2008-12-21

Most Disappointing Albums of 2008

I know I don’t take the time to post much here, but I will take the time to post the obligatory best of” list. that will come soon, but tonight i’d like to take a look at the albums I was most disappointed by this year, in no particular order.

Way To Normal // Ben Folds

For most of his career, Ben Folds has made a living from being a snarky little snot. this played well early on; I still love his old stuff, even though Tyler may not. on Songs For Silverman, though, Ben started showing signs of a maturing songwriter. The arrangements were more thought out, more musical, and restrained when they needed to be. The songwriting itself took on a more meaningful air, with songs like Jesusland” and Landed.” With 2008′s Way To Normal, though, it seems Mr. Folds has had enough of being 40 - he’d like to go back to 15. Yet, while these songs don’t ring as true as the old ones. there are a couple I enjoy, like Effington” and You Don’t Know Me.” but Bitch Went Nuts” and Brainwashed” just aren’t really what I expected or was wanting after the triumph that was Silverman.

Loyalty to Loyalty // Cold War Kids

Robbers & Cowards has been one of my favorite records for a while. I love how it seems like it’s about to fall apart into a big mess at any moment, how the band moves and sways haphazardly in and out of time and synch with each other, yet always manages to make a great tune. On this one, the immediacy is gone, and lyrics are too preachy. If I want an artist to tell me what we should and shouldn’t be doing, I’ll listen. But, unfortunately for cold war kids, I answer to someone a little higher than them. 

The Odd Couple // Gnarls Barkley

This one will probably be on everyone’s list that makes this kind of list, and with good reason. Odd Couple just does not compare with their debut, St. Elsewhere. Admittedly, it would have to be a pretty damn good record to compare with that one, but it’s the same people that made it, no? Gnarls Barkley is one of those neat little collabos that probably should have stopped at one, like The Postal Service (maybe?). In the meantime, Cee-Lo can go back to wearing wedding dresses, and Danger Mouse can keep on producing quality albums of bands that he is not in.

Chinese Democracy // Guns And Roses

Ok, so maybe not. Not that it’s not disappointing, but that my expectations weren’t really that high. But come on, 14 years to make? It sounds like Axl stopped working on it in 1996. That is disappointing. 

Tennessee Pusher // Old Crow Medicine Show

Up until this album, OCMS was everyone’s favorite outlaw bluegrass band, sort of the bandits of Appalachia. With this album, it seems they’ve moved up a little too far in the world. Where are the ramblin’, rowdy songs about cocaine? The great sweet songs like Wagon Wheel?” Not on this one.

I’m sure there are more disappointing albums out there, and you are free to share them. These are just the ones I listened to and immediately felt bummed about it. The best are coming soon.


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