The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – White Pony

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

28. Deftones – White Pony

I wrote about this album almost two years ago in great detail, and you can read that here. The previous writing serves as an in-depth review, so today, instead of retreading what I’ve already stated, I’ll give you my personal reflections of the album and why it ranks so high on this list. Granted, that has a lot to do with the fact that it’s the Deftones’ most successful album, a mega-selling, Grammy-winning high point in the band’s illustrious career, released during the nu-metal mainstream peak. But, as with most Deftones material, to compare it to its assumed peers is myopic and just flat-out wrong.

I was anticipating exactly what I got from White Pony, a metal band reveling in the fact that the sound they had helped pioneer was now the toast of the town. It’s always a thrill for me to see a bold, genre-bending band achieve much-deserved success. The Deftones were one of the first I can remember: I witnessed a band I had loved for years prior finally earn major accolades, and it felt (and sounded) oh so good. And though the band has never made a bad album before or after White Pony (especially recently with the excellent Diamond Eyes), this album is considered the mark of Deftones’ glory days, when FM radio airplay still mattered and Ozzfest and Family Values Tours still existed.

Funny that the sound they honed was everywhere in 2000, because by the time the public caught on, the Deftones had moved away.  There’s less screaming, less rapping, more crooning, and more textured ballads here.  The raw sound of previous outings is polished and expertly executed.  These guys, even though they were just now receiving attention, had become elder statesmen at this point.  The precise White Pony only serves to support that argument.

Listen to White Pony on Spotify.

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