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July 18, 2013
 

Five Overrated Albums of 2013

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In other words, “Five Reasons Why You May Hate Me After Reading This.”
(The opinions shared in this rant are not representative of The Radio Cure as a whole etc, etc…)

First of all, let’s lay it out there, shall we? 2013 has been a remarkable year for good tunes so far. One of the best in recent memory, as far as I’m concerned. A lot of names, big and small, putting out quality, entertaining audio nuggets. Some are making comebacks, others just getting started. All in all, a good time to be a contemporary music fan.

BUT…

Not everything pleases the palate. There are a handful of big hitters this year that I just can’t seem to fully get behind, despite backing from every music publication I follow and most of my friends (including fellow Radio Curators). Everyone around me keeps heaping praises upon them like Ewoks to a droid. They seem to be universally considered some of the best of this incredible year, yet I tend to think they’re just…ok. Something must be wrong with me, right?

Before you bust out the pitchforks and torches, know this: I don’t necessarily “HATE” any of these records. There are elements of each that I find very enjoyable, and certain tracks are among my favorites of the year. Furthermore, I do understand why others enjoy them. Objectively, I recognize that these artists are talented, and that their respective albums are technically well made. But, for whatever reason (which I’ll elaborate on below), I’m just not coming back to these things. They simply don’t excite me. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, except that I seem to be the only one in this sad boat. I’d honestly rather listen to the new Paramore than every one of these, and while I feel no shame in that (because it’s actually an awesome album), it does somewhat surprise and frighten me. Because we all know what happens when you claim to dislike five of the most critically praised records of the year. Hipsters be gettin’ violent. And overboard I go.

Now, this isn’t a cry for help, cuz I can swim. What I’m thinking is, maybe (just maybe) there are others out there like me who are afraid to make the plunge themselves. I’m here to say, “Let us unite together and float ourselves to the shores of freedom!” Or, maybe the converted can convince me I’m missing something (maybe). But there’s gotta be SOMEONE out there that agrees with me…right?

Either way, feel free to blurt out whatever it is YOU think is getting too much love. Because I’m sure those are likely some of MY favorites.

Anyway…here we go. Suck it. In no particular order.

Overrated Album #1

PHOSPHORESCENT | Muchacho

I thought I’d start off with this one because, to be fair, I haven’t listened to it a ton yet. I’m actually listening to it as I write this. But when I did first give it a gander at the insistence of many trusted compadres, I found myself overwhelmingly underwhelmed. After listening, songs from bands other than Phosphorescent get stuck in my head, and that can’t be good. But, expectations can sometimes ruin a first listen. In fact I already like it more than I did. So, let’s just say this one is pending until further investigation…

Overrated Album #2

SAVAGES | Silence Yourself

This one started off fun, but the more I listened to it the more I found myself thinking, “Why is everyone freaking out about this thing?” I like the energy, and it’s refreshing to hear a passionate punk album these days, especially from an all-girl band. But once the novelty wears off, it starts getting kind of monochromatic. This one could use a few more controlled listens, too. I did win a vinyl copy of it. Perhaps that’ll help.

Overrated Album #3

THE NATIONAL | Trouble Will Find Me

I never have been a fan of The National, really. They’re just too uneventful for me. Good lyrics, unique singer, decent arrangements, and boring as hell. Like listening to paint dry, which is worse than watching it dry because at least then you can listen to something else. Yep, I’m one of THOSE guys. Needless to say, my expectations going into Trouble Will Find me weren’t very high, but I still put some extra effort into it thinking, “Maybe this time.” The first 2 or 3 tracks had me going. Especially “Demons,” which may make it into my top songs of the year. But…when I try to give the whole thing my attention I can’t help but look at my watch and wonder when it will end. It’s like being on a date with a pretty girl who has the personality of a log. People keep saying I need to take time to soak it in and relate to it, that The National is the type of band that one day just HITS you. And I actually don’t doubt this is true. Unfortunately, it’s not today. Sorry guys. I’ll keep trying I suppose.

Overrated Album #4

KANYE WEST | Yeezus

Ugh. Kanye is easily the most infuriating contemporary artists I’ve known. I want to like him so bad. I think he is a talented producer, (even if the production credits include the population of a small villiage on every song). He constantly challenges his audience, which I respect, and he’s always a step above the rest of mainstream hip-hop. But that’s just the thing…the sphere of mainstream hip-hop isn’t exactly the shiniest star in the galaxy is it? He’s a slightly above average looking dude standing in a room full of uglies, and that makes anyone look good. But the problem with Kanye’s music is he insists on rapping over it. I’m no rap connoisseur by any means, but Kanye is not a good rapper. And his lyrics are complete garbage. Everyone gives him credit for being so “honest” in these songs, which is fine I guess, but when a guy like Kanye is that honest we get songs about the biggest douchebag in the world having sex with everyone and explicitly sharing the details. And we get lines like “I be speakin’ swaghili.” I haven’t unironically listened to bitches n’ hoes rap since I was about 16, and to me Yeezus is nothing but bitches n’ hoes over some slick production. And since he’s extra honest, it’s extra gross. I’m gonna go take a shower now.

Overrated Album #5

VAMPIRE WEEKEND | Modern Vampires of the City

I put this last because it’s sure to incite the most rage. I’ll just throw it at you and run for my life, if you don’t mind. Because who doesn’t like Vampire Weekend, amirite? Nobody in their right mind could possibly dislike this album. NOTICE: I actually love these guys, and do enjoy this album a lot. The reason they sit in an overrated pile is because, well…they are slightly overrated. The entire internet and music loving population would have me believe that this album is the most amazing thing to grace my ears, and it just isn’t. It’ll be in my top 20 for sure, and a few songs like “Ya Hey” and “Diane Young” are among my favorites this year. But (as I mentioned above), I’d probably still rather listen to that Paramore album. I can’t really pinpoint why this one hasn’t hit me the same way their first two did, but…I just don’t find myself reaching for it that often. So, basically, this one only qualifies here because of the obligation. I feel like I’m “supposed” to worship this thing, and I don’t. So sue me.

And there you have it. Perhaps by the end of the year, my opinion on these will have changed. Perhaps.



About the Author

Chris