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Worst of

Joe’s 7 Least Favorite Albums of 2023



This was supposed to be a video. But now it’s way too late for anyone to care, so now it’s a blog post!

Here are the seven albums that I enjoyed least from 2023.

7. Scarlet by Doja Cat

A left turn that doesn’t work at all. Harsh, semi-gangster rapping instead of the fun and flirty R&B of her last album. The material is bad, and she does not elevate it at all.

2.5 stars

6. This Stupid World – Yo La Tengo.

No me gusto.

There’s just nothing I enjoy about Yo La Tengo. They exist alongside bands like Sonic Youth, 3 Dog Night and INSERT ANY POST-ROCK BAND’s NAME HERE as artists that simply do nothing for me. And this is watered down, meandering, boring versions of what perhaps once had a spark.

Artistic merit be damned.

Does this album and this band truly belong here among these other artists. Of course not. But I’m going to do it because I have to be true to who I am, and I am someone who does not like Yo La Tengo.

2.5 stars

5. Gloria by Sam Smith

Albums like Gloria are important because it proves that no matter your race, creed, sexuality, gender or pronouns you too can make an unbelievably shitty album. It’s very freeing to be able to talk about Sam Smith as the bad musical artist that they are.

2.5 stars

4. Take Me Back to Eden – Sleep Token

I was hoping that metal would be a bastion for goodness in these trying musical times. Alas, here comes the obscenely popular Sleep Token bringing auto-tune and trap pop tendencies to the genre of djent.

I can’t decide if I hate their vocals more or less than 30 Seconds to Mars’ / Jared Letos. They’re autotuned within an inch-of their life. If it turns out that it’s just an AI that was fed Imagine Dragons, Jared Leto, Post Malone and Wakka Flakka Flame singing with his mouth full of cookies. I actually wouldn’t be surprised.

Everything is so polished and shiny that their masked and anonymous shtick immediately becomes hackneyed and lame.

The grotesque vocals would have caused me to turn the album off immediately if it wasn’t for the burdens of this channel, and the possibility of a new low score for the year.

The Summoning has a guitar solo that almost goes somewhere, but like, they can’t let it go on to long and back in comes the imagine dragons vocals.

The band throws in like three breakdowns where everything gets loud and shouty and then it’s back to the slick overproduced, but also incredibly boring sound.

It’s actually impressive at how safe and boring the band makes metal.

It’s so serious and staid and unfun despite backing vocals that sound like something out of Miley Cyrus’ early 2010s output.

Granite feels like Bastille meets one of the Jonas Brothers. … the lyrics are sub-Bieber, and the music wouldn’t feel out of place on a Sam Smith record. Then they throw in a some stock-sounding downtuned, distorted guitar riffs.

There are elements of interesting songwriting. Aqua Regia could have been a nice R&B song in the hands of someone with soul and a good voice. The chord changes are nifty. Cool bass work. Nice piano.

I’m not saying these aren’t guys are untalented. I’m just saying they made a bad record… and they need a new lead singer and a completely different look and aesthetic.

2.5 stars

3. Foxy Shazam – Dark Blue Night 

What a fall for the band that once sang “That’s the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen, and I like it. I like it” (see 2012’s The Church of Rock and Roll).

But this album sounds like it was produced by me, in a basement. And not even the nice one that I have now. We’re talking pre-renovations.

It just sounds lousy, the songs are lousy and the whole thing is a train wreck. Sorry Foxy. You get two stars because I still have fond feelings for you.

2 stars

2. 30 Seconds to Mars – It’s the End of the World but a Beautiful Day.

Is Jared Leto really on this album? The autotune sounds so anonymous. If you played me the first track I would have said this was the Jonas Brothers with maybe a Post Malone guest vocal spot.

Their guitarist Tomo Miličević left the band in June 2018. Good for him. It’s like giving away your ticket for the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

The music is Maroon 5 light. I yearn for Adam Levine’s comparably superior funkiness. There’s no groove.

Life is Beautiful, the second track, sounds like Imagine Dragons. Exact same vocal cadence. Same shitty drum beats. The big bass then the light hand claps. It’s got it all. Except any personality of its own. This is like the kidz bop version of Imagine Dragons.

The production is energetic but completely anonymous. There’s not a single standout feature of the band. Anything that you could possible point to in the past as a “hallmark” of the band has been completely erased. And it’s not like they were that interesting or good of a band to begin with.

This is like the D-squad of producers and songwriters.

World on Fire has Steve Mac, the guy from Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran as songwriters along with the band. It’s only 3:17 long, what did each person contribute — a chord? The song sucks by the way.

I can’t even describe how bad Jared Leto sounds here.

Get Up Kid has some perfunctary “oohhh-waahh-ooohhh-oohhhhs” and at least some energy in the guitars and 80s reverby drums. It’s one of the few songs that made me not want to break my headphones.

It’s a terrible album. 1.5 stars.

1. Dark Side of the Moon Redux 

What if we took a big dump on one of the best albums of all-time? Is the question that Roger Waters asks by releasing this album.

The concept is so flawed that this thing never had a chance.

1.5 Stars

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