The Truth About Music: Play It Loud

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Sean's 2013 Superlatives

Overrated Album Of The Year: Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience

While it was enjoyable overall, and approached great at times, JT’s return was a brilliant marketing strategy that couldn’t live up to it’s own hype.  Suit & Tie was endearing enough to overcome a terrible Jay-Z verse, but it lacked the boundary smashing intensity of his earlier work.  Songs like Strawberry Bubble Gum and Pusher Love made use of their extended length, but did every other song really need to be 30 years long? Futuresex/Lovesounds is one of the great pop albums of all time, and it’s a relief that Justin came back to music at all, but 20/20 was merely an intermittent success that everyone wants to will into a classic by sheer virtue of it’s existence.  Oh and if I didn’t remind you that 20/20 Part 2 exists right now you definitely wouldn’t have remembered, and that would be for the best.

Biggest Disappointment: Phoenix’s Bankrupt!

Phoenix had always been the archetypical “Should be bigger” band.  However, with the monumental success of their 2009 album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, they suddenly were that big.  After spending the past few years headlining festivals and sold out arena’s, they were due for a comedown.  While a comedown was unavoidable, few could have anticipated them releasing an album so utterly forgettable as Bankrupt!.  Sounding more like a lesser band doing a desperate Phoenix impression, for the first time in their career Phoenix sounded lost.  Without a song that could even stand as a great outlier, Bankrupt! is easily Phoenix’s worst album to date, and for those hoping they might be able to sustain their status as A-List musicians, it was the most disappointing release of 2013.

What Is It You Do Here, Exactly? Award: Katy Perry

Say what you will about Lady Gaga, she commits to whatever it is she does,  Rihanna has a sense of seriousness and scope, and Miley has the zeitgeist by the throat as only a ravenous rookie can.  Katy Perry is, well, not much of anything really.  Her songs are somehow bland and unshakable at the same time, and her image has all the raw energy of a focus group at a suburban mall.  The other major league pop stars at least garner an opinion, Katy Perry seems to stick around the radio because no one cares enough about her to tell her to leave.

How To Correctly Pronounce Kreayshawn and Gotye in 2014: One Hit Wonder

I’ll be back next week with my top 10 albums of 2013.

 

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