Disappointment comes in many forms and is often due to expectations. For instance, I wasn’t expecting Muse to return to form with Drones after having been let down by the past two albums. And the first single squashed any glimmer of hope. And the same could be said for Coldplay’s album, which leaked yesterday. Judging by the initial response, it’s mediocre at best. Which is again, not a surprise after two disappointing albums.
Then there are albums which are disappointing because as a fan you had hoped the artist took another direction. I would place Lana Del Rey’s Honeymoon album in this category. It’s not a bad album but I was hoping for a new iteration of Lana Del Rey, similar to the genre jump she made between the debut and her sophomore album. Similar with CHVRCHES. The band stated, early in the recording process, that they were not aiming to do something different – But to make a better version of their first record. For me, I would rather take the risk of having a band explore new sounds, then to repeat their previous success. And in the end, I think the second album is disappointing because it’s not as good as the first.
And then there’s way too much hype, coupled with some terrific singles. A$AP Rocky blew me away with his single L$D, both the song and the video. But when the album hit, it had the same problems as the first one – Too many fillers, and A$AP’s lyrics are still horrendous at times.
And I’ve really tried to like Julia Holter’s acclaimed album. I bought it on vinyl just to have it on repeat. Everyone was raving about this indie darling. But in the end I just didn’t get it. I’m thinking that there’s something wrong with me – On paper it seems to be one of the best albums of the year. But no, it took me a long time to admit – It just doesn’t stick.
These are all my own personal thoughts. Believe me, I know that my taste in music is somewhat skewed. I still think “i” is the best track on Kendrick Lamar’s beloved record, and I don’t really listen to the rest. I also thought Wu-Tang Clan and Foster The People made two of the best albums last year. Yup, something’s wrong.
But what are your most disappointing albums of 2015? Don’t get me wrong – 2015 is and was an amazing year. But fandom and hype is known to screw with your mind – And sometimes the anticipation of an album builds expectations which are impossible to deliver. I mean, Radiohead should name their upcoming album “B-sides”, The Stone Roses should never actually release a comeback album and Kanye’s SWISH should be renamed to “My Spoken Word LP” just to completely crush all hope and get some grounded expectations.
Nominate your picks in the comments below!