Published Dec 12, 2011Sometimes artists don't come anywhere close to delivering on the hype of an upcoming album. Other times, they've proven themselves so greatly with previous releases that we can't help but feel let down when a new record isn't all we hoped it would be. And worst of all, there are once-great artists who consistently let us down again and again with each new release. Either way, there's no denying that we excitedly devour new releases that fall way short of our expectations.
The following list of ten albums are not necessarily the worst albums of the year, nor are they the most critically unsuccessful. Instead, here are ten albums that left us feeling bummed out and let down.
Exclaim!'s Top 10 Most Disappointing Albums of 2011:
10. DJ Shadow
The Less You Know, the Better
Waiting for a return to form is a recurring theme on this list, but no one is as guilty of this as DJ Shadow. After releasing a groundbreaking trip-hop album with 1996's Endtroducing, dude has done everything in his power to avoid revisiting the reason we all fell in love with him in the first place. It's a discussion that comes up every time he ruins hyphy or tries out indie rock on a new LP, but it was no less valid in 2011 with the hugely disappointing The Less You Know, the Better. Even if he was pulling off this constant genre-bending, which he usually isn't, DJ Shadow still manages to let us down with each new release.
9. Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame
After Waka Flocka Flame's cult classic Flockavelli and pretty much most of Gucci Mane's work, Ferrari Boyz should have been a dumb-rap masterpiece. Both dudes are capable of brainless, testosterone-pumping thug anthems and hilarious non-sequiturs, but Ferrari Boyz mostly came across like a collection of mixtape throwaway tracks rather than the anticipated album it was promised as. It wasn't all bad, of course, but the album fell way short of expectations. Also, Waka didn't hilariously repeat his name over and over again like on "Bustin' At Em."
8. Hercules and Love Affair
In 2008, Hercules and Love Affair emerged with the sexed-up house music of their self-titled debut. The smash record put them at the forefront of dance-friendly electronic pop, making them arguably the second largest act on DFA Records aside from James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem. Instead of following it up with an even grander statement, however, Blue Songs saw the group retreat to a batch of less engaging ideas and an overall smaller-sounding release. Like so many albums on this list, it wasn't a terrible record, but it just may have been the death knell for the group's lasting cultural impact.