As 2009 draws to an end, I am beginning to think about my year end Top 25 album list. On top of the fact that I still need to spend some more time with quite a few newer releases and revisit some releases from earlier in the year, there are also a few albums coming (or that just came out this week) that I will have to consider as well (including Between The Buried And Me, Pelican, Wolfmother, Slayer, Nile and Them Crooked Vultures), so things are still a bit murky as to how it will turn out. That being said, I know a few records that WILL definitely be making the list and a few that WILL DEFINITELY NOT.
#1 on my stinkers of 2009 list is the Silversun Pickups sophomore effort Swoon. I really dug their first full-length Carnavas which sounded like a combination of two great icons of alternative rock, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins, without being overly derivative of either band and was looking forward to their follow-up. On my first listen to Swoon I was pretty underwhelmed, but chalked it up to the album probably being a "grower". Then I listened to it again and again and again and eventually found myself getting annoyed with the fact that I was suffering through listening to even one song if it popped up on shuffle on my iPod. Around the same time I started to notice that many of my fellow music loving friends could not stop singing the praises of the album. I began to think maybe I was missing something because I seemed to be the only person who wasn't getting it. I gave the album a few more tries and finally reached the conclusion that no, I was not missing anything at all...the record simply defined the term "sophomore slump". Crappy production, lifeless songs and no expansion upon the sound they developed on the previous release.
If you aren't familiar with the band, but are curious about them, then avoid Swoon and pick up their excellent debut Carnavas. Maybe they'll rebound on their third album....
"Lazy Eye" (from Carnavas)