Indier Than Thou: Year List Things Pt 1: The Bottom Five

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Year List Things Pt 1: The Bottom Five

Just for the record, this used to be a bottom ten, not five. The list was padded by things that were actually genuinely awful, because, though I wanted space to complain about the five below, I didn't want them all so high up on the list, really. They weren't even BAD per se, I just love to whine. But then I realised I didn't really care enough to go beyond one word ("sucked") with the other five actual-bad ones and, I dunno, some of them I didn't want to admit having listened to. Oh, but just because I wanted to avoid being told I'm wrong becausethatmakesmeuncomfortableANYWAY, I gave Positive Polly her say against all the Negative Nancy stuff.

And here it is then. Sorry in advance.

5. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Guys. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I can't stand how many people are completely smitten with this album...I think it's just noise. Just like getting punched in the ear repeatedly for much, much too long. Punched rhythmically, but still. Then that semimelodic highpitched tweedliness on I think every single track is kind of just like the ringing of your ears after you've been punched for too damn long. This punching motif thing is well-suited to the fact that of course my brother loves this album more than he's ever loved anything which is doubtlessly not very much, but still. This album is as much of a gruesome mess as its cover art.

But Positive Polly Says: Certain snippets of it are great. A lot of "Chores" is fine, most of "#1" and "Winter Wonderland" are bearable, and I really rather like all of "Derek".

4. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
They just stole the essence of some of the more second-rate Arcade Fire stuff and then made it greasier, a lot greasier (literally and beginning with the hair). For some unkown reason I actually expected really good things from The Stage Names and all it turned out to be was straight-up Boring to listen to. Apperently the lyrics are supposed to be "powerful" or some other such crap, but I don't care and can't find a way to make myself care. I still consider Okkervil River an incomprehensibly over-respected version of... The Spill Canvas or something.

Positive Polly: Good in-the-car-with-your-friends music, I suppose. Also my father loves Okkervil River, says they're good to listen to while running, and I kind of agree. SO what I mean is, this album does have a very nice energy to it...or...something...

3. The Bird and the Bee - The Bird and the Bee
Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again... Where Nelly went wrong, The Bird and the Bee COULD have gone right: by shutting up.

Positive Polly: That's a completely invalid critique. It means...nothing. The "again and again"s weren't even typed out, they were COPIED AND PASTED. Per-THETic.

2. Feist - The Reminder
While typing that title, a particularly gruesome image popped into my head: a dozen crazy leering middle-aged valium-addicted hyenas pouncing on and tearing apart the young unsteady-legged antelope that's lagging behind the rest of the pack. I find Feist fans are viciously, viciously obsessed with this album and with defending it at all costs. But hear me out! First off I'll apologise for the fact that Feist fans aren't really all middle-aged valium addicts. In fact, the Big Deal with Feist is that she's supposed to appeal to everyone from my Rihanna-obsessed younger sister to the crotchety old guidance counselor at school who likes to limp about tearing down hallway decorations...and she does, she appeals to everyone. Why? Because her little ditties are so goddam playground-melodic, all conchord and no dischord, all perfectly and sweetly likeable with nothing intriguing to propel The Reminder forward past its overaccessible prettiness. Like Belle and Sebastian, but even simpler (if that's possible) and with less heart. It's like she TRIED to write the most hypermarketable, ipod-commercial-tailored album ever. Yawn.

Positive Polly says: But so CATCHY, and suuuuch good latte background music. Nice job, Starbucks!

And my idea of the worst thing to happen musically in two-double-oh-seven:
1. Corneille - The Birth Of Cornelius
Why? Why does this exist? There is no reason or justification for this monstrosity. None.

Positive Polly is in tears and thus currently unavailable for comment.


Blogger Derek said...

I'm feeling you on all of this (well, maybe you were a bit hard on Feist, that album definitely has it's moments), except when you start bashing The Bird And The Bee. One annoying (and I happen to kind of enjoy Again and Again) song does not a horrid record make. Plus, their EP "Please Clap Your Hands" makes up for any wrongs committed on their debut. The Bee Gees cover "How Deep Is Your Love" is just about flawless.

4:50 AM  

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