The 10 Worst Albums of 2012

15 Dec

Yeah, I know, I was supposed to do 5 favorite new artists today.  Have to put a hold on that.  I still haven’t heard Metz’s album, and after today, I just wasn’t in the mood.

This is not the time or place really to acknowledge what happened in Connecticut today in any way, save to say that I’m so very deeply troubled by it all.  My heart is broken in two over this and now I’m just turning to the blog to try and cheer myself up a bit.  I will also share, as I am with everyone, these two organizations that, should you wish to help, are on hand attempting to counsel students, parents and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary after the tragedy that occurred today:

Newtown Youth and Family Services – nonprofit mental health clinic, that will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for emergency counseling for families, community members or staff involved in the Sandy Hook

Newtown Parent Connection – substance abuse, also offers bereavement group counseling for parents

Ok, now let’s get on with ragging on bad albums and all try to smile just a little.

10) Kaiser Chiefs – Start the Revolution Without Me

A revolution against Foxes.

A revolution against Foxes.

First and foremost, I should probably preface all of this as such: I didn’t listen to as many albums this year as in the past.  I heard about 90.  The thing about this year, was that I actually liked the vast majority of albums I heard, and this little LP by The Kaiser Chiefs almost made it into that category of album I liked.

Almost.

There’s just something about how…average…this album is that really stops me from being able to enjoy it.

I probably broke about a million music laws by listening to this album before anything else by the band, but I was bored, it was there, these things happen.

The only good thing I can say about this album, really, is that it reunited me with “Ruby” because I needed to be reminded that they once did something good when it was over.

9) Band of Horses – Mirage Rock

Look at all the garbage everywhere!

Look at all the garbage everywhere!

Pitchfork is having their annual reader’s poll, and inside of it there is the question of what was the most disappointing release of the year.  I had to think about it for a second, and nothing really was coming.  So, I turned to my list to look at what all I had heard this year.

Seeing this album title, it was an instantaneous reaction.

In the last two years, I have begun to fall so in love with this band.  Especially just those 3 or 4 magnum opuses of theirs.  I can’t even listen to “No One’s Gonna Love You” without breaking into a few tears.

BUT NO!  We can’t go down that road of nostalgia-y goodness.  We can’t…because Mirage Rock exists.

Specifically “Dumpster World”.  If there’s one good thing on this album, it’s “Shut-In Tourist”.  Just a really fantastic song.  Almost too fantastic, and it’s like Band of Horses knew this, because they followed it up with “Dumpster World” an ode to the horrors of the modern western world, where we don’t care nothin’ bout garbage and drugs and violence so let’s all just embrace it!

Bust out the drugs
I’m happy livin’ in a dumpster world
Everyone in jail
Yeah, lets get it on

That’s called sarcasm kiddos!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate this album over one song.  It would likely have been in the middle of the pack on mediocre-ness alone, but that one song really just tipped it over the edge into horrible.

8) Four Tet – Pink

This is decidedly blue.I always have to have one controversial pick on here, at least.  I suppose I should not have been surprised by the ambient/electronic band’s newest, but it really was just so ambient and electronic I just couldn’t take it.

Gone were the cutesy little vocals found on Angel Echoes.  Replaced with repetitive beats that, once I loved, now just grate on me to the highest degree.

I wish I had more to say about this, but that’s really why I hated it so much.  I loved those “lyrics” on the last album so much (sure they were barely audible words, but they were there) and on this one, there was barely a single song that possessed any qualities remotely close to on the last.

And to add to all that, I don’t feel like the previous album felt so mindless.  This album just felt like a day of muddling around in the studio and not a final, real product.  So much disappoint.

7) The Fray – Scars and Stories

Stop running all the time, you're never going to get anywhere!

Stop running all the time, you’re never going to get anywhere!

This was supposed to be The World is Getting Colder by Lebanon Hanover, but I don’t even remember this album.  Like, at all.  All year I’ve seen it on my list, and I’m trying to remember what it is, when I heard it, what the circumstances were that led me towards it, one iota of knowledge.  I suppose I could hop on over to Grooveshark and listen to a few samples to get an idea, but “Lovecats” is on!

