Were the 2000s the beginning of the end for the rock era?
While the genre undeniably still boosted a tremendous amount of commercial clout and numerous artists continued to push creative boundaries, the cultural domination of rock music definitely declined in the new millennium. Pop and hip-hop stars became the music industry’s most talked-about artists, but rock and alternative still carried significant critical weight.
As acts like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys dominated the airwaves early in the ’00s, and acts like Lady Gaga and Beyonce dominated later, rock artists still found their way onto popular playlists. At the turn of the century, it looked like the Strokes would be the one rock band to stem the pop tide. And bands like Green Day, Coldplay and the always-formidable U2 were still capable of churning out blockbuster albums. From a creative standpoint, bands like Radiohead and the White Stripes were going on album runs the genre hadn’t seen since the classic rock heyday of The Beatles and The Who.
Here’s a look at twenty of the most brilliant and era-defining mainstream and alternative rock albums from the 2000s.