As Neil Young famously sang a couple generations ago, “Rock ‘n’ roll can never die.” With that in mind, we present the Top 10 2021 Albums From Classic Rock’s Next Generation below.
Rock music, like any cultural presence, has inevitably ebbed and flowed over the years, but the current moment appears to be harboring a particularly prolific movement of younger artists making albums that sound at once vaguely familiar and excitingly new.
“I think rock ‘n’ roll is a very elastic genre, it’s a very eclectic genre,” Greta Van Fleet frontman Josh Kiszka told NME. Kiska’s band has frequently been compared with ’70s giants like Led Zeppelin, but the singer sees it more as a reimagining than a direct imitation. “It seems like every once in a while a generation reinterprets what that is. I think rock ‘n’ roll can become dormant, but you can’t kill something that supersedes time. It’s an attitude and a spirit and a celebration. I think people pass the torch, and time moves on.”
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, perhaps contemporary rock’s most prominent link to past eras, thinks similarly. “There’s so many fucking great bands out there that hopefully will start getting more attention, because I think the dial is starting to turn back to guitar-based music. And to me it’s really exciting,” he told Rolling Stone. “When I see the younger artists picking up guitars and turning them up, it shines a little light inside of me.”
Some of the artists in this new generation are truly youngsters — Kiszka, for example, is 25 – while others, like Jason Isbell or Sleater-Kinney, have been making records since the ’90s. Together they all represent a torch-carrying generation of rock ‘n’ roll fans who are making new music to get genuinely excited about.
Top 10 2021 Albums From Classic Rock’s Next Generation
The torch is being passed.