Top Ten Most Unremarkable Albums of 2006
It's almost over with. It's been a great year for me, but as far as events, it was frickin boring. No major disasters. Well, scratch that; there was that earthquake in Java or Bangladesh or some Muslim island, but that's Indonesia. I can't even point to it on a map. The only disaster in 'merka, was that big ol' boycott by Mexicans that was incredibly poignant, effective, and made White America hate those fence-jumpers even more. Oh and North Korea fired off some nukes, the PlayStation 3 was released, and the Dems took control of the house.
But music? Double yawn. In my mind, the biggest thing to happen in music this past year was The Big Red Box. The Jew Farm. This very forum itself: The Feldheim. Granted, there's been a couple new albums I discovered this year that have intrigued me, but I've posted most of them here already. Even so, only the Kooks, Men Women and Children, and In Flames were actually from this year. All in all I've been very unimpressed with music in 2006.
"Angela," you ask, "would you say it's been, 'fairly unremarkable?'"
I reply, "Indeed I would!"
So without further ado, here are The Top Ten Most Unremarkable Albums of 2006
10. Peeping Tom
It's tough to refute the fact that Mike Patton is a musical and vocal genius. I've pretty much liked all his stuff, from Faith No More, to Tomahawk, to Mr. Bungle. All very different and all utterly ridiculous. While I kinda like the debut album from Peeping Tom, there's something missing. It's dark, groovy, and it manages to amalgamate a number of different styles into a fairly cohesive disc. I guess it just feels like he was bored one weekend, needed to buy more heroin and said, "I suppose I could make an album." It's just sorta half assed. Kinda like this past year.
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
It seems any British band that sang with accents was a critic's darling this year, and none more so than the Arctic Monkeys. First of all, what a stupid frickin name. What if I called my band The Sub-Tropical Turtles? Or The Mediterranean Birds?
Secondly have you ever heard these morons talk? It might as well be Gaelic.
Thirdly, the album is just not that great. Predictable chord progressions, worthless lyrics, and it sounds like shit I mixed when I was in college, panning over-dubbed tracks around from left to right. I'm all about raw rock, like Death From Above, the Kinks, or Black Flag. But this is just three idiots who fooled gullible people with bad teeth.
8. Last Man Standing
Jerry Lee Lewis
I actually think this is a good album. A stellar album even. I've been a big Jerry Lee Fan since I began playing the piano at age six while you were still having difficulty with two syllable words and not soiling yourself. His original hits were frickin great, but Last Man Standing is a departure from his previous style. And it has more guest appearances than the most recentYing Yang Twins release (those guys is so crunk). Still, with the success of movies like Ray and Walk the Line, maybe The Killer is just reminding us they made a movie about him before it was the cool thing to do. But I can't help but think it's more along the lines of, "I'm not dead yet! I just banged my 13 year-old cousin in the 60's, and blew my career into oblivion and country music where that sort of thing is acceptable."
7. From First to Last
Ahh, Emo, we hardly knew ye. Emo has quite possibly become the third most quickly reviled subgenre ever, trailing only Disco and rap-rock. Listening to this disc, I couldn't tell you if it was Taking Back Sunday or My Chemical Romance or Thursday or The Academy is... or Panic at the Disco or Chicks Don't Dig Me or any of that crap that this guy listens to. It seems like people are turning to more uplifting music. Like #6.
Though I'm not a fan of it, I truly understand the desire for happy music. Who wants to listen to some scrawny guy with a bad haircut, wearing girls' jeans and eyeliner, whining about why he can't get laid when the answer is so easy: stop wearing makeup, get a haircut, get a pair of Levis, and start lifting heavy things in your spare time instead of watching Donnie Darko by yourself and writing poems.
6. Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
I can't believe shit like this actually passes for a record. And the band name, again. Honestly. For the love of all that is Holy, if you are going to have the gall to name yourselves after a Beatles tune, at least pick a more obscure track. You know, like, maybe one that wasn't a number one hit? Hmm? That's not to say I don't I like a couple songs on Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!. I mean, the whole thing has more hooks than an pirate convention and is catchier than pubic lice.
But speaking of pubes, I truly believe all the guys in this band actually have fuzzy, little, damp vaginas; rather than huge dongs like the guys in Type O Negative or Motorhead or something. Even the cover art is phallic. Just look at it: it's a stubby, ejaculating penis wearing glasses, with an anus farting the band's name. I only wish the majority of the disc sounded as good as the cover foreshadowed. Hilary Duff would tell these guys to tone it down a bit. Just listening to HelloGoodbye, I can feel my testes shriveling in revulsion and the onslaught of a desire to clean something and to purchase strappy footwear. I'll be honest, in darker days, I've admitted to liking Tori Amos to get a little Aroo-ga!, but that's much different to trying to get some some cha-ching! by actually growing a twat.
