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Thread: OMA's Worst Albums of 2017: The Beekeeper Award

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by lettyt View Post
    oh gosh, almost forgot, but the new Austra album feels so uninspired. Feel it Break is one of my favorite albums ever & I keep expecting something that good again.
    Austra's latest is my album of the year, but I distinctly remember thinking it was bland the first time I heard it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a grower.

    My beekeeper award for 2017 was an easy pick: Bjork's Utopia. Even though I didn't have high expectations, it turned out to be much more terrible than I anticipated. It seemed inconceivable that she'd release an album without a single good song on it, but it happened.

    On the other hand, I wasn't surprised that Bush, Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan released albums without a single keeper, but I was still saddened by them.

    A close second place goes to Goldfrapp's Silver Eye. I mean, wtf happened here!?!?!? This was supposed to be filled with filthy, "metal machine" bangers! Systemagic is great and Anymore is good enough, but the rest is so thoroughly boring. I actually love most of the slow Goldfrapp songs, but those typically have good melodies and the ones on Silver Eye don't. Unlike Tales of Us, Silver Eye tries to rely solely on ambiance. This was almost my top pick because I had much higher expectations for Goldfrapp than for Bjork. I'm praying that Goldfrapp can bounce back from this.

    Beck's Colors is kind of the opposite of Utopia: an album meant to be as accessible to the masses as possible. Unfortunately, many of the songs are extremely generic and lack a good hook. I'm still keeping 3-5 songs off of this, so it's not a disaster, but it does qualify for a dishonorable mention.

    Rounding out my disappointing albums list is Strange Words and Weird Wars. That's the awful album title of Marnie's second solo album. You might remember her from Ladytron. It just sucks that new material from Ladytron was put on the back-burner so that Marnie could release this bright and shiny turd. Alphabet Block might be the only keeper off of this one.

  2. #47
    thirst world problems Octopussy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireTampon View Post
    Austra's latest is my album of the year, but I distinctly remember thinking it was bland the first time I heard it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a grower.
    Utopia might be their best song yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by VampireTampon View Post
    A close second place goes to Goldfrapp's Silver Eye. I mean, wtf happened here!?!?!? This was supposed to be filled with filthy, "metal machine" bangers! Systemagic is great and Anymore is good enough, but the rest is so thoroughly boring. I actually love most of the slow Goldfrapp songs, but those typically have good melodies and the ones on Silver Eye don't. Unlike Tales of Us, Silver Eye tries to rely solely on ambiance. This was almost my top pick because I had much higher expectations for Goldfrapp than for Bjork. I'm praying that Goldfrapp can bounce back from this.
    Faux Suede Drifter, Ocean, and Beast That Never Was are AMAZING. This is one of their best albums IMO.

  3. #48
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Sheryl Crow already has a couple of Beekeeper albums, so I'm going to give Be Myself the Unrepentant Geraldines Award. The album seems to come from a better place, it shows more awareness of what made her great in the first place, her voice sounds great, but the songs themselves just aren't quite there yet. Hopefully she puts out her own Native Invader in the future!

  4. #49
    Senior Member lettyt's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=VampireTampon;543377]Austra's latest is my album of the year, but I distinctly remember thinking it was bland the first time I heard it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a grower.
    /QUOTE]

    I hope it will grow on me--my feeling with it is definitely "bland" & not "my ears hurt," so at least that's something. I'm just so used to liking the songs right away.
    I miss, I miss,/how you'd sigh yourself to sleep
    When I raked the springtime /across your sheets

  5. #50
    [QUOTE=lettyt;543414]
    Quote Originally Posted by VampireTampon View Post
    Austra's latest is my album of the year, but I distinctly remember thinking it was bland the first time I heard it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a grower.
    /QUOTE]

    I hope it will grow on me--my feeling with it is definitely "bland" & not "my ears hurt," so at least that's something. I'm just so used to liking the songs right away.
    I know the feeling. I remember texting my best friend after my first spin and ranting over how sad I was that it was by far their worst album. Of course, it slowly grew on me and I had to backtrack and eat my words. Maybe that's part of why I love it so much now: the discovery process felt really rewarding. Another thing that probably helped me connect with this album is that at the time I was navigating a relationship that started out great and ended in a lot of heartbreak and disappointment. Because of that, the lyrics and the vocals might hit me harder than it might for others.

    All that said, sometimes albums just don't grow on people at all! And that's fine too. It's ok to hate an album even if others like it (and vice versa)*. I think it's interesting how people's opinions differ. Message boards wouldn't be fun for me if everyone had the same opinion.

    *(Screw the haters! I like Everything Now and it's way better than Neon Bible!)

  6. #51
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    My Beekeeper would probably go to the newest U2 album. My sense is that they are very unpopular around here, but I've always had a soft spot for them. Achtung Baby was maybe the first rock album that I loved growing up, and I think the "masterpiece" reputation it enjoys is well-deserved. It sort of became a blueprint for future rock bands that wanted to expand their sound (Be a little less earnest and add some electronic/dance elements!), but it really felt like a substantial, bold, and surprising shakeup coming from them at the time and they did it REALLY well. I loved their three 90's albums--Achtung, Zooropa, and the somewhat-uneven-but-underrated Pop. I still do.

    Let me just say that it can be very hard to have affection for this band. It's been really patchy since the 90's. All That You Can't Leave Behind felt like a retreat after the commercial disappointment of Pop, but I found generous portions of it to be moving, and "Walk On" meant a lot to me at a particularly difficult time in my life. So, yeah, I liked it. Atomic Bomb felt like they were settling into being the kind of band they thought fans expected them to be--inspirational, anthemic, BIG. Ugh. I liked maybe three songs. Maybe they felt comforted by the success of that one, because No Line on the Horizon saw them daring to be a bit more experimental and less obnoxiously anthemic again--successfully for the most part, I thought! And of course it did not do well, and they retreated AGAIN.

    Songs of Experience is, sadly, a bust. They've long swung back and forth between releasing more personal-sounding music and anthemic, "we want to be the biggest band in the world" albums, and they can be a chore to listen to when they are in the latter mode. Song titles like "American Soul," "Get Out of Your Own Way," and "Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way" were cause for concern, and it turns out there was reason to worry. Probably a third of the song titles sound like they should have exclamation points at the end of them, and Bono presents himself less as a flesh-and-blood human being at times and more like a platitude-spouting Tony Robbins of the rock world.

    One great quality this band has is the willingness to look ridiculous by wearing its heart on its sleeve. This has resulted in some beautiful and genuinely moving music. They have also made it clear at various points in their career that they want to be "the biggest band in the world." Obviously I don't know what their process of creating music is like and what their motives are, but some of their recent output sounds like the band is straining to be moving, and it feels cynical. The feeling I'm left with is that they are at a point where they don't know how to NOT be the biggest band in the world and are having a bit of an identity crisis. It's unfortunate. Maybe the tepid reception to their newest will encourage them to care less about their status and follow their hearts a bit more. Their past output is proof that they're at their best when they loosen up a bit.

  7. #52
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Awww I liked Songs of Experience a lot. I thought it was a really good record.

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