Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The Most Overrated Albums of all Time
As I finished this list, I decided to see if anyone else had this bright idea. Much to my surprise, a lot of people had the same bright idea. Oddly enough some of my top ranked overrated albums were common to other lists. And then there were some albums that all the writer could say about was “I don’t get it.” Well, that’s kind of a cop out. You might not like the Arcade Fire, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Just because your taste sucks and you know how to access the internet is no reason to spread your drivel like so much bad mayonnaise. With that, I hope you like my list. And if you don’t, there’s the internet. Use it.
10. Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville
Take away the fact that the title is a bad Stones reference. No, it’s a terrible Stones reference. Is Guyville all she could come up with? Guyville sounds like a gay sports bar for accountants. This is a classic example of an extremely overrated album because 1) it’s awful and 2) every white woman aged 34-40 owns it or name checks it. Notice I didn’t say they still listened to it.
With it’s faux feminism masquerading as hot blow jobs (worked for Alanis too), there isn’t a single hook, lyric or melody that you could point to that would make it as popular as it seems. Chicks and several lame dudes ate this up because Phair was an unpleasant mix between Sheryl Crow and Courtney Love; singing about giving head and really nothing else. I hear it’s being re-released as a “deluxe” edition. I just threw up in my mouth too.
9. Metallica - Master of Puppets
I know, not a popular choice, but here me out: Of the early output of Metallica (before they cut their hair, got their lips pierced and proceeded to fully suck cat ass) it’s by far the weakest. Ride the Lightning is to Master as Exile in Guyville is to whitechocolatespaceegg….ok, bad example.
Master signified the end of this Metallica era. With the death of Cliff Burton the band ultimately moved on to browner pastures. It also signified their entrance into the arena rock posturing that has cost them their most important asset: credibility. With that said, Master of Puppets is still a great album. There is some of Metallica’s finest work on here, but overall it’s looked to as their overall best work and that is simply not true. And for that, it makes this list.
8. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Indie rock creeps wet themselves a few years back declaring this pretentious knob the greatest thing since the advent of the porn box (your computer). I’ve tried to listen to it and its saccharine-y self consciousness just makes me ill.
Check out the picture of this wanker wearing his wings. Can you really take him seriously? He certainly takes himself very seriously. Fanboys and indie rock web editors put this jag off on a pedestal so high it was impossible to inform him that he might just suck as bad as Liz Phair. I’m sure he’d just flap his wings and fly away to make another cutesy album about a state. Here’s a state for you: the state of catatonia you’ve put me in with your bad music.
7. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
More like “this album is a Lemon that has cause Infinite Sadness in anyone who invested an ounce of themselves into modern rock.” A little long but fairly accurate. Other than the first track, this is a double album’s worth of steaming dog piss. And yet it’s probably their best selling and critically received. Go figure.
Corgan adopted his bald headed, Nosferatu persona at this point; utilizing flowing tunics and Bowie-esque theatrics. But without the talent and musical ingenuity of the thin white duke. If there ever was a blowhard emperor of rock who fiddled away while his fan base and integrity burned to the ground, Corgan would be on the official coin on Blowhardia.
6. Notorious B.I.G - Life After Death
Spotty hip hop with a handful of bona fide classic jams on it. With the stink of Sean “Puffy” Combs all over it, this album was released after B.I.G. was killed, therefore guaranteeing its place in the pantheon of hip hop classics. Biggie was a pretty talented dude, but would this have been as huge if he hadn’t died? Probably. Really because hip hop is a singles driven medium and there are some bangers on this, but it doesn’t deserve half the hype it was afforded. And really, why did anyone think it was a good idea for Puff Jiggly to whisper “Bad Boy” over every single goddamned track? He absolutely ruined ¾ of the songs on this record simply by opening his mouth. You have to have some sort of personality disorder to inject yourself that much into someone else’s work. But I guess he was dead so he had no way to stop him. Great work you douche bag.