OK, now it’s over.  Let’s find out what’s going on with The World getting all cold and shiz.

Ha! Actually, I remember this album now that I am hearing it again.  This is one of those situations where an album got screwed over by me not remembering it, so it just fell down week after week.

Now, here’s the thing, this year, I made two separate lists.  One for “Alternative” releases and one for Pop.  I meant to merge these lists at the end of the year, but forgot until just now.  The Fray almost escaped!

This album by The Fray is horrible.  Just horrible.  I listen to their new releases every year for a laugh and maybe one good song, but there was NEITHER this time and I am angry with The Fray for not being my humor fodder for an entire year. Do your job, dammit!

6) The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter

Come, join the cult of The CarpentersI wish I could say that this album was a disappointment, but I saw this coming from a mile away.  I just recently started a new job this year and my boss loves The Avett Brothers.  It was so cool being employed by someone I could talk about music with.  That was why, when I saw they had a new album coming out, I just knew it couldn’t be good.  I knew it would put me in this horrible tight spot where I hated it and she loved it.

Of course.

Because life sucks.

But we carry on.  There will always be I and Love and You to keep us strong and together.

Meanwhile, this album is just cheesy.  Like, The Avett Brothers were all, what’s the lamest thing we could do?  How about a classic folk album written by 5 -year-olds? Ok, sounds good – kind of cheesy.

5) Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

Do YOU know the way to San Jose?

Do YOU know the way to San Jose?

Haha, oh yeah, that’s right, I have an even MORE unpopular opinion on here, but really, who didn’t expect to find this here?

What’s something positive I can say about Swing Lo Magellan?  It’s better than Bitte Orca by a country mile.  It seems like the band almost understand what tempo and coordination are on this one.

Plus, it had three songs on it I legitimately like: “Impregnable Question”, “See What She’s Seeing” and “Offspring are Blank”.  But those were all based on lyrical content for the most part, especially “See What She’s Seeing” than a legitimate love of the music AND lyrics.

Meanwhile, this band continues to give me a headache from the gate and it doesn’t end until 45 minutes and 2 Tylenol later.

Maybe someday I’ll come around, but this cacophonous insanity is just not for me,  for the most part.

4) Lana Del Ray – Born to Die

Why so serious, Lana?

Why so serious, Lana?

The world doesn’t need another Amy Winehouse and if it did, you’re not it.

And stop trying to cash in on all these bonus releases, you want to be Nicki Minaj or something?  It’s been a year, release a new album if you want to release more music. Yes, I know it’s an 8-track EP, but by coupling it with Born to Die she’s just as bad as Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and all those who have cashed in before her.  This is just a general music gripe.  I’m just using Lana Del Rey to take my aggression out on.

Look, world, maybe you are all cool with this gal, that’s fine.  I just am not.  It’s ridiculous.  There’s not one thing on this album I found to be a saving grace. Yep, that’s right, I don’t like a single song on this album.  Not “Blue Jeans”, not, “Video Games”.  I just hear her voice and I instantly feel like it’s so torn out of about 5 different artists and I just can’t understand why I’m supposed to be worshiping the ground she walks upon.  Someone tell me, please.

When it comes right down to it, I’ll be honest with you all: I gave it a 3/5.  My problem isn’t with the music, my problem is with the idea that she’s some savior to music.  This is an album no one should have given the time of day and instead…this.

3) Muse – The 2nd Law

What IS this anyways?  A psychedelic mop?

What IS this anyways? A psychedelic mop?

This shouldn’t even be on here, but I’m doing it.

I didn’t finish this album.

I don’t usually write about an album if I don’t finish it.

But this was so egregious, I’m going to make an exception.

I tried to finish this album, you see.  Several times.  I just….couldn’t.  It’s so bad.

