|the year in disappointment;|
I am plenty hesitant of building my best-of list yet (or worst-of, but I might not at all, actually), cause the year is over and I am still catching up with great stuff. Just yesterday (24th Dec) I heard Jessie Ware's latest album and that's definitely going up there on the list. So the jury there is still out. But what I could do is write up a little less consequential list of my disappointments of the year, in hopes that there might come no more such disappointments. But even in such intentions, this list is quite inconclusive. I've only really been let down by a few records and then some whom I quite expected to be of insufficient quality. But never you mind.
|22||Car Seat Headrest|
Making a Door Less Open
I've rounded the list down to a 20 entries
The first 10 are "big" disappointments, where the end result matched the expected quality in the slightest.
The rest are unranked "mild" disappointments, where either my expectations were not as high to be let down too much or the let-down was not too dramatic.
Do mind that a higher placement does not mean a lower rating. If you are inclined to box-cut everything you hear into numerical values, an endorsing rating can still mean a disappointment, especially in entries 11-20, where no ranked placement is at all intended.
|21||Car Seat Headrest|
Making a Door Less Open
Few further mentions:
Caribou - Suddenly
Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
Blaze of Perdition - The Harrowing of Hearts
Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
Foreign Fields - The Beauty of Survival
Brainbombs - Cold Case
Matt Elliott - Farewell to All We Know
Behemoth - A Forest
REOL - Kinjitou
Jupiterian - Protosapien
Buck-Tick - Abracadabra
Tired Radio - Patterns
Jaga Jazzist - Pyramid
|20||Car Seat Headrest|
Making a Door Less Open
Humbly placed here is a project I had uncertain expectations of, considering I've never heard a Car Seat Headrest album until now. But I've heard enough praise to pique my interest. Unfortunately and to my unluckiness, their newest is considered by many to be the band's - quote-on-quote - worst project to date. Certainly a poor representation of the band's line of work, a disorganised mess of electronics, power pop, indie music and lo-fi, and everything sound jumbled and ugly.
I've warmed up to U.S. Girls' newest over time, but even in my most positive assessment, a plethora of issues remain. For one, the head-scratching interludes that on one hand have some conceptual weight behind them, but are far from interesting to hear and mostly just serve to disrupt the flow of the album. The other being that Meg Remy's song-writing, in its growing ambition, has diminished to a bitterly melancholic slog that at worst sounds like someone imitating blues singing and melody work without being well familiar with the genre.
Got It Made
Not much is there to say about Kamaiyah's debut album, which in case of Kamaiyah is a horrid offense. All her raw, raunchy, rigid edge dissipated here and turned itself upside down. Every song sounds near identical, the bare-bones boring production made sure of that, and her lyrics also aren't the sharpest. It's a tedious one-dimensional effort that hopefully doesn't signal any serious decline, but a one-time accident.
'Telemark', Ihsahn's other EP this year, was a decent metallic sounding album that had only one serious dud in its tracklist. 'Pharos' seems to expand upon that particular dud in style and level of disappointment. It's a more melodic, cheesy counterpart to 'Telemark'.
|16||Zeal and Ardor|
Wake of a Nation
I get why this exists and some of the experiments here work out well, but the EP sounds plenty rushed, undercooked and as a spur-of-the-moment kind of project. Had they given it time to marinate, made some changes in song-writing and tracklist, it would have been much more effective.
I've heard this in October and I cannot remember much of it at all, which in the case of Le Butcherettes is a criminal offence. Not a bad entry for the completionists, not a good start for a novice.
|14||Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou|
May Our Chambers Be Full
I place this album as a mild disappointment, because I was not that disappointed. By all means, it probably is the best album on the list. Engrossing work here, but at the same time marching to the same tune over and over, where after a few listens all turns into an indistinguishable mud. And the most inexcusable of all: not enouth ERR presence.
The Call Within
Tigran goes full prog rock here to mostly good effect. Album's impeccable from technical and instrumental points of view. But it severely lacks in song-writing. It's like listening to a meticulously crafted blob of indefinable shape, all admirable and very confusing.
Here we have a stand-in for every disappointing black metal album this year that lured me in with its fantastic artwork and let down with its dime-a-dozen music. I'm looking at you Epitimia, Frigoris, Devil With No Name, Battle Dagorath, Black Hate, Forgotten Tomb, Misertus and so such.
Can't say I had high hopes for this new Tera Melos side project, so my disappointment is not that big. The let-down here was that it's a straightforward, criminally repetitive power pop album. I commend the band at being self-aware in their lyrics, calling out common tropes of the genre and generally having a tongue-in-cheek vibe about this. Then again, the music surrounding that is unpleasantly boring.
Sel de Pierre
Now here's where I did have high hopes. The single "Onde" had me pumped from the get-go. The long punishing and brutal post-metal track is still one of my favourites of the year. I wished that its high-octane adrenaline energy and out-of-this-world atmosphere would translate onto the full album too. And it certainly did in many respects. It's the tracklisting I have a problem with. 'Sel de Pierre' is heavily uneven. Apart from the aforementioned single, every song is inconsistent and features a lot of great heaviness, but also unnecessary interludes that don't play out very well.
Spirituality and Distortion
Igorrr's work was always destined to at some point become a cheotic mess. That moment has come.
Kassad broke out a few years ago with a mostly straightforward black metal album, but it had an excitic industrial production trait that I was hopeful to hear the band explore deeper. Well the band jumped over the whole progression process and fell straight into all harsh industrial production, where some generic black metal riffs go on underneath. And that's kind of all there is to the album. It is repetitive and flat.
As much as I admire Covet's musicianship abilities, 'technicolor' was disturbingly lacklustre in song-writing. The meddling, noodly guitar riffs and mathy drumlines barely added up to much in the end and the whole album just felt sloppy as a result.
What's New, Tomboy?
I was surprised to be bored.
I also bailed on writing up something for these following albums and I can't be bothered anymore.
I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep
|3||The Magnetic Fields|
None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive
This hurts. Very much so. This is one of the ugliest albums this year, crudely produced, lyrically weak and written in such a laughable way. I have nothing much to say.