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.
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?
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.
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.
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.