Not only is this our first video feature, the video was produced with the new Has it Leaked 2.0 site version in mind. Due to a number of reasons the site relaunch has been delayed. Even if the video use the style and graphics set for our future revamp, we thought it would be nice to share it in time for both yours and our holiday break, and give your a glimpse into what we have planned for next year.
The best or the worst. Perfect or thrown-together pretentious garbage. I’m not a music journalist so I don’t have to deal with being the hundredth writer trying to find the unique superlatives to describe just how good Arcade Fire’s album is. I did want to do something creative, a year-end list like no other, but what did I end up with? Not the best or the worst. The mediocre, forgettable two or three star albums. Therefore, while I’m pretending to be both creative and a journalist, I let you spend time telling me how terribly wrong I am in the comments.
Let’s start off with an album, by which Has it Leaked’s standards was actually out last year – Long.Live.A$AP (hip-hop). A$AP kicks off the album with a soundscape which isn’t just experimental. It sounds determined to introduce an album and a proper debut with momentum and creativity but it so quickly turns to boredom and reveals an artist simply limited by his vocabulary.
Another New York act, which had the classic sophomore album dilemma facing them, were DFA and Brooklyn’s based Holy Ghost! and their album Dynamics (electronic/indie). We all know that time spent making an album isn’t going to make or break the quality of the album per se, but when the duo’s second album was surprisingly released close to its debut, you did get worried. Especially since the first one took years to make and it is unfortunately a very flat result. Maybe waiting for the Avalanches sophomore album for over ten years isn’t such a bad idea after all. Wait, I just remembered Chinese democracy (13 years in the making) and Human after all (Six weeks in the making), both so very mediocre.
Phoenix had their latest single, from the album Bankrupt! (indie), directed by Sofia Coppola. Phoenix are pop masterminds with an impressive back catalog including four impressive albums in a row. The Coppola video, featuring fans weeping in a black-and-white, intimate live performance is in itself mediocre. While the music video is probably to be interpreted as teary-eyed young women expressing their admiration for the band and the song’s impact, it could as easily be them crying out for a better album. Oh, and the single is titled Chloroform, insert joke here.
Remember the hit track “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me”? If you were like me, all you were thinking was, “I really don’t wish that”. If Sky Ferreira released a track with a similar title, I would be totally on board. She’s artistic, bold, and exciting but Night Time, My Time (pop) is cohesive mediocrity at its purest form. I know that the hype and cool factor might have put too much pressure on my expectations but if Kanye can tell me he’s going to follow up his best album with a God-like record and at the same time declare he’s the ruler of everything creative, and still not disappoint, why can’t Ferreira’s LP at least be a few of the adjectives Pitchfork chooses to describe her album as?
And here it comes… Queens of the Stone Age’s … Like Clockwork (rock). Maybe one of the more difficult judgment calls I’ve made about an album and yet I’m only calling it mediocre. A lot of time and contemplation went into this choice and if I only made the list to be provocative, I would go for Churches instead. Why so difficult then? I appear missing could well be a rock track of the year and with a sense of style like no other, both musically, lyrically and artistically. Homme delivers tension while somehow successfully managing to combine dark, psychedelic, merciless, dirty, desert rock with a sense of commerciality. While his protégé, Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys, delivers a solid but nevertheless an album with less bite. Homme’s latest offering delivers more one-offs than an album you want to put on repeat.
Is that it? You know as well as I do that there’s plenty more. And while we’ve got the proper Has it Leaked 2013 Top 10 list from our legit authors, let me summarize with a few notable mediocre mentions.
Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye, adding a couple of minutes of psychedelic buzz to some of the tracks doesn’t make your sophomore album any less bland. Depeche Mode, without that stark and beautiful first single your album wouldn’t even make this list. Alice in Chains, give DuVall some vocal time, please. Boards of Canada, Burial, The Field and Moderat, it’s time to evolve. AlunaGeorge, while CHVRCHES didn’t make a perfect record either, they at least had more to show than the first singles.
