Despite the build-up, some major music releases fell flat. Here’s a look at the most overrated music of 2015.
“25” by Adele
Fans pined for four years for a new album, but Adele’s latest, “25,” wasn’t worth the wait. Although her voice is just as powerful as ever, the lyrics are subpar at best, and most songs are just plain mediocre. Adele’s voice should be matched with music and lyrics that challenge our standards of pop ballads. Instead, the albums falls flat, delivering what’s expected. Adele packs the track list with ballads sung mostly to similar piano chords with the occasional choir or upbeat song. Her voice is so distinct that she can get away falling flat on an album, and that’s what happened with “25.” — F.Z.
“Made in the A.M.” by One Direction
Teen-dream boy band One Direction didn’t deliver this time around. 1D’s latest album, “Made in the A.M.,” lacks more than just Zayn Malik — it begs for craftier lyrics and more enticing music. After Malik’s public falling out with the band, fans expected a different sound ready to rival anything from before, but instead, this album feels like mostly filler tracks. There’s plenty of build, but no growth from the band. The lyrics mostly mimic those from previous albums. Although there are a few standout songs such as “Drag Me Down” or “Walking in the Wind,” the album still can’t hold its own. Maybe Malik will be back after the band’s hiatus, or maybe 1D fans will just have to wait until next time for a better album. — F.Z.
“To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar
The most important album of the year is about a guy dealing with his success? At times, “To Pimp a Butterfly” is brilliant. There’s the trifecta of “How Much a Dollar Cost,” “King Kunta” and “The Blacker the Berry” that prove how brilliant Kendrick Lamar is. There’s no denying his wordplay and how effectively he shows the troubles of being a young pop savior. The rest is “School Daze”-era Spike Lee. All loud and pissed off with overblown themes about clichéd things. “If these walls could talk,” and “This … ain’t free.” As much as I want Kendrick Lamar to be the next greatest rapper, I can’t help but want to just turn on some old De La Soul or A Tribe Called Quest. Sure, those acts are old, but even at that time, they didn’t sound so forced. “To Pimp a Butterfly” is the sound of a confused guy putting too much pressure on himself. Until next time. — M.S.
“Compton” by Dr. Dre
Listening to this album only makes me think, “When’s ‘Detox’ coming out?” — M.S.
“Currents” by Tame Impala
The greatest snare drum sound in the world can’t save this band from writing the dullest lyrics. This makes me miss The Flaming Lips. — M.S.
“Fading Frontier” by Deerhunter
Can someone tell lead singer Bradford Cox that he needs to write more than one good song per release for an album to be good? — M.S.
“Dodge and Burn” by The Dead Weather
Man, “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” is a great tune. The rest of this album is absolute garbage. — M.S.