The Best Post-Punk Albums of the 21st Century

by Tim Sentz
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Ah, post-punk. That short-lived genre from the 70s/80s, originally dismissed because of how narrow it seemed at the time, eventually expanded to include so many other genres. Today it blankets just about any album or artist who does things differently and utilizes gothic elements. Today's standards are far more relaxed, whereas back in the early stages it was summed up with just Joy Division, Public Image Ltd, Television, Magazine, Siouxsie, Gang of Four, Swell Maps, and so on and so forth.

It's not the same today, as evidenced by what's included here. Some of the following aren't just straight forward post-punk, because of how loose the term has become. Instead, there's dabbles of mainstream music here because at one point it was all the rage to have a "post-punk revival" band. Nevertheless, these range from being completely steeped in post-punk, to having only a toe in the pool. As always, when making a best of list, one must consider the impact of the album, so some of these might appear to be smaller in contribution to the actual genre, but larger on the scale of what they began.

To cover the whole decade, we opted to limit one album per artist to make room for additional contributors who aren't as well known. Some of the below artists like Women, Liars, Preoccupations, etc. have made multiple worthy albums and we encourage you to explore those as well. Click an album below to read a review

Comments (4)

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Quite a lot of albums here I'm unfamiliar with. Lots to discover. So much great music being released.

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Growing up in the 80's, anything they didn't play on Top 40 radio or was not on a major label was "Alternative" or "Post Punk". Especially, if a band hailed from the UK. "Post Punk" seems so nebulous and subjective, really. For me it does...

Growing up in the 80's, anything they didn't play on Top 40 radio or was not on a major label was "Alternative" or "Post Punk". Especially, if a band hailed from the UK. "Post Punk" seems so nebulous and subjective, really. For me it does actually mean late 70's early 80's bands from the UK. But you could toss in stuff like REM and Replacements I suppose. But a lot of great stuff to check out and some really interesting choices like Cave's No More Shall We Part. I love that album but its never been fan or critical fave.

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Just the one album from The Fall! No Chk Chk Chk !!!

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It's one album per artist, 100 artists. I agree I'd have !!! in there but it's impossible to cover 20 years in 100 albums. Part 2 will follow in a few weeks.

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