Expectations lead directly to disappointment. And disappointment leads to resentment, and then on to contempt. I had huge hopes for the following albums, but alas, they've all been somewhat of a letdown.
I'm not saying that I resent these bands or hold them in contempt for their last offering, it's just that as a fan of almost all music in general I expect great bands to do great things every time they release an LP.
Plus, I get to be really critical and negative of the following bands instead of heaping sycophantic praise like you've seen on my best of lists. Consider this a "Worst Of 2007 (Honorable Mention) List".
Here's last year's greatest misses:
10. Pinback - The Autumn Of The Seraphs
I hate to knock a band for putting out a decent album, it's just that (again) their previous albums, including the awesome Blue Screen Life and near-classic Summer In Abaddon both show what this band is completely capable of; which is writing wonderful music.
9. The Go! Team - Proof Of Youth
I wish this band was never discovered, because The Go! Team absolutely killed it on their last record, Thunder Lightning Strike. They utilized obscure samples, washed-out, barely recognizable vocals, and a lo-fi garage approach. It was chock full of fun-time party anthems. Here, it's still the same vibe, but way too overproduced, taking away from the urgency and immediacy of their sound.
8. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
I like Wolf Parade and the first Sunset Rubdown album very much, but I think I'm finally sick of Spencer Krug's voice. He's got himself too many side projects, actually, I don't know which band is his main focus. That's why this album has no focus. Possibly.
7. Charlotte Gainsbourg - 555
I listen to a lot of Serge Gainsbourg, her genre-bending, king-of-French-pop father. And she even used French superduo Air to produce and write most of the music, which should've been the formula for a great record. But sadly, it misses the mark entirely. Name recognition and a decent acting career are it for Charlotte, and why isn't that enough?
6. Dntel - Dumb Luck
Jimmy Tamborello, what've you done? I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that you gathered together some of the best and brightest names in the world of indie rock to make this record and the end result is a near-unlistenable album. I hope you and Ben Gibbard are back in the studio making the new Postal Service album, you need only him to make music with from now on.
5. Tegan & Sara - The Con
Dear Quin sisters, I'm sorry. I'll still listen to This Business Of Art & If It Was You, but not The Con...
4. Bishop Allen - The Broken String
No! I really don't want to do this to Bishop Allen, I seriously love Charm School to death, it's one of my favorite albums of the last few years. But guys, seriously, what're you doing? I really, really wanted to like this, no; I wanted to love this album but it's a total miss for me. I'm sorry I didn't like it, but I can't say that I do when I don't. Damn. I wish I could lie to myself like before. Honesty rots...
3. Andrew Bird- Armchair Apocrypha
Bird fans love this album, and I couldn't disagree more. Where The Mysterious Production Of Eggs is a near-modern classic, this is a big step backwards. I've seen this record on many "real" critics' year-end best-of lists, and I can't figure that one out. I really wanted to like this, because I like Andrew's music very much, but after repeated listens it couldn't carry itself into my best-of list.
2. Minus The Bear - Planet Of Ice
Why stop doing what works? Much more subdued, it's as if MTB wanted to put out an entire album of Pachuca Sunrise-type jams. It's too chill and reserved, this band rules when they're killing it at 120 bpms or above. While the production values are quite excellent, it's a big disappointment.
1. Daft Punk - Alive 2007
Making a live album as an electronic act is just a bad idea. After watching about seventeen thousand clips of their shows from this summer on ye olde YouTube, I guess I'm suffering from "had to be there" syndrome. I probably would've had to have a glow stick and some MDMA, too. The rave scene here in the Yay Area is still really strong, I guess nobody out here got the memo that it died on the east coast around '96. But then again, we didn't get the memo from London that the rave scene's really been dead since 1990.
Wait, there's one more! The most disappointing album of 2007 is:
Interpol - Our Love To Admire
One of my favorite bands of the last five years, this was the second most anticipated album of 2007 (after Radiohead's In Rainbows), and I couldn't have been any more pissed at its overwhelming mediocrity. They used a bunch of synth effects here and Sam Fogarino's drumming is better than ever, he's tighter than a space-station air-lock, but alas, it's not a great record. Putting out two back-to-back classics like Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics, poor Interpol's step up to a major label was ill-advised. This is merely a good record, but when your band makes great records, I guess the only way to go is down...
There you go.
I've got five more albums to bash, so I'm calling tomorrow's post "The Five Most Over-Rated Albums of 2007"
Then I'll get back to reviewing some new records for 2008, but so far, the pickings are mighty slim...