So, Arctic Monkeys have released a head scratching album, promoted with no singles and little knowledge on its overall sound.
Opinion is incredible mixed. As an avid user of twitter I couldn’t help but notice my newsfeed already full of reviews from DJ’s like Greg James claiming its a masterpiece just by opening the packaging. Mainstream magazines like Q have given the album 5/5, Q also gave Oasis’ Be Here Now the same rating. Hardcore fans have spent their 160 characters criticizing its every note while some fans have praised the bands for taking a risk.
But which other albums also dared to alienate their respective fanbase? Tommy K dives in deep.
10.Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
A bit early maybe, but TBC&H is already a fan divider as stated above. Half claim its a masterpiece of lounge pop, the other half claim its a disaster after only one listen of the opening track. Patience I’m sure is the key to this record, the other albums on the list suffered the same problems TBC&H suffered initially.
The original Kid A! Recorded while the band were in the middle of their mammoth Zoo TV tour, Zooropa is about 2 galaxies away from the Americana and Post Punk the band released on their career topping album ‘The Joshua Tree’. Its an album full of electronica influenced tracks that was described as a step back by hardcore fans.
Opinion Today: Described as their most underrated album.
8. Their Satanic Majesties Request
If you cannot beat them, join them. By 1967 even the Rolling Stones had to release a Psychedelic album to coincide with the Summer of Love, unfortunately the Summer of Love had passed and Vietnam was the story of many hippies lips. Because of this TSMR never got the praise it craved and the Stones had to dive back in to Bluesy waters for their next record.
Opinion Today: A bit kinder, still has a mixed reception from hardcore fans.
7. This is Hardcore
Despite being the shadow of Oasis & Blur, Pulp spent most of 1995 as the critics darlings. Their album ‘Different Class’ lived up to its name and made Jarvis Cocker arguably the Alan Bennett of Britpop. Role on to 1998 and Britpop was like a dog on its last legs, their next record ‘This is Hardcore’ was Britpop finally taken out of its misery. This Is Hardcore is a million light years away from the anthems that dominated their previous release. It was like Alan Bennett transitioning into Lou Reed.
Opinion Today: A lot kinder than it was in 1998.
6. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
Oasis suffered the same problems that Pulp suffered, although Oasis suffered them with more pressure than anyone. SOTSOG is an album recorded and released during a difficult period for the band, a period that included the departure of 2 members, Guitar Pop going out of fashion and the band going Cold Turkey. The results are mixed. Be Here Now sold 1.8m this album has sold 1/3 of that, typification!
Opinion Today: Still very mixed.
The Beatles had the White Album, The Clash have Sandinista. Everyone know The Clash aren’t just a Punk band, but did they have to release a Triple Album to prove this! There are many great tracks on this record, but also many duds that sometimes prove that having too many Head chefs doesn’t mean your kitchen is going to be in order.
Opinion Today:Very, very mixed.
4. In Utero
We all know Kurt Cobain’s story. He was a tortured soul who couldn’t handle the fame that came with his genius, In Utero was the album of an artist who tried desperately to steer himself away from the praise received following the groundbreaking ‘Nevermind’. The songs aren’t as instant and Kurt’s lyrics tell the story of a man literally on the edge.
Opinion Today: Now considered a masterpiece.
David Bowie’s genius relies on his ability to move with the times. Glam Rock had been and gone by 1977, but even his most hardcore of fans found it difficult to understand the genius of Low. The first half of the album sounds like a man who wants to be in a German Rock band, the second half of the album sounds like a man who has been listening to the soundtrack to Clockwork Orange a few too many times.
Opinion Today: Now considered a masterpiece.
2. Kid A
Perhaps the perfect example of the ‘Non-Commercial Follow Up’. Kid A was the ‘Jumping the shark’ moment in the varied career of Radiohead. Was it a band just trying to steer away from the brilliance of Ok Computer because they wanted to experiment? Or was it a band who steered away from that record because they were too cocky and complacent? It still puzzles fans and critics to this day.
Opinion Today: Now considered a masterpiece, by most people anyway.
To go from songs like I Want to Hold your Hand to The Contuining Story of Bungalow Bill’ in just 4 years is incredible? To put it into context, its taken the Arctic Monkeys 5 years to release their current record. The Beatles had gone through everything from having 2 hit films, American Success, Met Dylan, Gone through the Summer of 67 to the moment they released this album, and album that baffles everyone still. Its half a great album and half a mix match of backward tapes, lyrics that mean nothing and Revolution #9.
Opinion Today: Its one of the greatest albums ever, despite being about 10 songs too long.