Contrary to popular belief, it is not true either that ‘rock n’roll’ is dead, or that it died and was resurrection as pop/rock/country in Nashville though there is a smidgin of truth to the latter rumor.
Here is a list of five rock and five pop albums that have come out since the 21rst century began in 2001 (yes it began in 2001– with the year ‘1’ being the beginning of any century!). I have deliberately picked albums by bands formed no earlier than the 90s, and hitting their stride in the new century. These albums are listed in no particular order.
1) The Black Keys— El Camino
2) Ryan Adams— (2014 self-titled release)
3) Rival Sons– Pressure and Time (this band is the closest thing to Zepplin out there, especially with that remarkable Robert Plantesque vocalist– check out the song Pressure and Time)
4) Trev Lukather– Trev. This EP is fantastic from start to finish and is most easily found on Itunes, and yes, he is Steve of Toto fame’s son. Like the father he is a terrific guitarist and song writer.
5) John Mayer— Born and Raised (with help from the veteran folk rockers Crosby and Nash, although the album sounds more like Neil Young)
And on the Pop side of the ledger—
1) Taylor Swift– 1989 (artfully cloned and turned into a more rock album with the same title by Ryan Adams, with Taylor’s permission. Turns our, rockified Swift sounds like Springsteen)
2) Fitz and the Tantrums– Out of my League (yes they are retro, but retro of the best sort)
3) Jason Mraz— Love is a Four Letter Word (that boy can really sing— see his performances on the show ‘Live at Daryl’s House’)
4) Johnny Hates Jazz– Magnetized (o.k. this band dissolved in the 80s, but it was completely reformed in 2012 and produced this very singable and danceable pop album. Just terrific).
5) Maroon 5– Song about Jane is a bit better than V, though V has its moments.
Yes, there are many more good albums out there, but these stand out from the last 15 years.