Originally created 01/01/02

Small acts produced big sounds in 2001

This past year will be remembered as a great year for mainstream music. Big-name artists such as Creed, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias and No Doubt all released new albums to much fanfare - while artists who don't embrace pop music, score lucrative deals with MTV or make "surprise" visits on TRL went largely ignored.

That's why I took the time to compile a list of the best albums of 2001 you probably haven't heard - but should.

10. Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World - Although a little soft, Jimmy Eat World's sound epitomizes the post-skate-punk new-wave style. The video to The Middle didn't hurt, either.

9. Oracle by Kittie - Four words: all-girl goth rock.

8. Scars by Soil - Soil debuts with this album, featuring a very earthy, heavy-metal sort of rock. With raging vocals and a highly original sound, Soil should go far in the music business.

7. United by Fate by Rival Schools - Also making their debut this year, Rival Schools shows on United by Fate what could be achieved if Blink-182 would be a little more serious and a little less annoying.

6. Through the Eyes by Flaw - Flaw breaks through with a dark and ominous album. If you think of Slipknot's heavy thrashing combined with Creed's religious messages, you should get a good feel for Flaw's sound.

5. Stabbing Westward by Stabbing Westward - In its self-titled fourth album, Stabbing Westward takes indie industrial rock to the next level. Incubus wishes it was half this good.

4. Underneath the Surface by Prime Sth - Another debut on the countdown, Prime Sth does an excellent job of cranking out an all too rarely achieved concept known as good music with good vocals. Prime Sth has a permanent ticket on the good ship Indie Rock.

3. Okeeblow by Scapegoat Wax - Debut albums seem to be a trend on this countdown. Scapegoat's mellow sound and lighthearted lyrics make them one of my favorite bands. The video to Aisle 10, (Hello Allison) contains the most creative uses of cucumbers I have ever seen.

2. Start Traffic by Sugarcult - Skate-punk at its best, Start Traffic strikes a perfect balance between vocals, drums and guitar. It would be no surprise to see Sugarcult become even bigger than Blink-182.

1. The Apex Theory by the Apex Theory - The Apex Theory took a creative approach to its debut and released a self-titled, five-song EP rather than a full-length album to generate more buzz. Apex Theory incorporates styles of Mediterranean and Greek music into its own distinctive, alliterative sound.

Teen board member Jay James, 17, is a senior at Hephzibah High School.


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