A lot of new music came out this year so I thought I’d list my favourite and most disappointing albums of the year. So let’s get the bad out of the way first. Keep in mind, in most cases I do like some of the songs but overall the album isn’t great and/or it doesn’t really stand up to a bands previous work.
Cults – Static
While Cults’ sophomore album gave a few good singles like “High Road” and “I Can Hardly Make You Mine”, the album just didn’t feel as cohesive as their debut and it’s singles just didn’t have the sticking power to carry the whole album.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
While the initial single “Sacrilege” had hopes high and songs like “Despair” promised at least a continuation of It’s Blitz style songs instead of a return to their punk beginnings like most fans hoped for, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ latest album just didn’t really work. While live these songs come off as intriguing and good breaks between their fast and hard songs, on record most of the material is either too weird (Dr Octagon track??) or just a little dull over time (Always). Not a bad album just a little weak on the energy you’d expect from a YYY’s album.
Haim – Days Are Gone
Sister trio Haim had released three singles throughout the year and each one had listeners more interested in their rock pop sound. But when their album came out it just didn’t really do much, sounding fairly similar and boring unlike their intriguing singles. The strangest choice was to change their song “The Wire” from a more standard indie sound to a weird overprocessed and Shania Twain like song. Very much a buy the singles, skip the album deal.
The Strokes – Comedown Machine
Now I have to say I actually think Comedown Machine is a decent album, but coming off of Angles’ varied songs that all sound unique and interesting, this album just all sounded a little turned down. Nothing really had it’s own sound and I did find some songs weird and boring. The albums saving grace are Julian Casablancas’ vocals and the bands weird riffs.
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Geez, what can I say. After the amazing Up From Below whose whole album was just amazing mix of sounds, group jamming and just great writing, we got Here, a completely different album that felt like a folk album rather than the film score sound of their debut. Now their self-titled third album (can you even do that) just feels like more of that with maybe a little more effort. If they hadn’t had the pretext of their first album they might have more traction as a folk band (as their live shows display).
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Once again, a good sounding album, and all in all very cohesive. I guess despite the funk and soul vibe of most of it, there is just no driving sound on the album and it makes it really hard to listen to it a lot. Nothing pops, but songs like “Instant Crush” and “Touch” hit their grooves and really work.
KT Tunstall – Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon
Not many people probably even remember KT Tunstall if they even know her from “Suddenly I See” but I found her first and third albums really inspiring and just great singer/songwriter type music. But her fourth album is just a little boring, not doing much new and not soulful or as variety filled as her debut.
David Bowie – The Next Day
I’m a huge Bowie fan, his music is some of my favourite strange stuff to listen to. But this album just kept jumping between boring, weird, and generic. I listened a few times but just couldn’t find a single track that held my attention