10 Best Progressive Rock Albums Of The 2000s

9. The Mars Volta - Octahedron

With four albums of heavy, jazzy prog rock under their belts, The Mars Volta finally did the unthinkable in 2009: they embraced pop.

'Octahedron' captures the group in a surprisingly light and mellow mood, drifting dreamily across a rich and experimental soundscape. Unlike so many prog efforts out there, 'Octahedron' provides little in regards to concept. Instead, each song is its own entity, moving across a wide variety of themes and ideas from humorous knocks on the US Republican Party to fearsome kidnapping scenarios.

While the lack of thematic order may be alienating to some prog aficionados, the more accessible style won the group a good deal of acclaim. From the light and atmospheric touches to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's dependably eccentric and action-packed guitar work, the LP has everything that set The Mars Volta apart in the noughties.

Opening track 'Since We've Been Wrong' was used effectively in the marketing for the album, building buzz through released snippets and live performances. Devoid of the typically dark and opaque lyrics the El Paso crew are known for, the song functions as their own eccentric take on a love song.

It's a bizarre and unexpected opener for longtime fans that sets up an album full of eyebrow-raising surprises.

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