When we're talking about some of the greatest rock music of the '90s, more often than not things are going to circle back around to grunge. Once the alternative scene started to sweep the nation, there were millions of wannabe bands that were breaking out their own fuzzboxes and trying to make something that was a lot more angry than the bright and sunny '80s rock that had come before. There was another side of the coin though, and soft rock was having a bit of a renaissance of its own.
Around the time that grunge was taking over the world, the rest of the rock industry followed suit by taking things down a notch, with artists that were looking to mellow things out a lot more than what you were seeing out of Seattle. This meant the beginnings of what would become known as adult alternative later on as well as bands that were a bit left of the dial gaining some attention.
This wasn't just underground artists getting some time in the spotlight. Across all of these albums, these musicians are songwriters first and foremost, looking to leave an impression on you through their words rather than just blasting you in the face with a loud guitar at every opportunity. This decade was a lot to take in, so it helped to take things down a notch every now and again.
10. Yourself Or Someone Like You - Matchbox 20
As we approached the end of the millennium, we were still dealing with the backwash left over from the glory days of grunge. Even though the genre may have started strong with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana tapping into something a little more primal, you had the seeds of bands like Creed and Nickelback looking to make some of the blandest butt rock imaginable into the next decade. That's not to say that everyone who took cues from Eddie Vedder was wretched or anything.
Going through Matchbox 20's debut record, there are more than a few songs that can hold up as decent post grunge music, taking the same kind of angst you would hear from grunge and sprinkling in the pop smarts of what was happening in the adult alternative scene at the time. As much as Rob Thomas may have sounded like a carbon copy of Eddie Vedder, you wouldn't hear the original yarler on something as pop friendly as 3 AM or Push, along with riffs that seemed like they were pulled from the Counting Crows playbook.
Though Matchbox 20 were going to get a little too overexposed as the decade wore on, this is where you see them at their hungriest, looking to make the best record they can and maybe even have some fun in the process. That trademark yarl vocal style was not going to be leaving any time soon, but for the soft rock crowd, these were the kind of angsty rock sung by guys that you could bring home to meet your parents.