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Best of 2007: Disappointments

This year there were several albums which I thought would be sure-fire hits for me. Although that’s not unusual, it was unusual that so many failed to deliver.

    Most Disappointing Albums for 2007   

  • The Outsider by DJ Shadow: The Private Press was a revelation for me in 2003 and I named it my favorite album for that year. Unsurprisingly, I was anxiously anticipating Shadow’s follow-up, The Outsider. Unfortunately, it bore little resemblance to his previous masterpiece both in style and quality. I don’t begrudge artists the right to re-invent themselves, but the new direction has to be interesting and compelling. This album was neither.
  • The Information by Beck: There is an old saying that I heard about Neil Young long ago that goes something like “If you don’t like his new album, just wait for the next one because it will be completely different.” I have concluded that the same can be said for Beck. After the maudlin and seldom-heard Sea Change, he delivered my second favorite album for 2005. If the trend continues, his next album will be fabulous because The Information was not.
  • Pure Rock Fury by Clutch: After giving Blast Tyrant a strong Honorable Mention in 2005, I put several Clutch albums on my wishlists. Pure Rock Fury was the first to arrive in my mailbox. Several months and many listens later, I traded it away for something better on LaLa.
  • Ampechture by The Mars Volta: Last year my friend, Jonathan, recommended De-loused In The Comatorium and it landed in my list of Top 10 Albums for 2006. I also enjoyed Frances The Mute and was anxious to hear what The Mars Volta would do next. Sadly, they went off the rails with Amputechture, an album that suffers from a seeming lack of focus and would be better served with less jamming and more melody.
  • 17 Songs by The Wallets: I waited over 20 years to purchase this album after taping two of the standout songs from a friend. Long out of print and available only for exorbitant prices on eBay, it finally became available for a reasonable price this year on Half.com. While I’m glad to finally have “There Was An Old Lady” and “Jimbo” in digital form, the rest of the album is pure 80′s New Wave trash.

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