The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

2008-09-16 04:12
Has bad taste really taken a backseat to blah? Were Kaiser Chiefs spot on when they moaned that "Everything Is Average Nowadays"? Or has media hype, and radio and TV playlisting meant that we've simply lost the ability to distinguish between the good, the bad and the truly goddamn ugly? Forget Billboard, what we need is a "bilious board" chart – an instant guide to the excrement sliding down our aural landscape. Well, we've done the dirty work, scouring the shelves to find some of this year's most cringe-worthy crap.

Bles Bridges The English Album
He was ridiculed, lampooned and shunned from cool society. But a misguided fetish for patchwork leather jackets should only draw so much censure. Bles' voice was immense: it could literally make purple hair dye leap out at him from his audience. Consider this a hipster bully's earnest apology to beyond the grave. [NB]
- Listen to clips
Read more: Read the review

Duffy Rockferry
Breaking into the pop soul charts by marketing yourself as an anti-Amy Winehouse is one thing. But is a Welsh Barbie’s blatant rip-off of Dusty Springfield's soulfully foxy vamps, Phil Spector's Motown girl group chamber pop and Nancy Sinatra's hairdo a savvy indictment of our retro-post-modern pop culture or just plain tacky pastiche? [MK]
- Listen to clips
- Read the review

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
The soul-meets-electro pop trick sounds so retro it’s fresh, the singer is of questionable gender, and it’s so high concept everyone is telling you this is the album to hear this year. But beyond the tongue-in-cheekiness of "Time to Pretend" Oracular Spectacular proves to have as much staying power as every kitsch act they’ve been compared to (The Darkness, Scissor Sisters). [SB]
- Listen to clips
- Read more

Dozi - Explodes with the Music of Credence Clearwater Revival
Watching Dozi hook up with Kurt and Mel and pretend they’re the Traveling Wilburys last year was just bad. Weirdly enough hearing 'die ou ryperd' belt out a slew of cheesy Credence hits works. If you're starting a new pub with a bar girl with country and western breasts and a bandanna, this covers album rocks! [MK/CR]
- Listen to clips
- Read the review

Ike Moriz - All Around the World
He's awfully sweet, and looks nice in jeans. Really. And he truly feels the music. You can tell, because he makes a little crackling sound with his voice sometimes, just like an Idol. An album this overproduced deserves five stars for effort – and cause they’d kind of go with it, specially if they were big stars made of flashing lights. All Around the World is packed with lyrics like "rain keeps on falling" (inspired by recent weather), and echo effects (inspired by the echo effect button). Awesome! [JB]
- Listen to MP3
- Read more
Dirty Skirts – Daddy Don’t Disco
Nearly every band goes through the phase, after being declared the "ones to look out for", where they’re desperate to be seen as serious musicians. Some pull it off organically (Fokofpolisiekar, Cassette), for others, like Dirty Skirts, sacrificing their trademark energy and high entertainment factor for a mellower sound that’s beyond them, can result in something less sincere than they intended. [ShB]
- Listen to clips
- Read the review

Game - L.A.X.
"Catch me if you can I'm in those old school Barkley's/Back to the fence, puffin on that Bob Marley/Flow like oregano, nigga you already know/ My competition's stiffer than Ronald Regan, let it go/Befo' you be a motherfuckin vegetable" postures the prime time West Coast rapper on his final will and testament. Wait up. "Flow like oregano"? Right. Hip-hop may not be dead, but rap creativity clearly is. Time for this played out 'play' to retire from THE game. [MK]
- Listen to clips
- Buy the CD anyway?

3 Doors Down – 3 Doors Down
It took them twelve years to release their first self-titled album, which is funny, because that’s exactly how long it takes to lose your soul. The band who gave us "Kryptonite" have made an expertly produced catalogue of nothings that says nothing about rock except inadvertently, perhaps, that it’s not for pussies. [NB]
- Listen to clips
- Read review

Sharleen Spiteri – Melody
Like KFC without the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, Texas’s leading lady is missing the Deep South on this sleep-inducing attempt at solo soul. [SB]
- Try the CD anyway

100 Essential 80s Collection - Various
Actually the whole collections TREND is so bad that it's... bad. I hate walking into record shops and seeing the shelves creeking under the weight of releases like this, designed for people who’re too stupid to own an iPod. [JB]

Miley Cyrus - Breakout
If Kelly Clarkson can "Breakaway" from her pop Idol roots, then surely Miley can break out of any pesky Hannah Montana typecasting? Yep, this is prefab pop at it's most Machiavellian: the moment where a Disney teen idol starts selling her soul. [MK]

Karen Ferreira - Dans Met My
Award-winning, fast-selling garbage. Dans Met My has delighted the odd dansbaan in the country, but behind all of it is the cynical science of how to squeeze the vapid sokkie nation for another R100 a pop. To each his own? Of course, but a pig is a pig is a pig. [NB]
- Listen to clips
- Read the review

Madonna - Hard Candy
Further proof that Madonna is NOT HUMAN, Hard Candy is a cold and over-produced product that says "My name is Madonna and I'm cooler than you" (in case you missed it before) while shoving its impossibly toned crotch in your face. No, we don't all wish we looked like that at 50. [ShB]
- Listen to clips
- Read the review

Jessika – Shout
It’s not cheesy, it’s mouldy. Stinker alert! Shame, and she can’t even blame her record company because it’s her terrible voice that will cement this album to the bottom of the '3 for R99' bin. [SB]
- Listen to clips
- Read the review

Don Clarke - "The Official Splashy Fen song"
Competition winner Don (Who?) Clarke's official Splashy Fen song. It's really beyond unbelievably bad that it matches his moustache. If a hippie ever needed a makeover, Don does. When they played it over the PA, at the fest people actually covered their ears and wept. [JB]
- Listen to clip
- Read more

- Contributors: Niel Bekker, Miles Keylock, Jean Barker, Chris Roper, Shaheema Barodien and Sam Brighton.

2008's been a bit of slam dunk for great albums: from The Roots and The Raconteurs to Goldfish, 340ml, Foto Na Dans and more….Hang on isn't anyone making rubbish records anymore? No, not the obviously blank chart burps of booty babe R&B poppets like the Pussycat Dolls. The seriously dodgy stuff. Whatever happened to cringe-worthy classics like Bon Jovi's Blaze of Glory, The Darkness' Permission to Land or let's see...sure, R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet"? Yep. We're talking rec publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.