Monday, December 05, 2005

list season: the most anticiapted, yet underwhelming albums of 2005.

anticipation is a motherfucker. carly simon sang about it [i have her greatest hits cd, don't act like you're too good for carly], and it hasn't gotten much better since then. sometimes, people surpass our expectations, confound them, or totally disappoint us. the following list [in no particular order] are the albums that we were waiting on the edge of our seats for, but were slightly or totally let down by:

franz ferdinand- you can have it so much better... with franz ferdinand:
although the boys took a departure from the exhillarating whimsy of their debut album with the inclusion of two ballads [and arguably two of the best songs in their catalog, "eleanor, put your boots on" and "fade together"], they still had the feeling with energetic and raw songs such as "evil and a heathen" [which i still think they should have kept the title "heathen andy" for, but that's just me]. they also played with tempo a lot the record, with "well, that was easy" [my favorite track on the album, with the classic line: "i used to lock myself in your bathroom/swallowing the codiene kept in your bag"] and "i'm your villian". it's like a girl you used to have a crush on: she's really cute, but there's something about her that doesn't make you want to wake up next to her every morning. maybe a couple times a week, but not every morning. but that's what makes franz ferdinand so appealing. even on a slightly disappointing outing, i'd still rather listen to them than the killers.

weezer- make believe:
unanimously named as the most abysmal record of their career, rivers' songwriting well has run dry. most of this stuff is alt-fluff, but mr. cuomo does let his talent shine through on the last track: a piano ballad called "haunt you every day". "we are all on drugs" is a song that would fit well on the slightly less-disappointing green album, but "beverly hills" is utter shit, and the rest of the songs on this album are forgettable at their top-dollar best.

coldplay- x & y:
when this first came out, my best friend tiffany called this "the best album ever". she also likes john mayer, so i've known not to take her word for things. i downloaded the album, thought it was pretty good, and decided to buy it [on an impulse buy at starbucks of all places]. then, i listened to it, and the flaws came out. it's not that coldplay is a bad band; they're just undeniably boring. there's no tension or edge on any coldplay album, so you should take it at face value: good music to put on while having sex with white girls. there are some good coldplay moments, though: "fix you", "the hardest part", and the chorus of "what if" would have fit perfectly on parachutes, and if they were included, it would have been my favorite coldplay album for more reasons than right now.

the white stripes- get behind me satan:
this album is underwhelming in the same way that hail to the thief is underwhelming to most radiohead fans. it's still better than most bands' best efforts, but you get the feeling that these aren't the best collection of jack white's songs. to me, it's just not an obsession like the first time i heard de stijl, but i do have to say that this is the most adventurous collection of white stripes songs to date, if only for the major role the piano plays on this album. and i give props to any band that can pull off a chorus in 11/4 time [see: "take, take, take"]. oh, and "instinct blues" would fit comfortably on any white stripes album. that's always a plus.


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