Music Memoirs: Hype

From Music Memoirs.

Top 5 albums that didn’t live up to the hype

 1. Green Day – Uno The songs are good and classic pop-punk Green Day, but Uno–and also Dos and Tres–was a letdown because of that, in a way. Looking back on American Idiot and 20th Century Breakdown, they’re both a hell of a lot better than we give them credit for. I think they tend to be overlooked despite awesome beasts like “21 Guns” and “Jesus of Suburbia,” which I do happen to think is one of their greatest songs. Basically, Uno is boring and lacking those same juggernauts.
2. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die This is kind of similar to Uno in that it’s a little boring. The songs are good, Lana’s voice is pretty, but “Video Games” is so stellar that few songs on the album match its quality. As a result, the album is easy to wear out–there’s not enough variety or nuance in songs to keep it on its pedestal, even though it’s not actually a bad album. Bonus points for the Paradise Edition since it only threw in a few new songs that don’t really help the mundane factor. And it really doesn’t help that rereleasing an album within a few years of its original release is one of my biggest music-industry pet peeves. It’s a stupid, greedy gimmick to sell more copies. If you want fans to have the songs that bad, release an EP or horde them for a B-sides release. Adding a couple unreleased songs to a relatively recent release, slapping new artwork on it, and giving it a fancy name is lazy pandering.
3. Keane – Strangeland I’m positive I’ve complained about this before, but seriously, Strangeland didn’t live up to the hype, especially after Perfect Symmetry and the Night Train EP. Strangeland is a kind of nice return to the almost stripped-down sound of Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea–which, by the way, I find gets better with time and listens–but “nice” is about the extent of it. It doesn’t really have any stand-out songs like the other albums did. I certainly don’t think as far as cohesive albums go that Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea are the band’s best–that would be Perfect Symmetry–but some the good songs are so good that it doesn’t even matter: “Everybody’s Changing,” “Bedshaped,” “Is It Any Wonder,” “A Bad Dream,” “Bend and Break.” Strangeland falls, once again, into boring territory.
4. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange I know this is extremely unpopular opinion, but I just couldn’t get into Channel Orange, and I really did try. The good news, Frank Ocean fans, is that I really like some songs, like “Forrest Gump.” Most of the rest of the album, though, I didn’t think was the epic behemoth most hear it as.
5. Punchline – Delightfully Pleased This is yet another album that I liked and is actually quite good but just didn’t live up to the hype, especially considering the band’s past material. Punchline fans have been gunning for a new Action for years–the closest we came was probably Just Say Yes in terms of sheer fantastic songwriting all in one album rather than pop-punk ass-kicking–and we haven’t gotten it. That’s okay for all sorts of reasons pertaining to band growth and not needing to top themselves, but Delightfully Pleased almost felt like a step backwards in some ways, mostly in lyrical content. Despite some epic standouts and the fact that a song about Lost is good by default, it just didn’t feel like it had the punch (bad pun intended) of previous albums.

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