Jim DeRogatis (Photo by Marty Perez)

In time for Thanksgiving, famed Lester Bangs acolyte Jim DeRogatis has tapped his inner crank (aka his crank) to kick off list-season with 2011′s Top 10 Turkeys. (That is, records that are dry and devoid of life and the consumption of which will make you lazy and gassy.) At this point, ’Gum-commenter punchline trends dictate that the #1 selection on any list like this is a foregone conclusion, and to that end, Mr. DeRo does not disappoint. The next nine, however, probably include most of the albums that will top most of the lists for the year’s best, so consider yourself BAITED. Jive:

10 Drake – Take Care
09 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
08 P.J. Harvey – Let England Shake
07 Art Brut – Brilliant! Tragic!
06 Adele – 21
05 Lady Gaga – Born This Way
04 Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
03 Björk – Biophilia
02 Bon Iver – Bon Iver
01 Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu

Shots fired, Corban and Kelly. Read the reasoning over at DeRo’s spot.

Comments (109)

    • So he put’s Take Care but not the Carter 4? OOOOO k

    • Calm down. I know, it’s easy to hate him, BUT: it is just a list of ten turkeys = the ten records that belied the author’s high expectations the most this year (see his own comment on his post). Consequently, he did NOT automatically consider these records to be the ten worst albums of 2011.

      • Who was let down by Take Care then? The only record on that list that people seemed really disappointed by was Born This Way.

      • You said it. A lot of what this list is getting at rings pretty true. I liked the Bon Iver album, I think a lot of people including myself got really excited about it when it came out, but it fell flat after more that a few listens. Such is the case with a lot of the albums on this list (St. Vincent, PJ Harvey). They certainly aren’t bad, they just don’t deserve as much appraisal as they have gotten when compared with the several highly successful albums that have come out this year. Subjectively speaking, the Björk album doesn’t belong on a list like this, but everyone’s gonna have their beef yo.

        • Don’t get me wrong though, this guy is a dick. There is rarely a good reason to be that hostile when it comes to criticism.

        • The same with me. I LIKE Bon Iver, Bon Iver and Strange Mercy as a whole but I did not fall in LOVE with these records. Though the latter one is – in my opinion – nearly perfect, it consists of three less exciting downtempo tracks in the second half of Strange Mercy that come up like an unnecessary speed limit zone. Now I said it, you can kill me now.

          BUT, WAIT: I think, and that’s Mister DeRogatis’ point as well, is that there are always some records that don’t live up to personal prior expectations when you’re listening to them on your own. And if you dare criticizing one of those either excessively media-hyped (e.g. Biophilia) or critically acclaimed (e.g. Let England Shake) records afterwards you are automatically slaughtered by the majority of the likers. Freedom of expression, anyone? It’s these moments when you long for a comeback of the Double Take category.

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  3. Weebles gonna hate

  4. Bon Iver? Maybe his record was scratched…

  5. I think the new bon iver album may be my favourite album ever. Seeing it live was a big experience

  6. 1. Pick ten incredibly popular albums
    2. Call them bad
    3. ???
    4. Pageviews!

  7. you know you’ve made it as a troll when you hide under a bridge in your press pic

  8. I wonder if he’s friends with Armond White.

  9. Whose this guy anyway?

  10. pj harvey?…u serious?…wtf

  11. Why hasn’t he been fired yet? This is like a Fox News tactic…say something really really fucking stupid to get attention.

  12. Does his business card say professional troll?

  13. Eh, whatever. I am going to go home, listen to some of these amazing albums, and enjoy them.

  14. Saw this guy at Jewel one day, and I was worried he was going to criticize my choice of items so I turned down the opposite aisle as he lethargically perused cereal box covers.

  15. Do we even need a 10 Worst of 2011? Can’t we just have a list of all the albums better than Lulu in 2011? And I mean just list *All of The Albums*?

    • to be honest I think Lulu might not be the worst on my list. The fact that these guys chased after some artistic vision (as ridiculous as that vision might have been), combined with the unintentional comedy of James Hetfield becoming the table, brings it just ahead of Blue Slide Park. Mac Miller just pisses me the fuck off.
      After lulu you can throw in lupe fiasco, the carter 4, chiddy bang, and whatever other ghastly records came out that i was somehow able to ignore.
      the new yelawolf album looks like it might be really disappointing, but I have yet to really check it out and i’ve given it the benefit of the doubt since he’s been so good in the past.

  16. Annie Clark (St. Vincent) could kick this dude’s ass.

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  18. This created no value. Congratulations.

