Saturday, December 22, 2012

The 15 Worst Albums Of 2012

Everything about 2012 sucked - including pop music. I can't remember another year when I struggled to find a single album to enjoy from beginning to end. There were quite a few good ones but only a handful of truly great records. On the flip side, there was no shortage of stinkers. I feel like the music industry is in a rut. The electro-dance trend is finally running out of steam and other genres (apart from country) simply don't sell at the moment. So what's a bitch to do? Record a lazy, half-arsed album that just treads water turned out to be the popular choice.

As such, putting this list together too easy. I could have made a top 50 but couldn't be fucked revisiting that many shockers. Instead I chose to concentrate on the main offenders. Surprisingly, a number of former faves are included. It pains me to admit that many of these divas were once near and dear to me. Of course there are also a bunch of regulars that continue to commit crimes against music. Speaking of which, I should give Leona Lewis a special shout out. Glassheart is her first album not to feature on my annual 'worst of' countdown. It's not gonna make my best of countdown either but congratultions are still in order!

So here goes. These are the 15 worst albums of 2012:

15. Fear & Freedom - Ricki-Lee

Oh look, it's my old friend Ricki-Lee! I don't know where to start with this saga. After years of blind fandom - search the site - I wrote a critical review of her "Do It Like That" video and triggered World War III. It was all a bit embarrassing but I still had high hopes for Fear & Freedom. After all, "Raining Diamonds" was a triumph and Ricki has some of the best pipes in the country. Unfortunately, her third offering is a collection of limp dance anthems that Melissa Tkautz would turn down for being too dated. Frustratingly, there are a couple of gems. I love the current single "Burn It Down" and think "Never Let Go" is a hit. The rest is as generic as Homebrand toilet paper.

14. The Truth About Love - Pink

This album was great when it was originally released as I'm Not Dead. It was slightly less enjoyable when rehashed as Funhouse and almost unlistenable the third time around with the exception of "Try". Which is a cover anyway. When are people going to wake up to this fraud?

13. Timomatic - Timomatic

How ridiculous is that cover art? Tim looks like a gay pimp that was just assaulted by the world's worst Photoshop newcomer. Sadly, the music isn't much better. The first two singles were magnificent - particularly the epic "If Looks Could Kill" - but the rest is generic urban-dance trash that Chris Brown wouldn't piss on. I think Tim has talent but, on the evidence of this, very little charisma and no versatility. Maybe a career as a dancer is the way forward?

12. Electra Heart - Marina & The Diamonds

Now this stings. I've been supporting Marina since the beginning. In fact, I used to chat with her on Myspace before she was even signed. And then it all came together. The pre-debut vinyl EPs moved me to tears and The Family Jewels hit all the right notes. But it didn't sell and that obviously rubbed the openly ambitious Marina the wrong way. So she worked with a bunch of big producers, dumbed down her sound and limited her lyrical scope to standard radio fare. Electra Heart produced one hit single but ultimately sank faster than the Bionic. I hope it's a lesson learned.

11. Tresspassing - Adam Lambert

I really want to like Adam Lambert. He has all the makings of a great pop star - apart from good songs. What annoys me the most about Tresspassing is that he bragged about making the album he always wanted to make. So he spent his whole life dreaming of a poorly-executed Pink tribute album? Where is the guts? More disturbing, where is the glam? This is such a shitty, watered-down affair with no style and nothing even resembling a hit. I'd take his last, blatantly commercial album over this epic fail any day of the week.

10. Heartbreak On Hold - Alexandra Burke

This poor bitch. Alexandra realised that walking in Leona's middle-of-the-road footsteps would lead to ruin, so she tried to shake things up and reemerge as an edgy club diva. It was a pretty good plan until she had the misfortune of hooking up with the worst producers in the history of popular music. Dated doesn't begin to describe these tired-as-fuck beats. I blame the label. Releasing something this poorly crafted is just setting someone up to fail. Oh well, there's always Celebrity Big Brother. Right?

9. Halycon - Ellie Goulding

Chalk this up as another bitter disappointment. I loved her debut despite those ricepaper thin vocals and limited lyrical scope. Ellie was just starting to get some serious traction with US top 10 hit "Lights" and then decides to turn her back on the perky synthpop sound that made her famous in favour of meandering indie-pop fare and semi-acoustic ballads. Why? With the exception of "Anything Could Happen", Halcyon is bereft of hits - and even decent filler for that matter. This is the perfect example of someone pushing boundaries in all the wrong directions.

8. A Million Lights - Cheryl

How do you solve a problem like Cheryl? My suggestion is a bullet.

7. Unapologetic - Rihanna

Read my review. I hear it's really popular with The Navy! You know, this is such a sad little record. Unapologetic is just two good songs slapped together with a bunch of filler to get something on shelves in time for Christmas. Def Jam clearly has no long term plan for Rih or they wouldn't be churning through whatever goodwill she has left after Talk That Talk with another basic-as-fuck rush job.

6. Anxiety - Ladyhawke

I've heard of the sophomore slump but Ladyhawke committed sophomore suicide with this jaw-droppingly dreadful effort. I defy you to find one decent chorus on this stinking piece of shit! It makes me wonder who selected the songs for her debut because this is proof that Pip had no involvement in that flawless pop gem whatsoever. Let's just play "My Delirium" and pretend this never happened. Please.

5. Ten - Girls Aloud

Excuse my while I laugh my fucking arse off. These five talentless cunts really thought they were something special despite never denting a chart outside the UK. To the extent that they all embarked on solo careers and flopped one after the other. Honestly, it was like watching lemmings walk off a cliff!

