Every band that reaches the top of the mountain usually has that one album where everything changed. Even if it didn’t have the most friendly songs or the most in depth comment on humanity, every one of these records signaled a turning point for the band in question, sending them on their journey to become something bigger than just a couple of people playing instruments together. Fans might like to use these albums as a sort of calling card, but there are just as many phenomenal albums that tend to slip through the cracks as well.
Alongside all of those phenomenal albums, these are the diamonds in the rough of the band’s back catalog, ones that kind of get lost in the shuffle when people talk about the greatest music they would ever make. Granted, not all of these albums are produced to an absolute sheen and some of them might not even be close to the greatest thing that the band in question has ever done. What it does have though is a unique personality, and that’s something that takes most artists years to achieve.
Whether it came before or after the big bucks started rolling in, these are the kind of dark horse albums that stand out from the pack, turning the band’s usual sound on its head and making something that fans would have never known they wanted. They might not be the center of attention, but if these guys soldiered on for just a little longer, we might be talking about these records in much more glowing terms today.
10. Maladroit - Weezer
Weezer has always had a bit of an awkward relationship with their entire fanbase. Ever since the massive disappointment of Pinkerton, Rivers Cuomo has spent most of that time trying to run as far away from that sound as he possibly can, even though the fans have come around on it as one of the band’s best albums. There was a moment where Rivers actually decided to listen to the fans though, and if the result was Maladroit, he probably should listen to them more often.
While the Green Album may have been a good excuse to get Weezer back to the pop rockers they were in the beginning, this is where they start to take some chances again, making for some of the heaviest and most experimental songs in the band’s history. There are still some great singles to be sure like Dope Nose and Keep Fishin, but the best parts of this album are where the band decide to go outside of their comfort zone, going into full on heavy metal and punk territory on songs like Slob and even going atmospheric on Death and Destruction and downright funky on Burndt Jamb.
That didn’t necessarily translate to record sales though, and the rest of the next few albums saw Rivers trying to capture the same kind of success he had back in the day with the Blue Album, and failing almost every single time on singles like Beverly Hills and Can’t Stop Partying. It might not have sold as well, but if Weezer decided to follow the example they were doing here, we may have been looking at one of the more interesting careers in rock music.