Being a living legend has its perks, but low expectations are not among them. And high expectations are part of the equation that goes into the Sound Opinions "Turkey Shoot," that anticipated Thanksgiving tradition where the rock 'n' roll radio show/podcast blasts albums that failed to live up to the hype.
To be clear: The "Turkey Shoot" does not pump obvious duds full of lead (you're safe, Mumford & Sons). Instead, it puts albums we wanted to love in the crosshairs for peddling false hope. Sound Opinions co-hosts Greg Kott and Jim DeRogatis each picked three albums for the 2015 shootout on last week's episode, with the latter rock critic taking aim at two Minnesota-born titans — Bob Dylan and Prince.
Dylan's Shadows in the Night, released in February, is his 36th full-length studio effort; it features songs popularized by Frank Sinatra, and received a warm reception from critics, with a respectable 82 out 100 score from review aggregator Metacritic. Prince's Hit n Run, released exclusively via Tidal in September, is his 38th (!) album; it was widely panned by critics, resulting in a Metacritic score of 54.
DeRogatis thought both releases were total turkeys.
Here he is on Shadows:
"Now look, I'm a huge Dylan fan and so are you. You can't love rock 'n' roll and not be a Dylan fan. There's good Dylan, there's great Dylan, and then there's just OK Dylan. This, though, I think ranks with Christmas in the Heart from 2009 as the very worst Dylan."
And here's his take on Hit n Run:
"The first half of the album, Prince is dabbling in EDM, and it sounds very, very forced — trying to pair his old-school soul, R&B, Minneapolis funk with electronic music. It sounds forced; these things aren't going together well. There's also the problem of him talking, as usual, about how great he is, boasting, I'll give you a lyric, "Turn my guitar / So I can make this woman scream." But it's followed by one of the lamest Prince guitar solos I think ever recorded."
Oof. DeRogatis' third pick was Neil Young's Big Ag takedown concept album, The Monsanto Years. Kott kept things more contemporary, blasting away at turkey LPs from Mark Ronson (Uptown Special), Beach House (Depression Cherry), and Drake (If You're Reading This It's Too Late). You can listen to the entire 2015 "Turkey Shoot" here.
Share your 2015 musical turkeys in the comment section.