Thursday, December 06, 2007

All Of My Opinions Are Right: My Least-Favorite Albums of 2007.

Before I go crazy with my end-of-the-year list of my favorite albums, I have a short list of albums that I didn't like. And - surprise! - they're all from artists that I like a lot.

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Adams had a great year in 2005 (29 notwithstanding) when he released two albums with The Cardinals: Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights. I thought he had gotten out of the Rock N Roll slump. I was excited to hear Easy Tiger, a third collaboration with The Cardinals (although they are mysteriously absent from the billing), but I felt like it was nothing new or interesting. The best songs were "Two," a duet with Sheryl Crow (meh), and "Halloween Head," which starts out with Ryan singing, "Here comes that shit again, I got a Halloween head." Whaaa?

Tori Amos - American Doll Posse
I know, I know. But I used to really love Tori Amos, but she hasn't produced anything worth listening to since Scarlet's Walk, a similar concept album where she followed a single character across post-9/11 America. Here she goes after five different characters (similar to her covers album Strange Little Girls). It's an interesting concept, which works great live (Tori opened for herself on her last tour as one of the different characters), but this album is a mess. She keeps going after a mom-pop/rock production, forgetting that she makes great music when it's just her and a piano. And, frankly, she's much more entertaining when she's being herself.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Living with the Living
I love Ted Leo, but I just couldn't get into this one. The songs were just as political as his previous offerings, but the production was to the point that I couldn't listen to them. Sure, "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb." may have a great message, but I can't sit through it. And then there was that song that sounded like a Dropkick Murphys cover. No thank you.

Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight
I love "Silver Lining," but that's about it. This album sounds like a big change in direction for the band; there's less folk / country sensibility (which I guess Jenny Lewis covered on her album with the Watson Twins) and more big, pop sounds. It's just a personal preference; I like the old stuff.

1 comment:

matthew said...

you know, it's funny...easy tiger and under the blacklight are two of my favorite records this year. under the blacklight has gotten it's fair share of flack, but i think it's a great direction for rilo kiley. it's lusher and less quirky than their previous stuff, and i thought it was a brave and ballsy move to bring their sound closer to a more mature, AOR aesthetic in lieu of a cutesy indie one.

easy tiger gets a similar review from me. this man has stepped up his songwriting and really dug into himself--i can't stop listening to rip off, tears of gold, etc. this record if the first record of his that i think truly sounds original and not simply a half-hearted meditation on the sound of some past era; gold being the most conspicuous offender.

if anything, i was disappointed with the latest spoon album, which honestly is probably a preference thing. i keep waiting for girls can tell vol. 2 to come out. not likely.