2008 Music Roundup: The Disappointments

Alright, I’ve been planning to do this junk for a while now. But I’m lazy and busy and blah blah blah. So let’s start with the five or so albums I was most disappointed with.

The first one is gonna be hell of obvious

5. Guns ‘n Roses – Chinese Democracy

Well, fuckin’ duh. Of course this one was gonna be a disappointment. There’s no way that it could live up to everyone’s two-decade-long hopes. Any rational man or woman would set their standards low for this one, but not I. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.

That being said, Chinese Democracy is actually a pretty competent album, and worth listening to at least once, just to say you have. I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of Buckethead’s contributions remained, especially noticeable on the track Shackler’s Revenge. It fits well with the music, and I would have been interested in seeing how it would have played out of Buckethead had stayed with the band. My favorite track on the album would have to be Sorry, which is a bizarre, almost doom-metal sounding ballad, featuring a Mexican Vampire Accent and backing vocals by Sebastian Bach. Freaky.

Chinese Democracy could have been pretty great. But it was held down by its own potential. It was doomed to be a disappointment since around 1998. Sorry, Axl.

4. Andrew W.K. – The Japan Covers

Alright, admittedly my excitement for this one was short-lived. It was maybe ten minutes between finding out about this album and listening to it. Even though I knew Close Calls With Brick Walls sucked, I was excited. I was in pure fanboy glee. I knew it was gonna have the same sissified vocal style as the last album. I knew that there were going to be no songs about partying, hard or otherwise. I got excited anyway.

I guess it’s what it advertises, at least. A bunch of J-Pop covers of songs I don’t know. At least his cover of Linda Linda was pretty catchy.

3. Metallica – Death Magnetic

Are we sensing a theme here? Albums that I knew ahead of time were gonna disappoint me? Yeah, I’m dumb. The next two I thought were gonna be good, I swear!

Alright, though, Death Magnetic. I’ll go out and say that this is pretty much the best thing Metallica has done since The Black Album. I’d even go out and say that it’s almost as good as The Black Album. But just like The Black Album, it suffers from the problem of NOT BEING A GODDAMN THRASH ALBUM.

Come on. You’re Metallica. Is it so much to ask that you start writing metal again, guys? The last time Metallica released a real metal album was a couple months after I was born. Fucking titty ass cock balls.

I mean, I understand the need to progress as musicians. No one wants to play the same shit over and over for their entire careers. I respect that. But they’ve been trying new things for the last twenty years, and claimed that this was supposed to be their return to their roots. In that aspect, it was a complete failure.

Though, we did get a neat zombie-themed music video out of it.

2. Judas Priest – Nostradamus

I love the ever-living fuck out of Judas Priest. They are gods to me. Angel of Retribution? I fuckin’ loved it. The years with Ripper Owens? Good shit, even if John Scalzi disagrees (Yet another excuse to link to his blog. I am a fanboy, sorry). Once they put the title track up on their MySpace, I fuckin’ played it on loop for hours. It was excellent. I was so stupidly excited for this album.

I’ve listened to this album at least half a dozen times. At least, I’ve tried. It is completely, utterly un-remarkable. I don’t remember a thing about it save for the title track. I remember being bored. I remember waiting through the instrumental interludes, hoping to be saved by a stand-out track or two. But there was nothing, save for the track Nostradamus, that caught my ears.

I think the album was probably pretty good. I mean, there was nothing wrong with it. But dude, I can’t remember a dang thing about this one. Every other Priest album is a head-banging sing-along from start to finish. This one? Meh.

1. Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man

Alright, I know a certain someone is gonna be all hyperventilating and upset about this one. But fuck, this was one mediocre-ass album. I’d put it slightly above The Glorious Burden on my Iced Earth album list. It’s the only one of their studio albums I don’t actually own a copy of (I don’t own Days of Purgatory or Tribute To The Gods either, but those don’t count).

For those who don’t follow Iced Earth, here’s a quick rundown. Matt Barlow was the band’s third vocalist, and people pretty unanimously agreed he was the best. He was the voice of Iced Earth, no doubt. One of my favorite singers of all time. After 9/11, he quits the band to become a police officer, feeling that he wasn’t doing enough by being a rock star. Noble, but I was pretty bummed about it. Luckily, the aforementioned Ripper Owens had just gotten kicked out of Judas Priest by the return of Rob Halford, so he joined Iced Earth, to mixed reviews. The first album he did with them, The Glorious Burden, sucked pretty bad. But that wasn’t his fault, honestly, but that’s another thing. Few years later, they start work on a two-part concept album dealie: The Something Wicked Saga. First one, Framing Armageddon, comes down and rocks me pretty well. Not Iced Earth’s best stuff, but I liked it. Halfway through the recording of part two, The Crucible Of Man, Matt Barlow comes back and Ripper gets the shaft. Again. Poor fuckin’ guy. But no one really cared, ’cause HOLY FUCK MATT BARLOW IS BACK IN METAL TODAY IS THE GREATEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. I remember ranting about this to Jeff and James at IHOP once I had heard the news, even though they didn’t give two damns. I very seriously nearly peed myself.

Upon release, though, the album was a real big let-down for me. It was just really forgettable. Kinda like Nostradamus, it had its one super-awesome track (I Walk Alone), and the rest is just kinda chaff.

So there we have it. Three albums I should have been smart enough not to expect much from, and two that just bored me. Go ahead and listen to the tracks I linked. Even though these albums disappointed me, these are good tracks. And just ’cause an album disappointed me, it doesn’t mean I think it’s a bad album. I’d much rather listen to any of these albums over and over again than one song off of a Nickelback or My Chemical Romance album.

Next up should be my top ten of the year, or at least 10-6.

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