9. Year Zero - Nine Inch Nails
The concept album is always a tricky thing for almost any rock band to handle properly. If you have a history of writing some standard rock cuts for most of your career, it's hard to get your audience onboard with something that's looking to tell a story. Trent Reznor always knew the power behind his music though, and Year Zero was much more forceful for fans that were willing to go along for the ride.
That is to say, if you had done your homework. Because with the release of Year Zero, there was a lot more baggage at hand this time around, as Trent brought different ideas to the table in terms of artwork and a whole storyline detailing the kind of world that he was building through these songs. This seemed like one of his biggest artistic undertakings since the mammoth album the Fragile, but the results were actually pretty good when you tore through the reading material.
Looking to explore an alien invasion scenario, a lot of these songs really work within the context of adapting to the human world, like government officials developing god complexes on Capital G and trying to look through the remnants of a decaying society. Even if you're not looking to read all of the inner details, you don't need an entire script to understand why a song like Survivalism kicks ass.