If I had listened this malarkey in high school instead of Weezer, Cypress Hill, Nine Inch Nails, and Korn, I could be wearing scarfs in the summer and working at a flower store instead of saving the world one child at a time in war ravaged nation.
Rock 'n Roll: For the Sake of the Children®
Great name guys, really. It sounds like a curse word: Wolfmother. Simple. Effective. Australian. The album cover? Also spectacular: A giant lizard and tits. That's rock 'n roll. And the first track. Fuckin' wow. Talk about power: the scream, the RATM riffs and the breakdowns. But then: letdown. The rest of the disc is lame and formulaic in comparison. Why, oh why, would you waste my time, Wolfmother? You're the like the girl who unzips my pants at the bar but passes out drunk once I get her home. Not that the fun necessarily stops there, but one still feels guilty wiping off her stomach and putting makeup on the bruises.
Besides, I know why I liked this the first time around: cause I heard it in 1969 while I was still swimming in an epididymis. Christ guys, you might as well've called yourselves Bismuth Goodyear or Polonium Hindenberg.
With Microsoft ripping off the iPod, Baseball ripping off the Word Cup, this release has 2006 written all over it.
4. St. Elsewhere
What end of year list would be complete with out this disc? The infectious single blew onto the scene early in the year and pissed the hell out of anyone who heard it before June when it could be heard blasting out the windows of every suped up rice rocket on the road. That said, I think it's a pretty good album, defying genres as seems to be the trend these days. It's a white British DJ and Dirty Souf hip hop star that are making radio pop. Boggles my frickin mind. The question is:
Can pop be pop if no one listens to it?
Cause no one listened to anyhting but track two on this disc.
3. The Loon
Tapes 'n Tapes
Seriously, what is this shit? One website from Wisconsin can make a or break a band? When I think of the center of culture, I think even Juba, New Sudan has a leg up on on the midwest. With all their power and influence, what does Shitfork do? They bring this boring, simplistic noise into the spotlight; a haphazard collection of tracks makes the Arctic Monkey's songs sound coherent and overproduced. This indie underground hit defies explanation and logic and sounds like any other over-reaching indie disc trying too damn hard to be out there and artsy.
But in an age where information is at our fingertips, the very fact that this band could undeservingly be thrust into the spotlight earns it a spot as one of the most unremarkable albums.
2. Pearl Jam
15 years into their career Pearl Jam finally releases their self titled avocado. Uh, I mean album. I believe self titled albums should only be the first album: you're trying to get your name out, a reviewer has to say the band name everytime they mention the album. But Pearl Jam is just being lazy. Frankly, I think one would get more enjoyment of stuffing an avocado in a CD player just to see what happens.
See, I love avocados. They are delicious on club sandwiches, tacos, gazpacho, tortilla soup, or summery chilled cilantro avocado consommé with crème fraîche. Ow, my balls! Goddamn HelloGoodbye side effects!
But most of all, 'cados are most delicious mashed up with onions, diced and seeded tomatoes, a little chili pepper, salt and lemon juice, subsequently scooped up with tortilla chips. God, I've been out of the country way too long.
But Pearl Jam has changed that: they've disgraced the purity of avocado. Wall-eyed sheep, no problem. Wall-eyed rear view kick, cool too. A homo-erotic hi-five? Even better. But defacing a delicious alligator pear with tired, repetitive, distended songs about Mookie Blaylock is downright blasphemy. How long are these guys gonna go at their formula? I'm glad they don't give interviews:
"Well you see, Bob," Eddie Vedder would say in his unbearably jittery 'Jeremy spoke in. . .' voice. "Since we released the same album sevens times already, we just figured, why not eight? I mean, when you call you're first Album 10. . ."
But after avocados and fake quotes, you're probably asking yourself, "has this asshat even listened to the disc?"
The answer is: no. I have not.
But I know, just like 2006, this album has brought forth nothing new or interesting.
1. Night Ripper
Mashups: we've been inundated with them for years, both good and bad. I've said before, I think it all started with Puff Daddy's rip off of the Police. While not officially a mashup, it proved a song could be a hit without any real work. But this disc makes mashing up an art, and it is frankly the best hip hop I've heard since Speakerboxxx. Not because it dubs Diddy over The Pixies, Ludacris over Boston, Biggie over Elton, and David Banner over NIN, but because it's actually sounds good. It's a frickin party in a disc.
The only downside with this format is there's no actual songs, really. There's seperate tracks and stuff, but it's all really just one spasmodic mixed set of random sections that's a blast to sit through and actively experience, but if one is to search for meaning, patterns, trends, or clues, he will leave empty handed.
Wait for it. . .
. . .Just like 2006.