5. Pearl Jam - Entire Discography
If Nirvana was the Beatles and Soundgarden was the Stones, Pearl Jam are the Monkees. A fabricated band made up to milk the pacific north west grunge cash cow. That’s actually an insult to the Monkees who had some pretty good songs. But you get the idea.
My distaste for Pearl Jam has abated over the last couple of years but my gall for the fans of the band still remains toxic. The band and its output has been mediocre at best yet the fans put them up there with some of the greats in the music world. And have you listened to “Jeremy” from 1991‘s Ten album? Not very good. Do you know what Soundgarden offered up in 1991? Badmotorfinger that’s what. “Rusty Cage” blows away anything PJ has done in its entire career. And which one is considered the better band by white dudes in their 30’s? That’s the sole definition of overrated.
4. The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
Ironic that this great classic album should share the same list as the cheap knockoff offered up by Liz Phair. It is a great, classic album. No doubt there. But even though it’s looked to as the “greatest” Stones album it merely comes in second or third in that race. People who want to seem hip or have read the manual on how to respond when asked what the best Stones album is will reply “Exile,” but we all know Sticky Fingers is a better album song by song.
This falls under the category that Master of Puppets (and a few more to follow) did in that it’s a fantastic album; it’s just not the best the music listening masses would like you to believe. I could write several pages on why Exile is good, but I only need two paragraphs to tell you why it makes this list.
3. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
Ug. Hipsters took up the Brian Wilson rallying cry in the mid 90’s and I’m still not sure if they were just being ironic. Sure I can give Wilson some credit for great harmonies and using a theremin, but really, this IS the Beach Boys were talking about.
The Beach Boys epitomized everything that I hated about music when I got old enough to know better. Cheeseball shit that sounded like it was custom made for dorks. Even the album cover ranks up there with one of the worst/hilarious rock and roll photos ever. I know the argument is that the Beatles influenced this with Rubber Soul and Pet Sounds in turn influenced them with Sgt. Pepper’s but Rubber Soul is a genius piece of work. Whereas Sgt. Pepper’s….well, you might just want to stay tuned.
I still think that someone, somewhere was making a joke when he proclaimed Pet Sounds to be brilliant. Then gullible hipsters ate it up and parroted that same notion, confounding people with taste like myself. Hey everybody let’s listen to Jan and Dean! They’re awesome! Suckers.
2. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
I once got into a heated exchange with my brother and a friend the time I declared Dark Side of the Moon to be “not very good.” The kind of reaction I got was to be expected from people who have been conditioned from a young age to love this boring piece of shit record.
Like most things on this list, there are better albums by this group. Yet, for some reason, this is held up to be one of the greatest albums of all time. Hogwash. Complete and utter hogwash. I can’t remember the song, and doing so would mean I’d have to actually listen to it again, but there are some female back up singers wailing away on it that sounds like someone who was doing too much cocaine was given too big a budget to record an album. It’s just over blown and ridiculous. Ridiculous like the notion that this album should be ranked as one of the greatest.
1. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band
This album offers not only the greatest Beatles song, but one of the greatest pop songs ever written. “A Day in the Life” is the crowning achievement of not only songwriting but humanity in general. You can travel all over the world and there will be a guy with a guitar singing this on a street corner. It is just an epic song and I will argue to the death that it should be considered the greatest song of all time.
With that said, the album it comes from is truly the most overrated album of all time. Sure it changed the game in so many ways: the production was unique and way ahead of its time. The use of instruments and weird effects changed the music world as we know it. Sure, sure, sure. But it’s by far not the greatest Beatles album. Not even close. There’s some real clunkers of songs on here that just don’t catapult it to the level most have placed it. It’s great, don’t mis-read what I’m saying here, but it’s a third or fourth on the list of greatest Beatles albums for sure.
“Getting Better” and “She’s Leaving Home” are puzzling in their blandness. You can’t hit a home run every time, but shouldn’t what most consider “the greatest album of all time” be solid all the way through? Yes, it should. And Sgt. Pepper’s is not. Greatest album of all time? It’s up there sure. Totally overrated? You bet. The most overrated.