  19. jim’s a notorious shithead anyways

  20. I doubt that anyone really took the time out to actually read the article, but despite Stereogum’s fishing for clicks, this is not actually the 10 worst albums of the year. I’ll leave it up to you guys to read what the ratings are ACTUALLY for, since apparently Stereogum couldn’t be bothered to do so.

    I haven’t listened to Coldplay or Adele’s albums, so I can’t speak on those, but the Bjork, Drake, and Art Brut albums are all pretty bad. The Bon Iver and St. Vincent albums do nothing for me, but I will just take your word for it that they are good (or something). I also can’t imagine that anyone would say that the PJ Harvey record fares well comparatively to her other records, but I’ll just go along with you and pretend like you would want to listen to this instead of anything else she has released (possibly other than White Chalk).

  21. I’m guilty of listening to most of these so just because their devoid of any actual soul doesn’t mean they are listenable. However, majority do sound just too insanely lifeless to actually be considered good. And Bjork’s latest just straight up sucked.

  22. I think articles like this are posted just to make more interesting comments for Shut up, Dude each week

  23. It’s not fair, it’s so easy to go out and say “Oh look, all records you people consider to be the very best of 2011 are the worst in my list” but I’d really like to know his list of the best albums of the year.

    By the way, I agree with some, like Lu Lu , Biophilia and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.

  24. I don’t really to 1-6 or 10. I’d agree that Art Brut was really disappointing, especially after loving Art Brut vs. Satan. Both PJ Harvey and St. Vincent will probably be in my personal top 5, maybe top 3.

  25. I stopped reading after PJ Harvey. You don’t put that album on a worst of list.

  26. By the way, am I the only one who thinks the ladies really brought it this year? Aside from PJ Harvey and St. Vincent, some of my favorites have been Tune-Yards, Lykke Li, Eleanor Friedberger, Wild Flag, and some girl fronted bands like Cults, Viva Voce, among others. They’re probably all somewhere in favorite 10 albums.

  27. look at this guy’s trollface.

  28. i do praise him for shitting on a few albums that have gotten bandwagon praise. But….st. vincent? adele? and no Coldplay album has ever been bad enough to be put in that kind of list. thats just being poopy. Yet, if you read the article, he does articulate most of his opinions clearly enough.

  29. Okay first off, I think we should be complimenting Bon Iver for breaking away from the completely acoustic style of For Emma, Forever Ago and trying something new. it might not be the best album of the year by any means but at least he should get some points for trying something new and not just staying confined to one specific sound. That would get boring.

    And St. Vincent’s album was bad-ass. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume you got her confused with Miley Cyrus of something.

    Here’s my guess at a more accurate Worst 10 Albums (If you don’t like it, I respect your opinion.)

    10. Art Brut – Brilliant! Tragic!

    9. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi: Not an “awful” album but for the hype that was built and being as it’s Danger Mouse, I’d call this this “Super 8″ equivalent of the year.

    8. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto: This album isn’t good. You know it, I know it… Chris Martin knows it.

    7. Daughtry – Break the Spell

    6. Beirut – The Rip Tide

    5. Lil Wayne – The Carter IV: I’d be attacking this one way before Drake’s album if I was you.

    4. Lady Gaga – Born This Way

    3. Björk – Biophilia

    2. Nickelback – Here and Now: I can’t take your list seriously because this isn’t even on it.

    1. Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu: Awesome, you recognized the most obvious choice for worst album of the year, congratulations.

    Not Bad Albums But Let-Downs (We’ll say it’s The Worst Album Honorable Mention):
    *Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys
    *Foster the People – Torches: Winner of the Most Commercial Album of the Year Award
    *Radiohead – The King of Limbs: I like it know but it only took about 6 months.
    *The Strokes – Angles: Similar to Radiohead

    • I’m really curious to hear what your issue is with Beirut’s “The Rip Tide”. Granted it’s not as dense or grandiose as Condon’s previous work, but the tradeoff is some wonderful baroque pop earworms.

      • Beirut just seemed to be trying to forcing it in “The Rip Tide” – It didn’t seem like the writing process flowed as naturally for them as it has in the past. I should have probably categorized it as a Let-Down more than a bad album. For me, nothing will ever beat their 2007 Elephant Gun release with Transatlantique and Le Moribond and I guess in comparison that’s where I felt this one fell flat.

        I love bands exploring new directions so I hope I don’t sound like one of “those guys,” Bon Iver’s new album and Vampire Weekends synth heavy Contra have been two of my favorite albums of the last few years. It’s not the baroque pop direction that put me off of the album. But if you enjoyed it, great! It just didn’t fit for me.

    • I don’t like Foster the People at all, but I don’t think making “the most commercial album of the year” is necessarily a bad thing. Phoenix’s last album was very commercial complete with car ads and playing at mainstream alternative radio fests. I think I get what you mean, though — FTP are a faux-indie band that capitalizes on style more than it does substance. There’s one every year — Killers, MGMT come to mind. People like synthy-pop rock I guess.

