Dud and dumber albums of 2014

22:09, Dec 14 2014

Alright, earlier in the year I told you about a bunch of the worst albums - that list was only up until May...then I spoke about the most disappointing albums of 2014 (these being records I had actually hoped would be good - Tweedy's solo album/project with his son, the latest from The Roots, the new Johnny Marr...)

So now it's time to complete the list for 2014.

Here's the rest of the dud and dumber albums I had to listen to this year. (Click on the links for the full review of each album).

Neil Young, A Letter Home - a horrible gimmick.

Ben Watt, Hendra - this solo album from one of the minds behind Everything But The Girl is Nothing But The Worst.

Jack White, Lazaretto - he draws his guitar solos on in ugly, screechy crayon. But you can't convince the Kool-Aid drinkers...

Taylor McFerrin, Early Riser - seemed like this album might go somewhere or do something. But no.

Chrissie Hynde, Stockholm - the first solo album from the brain behind The Pretenders, most definitely not the real deal...

Dave & Phil Alvin, Common Ground - I'm real happy the brothers from The Blasters have reconnected. I even think their shows next year in New Zealand will be great, but I couldn't get on board with the album they'll be promoting. Nothing special here beyond the fact that Dave and Phil are talking.

Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence - she's like a car crash victim singing out of the side of her mouth, the words dribbling out like spilled food.

Luke Haines, New York in The '70s - Haines was trying way too hard here. Or not enough. Actually, somehow it was both.

King Buzzo, This Machine Kills Artists - I wanted something more. Thankfully there was also a new Melvins album this year.

Passenger, Whispers - just ghastly.

tUnE-yArDs, Nikki Nack - not a whole lot here. Certainly nothing that feels real. Or right.

Ian McLagan & The Bump Band, United States - look, it really was sad news to hear about the death of Ian McLagan and that makes it harder to be the Grinch here but the truth is the truth - this album was an awful way for him to go out.

Old Crow Medicine Show, Remedy - I enjoyed seeing these guys a couple of times. And interviewing one of them too. But I didn't enjoy this latest album. Feels like the game is up.

Curtis Harding, Soul Power - the new Lenny Kravitz? Something like that.

The Autumn Defense, Fifth - Wilco without any of the exciting or interesting parts. Polite and measured. And boring.

Manic Street Preachers, Futurology - Twitter told me I was the only person in the world that didn't like this album. Twitter's funny like that. So be it. I'm still sure this was an absolutely absurd, ugly, bombastic album.

Syd Arthur, Sound Mirror - this just wasn't exciting at all.

Metronomy, Love Letters - that vague disco-tinged pop has to be one of my least favourite sounds in music.

Janine and The Mixtape: Dark Mind EP - yet more wishy-washy water-colour smudges in the vague direction of pop music. I don't understand the appeal.

Kimbra, The Golden Echo - far too busy, too many things happening. Some great playing - and players. But it's a mess, a crowded mind trying far too hard to be a little bit of everything but not enough substance.

Jenny Lewis, The Voyager - I love her voice but I just didn't hear enough in the way of decent material with this one.

Die! Die! Die!, S W I M - Can't! Write! Songs!

Benjamin Booker, Benjamin Booker - this one will end up on plenty of end of the year Best Album lists. But there's really nothing happening here, no songs, another Lenny Kravitz trace-around sound with a press-release doing the work to sell the album.

Ashei, Music Is Boring (ep) - yep.

Tom The Lion, Sleep - as bad as the band-name lets you imagine. And then just a little bit worse.

Shaun Kirk, Steer The Wheel - Kirk had already made the list, earlier in the year, with his almost unforgivably bad EP. And then this full-lengther arrived. Comically bad. This is Australia's idea of "the blues". Apparently.

Sola Rosa, Low and Behold, High and Beyond - The Remixes - the first set of proof in 2014 that Sola Rosa is a one-note bad joke that's gone on too long.

Justin Townes Earle, Single Mother - I think his backstory continue to do the work for him.

Joe Bonamassa, Different Shades of Blue - um...

Karen O, Crush Songs - hipster conceit stretched thin.

The End, White Lotus (ep) - very likely the absolute worst release of 2014.

U2, Songs of Innocence - never mind all the offence people took for Bono sneaking past their spam filters, the music on this album was rubbish. Even by U2-of-the-last-decade's standards.

Sarah Silverman, We Are Miracles - comedy records seem a particularly tough sell in this climate. You find all you need (and then far too much beyond) on YouTube right? I don't dislike Silverman - but her "brand" of "comedy" is hard to take across the duration of an entire set.

Erlend Oye, Legao - I like some of his solo stuff as well as The Whitest Boy Alive and Kings of Convenience material. But not this. Definitely not this.

Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright In The End - yes, because eventually - In The End - Weezer will one day (finally) stop.

Basement Jaxx, Junto - soulless and boring.

Villain, Villain - Battle of the Bands metal-lite dressed up as "darkwave".

Lewis Baloue, Romantic Times - the reissue of two obscurities from Lewis this year. This one a steaming pile. The first - L'Amour - really rather lovely. As the late great Gorilla Monsoon would have said: he went to the well once too often.

Sola Rosa, Magnetics - the final set of proof in 2014 that Sola Rosa is a one-note bad joke that's gone on too long. (Please let it be the final!)

Annie Lennox, Nostalgia - a sad and pointless swansong.

Bob Seger, Ride Out - I've been a Bob Seger Fan/Apologist for some time but there' nothing to see or hear here.

Pink Floyd, The Endless River - some of it doesn't sound so bad but it's just a redundant gesture and the way it all builds up (instrumentals) to what is surely one of the world's worst songs is what makes this so awful.

Taylor Swift, 1989 - fad. Sad. Bad...

Prince, Art Official Age - Prince released two stinkers this year (I haven't made it to the other one to review yet). It's as sad as hearing a not-quite-great album from The Roots. But not surprising.

V/A, The Art of McCartney - if not the worst album of the year then certainly the most pointless compilation/tribute album.

Luckless, Vindication Blues - a horrible set of hackneyed "roots" music giving Lyttelton a bad name as the South Island's new music scene.

Aretha Franklin, Sings The Great Diva Classics - someone should have stopped this. Someone should have told her the truth: she can't sing anymore.

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Be Mine Tonight - though not quite actually music this certainly belongs on the list. Maybe the worst local release of the year.

Smashing Pumpkins, Monuments to an Elegy - it's over Billy, let it go.

So, there you go - add all of that to the list from earlier and you have plenty of rubbish albums. But I'm sure I missed a few. What were your dud albums of 2014? Hopefully you didn't have to hear as many as me. And any on this list you disagree with? 

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