Have you ever had one of those albums that everyone else in the world seems to rave about, but you really just don’t like? Let us take you through some of the “great” albums that we simply hate.
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
I’m often quick to proclaim myself as a Lana Del Rey fan, even though the only album I have genuinely loved is Born To Die: Paradise Edition. From there, her change of sound often leads to singles and songs from albums I’ve loved, but never an entire album I’ve actually liked. So, it feels controversial to say that Norman Fucking Rockwell!, her most critically acclaimed album to date, is arguably my least favourite. Don’t get me wrong, the singles from Norman Fucking Rockwell! were incredible, whether that be the remake of ‘Doin’ Time’ or other songs like ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ and ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have’, but from there it loses itself and becomes a mismatched mess of all the Del Rey traits I’ve come to hate over the years. ‘Venice Bitch’ is nine minutes of ear torture that overstays its welcome in the form of painful instrumentals; ‘The Next Best American Record’ is the same generic hashing we’ve heard from albums like Ultraviolence and Honeymoon. ‘Cinnamon Girl’ offered us a glimpse of the original Del Rey sound, which was exciting, but never fruitful enough when existing in the same tracklist as ‘Fuck it I love you’ with its abysmal sound design and typical Lana Del Rey lyrics that only make our brows furrow at the problematic relationships she seems to celebrate. While not her worst album (Chemtrails Over The Country Club – I’m looking at you), it is her “greatest” album that I seem to hate the most.
Norman Fucking Rockwell is available to listen to now via Polydor / Interscope Records. Watch the video for ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ below:
SZA – Ctrl
SZA‘s 2017 album Ctrl is universally agreed as the album which made her career soar. Ctrl has gained widespread critical acclaim and often makes its way onto various “greatest albums” lists – including Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list and our own Top 50 Albums of 2017 list. However, it’s an album (and perhaps also an artist) that I have truly never been able to understand. It’s the slurred lyrics and repetitive melodies that make this album forgettable – and while the occasional interesting beat, synth or standout verse from Kendrick Lamar may spice up the record, it certainly does nothing to make it stick in my mind. Fan-favourite tracks like ‘Supermodel’ are almost indistinguishable from other tracks such as ‘Drew Barrymore’ or ’20 Something’, meaning that at times you forget where one song ends and the other begins – and not in a good way. While SZA’s voice is beautifully unique and certainly not difficult to listen to, her lack of memorable choruses or melodies means that the meaning behind the music can, unfortunately, get easily lost.
Ctrl is available to listen to now via Top Dawg Entertainment. Watch the video for ‘Supermodel’ here:
Ed Sheeran – X
If I’m honest, this could have been any Ed Sheeran album (bar his single “I See Fire”. That I can abide). I’m just not a fan. At all. And X (or Multiply if we’re being pedantic) is one that I felt was the worst of the bunch.
Beyond the incessant advertising that plagued billboards, radio adverts and magazine interviews, the album’s songs were just overplayed, to the point that even hearing ‘Sing’ gets a physical reaction from me. Even hearing some of the tracklists live didn’t help my opinion (although I politely clapped and cheered on; performing live is difficult enough as it is), and calling it “easy listening” whilst visiting the dentist is pushing it.
To me, it was a lukewarm album that I could have just ignored … but once I started hearing it everywhere, singles at least twice an hour on every radio station … well then. It seemed my brain just had enough.
X is available to listen to now via Asylum Records. Watch the video for ‘Sing’ here: