Associated Artists: Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Paramore
Signature Sound: A full-band attack loud, clean, resounding, and dramatic enough to fill your average arena, stadium or coliseum, and to make rock music still sound as big as rock music used to actually be.
Defining Work: Green Day’s American Idiot and My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade, two of just a handful of total 21st-century alternative LPs legitimately sized to prime Pink Floyd or The Who proportions in terms of sound, stakes, and commercial reception.
Hidden Gem: “Music Again,” the stomping glam-pop opener to Adam Lambert’s 2009 debut album For Your Entertainment, penned by Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins, which should’ve been as big a hit as anything the classic rock revivalist wrote for his original band. — A.U.
19. Dr. Dre
Associated Artists: Eminem, 50 Cent, Eve
Signature Sound: Beginning at the end of the 20th century, Dre moved on from the warm soul samples and piercing synths of his ’90s-defining G-Funk sound for a sound that was more clipped, more tense and more nocturnal, with minimalist staccato hooks and drums that suggested fewer hands in the air and more hands locked on the steering wheel.
Defining Work: 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” produced alongside fellow West Coast icon DJ Quick and longtime right hand man Mike Elizondo — which rode a bellowing faux-string hook that makes more use of the space in between notes than in its own simplistic melody, but still sounded mighty enough to feel like 50’s very own superhero theme music.