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An Open Letter to the Music Industry: Top 3 Worst Albums of the Decade

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear Music Industry,

I forgive you.

There, I said it. I forgive you for your offenses. I suppose you want an explanation, especially considering both my and Andy’s recent compliments on some of the fine music you’ve provided my ears over the past ten years. But, quite frankly, that barely validates some of the crap you’ve assaulted my ears with. You need a list? Fine, but know this is in no way exhaustive, and in no particular order. You see, I’ve been Music Director for eight months, and, while I’ve been on the forefront of discovering such beauties as Passion Pit’s Manners and Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, I’ve had to slog through some crappy music. So much crap that takes crappiness to such a new level that if I even tried to be exhaustive or create some sort of crap hierarchy, my brain would melt. I’ll be updating this list as I get pissed off, so check back often.

Now, on to some of the biggest offenders of the century.

Brokencyde – I’m Not a Fan… But the Kids Like It

Alright, so at least these guys are honest in their intentions: they announce in their album title that they aren’t into it, but they’re sure as hell going to sell out where they can. Let’s take a brief listen. I’m sorry for doing this to you:

So, right from the start, we get a zither (probably synthesized), followed by the triumvirate of CRAP. We get barely-passable hip-hop and the cutesy going-to-hit-puberty-any-minute male vocalist, but those aren’t the worst offenses. No, if you listen, there’s a guy whose primary job is to scream incoherently (secondary job: looking like the devil-spawn of Steven Tyler and James Iha, tertiary job: singing occasionally to keep his vocal cords from shattering). This crap is atrocious, an atrocity to the point of hilarity. Much of this humour comes from the fact that these guys seem to think repeating “Get Drunk/Get Crunk” for five minutes is worthwhile songwriting. Yeah, John Lennon just rolled over in his friggin’ graves, assholes.

Guns ‘N Roses – Chinese Democracy

So this one is special. We waited for this one for longer than this past decade; hell, the recording of Chinese Democracy started back in the ’90’s, including cameos from seemingly every worthwhile musician on the planet. Hell, Tommy Stinson from The Replacements and Buckethead were both in this band at some point (see Wikipedia for a full list of everyone who contributed to this monstrosity). Note that almost none of these cameos actually made it to the disc. What did make it, though, was this:

I don’t even know what the hell inspired that (I suppose it was a leftover idea from the Buckethead experiment that wasn’t executed appropriately when Axl tried it himself). This crap came from the band that gave us “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle.” Say what you will about it, but those songs are anthems. Those songs rock. This crap doesn’t. Want to know why? It likely sucks because everyone from GnR Classic is no longer in the band. Yep, no Slash, no Duff McKagan, none of them; actually, they’re all in the questionably-good and now dismantled Velvet Revolver. This GnR is slimmed down to just Axl, and let’s just say that this vintage sucks for the band. Fifteen years of festering didn’t do this thing any good.

Weezer – Raditude

What happened to the days when Weezer rocked? There was once a day when this band put out the legendary Blue Album, and even the mighty Pinkerton, but now frontman Rivers Cuomo has a Harvard education and absolutely no remnants of songwriting talent. Back when Rivers was a Dungeons & Dragons-loving teen, he wrote “In the Garage,” and it felt natural. Fourteen years and three uninspired albums later, we get the Red Album, where Cuomo moans about his high school days and how much of a badass he was. It was so forced and calculated that no one expected there to be any echelons left for the band to fall to, then we get this in 2009:

Yes, 2009’s Raditude redefines the Harvard alumnus’s plummet toward relative obscurity and shameless, calculated album sales. Yes, it’s official, Lil Wayne has now appeared on every human being’s record, including the giants that put out “My Name is Jonas.” This album is so bad that I retroactively hate 90’s era Weezer.

I’ll likely add more to this list as I go, but for now I’ll leave it be. Like I said, there’s too much crappy music out there, and I try to repress my memories of it anyway.

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