The beginning of the ‘90s serves as the moment where rock and roll started to get real. Just emerging from the glamor of the ‘80s, the authentic approach brought on by bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam out of the grunge movement served as something to wash the taste of the Sunset Strip right out of everybody’s mouth. That doesn't mean that all of these albums were necessarily a walk in the park though.
On almost every single one of these albums, you go on a much bigger trip than you probably bargained for, with songs that are a lot closer to the bone that you might usually expect. For the first handful of these, you go in expecting a good time, only for the album to dip its toes into darker territory without even blinking.
Then again, some of the records on here don’t even try to sugarcoat what you’re in for, sinking you right into the darkest parts of the human psyche and leaving you to your own devices hoping to survive the entire experience. Not all of these are made the same way though, and a few of these albums serve as dark records just for the headspace that the artists were in when making these songs.
These songs might leave you with some pretty melodies going through your head, but you also walk away with a few more scars as well.
10. One Hot Minute - Red Hot Chili Peppers
For all of the different sonic avenues that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have gone down in their career, they have never really tried on their darker side that often. Even when some of their lyrics have some grizzly stories behind them about Anthony Kiedis's struggling with drug addiction, there's always an optimistic undertone behind it, as he remains thankful to be on the other side of his demons. Things seemed a lot clearer after Under the Bridge, but the loss of John Frusciante made for the big bad relapse album.
During most of the recording sessions for One Hot Minute, most of the band was getting back into hard drugs, with Anthony falling off the wagon after being prescribed Valium as a painkiller at a dentist appointment. From the first few songs on the record, you can hear the pain in the riffs they're playing, especially a song like Warped which talks about Anthony descending all the way back down and throwing his sobriety out the window.
For all of the harsh sounds behind this songs, it's not like this is a bad album by any stretch. If anything, having Dave Navarro behind the fretboard is a welcome substitution and the band really let their teeth out a lot more on songs like Transcending and the title track. The Peppers were never ones to confine themselves to just one genre, but this might be the closest to a metal album that they would ever release.