      • I don’t think it’s fair to put MGMT in that category. Foster the People couldn’t make a record as brilliant and insane as Congratulations.

        • Hey, leave Foster alone! Let them enjoy their 5 minutes of fame before they join the club of Wheatus and Fountains of Wayne

          (I love the album though…)

      • “Most Commercial Album of the Year” isn’t an insult. It just makes me think back to last years clash between V.W. and The Black Keys on the Colbert Report and they were the most in your face group this year.

        But I agree with your explanation, however there is no comparison between them and MGMT. Fountain of Wayne on the other hand… I can see it.

    • beirut? i don’t see that at all, it’s a great album full of wonderful melodies and textures

  30. If it weren’t for his goatee, you wouldn’t know where this dude’s chin ended and his neck began. Actually, wait, I still can’t tell. Regardless, he’s exactly what I’d expect this sort of curmudgeon to look like.

  31. there are some white rappers from my high school who made a way worse album than anything on this list this year. i really hope people keep compiling lists of music that isn’t good.

  32. djfreshie’s 10 worst meals of 2011

    10 – Oreo Cookies

    I had a bunch of Oreo Cookies for lunch one day – I used to love these things, but they’re just so monochromatic I’ve realized. In other words, bye bye fudgios. Hello Chips Ahoy.

    9 – Sushi

    This is what happens when you mix raw fish, rice and avocado with a cute package wrapped in seaweed.

    8 – Ostrich Burger

    Hamburgers abandoned the usual beef for fowl, the standard red onion for some shallots, and Ketchup for the abominable sweet chili sauce. Ostrich Burger at least succeeded in making a burger I’d loathe order again

    7 – BLT

    So much for the new Millenial hope of taking 3 ingredients and Bread as far as the Cheeseburger and Tomato.

    6 – McRib

    Whining over thousand Island dressing dampening the bigmac flavour, and subsuming its solid two patty instincts to the fast food pandering of Macdonads, they give us… the best-selling sandwich of 2011, but a heartbreakingly disappointing Rib nonetheless

    5 – Gold Flakes shaped like a steak on a pile of wilted lettuce

    Whatever you think of this dish as a work of performance art, and that it looks like steak, it still tastes awful

    4 – Bad Rice Pudding

    Even given the desire to blandly appeal to as many people as possible while never, ever offending anyone, it’s possible to go so far that you achieve the exact opposite result, or the food equivalent of Coldplay

    3 – Coq au Vin

    With all that blather about the “ambitious, interdisciplinary, multi-platform” nature of this turd, France’s favorite complicated dish forgot about the primary reason we ever have cared: the booze

    2 – Perfectly cooked steak with Roasted potatoes

    It smelled too much like a steak that already existed

    1 – Lulu

    “Shit Sandwich”

  33. maybe this is rude, maybe I’m a dick, maybe i’ve got a dick, but based on this man’s general appearance, and I’m emphasizing the goatee, perhaps his general taste/choices are all meant to elicit a “bet you wanna punch me – don’t ya, fucker?” from everyone.
    Look at the shirt – Makes me want to drive my fist through a wall
    As addressed, look at the goatee – make me want to shit blood.
    Look at his taste in music – he’s a lil shit disturber fucker.
    This is the Greg House of music selection. He may be right, but dammit if you don’t want to kick a limping dog.

    My thoughts, NOT YOURS.
    - Til.

  34. Jim DeRogatis is one of the very few critics whose opinion I can at least respect 99.9 percent of the time. The only album here that I don’t understand his argument on is PJ Harvey. If I remember, he panned this record for the overly pretentious concept and jarring arrangements, but I certainly think it was better in that respect than White Chalk (which would mean it exceeded expectations, right?).

    The last song on that Bon Iver record is just flat terrible and one has to wonder the absolute ego it requires to think you can make an arrangement like that fly twenty years after it initially gave people the heebie-jeebies.

    To the people that just don’t like the ‘cut of his jib’, I recommend you write a *few* books about music before running to decry the man as a hipster’s hipster. It’s not that his opinion is right, it’s that it’s his and he’s earned the right to have it published. Now shave off that ridiculous looking beard and start listening to something with a little affect!

