If you bring up the '90s rock scene to anyone, more often than not you're going to go with the grunge scene. As soon as the hair metal wave was wiped off the face of the earth, bands were more inclined to sing about how dour and depressed they were all the time. Once we started to cheer up a bit though, the rock scene got a bit of a wake up call back in the UK.
Off the strength of the indie rock movement going on at the time, some of the most inventive acts of the day were making waves with songs that had a slightly nostalgic tone and mountains of attitude, which would later become the foundation of what became known as Britpop. Instead of the usual dark guitar tones, we had songs that had a far more optimistic attitude and people who genuinely felt like they wanted to be rockstars.
Along the way, they also managed to turn in some of the greatest albums of their generation, worthy enough to hold a spot among the heroes they were inspired by. Because the next decade of music wasn't meant to be spent as an outcast all the time. The times were changing, darling, so it was about time that we all saw the sunnier side of life.
10. The Man Who - Travis
For all of its differences with the grunge scene, Britpop wasn't safe from a few hangers on who came in towards the end of the movement as well. Just like bands like Bush tried to ape the usual sound that Nirvana had made popular back in the day, you also had bands like Coldplay coming in just as soon as the door was closing to bring the basics of Britpop to the masses again. Every so often though, there's one band that actually manages to understand their roots.
After getting a bit of an endorsement from Noel Gallagher, Travis came into their own on The Man Who, with a sound that had a lot more polish than before. As opposed to the more quirky and nasty guitar tones of the original Britpop bands, the cleaner production from Nigel Godrich works incredibly well with Fran Healy's vocals, which made for one of the last pure rock voices at the time.
In between the more modern production choices though, you can hear little glimpses of the past in there, along with a certain self-awareness by namechecking songs by Oasis and Beck on some of the tracks. Though The Man Who might not be anywhere near as respected as some of the giants of the movement, this made for a nice enough sendoff for the genre as it made its way into the next decade.