Friday, December 3, 2010

Top 10 Most Overrated Albums of 2010

Like every other year, there are some albums that got universal praise seemingly long before even being released or for some sentimental reason. This list is for only those albums that are not on my top 30 of the best albums of the year but seemingly popped up everywhere else. So, Laurie Andersons’ Homeland isn’t here because, though critics descended upon it like a holy text to be revered---it has been totally been forgotten on their year-end lists. Yes, that’s how vicious and absentminded their hypocrisy can be. Here we go:

1. This is Happening (LCD Soundsystem): even before release, one could sense critics lining up to crown this year-end winner. I had no expectations but its ordinary dance tracks seem cartoonish and I don’t mean that in a nice way. It must have hurt critics too though they won’t ever admit it but the fact that most lists have placed this ridiculous record outside of top 20 range speaks volumes.

2. Swim (Caribou): a huge disappointment given how brilliant his previous album was (Andorra). The lead track, Odessa was cool enough but from their Dan Snaith tuned me out with his non-commitment to lyrics.

3. Plastic Beach (Gorillaz): I love me some Gorillaz but the second half of this album dragged on for ever and left us with an unbalancing act that Damion Albarn just doesn’t pull off convincingly.

4. Treats (Sleigh Bells): by mid-way I tired of their noise and wanted actual, real songs besides the brilliant ‘Infinity Guitars’. The hypocritical view of most critics was that though they’re signed to M.I.A’s label and she tried her hand at the same stuff with her album, she got slammed while they got all praise. Something isn’t balanced there.

5. How I got Over (The Roots): or, how I continue to do the same stuff year-in, year-out but get praised for it always.

6. Crazy for You (Best Coast): it’s retro surf-rock done with female vocals basically and that’s all. And no, I don’t want to head out to the beach with it.

7. Sisterworld (Liars): this edged out of the gates early but has remained there because the low spectral quality was obvious.

8. Crystal Castles (Crystal Castles): I loved their debut but this new opus just lacked any oomph or memorable lyrics pared with production value.

9. The Monitor (Titus Andronicus): maybe it was the super serious intent that swayed critics that this was Very Important material but I can’t remember one memorable hook. It’s not awful but it is forgettable.

10. Brothers (The Black Keys): a very fine duo but even with some fine moments, at what point will their garage rock expand?


Anonymous said...

Some good critique here, but hard to buy your critical perspective when you called Ratatouille the best film of the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

It's one of the best, not the best. Personally, I'd go with Crouching Tiger or No Country for Old Man.

Anonymous said...

A solid critique, and I agree with you on most all counts. I beg to differ on the new Black Keys, as I feel their last two albums have shown a significant shift from their traditional raw duo sound (they even toured with a small band this time around). And as much as The Roots new CD is overrated, their collaboration w/ John Legend was even more disappointing and is at the top of my "failed to meet the hype" list. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

The Black Keys just missed making my top 30 best cd list so I do like the album. I see your point and its very valid. I could have picked another band but wish they'd experiment more with different sounds. I agree with ur view on The Roots and John Legend: both have been coasting on the same boring vibe for years now while critics eat it up everytime.

Anonymous said...

The black keys need more bass. some feel...its missing something. and this sound is ultra trendy now. this whole silverlake thing has become dull and we're (los angelean) like san fransisco now. ;) Love me some retro sound love tremelo, wah-wah, reverb etc. but the drummer seems ultra stiff. no flow. again needs bass! im a drummer btw not slappean de beeaass man. also every time i turn on the radio, lonely boy is on.... killed. eh but i guess its better than hearing that gyote crap over and over. I have an ipod btw but enjoy listening to classic rock on the way to work. i feel like im at a pool drinking beer on my day off.