So what does it all mean? I’m going to be a lot less mediocre site admin next year and have a much better Has it Leaked site for all of you. I’ll see you guys in 2014.
Written by Staffan Ulmert. Published 2013/12/16. More articles
… Like Clockwork in the top 10 AOTY and top 5 mediocre of 2013. Well, Hasitleaked, that was garbage.
To clarify, this is written by me, the site admin. This is my personal list. Like all of our Top 10’s, we like to present different opinions, rather than one. Plus, as mentioned – I’m not a writer, being from Sweden I can barely spell my own name in english. This is a one time thing. But I really wanted try out the video format, and the real writers were busy with the “real” list ;)
Where is MGMT’s self titled album? That album was a pretty damn big let down, Sky’s was refreshing. And LIKE CLOCKWORK??? You’re insane. QOTSA’s new album was AMAZING, and just like TURTLE mentioned, you put it on the top 10 as well which makes absolutely no sense. GTFO with this list.
I agree with you regarding MGMT. Their new album, and entire direction has all gone a bit bland, after their insistence that they hate Oracular Spectacular and are trying to get away from it, I was the one who included QOTSA in my top 5 of the year, not anyone else who works on the site. Obviously I disagreed with @hasitleaked-c4ca4238a0b923820dcc509a6f75849b:disqus, but Jesus, I didn’t have a hissy over it! Calm down!
Totally agree about MGMT; the epitome of a mediocre, forgettable, album.
Just to put a different opinion here: I liked MGMT’s new album a lot. Much more than the previous (that I really totally forgot). All the songs are so catchy in non-ordinary ways.
Here are a few of the BEST albums from 2013 and these are ones that, if you’re into the kind of trash that was on this “mediocre” of 2013 video, than you’ve probably never heard of them, yet they are miles above anything you’ll ever hear on the radio.
#1) Lemur (Self-Titled); #2) Joan of Arc: TESTIMONIUM SONGS; #3) White Fence: LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO; #4) of Montreal: LOUSY WITH SYLVANBRIAR; #5) Owen: L’AMI DU PEUPLE; and #6) The Finer Points of Sadism: VOLUME 2. Every one of these CDs are unique, brilliant, non-derivative and, in a way, I’m glad that they’re all not in the “mainstream” with all the garbage that gets heavy rotation on commercial radio.
The best of 2013? Most of you will never know because these CDs don’t get played (thank gawd) on radio. They include: Lemur’s eponymous CD, of Montreal’s LOUSY WITH SYLVANBRIAR and Joan of Arc’s TESTIMONIUM SONGS (I also have to put in White Fence’s LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO).
BTW -re: Alice in Chains: it’s an embarrassment that they decided to forge ahead after the tragic death of Layne Staley. It’s so obvious that the only reason Jerry Cantrell, the other dudes and this new guy are recording under the name Alice in Chains is for monetary gain. It’s also a real slap in the face to Layne Staley’s memory (as well as his family). When John Bonham died, Led Zeppelin, at least had the decency to break-up, since, of course, they’d never be able to find another John Bonham. With Staley, his distinctive voice was also perfect for the harmonies that he did w/Cantrell. But the “new” AIC is nothing but a commerical blunder.
Indie, indie, indie, rabble, rabble, rabble.
that’s a perfect handle you got there – “Pathetic” is right! I suppose you bend over and take whatever corporate crap the radio plays.
Happy to see others recognize that Like Clockwork was pretty awful despite QOTSA’s pretty excellent back catalog.
Burial, “it’s time to evolve”? LOL
But then again, I only browse this website for leaks, not the “editorials”
QOTSA clockwork album as mediocre?? Damn, you guys should just stick to updating us with album leaks.
I think Burial’s new ep is really showing some glimpse of evolution. It’s not that much of dubstep anymore and it’s a lot brighter than the usual. It’s even a bit socially committed with those anti-bullyism messages.
Only leak music that will benefit the world. If you think it wont…destroy that idea. You just saved millions.