The 11 Worst Albums of 2014
The 11 Worst Albums of 2014

6

Iggy Azalea, The New Classic

If we’re talking origin stories, Iggy Azalea’s got a good one. She’s been hustlin’ since she was 16. She moved halfway across the globe to make it in hip-hop. She’s an Australian white girl with flow (allegedly). But Miss Iggy ditched her potentially interesting idiosyncrasies for a very dog-eared, grossly American script: “I pledge allegiance to the struggle,” she raps on “Work.” Throughout The New Classic, she chases fat Top-40 hits like she chases a racially ambiguous Atlanta accent; the radio industry might oblige her, but the quip attributed to that classic wit, Samuel Johnson, applies: “Your hot new hip-hop album is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.” Caldwell

The 11 Worst Albums of 2014

5

deadmau5, while (1 < 2)

You have to give him credit: When every other EDM superstar was churning out the audio equivalent of a coked-up drunk shouting in your ear at 128bpm, the dude in the rat mask chose the path less traveled. Unfortunately, that path led to 140 sleep-inducing minutes of the most grim-visaged dance music since, well, the last deadmau5 album. At 25 songs, at least 20 of which could’ve been cut in half or omitted altogether, the punishing length and listlessly moody vibe of While (1 < 2) suggests that the mau5 is in desperate need of a strong-willed producer to put the reins on what is starting to resemble a deadly sincere, career-length expedition into the farthest recesses of his own anal cavity. Sullivan

The 11 Worst Albums of 2014

4

Trey Songz, Trigga

Hooky and expensive-sounding isn’t enough for R&B in 2014. This is the year of the new D’Angelo album, after all; and to a lesser extent, strong efforts from Omarion, Tinashe, FKA twigs, SZA, and a truly buoyant one from the anti-Trey Songz, Jason Derulo, whose Talk Dirty allows for ample flexing of sexual prowess and club-ready beats without ever really leaching agency from the women they’re there for. In short, grown-ass music from an artist with more to his sex-talk than ogling “Foreign” women and being “Disrespectful” and cursing a “SmartPhone” he was stupid enough to leave on while fucking his side girl. That last song in particular represents what’s most insulting about Songz’s attempt at a devil-may-care party-rock album; a grandiose plea for forgiveness, the track proves this misogynist doesn’t even have the balls to be unapologetically immoral. If you fall for that on the standard version of Trigga, fine—but the deluxe edition tips its hand with a track called “What’s Best for You.” Asshole. Sam C. Mac

The 11 Worst Albums of 2014

3

Robin Thicke, Paula

No matter where you fall on “Blurred Lines,” if you’re a thoughtful person you should recognize the necessity of the discourse around it. Now remember that Robin Thicke also co-wrote Jordan Knight’s “Give It 2 You,” another pretty big hit of its day, and basically a rape fantasy: There’s never any indication that “holdin’ you down in my bed” is a sentiment returned by the girl Knight’s dream-fucking. Now consider Paula, which is pretty much an extension of “Give It to You,” a whole song about fantasizing that you’re still with the girl you’re not (in this case, Thicke’s estranged wife Paula Patton, which is all kinds of creepy), but minus the bumpin’ beat. Paula is pretty much entirely midtempo, chintzy cocktail R&B, but lyrically, this isn’t too far removed from Blurred Lines. This, too, deserves thought from the thoughtful. Mac

The 11 Worst Albums of 2014

2

The Flaming Lips, With a Little Help from My Fwends

Wayne Coyne and his many fwends share in his band’s mission to desecrate the Beatles’ opus with ugly, druggy, mismatched exercises in shoving as many unnecessary synths, obnoxious vocal effects, and overbearing (and overcompressed) modern production techniques into the mix as possible. The Flaming Lips have always peppered their songs with weird noises, especially when Ronald Jones was in the band, but until recently, these affectations were never substitutes for melody. Indeed, while The Terror used alienating reverb and a forest of synths to disguise the fact that it barely had any good songs on it, With a Little Help from My Fwends applies comparable tricks to destroy some of the greatest pop songs of all time. Jeremy Winograd

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