2010's Most Overrated/Disappointing Albums

I did one of these posts back in 2008, but skipped last year for some reason. Not all of these albums are bad per say, some are just weak albums from bands/musicians I usually enjoy. Except that Sleigh Bells album...that one is just bad.

Midlake - The Courage Of Others

I absolutely adore Midlake's second album, 2006's The Trials Of Van Occupanther. The placement of Midlake's most recent effort on this list is mostly due to how much I loved the last one. There isn't anything wrong with this album and, in fact, the tone is very similar to Van Occupanther, but this album just bored me. There are two or three stand out tracks, but the rest of the album is unfortunately very forgettable.

Sleigh Bells - Treats

The debut album from the duo of Sleigh Bells gets it's placement here because it got a ton of praise from all over the place and I really don't get it. I tried listening to this album the whole way through on multiple occasions and just ended up with a headache. I'm sure there is someone out there that loves this album and I'm sure they can find something on my best of list that doesn't suit their tastes as well, so to each his own. Personally I think that The Go! Team pulls off this sound so much better than Sleigh Bells ever could.

Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now

There might not be a more misleading title of any album released in 2010. As someone who really enjoyed Jenny Lewis' work with Rilo Kiley and loved her first solo album, I'm starting to worry. Pair this utter disappointment with a lackluster second solo album and it's starting to seem that Lewis might be losing steam. I can't lie, I'll still go see her play live whenever she comes through town but giving my time to another effort from her might not be in the cards.

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

Like the Midlake album, Sufjan's recent effort isn't a bad album at all, but it's not up to the quality of his three full length albums before it. Stevens said recently in concert that he quit writing songs and is now working more with sounds and sonic textures. It certainty is clear here that songwriting wasn't the main focus at all. So much of this album seems unfocused and half baked. I'm not against any band changing up their sound, but this album just never clicked for me at all.

The Whigs - In The Dark

Athens, Georgia trio The Whigs were set to inherit the pure rock and roll throne that The Hold Steady and Drive-By Truckers have partially abandoned in the last few years. Instead, after hearing In The Dark, it seems they are now going down the path of a band like Kings Of Leon. I can't fault a band for cleaning up their sound and trying to make it more radio friendly, but In The Dark is just horrible.



Poindexter said...

After heartily reviewing both your "best of" & "disappointing" albums lists, I was wondering what your stance was on the following....
American Slang-The Gaslight Anthem
Shame, Shame-Dr. Dog
Are the Roaring Night-The Besnard Lakes
The Monitor-Titus Andronicus
Just to name a few?
How about Snakes For the Divine by High On Fire? That album OWNED!!!

Matt said...

Wow, I completely forgot to include Titus Andronicus on my top albums list. I loved The Monitor and it would definitely be in my top 25.

I thought American Slang and Shame, Shame were both just okay albums...didn't love either.

The Besnard Lakes and High On Fire albums would have been in the top 60 if I expanded it by 10 albums.

I didn't dig Transference at all. Probably my least favorite Spoon album. Spoon and a few other bands I usually love (The Hold Steady, Hot Chip, Massive Attack, Belle & Sebastian) all put out lackluster albums in my opinion.

Tyrannosaurus Records said...

I completely agree with your motto here of "To each his own". And you even said that you're sure there are people out there who love Sleigh Bells...I am one of them. I won't try to get you to listen to it again, but I have to say this was definitely in my Top 20 this year, maybe my Top 10--hands-down my favorite summertime release of 2010.
I was surprised by that, because usually I will use overhyping as a reason to never give a band a chance. But this album is so full of sneering, raucous energy that it was impossible to resist. I think The Go! Team channels something much more retro and community-driven than SB, who are a little more like Crystal Castles working up Def Leppard riffs and East Coast hip-hop with Chyna Phillips on vocals.
All I'm saying is: headache, maybe--fun as hell, definitely. IMHO.

Bang Potential said...

Nothing occupies the no man's land between interesting and fun better the Sleigh Bells album. It does nothing for me.

I though Adz was clicking, but when I came back a week later it seemed so empty and never recovered.

Go Team's next release is one of my most anticipated of 2011.