2009: The Top 5 Letdowns (and Worst Of)
All in all, 2009 was a wonderful year for music: this year saw many acts (Animal Collective) breaking out into the mainstream, along with new musical trends emerging into the blogosphere (glo-fi? chillwave?). However... not all of 2009's music was great. Like any year, 2009 had it's fair share of letdowns. Here are the LPs I wept about this year.

Daniel Johnston- Is and Always Was
I'm sorry to say this about poor Daniel. I think his body of lo-fi odes to heartbreak are an absolutely outstanding reflection of the human spirit. What I loved about Johnston was, in part, due to the fact that it sounded as if ANYONE could have recorded it: in that sense, anyone could have related to him, no matter how crazy he got. "Is And Always Was" finds that l0-fi aesthetic gone, in replace of twinkling pianos, shiny production, and Johnston's sadness morphing into self parody. I still have hope for him, and so should you.

Conor Oberst- Outer South
I can still listen back to old Bright Eyes albums and feel a sense of angst and urgency that I've rarely seen displayed by any other artist- to this day, those recordings are testaments to Conor Oberst's nickname: "Wonder child". When Oberst went first solo, I was a little weary. However, his self titled debut album was a great, road-worn record full of old imagery, mixed emotion, and a sense of freedom. So what happened in between? Our beloved Conor changed his last name to (br)Oberst. With unimaginative lyrics ("I want to sleep on the air mattress on you"?), hum-drum instrumentation, and rehashed ideas, I believe "Outer South" begins to show an artist in decline. The whole "roots rock" idea worked for an album, but only to fall flat on it's face here. Pass.

Strike two, Conor Oberst! When I first heard about Monsters of Folk, I forgave the shitty band name. I'm an unabashed fan of Oberst, M. Ward, Jim James/My Morning Jacket... so the thought of these 3 superpowers colliding was absolutely fascinating. I was hyped on the potential greatness for months and months- and then lead single "Say Please" came out. With a mid-tempo, worn out sort of sound ("Outer South" anyone?), I told myself it would only get better. That was until I heard the album. My first question was "Why do so many of these sound like half-assed M. Ward tracks?". This was immediately followed by a deep sense of disappointment. Worn out, road worn... blah, blah, blah. This is more of the same from Oberst. The fact that M. Ward and Jim James took part in this is even more saddening. I'll end this by making this statement: fuck roots rock revival.

Weezer- Ratitude
The worst piece of garbage/music I have come across in years. Granted, Weezer is not a band that can be played on WUML. However, Weezer is a prime proto emo/pop act, with a lot riding on their backs. This album is so horrendous that it makes "Make Believe" look like their self titled debut ("the Blue Album"). Over the years, Rivers Cuomo's "so uncool that it's cool" shtick has run itself into the mud. It seems as if, in 2009, this has jumped the proverbial shark- from the horrid album title to the overly silly album cover, you know you are in for a bad trip. The songs fall between thinly veiled bubblegum pop to Timbaland-esque hip hop experiments fall on their faces. "I Can't Stop Partying", featuring Lil' Wayne, might possibly the worst song ever written. After hearing this, it's apparent that Weezer ran out of steam. May they rest in peace, and never write another song again.

Sorry to everyone on this list.
Send us your thoughts on it! Agree? Disagree? What else would YOU put on this?


Adam C said...

I'm sorry, weezer doesn't belong there as everyone knew it would suck.

Oh, The Blueprint 3. What a letdown.

Brian Donovan said...

I know we would, but... this also the 'worst' records. And, yes, the Blueprint 3 did suck.

reallybadreverb said...

I agree with the Mission of Burma's inclusion on this list. The Sound, The Speed, The Light is the weakest of there post-reunion efforts. I do not agree that they are douche bags. I've had exchanges with Roger Miller over the internet and he was very happy to answer some questions I had. Then again, the internet is not real life.

Ali said...

Bob Weston showed the opposite of interest in the show that he founded years back on WUML. He was downright rude to some of the station members

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