Friday, September 2, 2005

"In the end the ideology itself became reduced to a set of narrow standards as obfuscatory and tiresome as any academic jargon..."
Contrarianism is sometimes overrated. But here, in the interests of democracy, free speech, an open dialogue and entertaining ourselves on a lazy Friday afternoon, we present the kindest words for this year's most terrible records*. Re-printed here with exclamation points. If only because it's funnier that way. And it teaches us all a valuable lesson about context.

(*Terribleness, in this case, determined through the imperfect science of MetaCritic. MetaScores in brackets.)

1. Backstreet Boys - Never Gone (34)
"Backstreet Boys acquit themselves reasonably well here... Never Gone [is] a solid adult contemporary album!" - All Music Guide

2. Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (34)
"Morissette turns in a powerful and nuanced vocal performance over these lighter but layered arrangements!" - Rolling Stone

3. Staind - Chapter V (40)
"Their self-seriousness comes with a melodic tenderness that's rare in the genre!" - Entertainment Weekly

4. Bizarre - Hannicap Circus (41)
"For fans of D12 and/or Hunter S. Thompson, 'Hannicap Circus' is one crazy trip through the mind of a lunatic!" - RapReviews.com

5. Athlete - Tourist (42)
"The disc's cool atmosphere and expansive orchestral arrangements go a long way in making a mood. Don't be afraid to welcome these tourists with open arms!" - E!Online

6. Moby - Hotel (43)
"From anthemic to soothing and sleepy, while never once crossing any kind of line - or even looking at one!" - Filter

7. Mudvayne - Lost And Found (43)
"Weaving crystallized melodies into their signature rage clusters, the metalheads dip a toe in clearer waters without losing any of the grime!" - Entertainment Weekly

8. Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business (45)
"Undeniably and increasingly danceable!" - Paste

9. Adam Green - Gemstones (46)
"Simply put, either you’ll love this album or not 'get' it. It’s too good an album for you to not like if you understand it!" - Stylus

10. Chicks On Speed - Press The Spacebar (47)
"Hurrah for all those who delight in confounding expectations, especially when the results are this unexpectedly, paradoxically delightful!" - Drowned in Sound

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