As I mentioned before, I am dismantling, rebuilding, and reviewing all of the albums on the Rolling Stone Magazine Top 50 of 2014 list.
The introduction to this process is here, and you should read it so that you can glimpse into my insanity:
The second group of 10 are here: https://bradytighe.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/dismantling-and-rebuilding-the-rolling-stone-magazine-50-best-albums-of-2014-part-3/
The fourth group of 10 are here:https://bradytighe.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/dismantling-and-rebuilding-the-rolling-stone-magazine-50-best-albums-of-2014-part-5/
What follows are reviews for albums 11 – 1
10.) Taylor Swift – 1989
I fucking hate Taylor Swift. I loathe every single bullshit, lame, hollow song that she’s ever released about whatever dumb dude she just broke it off with. All of her songs sound the same and everything she does sucks. I have no idea why she is popular, and I question the direction of the human race every time she releases a song that somehow becomes the biggest hit of the fucking decade. I think that I just underestimate the power of all of those babysitting dollars.
I torrented this album because I didn’t want to give Taylor Swift any money, and when I finish listening to it, regardless of how I feel I’m going to delete it from my iTunes, because I don’t ever want to be living a life where my shuffle function could betray me and hit me up with a Taylor Swift song that makes me want to bleed out of all the holes in my body.
On a first listen, every song sounds like a Taylor Swift song; only she ditched all of the country chords for electronic beats, and kept all of the suck. If anything, I should be mad at Taylor Swift for compromising her original ideals, because that spunky country gal that I used to hate has been replaced by someone who sounds like all the other pop clones. At least when I disliked her before, she was trying to be her own thing.
Now she’s just like all of the others.
Sure, it may make her more money than she’s ever seen, but Taylor, you used to be someone I loved to hate, and now you’re too boring to even care about.
Also, what is all this recent bullshit about artists saying they love the 80’s and then making an album that sounds modern in every single way? You know what sounds like the 80’s? Video Killed the Radio Star. This just sounds modern. I guess everyone that listens wasn’t alive in the 80’s, so they wouldn’t know a fucking thing about the entire era this album is named after, and they instead just keep on fan worshipping Taylor Swift like she’s some kind of blonde female Jesus all the while remaining totally blind to how full of shit she is.
I liked her about as much as being fisted to death before, and I like her even less now. I don’t even care how biased I am about the whole thing, because it’s the goddamn truth.
9.) Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
Boooooorrrrrrriiinnnngggg. This is one of those albums that they should give away free at Starbucks.
8.) Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
I love it when rap albums have sequels. I can’t think of another genre of music that would be able to pull off sequels. Sure, Rob Zombie has released like 20 Hellbilly Deluxe records, but were they actually going to sound any different from the last? Even when they have a different title, all the albums still sound like Hellbilly Deluxe.
Which is to say, fucking awesome.
(Worth mentioning, Zombie’s last album Venemous Rat Regeneration Vendor, was balls out awesome, and you should buy it for your next stripper party.)
Anyway, I digress.
Run the Jewels 2 is great. I haven’t heard the original, so I can’t compare the two. However, I imagine this one is somehow longer, bigger, and better. Like all sequels.
That was a joke.
7.) Lana Del Ray – Ultraviolence
I have big problems with Lana Del Ray, and now that I’ve said that I’m going to need to deal with a whirlwind of fallout brought on by every 20-something woman in North America.
I just don’t believe her. All her pop-culture references, and all her slow, “Valium as sound,” style songs just seem so fake to me. One of the best things you can be as an artist is believable, and Ms. Del Ray doesn’t make me feel for a single second like she believes in these songs.
However, this is the best album she’s made so far, and I give the credit for that to the dude from the Black Keys who produced it. Because he seems to have chiseled away a few inches of the caked on bullshit that seemed to drown every other album she’s released.
We’re still stuck with an overlong record of zonked out LA schlock that leaves you feeling like you fell asleep in the sun after too many screwdrivers.
But progress is being made.
6.) Charlie XCX – Sucker
So sweet and poptacular that it would rot your teeth out. However, I don’t see Charlie XCX dethroning anyone anytime soon. Pop music is in a weird state of flux right now, where a new direction isn’t presenting itself, so instead we get a bunch of attractive pop stars trying to do the same thing over and over again, with no results.
Charlie XCX’s album is like trying to shoot the world best heroin, but you can’t find a fresh vein, because all of yours are dead.
That makes it sound worse than it is, but fuck it, its pop music. How good could it have really been?
5.) Miranda Lambert – Platinum
There are two liquor stores in my neighborhood. One of them is six blocks away, and one of them is close enough that I can see it from the front stoop of my apartment building.
The other day I went to the closer one, because I’m lazy and because carrying 24 beer is a workout that I refuse to put myself through on days when I feel like being a piece of literal human garbage.
When I walked into the liquor store, I was greeted with the sound of modern country exploding out of the speakers. My vision swam and I grabbed onto a box of Bombay Gin to steady myself. I asked the clerk behind the counter, my voice raspy and filled with despair, “What is this fucking horseshit?”
“Oh, it’s the new Miranda Lambert album.”
Now I go to the other liquor store. Every. Single. Time.
4.) St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Unobjectionable. It played, I listened to it, and then it was over.
It actually took me a few days to get through the album as a whole, simple because it just seemed so lifeless. The electronic dudes earlier in the list trying to make alienating albums that sound like phone static and remorse should take a page out of St.Vincent’s playbook. The only problem is, I don’t think that was the intention of this album.
Oh well, we can’t have everything we want.
