Monday, December 8, 2008

LUMPS OF COAL: Some Of The Worst Records of 2008


Remember William Hung? Well, his 2004 Christmas release "Hung For The Holidays" made many "worst album" lists. I don't really understand that. Isn't that the same as picking up a pile of dog crap in the street and joyfully exclaiming "Phew! Look what I almost stepped in?" If you expect nothing, you can't be disappointed in nothing.

David Bowie's 1987 release "Never Let Me Down," received 3 stars from Rolling Stone magazine upon its release, and the All Music Guide politely refers to it as "interesting." I expect great things from David Bowie, not a record filled with hokey narration, cheesy production and a duet with Mickey Rourke. I think it's Bowie at his worst.

That said, here is long time record guy and personal friend of mine, Mark Levine, offering up his "Worst Records Of 2008," along with some brief and mildly scathing commentary as we continue the year-end collection of lists, on our way to my Best of 2008. Burning Wood will intermittently offer up best and worst lists from our readers (if you've got one, get it to me) to help guide you through your last minute Christmas purchases and illegal downloads.

WORST RECORDS OF 2008

Submitted by Mark Levine

VAMPIRE WEEKEND- VAMPIRE WEEKEND

This over-hyped, tuneless. pretentious, genre defying crap is painfully bad, yet everyone seems to love it. They are the new Shins.

THE GUTTER TWINS- SATURNALIA

I was excited about this. I love Greg Dulli and his band The Afghan Whigs, but his collaboration with Mark Lanegan is really tough to listen to. Not a song here.

JACKSON BROWNE- TIME THE CONQUEROR

Another record I was excited about, but it's just SO boring. I defy you to listen all the way through and then distinguish between the songs. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

QUEEN & PAUL RODGERS- THE COSMOS ROCKS

Individually, I'm sure these guys are capable of better than this. There's no cohesion at all. Instead of trying to create new music, they meet in the middle and basically sound like bad Bad Company.

KINGS OF LEON-ONLY BY THE NIGHT

More terrible rock from the most overrated band this century. Seriously bad stuff. As bad as the last record. No songs, and tired ripped off riffs. See them perform live at "sold out?" Madison Square Garden.

HOLD STEADY- STAY POSITIVE

As hard as I try, I can't understand the fascination with this band. Over-the-top, spastic-nerd-Bruce-wannabe frontman, "singing" a few decent sounding songs. Again, the crowd falls for it.

TV ON THE RADIO- DEAR SCIENCE

Admittedly this is better than I expected, but that's just because I hated their last record so much. Again, not worthy of the hype.

MY MORNING JACKET- EVIL URGES

There is nothing here. But they're playing the Garden on New Years Eve, so what do I know.

THE KILLERS- DAY & AGE

I really want to like them, but every record just disappoints me. Big production can't hide that it just seems kinda empty. They're playing the Garden too. Unreal.

MADONNA- HARD CANDY

I hate her, and now everyone else does, too. I love being a trendsetter. Hopefully her next release will be about her chicken arms and man hands.



EDITOR'S NOTE:

I liked the Jackson Browne record, was disappointed with the tuneless Gutter Twins, and totally agree with Mark's assessment of the Kings Of Leon. But for me, the most overrated band in recent years has to be The Hold Steady. People, who for years refused to listen to the E-Street Band, have embraced this third-rate rock and roll band that has been making a living ripping off the E-Street Band catalogue. Bring back John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band. I posted a Hold Steady video below. What do you think?



video

4 comments:

Ken D said...

OK, maybe The Hold Steady aren't the second coming, but I think they're pretty good. (Although no one would be convinced by that lifeless video.) The "Most Overrated"? Well, isn't everything nowadays way over-praised or over-slammed? No critic/reviewer/blogger/fangusher is going to get much attention by just saying "eh."

I wouldn't put much stock in the opinion of anyone who refuses to listen to the E-Street Band... isn't that more about appearing cool than listening to music?

As far as Mark L's list, the only one of those I heard was the Kings of Leon... and I thought "eh, no big deal." Which is why, I guess, I'm not a critic.

Sal Nunziato said...

Yes, everything is indeed "over-praised," but that shouldn't be a reason to not call people on it.

I knew someone who never liked Bruce Springsteen, and this is the reason he gave--at least once a week, mind you--"I don't live in Jersey. I don't have a car. I never worked in a factory. I don't know anyone in prison." Such a fool.

Ken D said...

This Springsteen hater... using that kind of logic, who DID he like?

Sal Nunziato said...

He was one of those out of control Beatles fanatics who would rather listen to bootlegs of "Beaucoups Of Blues Monitor Mixes" than anything else, with the exception of "Tumbleweed Connection."