150. Mogwai – Young Team [1997]

Mogwai’s version of post-rock would drift and explode unlike their contemporaries who would gradually reach their peaks and valleys.


149. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call [1997]

Among Nick Cave’s vast and flawless discography, no other album is as direct and accessible (lyrically and sonically) as The Boatman’s Call.


148. OutKast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik [1994]

The greatest hip-hop duo play it relatively straight here at 18 years old and merely announce the arrival of southern hip-hop, neo-soul, and hint at the most ebullient mix of abstract and mainstream hip-hop to date.


147. Angelo Badalamenti – Soundtrack from Twin Peaks [1990]

Badalamenti’s mix of jazz, soap opera sounds, and windy ambience combines for an eerie dread that is inseparable from the show’s greatness.


146. The Beta Band – The Three E.P.s [1998]

For their first three E.P.s, the Beta Band’s version of rock was fused with electronica and never lacked ambition or melodies.


145. Pixies – Trompe le Monde [1991]

The Pixies’ work in the ’90s borders upon being unnecessary listens considering their two ’80s classics, but Trompe le Monde proves they were still vibrant and exhilarating to the bitter end.


144. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – Mecca and the Soul Brother [1992]

On their debut with the all-time classic “They Reminisce Over You,” Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth challenged A Tribe Called Quest for the title of smoothest and most soulful act in hip-hop.


143. Wilco – Being There [1996]

Before Wilco conquered the indie rock world with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, they had to make their alt-country double-album epic Being There.


142. Depeche Mode – Violator [1990]

Violator proved that Depeche Mode’s forbidding aesthetic was shielding a bleeding heart for dance pop.


141. Public Enemy – Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Back [1991]

Public Enemy’s one speed would run out of gas shortly after this last classic that is as much a retread as a forceful reminder of who was still on top.


140. Stereolab – Dots and Loops [1997]

Stereolab sound most sure of themselves here as they hone in on a digitized French pop with immaculate production.


139. Destiny’s Child – The Writing’s on the Wall [1999]

In a decade lacking many great pop albums, Destiny’s Child arrived just in time with a critical and commercial smash that brought Beyoncé to the spotlight.


138. Pulp – This is Hardcore [1998]

This is Hardcore‘s dark and lusty excess proved once and for all that Pulp never quite fit into the limiting role of Britpop savants.


137. Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind [1997]

Bob Dylan’s first great album in over twenty years is so eloquently written and simply played in a naturally-Dylanesque manner that it boggles the mind how he spent so much time goofing off.


136. UGK – Ridin’ Dirty [1996]

UGK brought a west coast shine to the grimy Houston scene that would influence future southern hip-hop stars like T.I. and Three 6 Mafia.


135. Elastica – Elastica [1995]

Elastica’s greatness was updating “Wire-y” art punk for a music environment more accepting of women in rock and for bringing an intense efficiency to Britpop.


134. Mary J. Blige – My Life [1994]

My Life utilizes samples from soul legends across the board and is the peak of Mary’s great run in the ’90s.


133. Fugazi – Repeater [1990]

The simple allure of Fugazi – which is apparent on this official debut – is that few bands play so aggressive yet professional while tackling social injustices relentlessly.


132. Massive Attack – Blue Lines [1991]

UK music simply did not sound like this before Blue Lines, where underground rap, electronica, and downtempo reggae came together to make trip hop.


131. Built to Spill – Perfect from Now On [1997]

Perfect from Now On is difficult and stretches each song to its breaking point, but it’s the album you can admire their guitar work the most.


130. De La Soul – Buhloone Mindstate [1993]

The last De La Soul album with Prince Paul finds them resolute in their aversion towards fitting in with a smooth, warm, culturally-lush classic.


129. Björk – Debut [1993]

Debut is an immaculate collection of unwieldy electropop before Bjõrk would truly find her distinct sound.


128. Warren G – Regulate…G Funk Era [1994]

Warren G’s production is rich – even for west coast standards – and is the clearest example of how G-funk could soundtrack r&b just as much as rap.


127. Gang Starr – Hard to Earn [1994]

Gang Starr were the most consistent hip-hop act in the ’90s with their unassuming, no-BS style heard in Hard to Earn, which has their most lasting songs (“Mass Appeal” and “DWYCK”).


