The entire music world was in for a shake up once the ball dropped in 1999. Aside from just entering a new millennium, there was also the genesis of sites like Napster and the oncoming iTunes boom that would go on to define almost all of the music that we consume today. That doesn't mean that the album didn't cease to exist as an art form though.
Throughout each genre of music, there were countless acts willing to buck the trends and go for something that was a lot more unusual than the trends that were happening at the time. Though this was the time of the nu metal and pop punk movement, there were also niche genres rising up from the underground, complete with some of the most forward thinking music at the time. You also had the worlds of pop and rap, which were in the middle of the club boom and the bling era, with artists looking to go above and beyond to deliver what the audience wanted.
Complete with the backdrop of going to war in America, this was one of the few times where music seemed a lot more intense. This wasn't just a hit song anymore. Putting your soul out there for the world to see was a matter of life and death if you weren't careful.
10. Demon Days - Gorillaz
After going through 2 decades at this point, MTV was starting to look waaay too artificial for its own good. Though you still had bands that were decent strutting their stuff on TRL, you could tell that the whole thing went from a cool artsy music channel to a pop culture machine. If you wanted to make some commentary on what was going on there, sometimes it takes a little animation to get under the noses of the higher ups.
Fresh off of riding the Britpop hype train with Blur, Damon Albarn's second installment with Gorillaz was made with the intention of proving that their first effort wasn't a fluke. Hooking up with Danger Mouse as a producer, this is a much more artistic statement than the zany sounds of Clint Eastwood, going for a long slow journey through the night, all while exploring a different demon every step of the way.
As sunshine-y as this record might feel at times, the lyrical content is a lot more nuanced than before. Compared to the amazing visuals on screen, the whole mission behind these songs are showing just how cold and calculated everything was becoming in the wake of the Iraq War. Then again, in a world that seemed like it was aching to go to war, it's nice to have an album that made you want to dance. Of all the scary things happening in reality, it's almost ironic that we got a natural slice of life from a cartoon.