This is the final installment for this list, which made it increasingly difficult to make my final decision. There’s only five spots left and picking who would fill them is the reason this took so long. I probably could have gone on forever with this list, and I’m sure there will be more to come. I feel like these particular albums were overlooked for reasons I’ll never understand.
(16) Gatsby’s American Dream- Volcano: Nic Newsham is one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever heard. This album marked the bands first release on Fearless Records. I remember driving to school everyday and blasting this record to set the tone for the day. Volcano focuses on the theme of Pompeii, a concept that I’ve never seen executed into such a beautiful and re playable musical endeavor.
(17) Eidola- The Great Glass Elephant: Just 3 years ago the world got introduced to one of the next truly great rock bands: Eidola. This is a band I could never adequately describe. The intensity with which they convey emotions is unprecedented. Andrew Wells sounds like his lyrics are ripping him apart inside, and that urgency is matched by a band who can sound great whether the song is super heavy or soft and introspective.
(18) Madvillain- Madvillainy: This is one of hip-hop’s most talented duos and though this album was released back in 2004, we still haven’t seen the follow up that was so heavily talked about. Short songs, hardly any choruses, obscure lyrics, and the flows of two of the games best emcees, Madlib and MF Doom.
(19) The Format- Interventions and Lullabies: A lot of people don’t even realize that Nate Ruess had another band before Fun. This album was released in 2001 and it was the first time I remember thinking “this is like country music I can actually stand.” It’s a seamless mix of pop and country that create a sound that is not only unique, but perfectly fitting to Ruess’ voice.
20.) Evaline- Postpartum Modesty: A Portrait of Skin: This is a band I discovered at Taste of Chaos back in 2007. They were one of the opening acts and I remember watching the singer jump on top of his (not extremely sturdy) keyboard stand and play while standing on top and bending forward. I had never seen anything like it before, especially not from an unknown artist. Evaline is definitely a rock band, but you can also hear the more ambient influences of bands like Radiohead and Dredg.