Let’s face it: Outside of a few exceptions, the bulk of the music that came out this year (or any given year) falls into the “pretty much okay” category. It takes a remarkable feat to cross the bridge from “merely disappointing” or “aggressively sub par” over to “truly, remarkably heinous.”
Which is to say: The five albums listed below aren’t merely boring or trite or annoying (though they are in fact all of those things). Each of the five long-players below had to go the extra mile. As many have taught us in the past, it takes quite a bit of work to be this terrible.
So here are EW’s picks for the five worst albums of 2013. They are all terrible. Let us never speak of them again.
1. Lil Wayne, I Am Not A Human Being II
An exhausting torrent of misogyny sans any technical expertise or humor. Remember when Weezy was the Best Rapper Alive? Me neither.
Worst Moment: Wayne’s obsession with bodily fluids runs deep through the album, but it doesn’t get any worse than the cringe-worthy refrain of “Romance.”
2. Five Finger Death Punch, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Vol. 1 & 2
These confoundingly successful metalheads spread their shrill opus across two discs. Like the White Album, if every song were “Rocky Raccoon.”
Worst Moment: FFDP’s cover of LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” somehow manages to be both inessential and offensive, but it’s a testament to the terribleness of this whole endeavor that it’s still better than “Wrecking Ball” (which, it should be noted, is not a Miley Cyrus cover).
3. John Fogerty, Wrote a Song For Everyone
The CCR frontman invited a bunch of almost-cool stars—Kid Rock, Zac Brown—to jam on his hits. But his attempt to impress his grandkids mostly ended in headache-inducing eye rolls.
Worst Moment: The original version of “Born On the Bayou” was already a dire example of swamp rock clowning, and the addition of Kid Rock on the Wrote a Song For Everyone version is infinitely more embarrassing.
4. MGMT, MGMT
In which MGMT went from art-pop underdogs to a pretentious Brooklyn indie punchline. If the plan was to craft a record both annoyingly strident and sleepily dull, then mission accomplished.
Worst Moment: “A Good Sadness” is the most aimless moment on a particularly unfocused album, so it gets the booby prize.
5. Icona Pop, This Is…Icona Pop
This is…the sound of your two most annoying exes discovering keyboards and cocaine on the same day. Three minutes of “I Love It” was bliss, but 33 is pure cheerleading-based torture.
Worst Moment: Killer singles “I Love It” and “All Night” are toploaded, which means the realization that this is all there is comes during the third track “We Got The World,” which might as well be three minutes of air being let out of a balloon.
What are your picks for the worst albums of 2013? Let us know in the comments!