Once rock music finally reached the '90s, the tides were shifting rapidly. Instead of the neon colored sounds of the '80s, this is where the rock scene nearly caved in on itself and brought us music that was a lot more organic than it was before. Even with so many different subgenres to choose from, only a select few manage to shine above all the rest.
Despite everything being put into the category of alternative rock, the beauty of each of these records is that none of them sounded like each other. There might be some similarities in aesthetic here and there, but no individual one of these albums is a carbon copy of what came before. These weren't just alternative for the mainstream...they were alternative from each other as well.
That's not to say that the age of irony only pumped out the sound of fuzzy guitars for the better part of a decade. Just a casual look back on the genre shows metal, funk, punk, and even some classic rock coming into its own to remind us how great they were. In the '80s, the rock music almost felt like it was force fed to you. This is the moment where you start to rediscover your spark.
10. Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morrissette
Once the initial spark of alt rock came and went, it started to become a glorious decade for female rock. Along with Courtney Love becoming one of the most controversial stars in the world, people like Bikini Kill were getting namechecked and the dawn of the Lilith Fair Festival was about to come in full force. They just needed that one spark to put it over the top, and a former child star from Canada delivered with Jagged Little Pill.
As opposed to the normal female rockers of back in the day, there was something a lot more raw to Alanis' presentation of songs. For every great hook that came from songs like Ironic or You Learn, there was a lot more nuance in the way she told her stories. Compared to the anger for anger's sake that the boys were making, this was a woman who was trying to dissect her feelings in a more human way on songs like Mary Jane and Perfect.
Even songs like All I Really Want don't really have a set chorus, and yet they sound absolutely spectacular if only for the vibe that they create in your head. Though this might not necessarily be on the riot grrl side of the spectrum, this is the kind of wrecking ball of an album that '90s kids grew up with.