126. Black Star – Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star [1998]

Two of alternative hip hop’s greatest rappers only collaborated for this exceptionally-allusive and philosophical classic.


125. Sonic Youth – Goo [1990]

Sonic Youth’s major label debut immediately follows Daydream Nation and trades much of that album’s sprawl for immediacy and social consciousness.


124. Basement Jaxx – Remedy [1999]

Basement Jaxx lack the subtlety of “cooler” electronic acts, but their candy-colored ear for melody made Remedy an instantly-unique classic.


123. Disco Inferno – D.I. Go Pop [1994]

This UK experimental band is a forgotten bellwether of unflinching cacophonies and hellish soundscapes.


122. Janet Jackson – Janet [1993]

Janet is Janet’s immensely-successful attempt to disassociate herself from the Jackson name with a wider sonic palette and a stronger sense of auteurship.


121. Ice Cube – Death Certificate [1991]

Death Certificate juggles the weight only found in few other rap albums including matching Ice Cube’s first album, answering N.W.A.’s disses, and being the voice of anger for the oncoming L.A. riots.


120. Mos Def – Black on Both Sides [1999]

The production is crisp and souful, and Mos Def never seems to break a sweat as he glides through with socially-conscious lyrics.


119. Sade – Love Deluxe [1992]

Love Deluxe may be the purest example of Sade’s airy-yet-filling sophisti-pop, but it undeservingly receives less praise than their ’80s work.


118. PJ Harvey – Is This Desire? [1998]

After the overrated, blunt To Bring You My LoveIs This Desire? incorporates more mellow styles and lets Harvey’s dignified persona do the talking.


117. Underworld – Dubnobasswithmyheadman [1994]

Underworld were the UK’s leaders in progressive house after making a massive transformation from synthpop in the ’80s.


116. Blur – 13 [1999]

13 was the peak of Blur’s second wave where their pop rock was emboldened by a anything-goes attitude.


115. Mobb Deep – Hell on Earth [1996]

Hell on Earth hits the same highs as The Infamous and proved that the east coast’s leaders in hardcore hip hop were not a fluke.


114. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Forever [1997]

The group already sounds splintered in this bloated sophomore album, but it still has some of the greatest rappers in the world at their peak trading verses over classic RZA production.


113. Ride – Nowhere [1990]

When people think of shoegaze, Ride’s British droll on top of searing, chiming guitars may be the perfect encapsulation of its sound.


112. The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness [1995]

Mellon Collie… was the excellent double-album outlet for Corgan, who was driven by ego as much as being in a league of his own in alt-rock.


111. Palace Music – Viva Last Blues [1995]

Will Oldham’s tenuous voice was the distinct sound of indie folk in the ’90s.


110. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version [1995]

ODB was the unlikely pick to release the first classic solo Wu-Tang album, but nobody in rap was a bigger character who packed so much energy in every word.


109. Boredoms – Super æ [1998]

Experimental rock in the ’90s was perfected by Boredoms, who brought a unique intensity never before seen starting with Super æ.


108. The Orb – The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld [1991]

With their massive breakthrough, the Orb brought a galactic and ethereal significance to ambient house at the turn of the ’90s.


107. Fiona Apple – Tidal [1996]

Fiona Apple’s world-weariness and furor on Tidal (released when she was just 18) would not have as much impact without her exceptional piano arrangements.


106. Belle and Sebastian – Tigermilk [1996]

Tigermilk is often dismissed as a demo where Murdoch was still figuring it all out, but everything great about Belle and Sebastian’s legendary chamber pop is here.


105. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – F# A# ∞ [1997]

GY!BE uncovered an eerie and daunting atmosphere from mixing orchestra arrangements and post-rock magnitude on this debut that would last through their career.


104. Silver Jews – American Water [1998]

Berman’s poetic lyrics and hilariously-drab vocals made Silver Jews a humble benchmark for late-’90s indie rock.


103. Fugees – The Score [1996]

The Fugees found their sound with Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean exploring their distinct talents as both singers and rappers.


102. Oval – 94diskont [1995]

94diskont was the first glitch ambient classic, bringing a serene, tonally-enveloping warmth to IDM.


101. The Roots – Things Fall Apart [1999]

Things Fall Apart is the culmination of alternative hip hop’s mission in the ’90s: organic instrumentation, social consciousness, and impeccable album flow.