I loved Black Holes and Revelations.  I loved The Resistance.  It would take a lot to turn me off of Muse.  In return for my love and adoration, Muse decided to find out just how far they could go before they pushed me away.  Congratulations or something, Muse.  You succeeded.  I hate you right now, and no amount of “Madness” is going to fix that.

Yes, “Madness” the island of refuge in a sea of Twilight.  I will cling to you always, until we ride out this storm of confusion that is bad Muse.

2) Ringo  – Ringo 2012

You are getting straight up LAZY with your album covers.

You are getting straight up LAZY with your album covers.

Ringo, Ringo, Ringo….what happened?  Yeah, you showed up on this list last time around too, but it wasn’t for any reason besides the fact that your album was hilariously bad.

This time, there was no saving grace of humor.  It’s all bad, and you have disappointed me immensely.  Where is our “Peace Dream” now, Ringo?

We got ourselves a fun old time with “Rock Island Line”, I’ll give you that, an old favorite of mine, but you didn’t write that song.  You re-recorded not one, but two songs on this one, and you also covered Buddy Holly.  That’s 4 unoriginal songs and this is a NINE track album.

For shame.

Though, as I recall now, I remember being incredibly amused by “In Liverpool”:

Me and boys, me and the gang

Living our fantasies

Breaking the rules, acting like fools

That’s how it was for me

How was it for you?

What a cad that Ringo was back in the day.

1) Paul McCartney – Kisses on the Bottom

No, flowers are not going to make this OK.

No, flowers are not going to make this OK.

This year was a test to see which Beatle could release the worst album.  In a contest of mediocrity, Paul McCartney wins.

There was never a chance in hell this album was going to be good.  The world had to have realized that.  Sure, his voice hasn’t sounded this good in years and I’m glad I can sleep at night as Paul serenades me to sleep with my mom’s favorite Lullaby: Inchworm.  But, Paul McCartney recording an album of standards?   And not standards from the 40s or 50s, but the 20s.  It just REEKS of old man.

No. Worse.

It reeks of Rod Stewart.

No one wants to reek of THE STEW.

I’d be going harder on McCartney if it weren’t for the fact that I’m still listening to Lebanon Hanover.  They got a charity gimmee, I’m seeing now.  I left their album on after I wrote that post earlier, and they will wish I had not.  The first track was inoffensive, and then it just turned worse and worse and worse, culminating in the WORST attempt to sound like Joy Division I have ever had to endure.  Why did I listen to this album once, let alone a second time here today.

This is horrible.  It’s bad and Lebanon Hanover should feel bad.  I’m suffering so damn it, you all are going to suffer with me:

You are all going to listen to that.  Do you hear me?  NOW.  Do IT!

There, now, wasn’t that horrible?  You’re welcome.

That about wraps things up here today.  I hope you enjoyed, or hated this list and feel passionately enough about it to comment, but I don’t blame you if you don’t, it’s a horrible list and I feel bad about it.  I’ll do better, I promise.  I’ll do better at picking bad albums.

Tomorrow we’ll make another attempt at favorite new acts.  I also promise that.

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4 Responses to “The 10 Worst Albums of 2012”

  1. SLCPunk 15/12/2012 at 18:10 #

    I’ll agree with you on the Muse album, the rest I haven’t actually paid any attention to. But I’ll also add that I’m a little relieved that none of iUno!, iDos! or iTre! are on here. Hopefully they’re excluded because you didn’t subject yourself to them. I have that looming in my future, which may turn into an entry here as well.

    • bono212 15/12/2012 at 20:18 #

      Of course that’s the reason they are excluded. I haven’t listened to a note of Green Day, save for what I’ve heard on the radio, since 21st Century Breakdown.

  2. Timothy P. Gregor 19/12/2012 at 21:13 #

    There’s a kind of cool bass riff that kicks in about half way through the LEBANON HANOVER track, but everything else about it is just gawd awful. The growly metal vocals during the guitar solo are at least laughable, I guess.

    • bono212 20/12/2012 at 01:17 #

      Is that in response to the one song I posted? Because if you can believe it, the rest of the album is almost as bad. The first track is so promising too. I couldn’t finish it a second time.

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