3.) The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Finally, the Black Keys make an album where they get to just hang out and play. This band always had the chops to make something like this, and now they have and I couldn’t be happier. I could put this record on the turntable and just listen to these two dudes jam for days.
And, just to make me shoot hot wads of joy, they gifted the album with the best rock single of their career, “Fever.”
Should it be the #3 best of the year though? Should it be in the top 10?
No. It shouldn’t. Because while it is a great Black Keys album, it is not a phenomenal and life changing record when held up against all other the albums in all the other genres. It’s just two talented blues guys relaxing a bit and getting to make an album that has breathing room. It crosses no lines and challenges nothing, unlike some of the other rock albums on this list (Against Me!)
And for that reason, it’s just a good album to listen to after a few drinks put you in a cozy buzz. Nothing more.
2.) Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes
I like Springsteen, and I’ll point all aging rock stars to him when they need an example of how to have a late-era career. But this album is a weird and fucked up mismatch. Why the fuck is the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine playing on this album? I guess it could have worked, but in practice, we are left with an album where each song goes from Springsteen road poetry to “Is he fucking his guitar with a screwdriver again?” bullshit.
Yet Rolling Stone magazine seems to have such a hard-on for this album. They see a record cobbled together out of covers and old songs by an artist who has spent the last decade releasing quality albums with direction and scope, and somehow think it’s the best thing to ever happen.
Case in point, Rolling Stone named Wrecking Ball by Bruce and the E-Street dudes the best album of 2012, and I have no problem with that, because that album defined the year it came out in; it was a rock album that spoke about the times it was released in, dealt with the issues, and even the fucking President picked a song from it to pump up the people who came out to his shindigs.
Compared to that album, this is Springsteen fucking around and wasting my time by enlisting the bald dude from Rage to ruin songs that Bruce didn’t want to release before now anyway.
He’s better than this.
1.) U2 – Songs of Innocence
No. Fuck U2. Fuck them in their stupid asses. There is no fucking way that this album should be the best album of the year, and the fact that its been declared such a thing only encourages U2 to keep being U2, without them ever knowing that they suck.
The album isn’t that bad. It sounds like a U2 record, and it’s 300,000 times better than that Lenny Kravitz album I had to endure earlier. The problems come in when U2 drowns everyone in a river of their pretentious bullshit, doing the same fucking U2 things that they’ve always done; Just fucking bending everyone over and letting them know that they’re U2.
Things like, say, just giving their album to everyone. If any other band did it, I wouldn’t give a shit, but it’s just such a fucking U2 thing to do, and when they do it, it’s a brutalization of my iTunes.
And now they’ve been rewarded for it. Endless accolades and Rolling Stone’s Number 1 album of the year.
Maybe you’re thinking I’m not the right person to comment on U2, and you might even be thinking, “Well, clearly Brady isn’t down with Bono and the Fuckstick Brigade.” But the truth is, I own U2 albums, and believe that any music listener who can’t appreciate an album like War, is someone who can’t be trusted. So, fuck you, I have two albums by this band, and deserve the right to say that everything they’ve done musically, politically, and publicly after Achtung Baby has been a goddamn embarrassment to the concept of sound played to rhythm.
When people say rock music is dying, this is what they’re talking about. Not the genre going out in a blast of noise and drugs like punk rock did, but slowly slipping away into self-parody and silence; its audience a horde of apathetic listeners and nostalgia-horny journalists.
There are bright spots; I’ve listened to many of them on this list. The guitars are coming back and the albums are getting better, but as long as U2 is still topping polls like this, then everything will still be fucked, and it’s all U2’s fault as far as I’m concerned.
You may think I’m being too hard on them, or placing too much of the blame at the doors of their golden manors, and my response to that is the same as how I opened this entry.
No. Fuck U2.
The New, Improved, Vastly Superior Best Albums of 2014 List That Was Impeccably Researched, Re-organized and Decided on by Brady Tighe.
1.) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
2.) FKA Twigs – LP 1
3.) Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
4.) Avvays – Avvays
5.) Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
6.) Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
7.) Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
8.) Gary Clark Jr. – Gary Clark Jr.
9.) Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
10.) Tweedy – Sukieriae
11.) Tinariwen – Emmaar
12.) The Black Keys – Turn Blue
13.) War on Drugs – Lost in a Dream
14.) Alt. J – This is All Yours
15.) St. Vincent – St. Vincent
16.) YG – My Krazy Life
17.) EMA – The Future’s Void
18.) Weezer – Everything Will Be All Right In the End
19.) Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
20.) Jack White – Lazaretto
21.) Lana Del Ray – Ultraviolence
22.) Caribou – Our Love
23.) Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend
24.) Run The Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
25.) The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun
26.) Young Thug and Bloody Jay – Black Portland
27.) Interpol – El Pintor
28.) Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
29.) Jackson Browne – Standing in the Breach
30.) Charlie XCX – Sucker
31.) Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
32.) Hurray for the Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes
33.) Spoon – They Want My Soul
34.) Prince – Art Official Age
35.) Ought – More Than Any Other Day
36.) Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
37.) Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
38.) Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes
39.) Future – Honest
40.) Eric Church – The Outsiders
41.) U2 – Songs of Innocence
42.) Aphex Twin – Syro
43.) Damon Albran – Everyday Robots
44.) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
45.) Coldplay – Ghost Stories
46.) Perfume Genius – Too Bright
47.) Miranda Lambert – Platinum
48.) Taylor Swift – 1989
49.) Skrillex – Recess
50.) Lenny Kravitz – Strut