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

Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists: Top 10 Disappointing Albums
Phoenix
Bankrupt!
(Glassnote)



Critics and listeners alike praised Phoenix for the thoughtful precision and studio mastery of their fourth LP, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. But it was those same characteristics that made their long-awaited follow-up, Bankrupt!, such a trying listening experience, ultimately lacking the immediacy of its predecessor due to its overly polished production and far too refined riffs. (Matthew Ritchie)

Snoop Lion
Reincarnated
(Vice)



Make no mistake, Snoop Lion's Reincarnated was disappointing in every sense of the word. While Snoop Dogg as Snoop Lion's love and admiration for reggae music and the Rastafarian way of life appears genuine, the abrupt genre shift lacks mastery, the fake patois is laughable and the overall project feels hollow. (Ryan B. Patrick)

Son Volt
Honky Tonk
(Rounder)



While a return to stark traditionalism was the predominant trend in Americana this year, it's an approach that Jay Farrar mastered a long time ago. Honky Tonk's classic sound exudes charm initially, but its overall laconic vibes eventually leaves the impression of a great band on autopilot. (Jason Schneider)

The Strokes
Comedown Machine
(RCA)



The enormous influence of Is This It has left The Strokes eternally cursed with unrealistic expectations. Comedown Machine's complete lack of promotion reveals a band all too aware of its legacy and, understandably, no longer concerned with such expectations. Consequently, though it's perhaps unfair, Comedown Machine serves mainly as yet another reminder of a band that once was. (Duncan Boyd)

Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2
(RCA)



After a seven year break from music, the pomp and circumstance of Justin Timberlake's triumphant comeback album The 20/20 Experience was unfortunately tarnished by its lacklustre second half, The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2. Like scraps recovered from the cutting room floor, this second collection of songs proves why editing is a key component to recording, a lesson Timberlake has yet to learn in his decade-plus career. (Melody Lau)