Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

If You Can Stand One More List...

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On Friday, " Soundcheck," the daily music talk show on WNYC-FM, New York City Public Radio, invited me on to end their "critic's week" by listing my choices for the worst albums of 2007.

There is no small amount of irony in the fact that the Capital of Cynicism in the UNIVERSE had to turn to a Chicago rock critic (albeit one born and raised in Jersey City and Hoboken) in order to find a guest actually willing to speak ill of a recording. But the producers were impressed by the annual show that my radio colleague Greg Kot and I do on "Sound Opinions" that we like to call "the Turkey Shoot," wherein we list the year's most disappointing albums -- the ones that received a lot of hype, we much-anticipated, and should have been good, but ultimately let us down.

Anyway, the "Sound Ops" show is here. The WNYC show is here. And the list -- the last I'll do for quite some time, is... (drum roll, please)...

The Worst Albums of 2007

(In no particular order, and only five this time, because who wants to extend the torture?)

The Stooges, "The Weirdness"

We waited 34 years for this?

Feist, "The Reminder"
Bjork, "Volta"

I expressed my dislike for both these albums in the same column back in May. But while I haven't come to appreciate the Bjork disc any more in the months since, the Feist now makes me want to climb a bell tower with an automatic rifle, thanks to those damn TV commercials shoving it down my throat all the time.

The Eagles, "The Long Run"
We waited 34 years for this?

Rilo Kiley, "Under the Blacklight"
A major let-down, considering the enduring pleasures of Jenny Lewis' 2006 album, "Rabbit Fur Coat."

M.I.A., "Kala"
Yes, I know I gave it three stars in my review. And I stand by that: The globe-trotting musical backing is extraordinary. I just wish the music had the singer and rapper it deserves -- and that other critics would be honest enough to say that. Instead, this seems to be appearing on nearly every other Year-End Best-Of list I read.

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They should have toured The Weirdness before they recorded it. Or, better yet, recorded it live.

As you yourself said when reviewing the Stooges Lollapalooza gig, many of the songs sound better now.

Well, some of those songs DID sound better live, Ron. But I'm not sure anything could have saved a stinker like "Mexican Guy," quite possibly Iggy's worst tune since "Loco Mosquito."

I disagree on Feist on M.I.A., but completely agree with Rilo Kiley, and I'd also tack on the Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather (not up to their usual standard of material) and P.J. Harvey - White Chalk (I think that anyone who gives this a favorable review was only being generous to P.J.'s legacy, not the album itself).

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on December 24, 2007 6:42 AM.

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