    • On one hand part of me feels like placing PJ on this list is harsh, but I actually agree with them on most of their points about the PJ Harvey album. She’s my all-time favorite artist, and yet I can’t really bring myself to care all that much about the songs on this album. They do spend some time calling the album pretentious (which I don’t exactly agree on), but they also talk about how awful her vocals are on the record (I personally can barely get through Written on the Forehead, largely for this reason), and that the songs are from more of a third person perspective than her usual first person “psychodrama,” which is probably part of the reason this album hasn’t stuck with me.
      Maybe I also just liked their review because of the griping about the bugle in This Glorious Land. (Seriously, why is that there?)
      I did personally really like White Chalk, despite my initial expectations. I can see why some PJ fans wouldn’t like it, but I feel like her songwriting was rejuvenated by challenging herself like she did to make that album, and her performances of those songs were top-notch.

      That being said, reading the review of St. Vincent, I’m not entirely sure that they get the album…

  35. Well, he got #1 right.

    • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Nov 22nd, 2011 0

      “the #1 selection on any list like this is a foregone conclusion” – the original post

      congrats on being the LAST person to make this point.

  36. Wasn’t he the bad guy in Toy Story 2?

  37. LET’S KILL HIM!!!

    • Boy, you’re stupid, you shouldn’t be posting plans like that facebook-connected. The cops may seem busy with pepper spraying right now but I’m pretty sure some of them still got time to google for murderers.

  38. “Jim DeRogatis picks out the best albums of the year” fixed it for you!

  39. This dude is so handsome.

  40. This man is a GENIUS!!!!! I do like the new Coldplay tho.

  41. After naming all the good albums shit, he still couldn’t resist putting LuLu at the top. That being said, is he Mary Katherine Gallagher nervous?

    • Oddly enough it actually seems like he picked albums he was expecting to be good but didnt deliver. which makes me wonder about what he thought Lulu would be like.

  42. lololol thank god, lulu is the shittiest piece of shit ass shitty shit ive ever listened to, i dont like meticalla at all however i know it was a weak shitty album for both. its probably best that everyone in the world forget this album ever happened, just read the pitchfork review, it explains all….

  43. It’s hard for some people to accept that Annie Clark (St. Vincent) is so talented when she looks as gorgeous as she does. I was very guilty of this when I was first introduced to her music. This guy even compares her to Zooey Desdouchedouche (C’MON) in his small and unhelpful explanation.

  44. You’re wrong on the St. Vincent record. Everything else, I’d agree

  45. Coldplay = Music for people who hate music but like to buy stuff.

  46. Ha! I love how angry this list is making everyone. But come on, Jim, who really expected anything great out of Art Brut? What a one-trick-pony of a band. Similarly, who thought Lulu was going to be great? Who didn’t hear of that combination and groan immediately. I’d rather see an album by Jared Leto and Jack Black. I haven’t heard all of Biophillia, but what I have heard has been terrible. Also, I love Annie Clark’s guitar playing and think she is a good songwriter (and wicked hot) and all but none of this collection of songs really grabbed me. Lil Wayne would be a more deserving target than her, IMO. And I’ll say it again, Bon Iver sounds like a Muppet on heroin fronting a Christopher Cross cover band. The most over-rated artist of this still new century. Drake I find quite boring. Really, Watch the Throne ought to top this list though, what a bunch of forced-sounding crap.

  47. Several of these are just knee-jerk commercial success backlash: Drake, Gaga and Adele are all decent enough albums for what they are trying to do. Hardly “worst of the year’ stuff.

    That being said, I’m relieved that someone who knows something about music agrees with me about Bon Iver, which is one of the most disappointing albums, maybe ever. Also, Bjork’s new album is tragically bad. Someone with abundance of talent trying for something unique and failing miserably.

    Mocking that Lou Reed album is really like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Some smaller indie stuff should be on this list.
    Worsts of the year: Iceage, The Beets, Zambri, She & Him, Total Slacker, Male Bonding.

    Oh, and Malkmus. Did he forget that the new Malkmus record is total shit?

  48. Like everybody else, he’s entitled to his opinion. Take it for what it’s worth. He’s not a god, just a journalist looking to make a name for himself and perhaps just trying to stir the pot. I don’t agree with his most of his choices, but then again I’ve got very eclectic taste in music, so we might not agree at all. I dig the St. Vincent, PJ Harvey, Bon Iver and Björk albums; I never cared for Lady Gaga or Drake’s music and I haven’t listened to Art Brut’s album yet. I find Adele’s work enjoyable, the latest Coldplay so-so and Lou Reed’s work with Metallica not completely to my liking and I have been a fan of Lou reed since I first listened to the Velvet Underground in the late sixties (yes, I’m “old”). This doesn’t make me wrong or right – it’s all subjective.
    Love what you love and don’t let others spoil it for you.

  49. .never take musical advice from someone without a neck

  50. hahaha I love this. It’s so stupid. I’m not a fan of Drake or Bjork, but I realize that there is much worse shit out there than that. This is the troll king!

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