Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists: Top 10 Disappointing Albums

Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists:Top 10 Disappointing Albums
Well, it can't all be rainbows and sunshine; sometimes, big hopes mean big disappointments, and 2013 was no different. From hip-hop legends losing step to lesser sequels, below are ten letdowns from the past 365.

To see more of our coverage of the year in music, head over to our 2013 in Lists section.

Top 10 Disappointing Albums of 2013:


Exai is a record that displays Autechre's tedious obsession with certain sonic elements and offers no thematic foothold. It's rife with incredibly interesting aspects but these are then overplayed or end up meandering down cul de sacs. Autechre albums always require some effort, which in turn rewards you, but Exai is a demanding slog. (Daryl Keating)

Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

A combination of substance-less padding and lack of memorable tunes dragged Tomorrow's Harvest down from it's proposed podium but that was merely the knockout blow. With six years of silence, feverish, cryptic hype, and a veritable frothing at the mouth from die-hards setting up the fall, it was near impossible to live up to its expectations. (Daryl Keating)

IV Play

While IV Play had all the trappings of a return to form for the "Radio Killa," instead listeners are treated to strip club anthems and "ratchetness" that outweigh his R&B offerings. More interested in mistimed bangers like "Tron" and "Pussy," The-Dream leaves us with one of 2013's most disappointing releases. (Jabbari Weekes)

Jay Z
Magna Carta Holy Grail

Jay Z continues to come up with new ways to assert his vast, entrepreneurial dominance away from the studio, but his artistry in the booth has waned steadily in recent years. Despite a few notable assists from producer Timbaland and a couple of heavyweight guests, this year's lacklustre Magna Carta Holy Grail, with Jay Z's increasingly plodding pace and largely unremarkable lyrical barbs, added more credence to the notion that the creative demands of a solo effort might just be slipping beyond the rap king's grasp. (Kevin Jones)

(OVO Sound)

When Drake signed Jahron Brathwaite (aka PARTYNEXTDOOR) to his OVO Sound imprint, many were hoping for the next Weeknd… or at least the next Illangelo. A talented producer and well-versed vocalist, Brathwaite somehow fails to cement his own personality on PARTYNEXTDOOR, opting to cover the same sonic, lyrical and musical territory already laid out by his more-than-capable Torontonian brethren. (Daniel Sylvester)