We’re now around 2/3 of the way through the year twenty oh six (woah!), so it’s about time for me to reevaluate the year’s music releases. I thought about listing my favorite albums thus far, but decided that would be too elitist, so I’ve decided to list my least favorite albums thus far, which is possibly even more elitist. Personally, I believe that you learn more about a person’s tastes by hearing them describe what they hate, rather than what they love. Whether or not you’ll use this list to gain any psychological insights into my mind remains to be seen, and remains to be slightly creepy as well. But at least I hope you’ll find this list entertaining, enraging, or simply enchanting, like Disneyworld or something.
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear is On Our Side
Their self-titled debut EP had a really unique and addicting sound that I loved almost as much as their incredible band name. So I was really disappointed by their debut LP, which is filled entirely with boring alterna-rock rather than the hip indie rock I was expecting. Seems like they’ve been listening to a lot more Foo Fighters than Interpol lately. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the Foos were my favorite band in middle school (haha, more incriminating ammunition for all the playa hataz out there), it’s just that ILYBICD do the post-grunge thing extremely poorly, and they seem so earnest about it too. Truly disappointing.
Aceyalone – Magnificent City (accompanied by RJD2)
Basically what happens on this album is that RJD2 comes in with this ridiculously sick groove that I start bouncin’ to, but then this boring person decides to start talking for some reason, and I begin to fall asleep, only to be roused once more by another ill RJD2 beat. By the way, isn’t it fascinating how the words ‘sick’ and ‘ill’ have become synonyms in a second, entirely different sense from their original intended meanings? Are there any other examples of this in the English language? Absolutely fascinating. At least, more so than this “Aceyalone” punk. Stop talking, plz.
Built to Spill – You in Reverse
So Built to Spill, you guys were quite popular in the 90’s, riding on the success of three of the most critically acclaimed albums in all of indie rock. But you really haven’t changed since then. Ten years ago, this would get a PERFECT TEN BEST NEW MUSIC from the fledgling P4k, but the world has moved on in the past ten years, and nobody cares about this sound anymore. To have any sort of longevity, you’ve gotta learn to evolve, just look at Yo La Tengo, or Tom Waits, or David Bowie. Those guys have managed to stay relevant over careers spanning decades, leaving their poseurs in the proverbial dust, and sadly Built to Spill, you are now caught in said dust. It’s time for you to put out a DFA-produced dance-rock album. Actually, now that I think about it, that’d be pretty sick, or ill as you may or may not like it. Either definition of the words would work, really.
Danielson – Ships
You’ve got to be kidding me. How have hipsters bought into this junk? I just can’t take it seriously at all. The little chorus of kids slays me every time.
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
Another album that the hipsters are going ballistics over, and I don’t understand it at all. So let me get this straight, this teenager plays trumpet over some poorly-written, but dramatically-performed songs, and it’s Album Of The Year? It’s the trumpet, isn’t it. Well, trumpet isn’t as cool as clarinet. If the superior instrument had been used instead, I’d probably like the album. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. So, the album gets killfiled.
Flaming Lips – At War With the Mystics
I’ve been thinking over a Modern Classics review for The Soft Bulletin, and I can sum up my thoughts on it by basically stating that if you stripped away all the lush production, you get a poorly written and aimless album such as this one. Does anyone actually like this album? Anyone? My feeling is that this is the Flaming Lips at their essence; it’s the same album they’ve been making all along, but nobody’s noticed because of all of Fridmann and Drozd’s studio trix.
Grandaddy – Just Like the Fambly Cat
I’m not really sure what I used to see in these guys; at one point they were something like my fourth favorite band. Ever. In all of history. Absolutely unfathomable. This is such an embarrasing record, and a really poor way to ride into the sunset of retirement. Even the title and the cover art are bad. I try not to judge books by their covers, but sometimes those judgements are just absolutely correct. I stood up for Grandaddy when they released Sumday, in fact I still think that’s an underrated album, but there’s no way I’m standing up for this junk.
The Walkmen – A Hundred Miles Off
I’m having trouble thinking of another band experiencing such a catastrophic collapse in quality between albums. Interpol comes to mind, for one. But even Antics has a small handful of entertaining moments; this on the other hand, is just garbage through and through. After hearing songs like ‘The Rat’ or ‘No Christmas While I’m Talking’ coming through the speakers, ‘boring’ would probably be the last word I’d ever assign to this band. How wrong I was. What a disappointment. This is another album I’m having trouble finding any supporters for.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
Okay, I guess here’s another shocking bomb coming after a brilliant album. I like ‘Gold Lion’ on this record, and that’s about it, really. I suppose the mindset of the YYY’s was that the success of ‘Maps’ indicated that they should focus on a softer and more melodic angle to their music. Really though, the only reason we liked ‘Maps’ was because that beautiful jagged mess of an album surrounded it and put it into context. I mean, ‘Maps’ does sort of stand up on its own somewhat, but there’s no way they could’ve penned another ten or twelve songs of Maps-like quality, and they should’ve realized that. I have to say that I’m just not interested in this band anymore, I doubt I’ll check out there next album. Sorry.
Band of Horses – Everything All the Time
Is this not the most boring album of all-time, ever? I really like the first track, but after that it’s a calculated mashup of The Shins and My Morning Jacket. The blandness is just fatal to me, knocks me right out, even better than a tranquilizer.
Well that was fun and depressing, wasn’t it. Feel free to flame me in the comments section, I’ll actually enjoy reading your perspectives on it, seriously. Just try to avoid the caps lock key, or the emo path.
Links, just for you, and No One Else:
- Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame blogs about his hatred of the Cocoa Puffs cuckoo, among other things. If I had a Hall of Fame of my personal heroes, Ken Jennings would likely be a first-ballot induction.
- Excellent interview with John Darnielle of Mountain Goats fame, another likely hall of fame inductee.
- Microsoft unveils their new Windows Vista Soda.
- If you want to reach Customer Service and can’t find the phone number anywhere, try this database.
- This looks like it could either be incredibly fun or paralyzingly terrifying, whereas this similar-looking device looks very handy indeed.
- I hate the world.
- Most ridiculous airport runway in the world, you must check out the photos.
- Make a brand new wallet out of playing cards.
- Good beginner’s intro on how to make a DJ mix for a party, with another good take here.
- Pierce Bush, nephew of W. Bush, is on Facebook, with some obvious implications. Someone at UT-Austin needs to get more lowdown on this situation, it really has tremendous upside potential.
- Good quotes by atheists, worth reading if you sympathize or not.
- New York Times article on the influence of Alchemy on Chemistry. I still maintain that Alchemy would be such a cool class to take in school, you’d just perform sweet reactions without worrying about theoretical yield, refractive index, etcetera.
- The longest-running scientific experiments in the world, including a bell that hasn’t stopped ringing since 1840.