So with no career prospects left, the already washed-up divas reunite for a Greatest Hits album that barely scraped into the UK top 10 and fell down the charts like a brick being thrown from a second floor window. This tiresome collection of minor UK hits is painfully generic and boring. When are they going to throw in the towel and ask Nadine for a job at Tesco?

4. Roman Reloaded - Nicki Minaj

You know, I was here for Nicki when she broke. Pink Friday was a solid rap album with a couple of pop detours to keep radio interested. The genre was hers to own if she wanted. Instead, she reinvented herself as the female Pitbull on Roman Reloaded - singing generic club-bangers for undiscerning gay men. What the fuck? And yet, the Barbz lapped it up and radio kept playing her shit. I hope Onika enjoys her moment because I've noticed that the tide starting to turn. It's only a matter of time before she's trading mixtapes with Lil' Mama.

3. Infatuation - Kate Alexa

Sorry but I'm going to say it. How ugly do you have to be for someone to suggest your album cover would look better if you brushed your hair over your face? Good lord. The thing that annoys me the most about this abomination is that I was always in Kate's corner when she was being trashed by the media for being Michael Gudinsky's daughter. If my dad ran a record label, I'd expect some special treatment too!

And her first album was extremely cute. I liked all the singles and even stanned for "Teardrops" - her bizarre collab with Baby Bash. But this mess... is unforgivable. Who wrote and produced clangers like "Fucked Up Me", "I Deny" and "I Don't Think So"? I want to know so I can demand a written apology! And don't even start me on "X Rated". Of all the divas I want to hear singing about porn, Kate comes somewhere between Susan Boyle and Judith Durham.

2. Child Of The Universe - Delta Goodrem

Look at this smug bitch sitting at her stupid piano thinking she's a supermodel. Anyone would think she had a career outside of Australia! "Child Of The Universe" is another spectacularly empty and soulless affair that desperately tries to convey Delta's talent but really just showcases her vocal and lyrical shortcomings. And get off that fucking piano. You're not Yanni! Without her stint on The Voice, this would have disappeared in a matter of weeks. Oh it did anyway? GIRL, BYE.

1. MDNA - Madonna

Now let me pull up a comfortable chart because this might take a while. MDNA, or MDOA as I like to call it, is the absolute nadir of Madonna's painfully long career. She's had some lows - ie. every album she's released since Ray Of Light, especially the original Bionic otherwise known as Hard Candy - but I admire her business smarts. When you've been in the game since 1923, you pick up some tricks and the senior citizen is good at following a flop with a commercial album. Like when she bounced back from American Life with Confessions.

And that was obviously the plan this time around. To come back with the most generic, radio-friendly offering she could manage complete with rent-a-rapper Nicki Minaj and that other bitch that noone cares about. So how did it all go so wrong? Some people said she was too old for dance music. There are parts of Madonna that are younger than Birdy, so that's not it. I don't agree that everyone over the age of 40 should singing jazz covers. Kylie, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez are still making fun music for people half their age. But I guess there's a difference between churning out catchy dance anthems and singing about gang-bangs and being fucked up on drugs.

Who is she trying to impress? We all know Vadge is in bed at five o'clock watching Wheel Of Fortune with all the other oldies. And then there were the heinous single choices. Only the most ratchet queen is going to download a song that spells Madonna's name out in the lyrics. We were all trying to keep this purchase on the downlow! And "Girl Gone Wild"? Bitch, please. That boat sailed in the '80s and is currently rotting next to the Titanic. If nothing else, MDNA did provide fodder for the magical YouTube clip below and proved once and for all that Martin Solveig should never be allowed back in a studio. Ever again.


Anonymous said...

Infatuation is one of the best of the year!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Finally someone`s telling The Truth About Pink (oops! couldn`t help it)... She has spent the last 10 years singing the same old shitty music over and over.I`m tired of people saying she is authentic original rebel blah blah blah... Worst of the year by FAR...
On the other hand I think Godectra Heart is amazing. Marina>>>Baby Stealers

Safiya O said...

Marina 1)Stole Bat for Lashes' idea with the whole alter-ego in a blonde wig thing (Like she could ever, ever). 2)Proceeded to make some awful, underneath the barrel dreck with it. Unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

Poor Morguedonna...

Hasa said...

Your review only makes me want to go out and listen to the album's I haven't heard cos I like the one's I've heard.

The Madonna and Birdy comment.... death!!!

P.S. When's your TV show coming out?

Safiya O said...

I have to add considering Pink sells by the truckload, I cannot believe she has such a cheap and lazy album cover, her's is crap on every level.

Brad said...

I am literally DEAD @ the MDNA review!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the hate at GA and Cheryl!! GA's hits album is very, very good actually!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not doing what most would have done and put Lotus on this list!

Matt said...

crying @ your cheryl shade! but where's kreayshawn, nelly etc?

Rihanna said...

Lemme give dis nigga some blog views since he wants to keep my name in his mouth. Phuck outta here with my ratchet classic being on this bullshit list!

I told y'all I was gonna be unapologetic this time around. I ain't gonna be for giving this sugar, sweet-ass nigga some blog views!

Kisses xo

Anonymous said...

Dead at Rihanna commenting. How do you find time between washing Chris' laundry?! GURL BYE. And OMG... Mike cheryl is AMAzing. Stop hurting children and learn to love the Queen of UK Pop

Mark said...

Leave Girls Aloud alone!!!! :)

Scott said...

I gotta say, I've loved everything Girls Aloud have done post-Chemistry. But to my mind they're Xenomania albums, the girls themselves have zero charisma and don't appear to bring anything to the table.