases with one or two great tracks and then a bunch of diarrhea noises as filler.  (South Park season 15 reference, in case you missed it. Yup, South Park is still around, too, and actually funnier and more relevant than ever.  But that's another blog altogether.)

Please, feel free to let me know which ones I've missed, or just let me know what a moron I am in general.  However, keep in mind that my opinions are way better than yours.

I can't shake the feeling that I'm forgetting a very important album.

Whatever.  Here they are:

20.  System Of A Down:  Toxicity
19.  Audiovent-- Dirty Sexy Knights In Paris
18.  Chevelle-- This Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In)
17.  Jars Of Clay:  Who We Are Instead
16.  Anberlin-- New Surrender
15.  Brand New-- The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Of Me
14.  Needtobreathe-- The Heat
13.  Hurt-- Vol. 1
12.  Incubus-- A Crow Left Of The Murder
11.  Lifehouse-- No Name Face
10.  Atreyu-- Lead Sails Paper Anchor
9.  Thrice-- Vhiessu
8.  Porcupine Tree-- Deadwing
7.  Muse-- Absolution
6.  Chevelle-- Vena Sera
5.  Strata--  Strata Presents The End Of The World
4.  Chiodos-- Bone Palace Ballet
3.  A Perfect Circle-- Thirteenth Step
2.  My Chemical Romance--  The Black Parade
1.  Thrice--  Beggars

And there you have it.   By the way, if you don't own "Beggars", there is something seriously wrong with your head.  Get it in your ears.

I honestly don't know if I would be at least partially sane today without these twenty albums. Thanks, rock & roll, for not dying on us just yet.