So I think for this post we'll have to go all the way back to the late '90s. The subject of this time journey; Savage Garden, an incredible pop rock duo rising from the dusty land of Australia. Comprised of Darren Hayes (vocals) and Daniel Jones (keyboards and guitar), this pop rock duo was in their heyday an international phenomenon. Now I'm usually not one to parade myself as a pop fan, because, well, most pop today is crap. Example(s): Brittany Spears, Rhianna, Justin Timberlake... But what sets these guys apart is not only Hayes' smooth throaty vocals, but Jones' remarkable guitar riffs. Really, this guy can play as well as any hard rocker.
Now just because the Garden broke up in 2001, that doesn't detract from their amazing and innovative sound, and certainly not from their self-titled debut album, which, by the way, was a smash success. Savage Garden has so many hit songs on it, it's almost like it's a compilation album of their best work! Now most everyone with 5 brain cells will know Savage Garden at least for their ballad "Truly Madly Deeply," but there are so many other amazing songs on that record. "To the Moon & Back" has not only amazingly creative writing and imagery, but Hayes particularly nails the vocals on this one. Then there's "I Want You," with an awesome catchy keyboard progression, and one of my personal favorites, "Break Me Shake Me," with an INCREDIBLE bass line and a guitar section that just gets to you.
Now Savage Garden released only one more album together before breaking up, 1999's Affirmation, but still their debut album is my favorite. Yes these guys are pop rock, but their pop is not like anything I've ever heard. It just has this sound that the Jonas Brothers and Katy Perry can't find, because if they could, they wouldn't sound nearly as cookie-cutter as they do. I highly suggest checking out this album. It will completely mind-fuck you, and whatever you thought about what pop rock was, or could be.
Key Tracks from Savage Garden: "To the Moon & Back," "I Want You," "Truly Madly Deeply," "Break Me Shake Me," "Tears of Pearls," "Violet," "A Thousand Words"
Check out Savage Garden at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage_garden#Savage_Garden