21 Albums That Turn 20 in 2021

Does anyone else ever feel like it was just yesterday they were debating whether or not to rent Jennifer Lopez’s ‘The Wedding Planner’ or ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ from Blockbuster? Yes, 2001 doesn’t seem too far from today but it’s been 20 years since those movies were must-sees, low-rise jeans were all the rage, and Lizzie McGuire was IT. That also means the following albums, yeah – they all turned the big 2-0 this year. So let’s take a look back at some of the biggest releases from 2001 and get all nostalgic about these once upon a time hits. 

‘Take off Your Pants and Jacket’ - Blink-182

If PacSun had a soundtrack, it’d be this record. 

‘Survivor’ - Destiny's Child

We’re putting this here in the hopes that someone from Destiny’s Child sees and is like…you know what? A reunion tour should happen ASAP. 

‘O-Town’ - O-Town

Back in the day, there was one man responsible for churning out lucrative boy bands and that’s the late conman, Lou Pearlman. He not only put together the Backstreet Boys but soon after he saw how much they could make him – he went on to wrangle together N’SYNC. In 2000 ABC gave him a show and allowed him to try again with ‘Making the Band. From that, O-Town and a year later the next crop of cute guys dancing in sync dropped their self-titled debut album. Its lead single, “Liquid Dreams” was probably the worst thing a tween girl could sing about but it was marketable and the boy band went on to have moderate success for a while before Ashley Parker Angel left to do his own thing. The others have tried to keep it going with reunion shows here and there. 

‘Drops of Jupiter’ - Train

There wasn’t a suburban mom alive in 2001 that didn’t get down to Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” It definitely laid the foundation for the next huge mom hit that would be their 2009 single, “Hey, Soul Sister.” 

‘ANThology’ - Alien Ant Farm

Who can forget the rocking version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” from Alien Ant Farm? If I’m being honest…I like their version a lot better than the original. Yeah, I said it! Anyways, Alien Ant Farm dropped a couple more singles from this album but they could never live up to that stellar cover that introduced them to the world. 

‘Scorpion’ - Eve

Eve came from the Ruff Ryders family that gave the world the likes of DMX and Swizz Beatz. The world instantly loved her in 1999 when she dropped her debut, ‘Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady,’ so there was a lot of hype a couple of years later when ‘Scorpion’ came through. She even won the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for her song with No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani for “Let Me Blow Your Mind.” 

‘Rock Steady’ - No Doubt

Hey baby, No Doubt went heavy into the Rastafarian sound with this one. It was a pretty new direction from their earlier stuff, but fans still wanted it. 

‘Gorillaz’ - Gorillaz

MTV still played music videos back in 2001, and one of the weirdest was by the Gorillaz. They were an animated band and being that this was before you could easily Google anything, many were left wondering WTF they were all about. Despite the mystery around them, people really turned out for them and have continued to do so as they released their seventh studio album, ‘Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez,’ in 2020. 

‘All for You’ - Janet Jackson

There aren’t many artists that have been able to maintain their prowess from the early days of MTV through the decades. This means Janet Jackson is in a pretty small group that includes her, her brother, and Madonna. Come the new millennium we were still raging over any and all Janet Jackson had to give – this album included. 

‘All Killer No Filler’ - Sum 41

Sum 41 has released seven studio albums to date, but none have been as impactful as 2001’s ‘All Killer No Filler.’ It was the perfect mix of teen angst, rage, and weird white boy rap that a generation of kids attached themselves to. 

‘Sugar Ray’ - Sugar Ray

Sugar Ray was that band you didn’t necessarily love but you knew every single word of their hits in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, including the ones from their 2001 self-titled album. Side note: if you grew up around that time and you see Sugar Ray is playing a show near you – GO.

‘Celebrity’ - N’SYNC

O-Town wasn’t the only boy band dropping huge albums that year. Oh no, N’SYNC released what would inevitably be their fourth and final studio album together. Of course, we all know JC tried to do his own thing, and Justin successfully did his but yeah…a sea of teens and tweens were left with just this to hold them over the past 20 years. 

‘Glitter’ - Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey spent every year of the ‘90s on top of the charts with a cascade of #1 albums and singles. Then she decided to do something different at the turn of the millennium and get into acting. She eventually bounced back but man, oh man…’Glitter’ was a rough patch in her story. 

‘Toxicity’ - System of a Down

In 2000 there was one band kids who liked rap and kids who liked rock could agree on and that was Linkin Park. A year later, it was System of a Down thanks in part to their intense single, “Chop Suey” from their sophomore release, ‘Toxicity.’ That album pushed them to the MTV audience and sent shockwaves around the world. 20 years later, I still love that song, and well, still don’t really know WTF the lyrics actually are. 

‘Jagged Little Thrill’ - Jagged Edge

Rappers like Ludacris and Nelly were IT in the early ‘00s, so it’s no surprise that Jagged Edge connected with them on their third album, ‘Jagged Little Thrill.’ This one had the clubs on fire thanks to the good time started, “Where the Party At.” 

‘White Blood Cells’ - The White Stripes

Could the confusion over The White Stripes being siblings or married be one of the earliest conspiracy theories of the ‘00s? Rumors about how they were related to one another swirled with every new release, including ‘White Blood Cells.’ 

‘Morning View’ - Incubus

Incubus wasn’t anything new by the time ‘Morning View’ came out. They’d already had three albums to their name, but this was definitely the one that took their videos from playing occasionally on the “rock block” hours to spinning all day long on every network from MTV to Vh1. 

‘Aaliyah’ - Aaliyah

Sadly, this would be Aaliyah’s final studio album as she passed away less than a month later after her plane crashed in the Bahamas. So it’s been not only 20 years since this album came out but 20 years since the world lost one of the R&B greats. 

‘The Blueprint’ - Jay-Z

This one is significant because it dropped on the most infamous date that year, 9/11. 

‘Silver Side Up’ - Nickelback

Nickelback also dropped their first mainstream success on 9/11. Yup, the band we all love to hate for some reason released ‘Silver Side Up’ that day, and since then has been the butt of an endless stream of jokes. Why? I’m not really sure because “How You Remind Me” is a great freaking song. 

‘Room for Squares’ - John Mayer

If you’ve had a guy with a guitar in your dorm try and sing you John Mayer in the past 20 years, you have this album to thank, or not thank – depending on how you view college guys trying to woo people with their guitar skills. 

Written by Kendra Beltran

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