Originally Posted by Destroysall
Interesting thread.. if I had to pick an album at the moment, it'd probably be KoRn's Untitled. It was and still is a very weird album even in KoRn music standards. It's the one album that was really successful enough to creep me out and one that was also very different from KoRn. I ended up enjoying it after so many still consider it the worst record. I believe it received a 1/10 star rating from a lot of Music Critics, but oh well. I love it!
I took a quick look at the reception the album has had. Its Metacritic score is currently 51 (out of 100) based on 16 reviews. On Rate Your Music in turn it currently has an average rating of 2.52 (out of 5) based on 922 ratings. That is definitely not great. Actually their The Path of Totality album is rated even lower on RYM, but since brostep is listed as one of the genres and Skrillex is mentioned to be featured on several songs I can definitely see where at least some of the hate is coming from without reading anything more about it. Back to "Untitled". I've actually never listened to KoЯn (I've heard of them, but never heard them, at least not knowingly), so I don't think it would be the best idea for me to go on Spotify and just straight start listening to the album. I feel the proper approach would be to listen to at least two or three of their better received albums and then proceed to "Untitled" for proper comparison. I'd love to try that out at some point but currently I'm too busy with other numerous things I want to do on my spare time. Perhaps one day when I'm in the right mood I will take it upon myself to explore KoЯn.
Thank you for sharing an album you love!
I've decided my own first contribution shall be the one I love the most of the ones I want to share in this thread. What is quite ironic is that I bought this album immediately after reading a five star review for it, but that was on a magazine that mostly tests and reviews computer components and other consumer electronics like TVs, speaker and so on. You know the kind, I'm sure. But don't let that one five star review fool you, this album was completely thrashed in pretty much every other professional review I've seen. Allmusic gave it 1.5 stars, Rolling Stone 2. On Metacritic is stands at 42 based on reviews from 19 critics and on Rate Your Music it has an almost unprecedented (well not quite, it does stand on no. 80 on the RYM bottom albums chart, though) weighted average of 1.47 from 603 reviews. Which album am I talking about here? "Scream" by Chris Cornell, of course.
I will come out right now and say that I've never really been a fan of Chris Cornell. I do own all of the three Audioslave studio albums, which I think are decent and have some good songs on them but aren't necessarily anything to write home about. I also have one Soundgarden album ("Superunknown"), but I'm not sure if I've ever actually listened to it (oops?). Never heard any of Chris' other solo releases, although "Songbook" does interest me. I've of course heard him sing the song in Casino Royal but I've never been especially impressed by his voice – until hearing this album, that is. After hearing "Scream" I can only admit that the man does have a unique talent for making the air move and vibrate. It's not his singing that made me fall in love with the album though. Well that might be part of it, but for me the main thing is the unavoidably engaging, rich and joyful songwriting (such a breath of fresh air) combined with the fact that the album, aside from the first track which served as a single, is incredibly consistent from start to finish. On top of that, disregarding the hidden song, the album is totally gapless and the transitions between songs are creative and often as enjoyable as the songs themselves. I did learn to like the first song Part of Me later on at least to some extent however, so now there is hardly anything I don't like about the album. Whenever I listen to "Scream" I find myself screaming along to it out of pure joy as its name states. Very few times in my life have I heard such musicality and simply pure joy of creation and expression. I in fact like the album so much that when I posted a list of my all-time top ten album in a thread here on Head-Fi a couple of years ago I was seriously considering including "Scream" on it but in the end I ended up just barely leaving it out. It was a difficult decision to make.
Those of you who have not heard this album or even ever heard of it might be wondering what on earth makes this album so bad in so many people's eyes. The main reason I believe is that on "Scream" Chris Cornell had Timbaland working as producer and the record is a great departure from his previous rock background being primarily a modern R&B record. If there are other major reasons I'm completely oblivious to them for I don't remember what any of the negative reviews this album received around the time of release said. I also don't feel it's necessary for me to go read negative comments on an album I love just to do research for this post, is it? Please do your own research if you're interested.
None of my friends are Chris Cornell fans (which I don't consider myself either), so I've never heard any opinions on this album outside the internet. Whenever I listen to music I try to evaluate it both subjectively and objectively and make a clear distinction between the two. That's just how my mind works. For me how good something is and how much a person likes something are two completely separate things and although there is definitely often a connection between the two a direct correlation is never guaranteed. I for one have come across several album during my time as a devoted music lover that I've acknowledged to be extremely good but I have also found to simply not like at all, or at least not nearly as much as the majority of music fans. That being said I've never been able to comprehend why almost everyone seems to have such a strong dislike for "Scream". I can understand that there are always fans who won't accept any deviation from what an artist has done before, and that modern R&B just isn't a genre that everyone likes (I'm not particularly a fan of it either, but once I've posted another one of the albums I've got planned for this thread you might be tempted to believe otherwise), but for this album to receive such universal contempt is completely beyond my comprehension. I always try to be aware of my own personal bias when I try to evaluate the quality of a piece of music, and given that I am not particular a fan of either Mr. Cornell's other works or modern R&B (there's nothing wrong with it) I think it's reasonably safe to say that I shouldn't have any conscious or unconscious reasons why I would want to value this album more than it deserves. Having listened to a couple thousand albums ranging from classical to jazz, pop, electronic, folk, metal, and most things in between, I don't state lightly that this album is without question still in my top 15 of all time. Having said all that it is not require for anyone else to like the album for me to like it, nor will I stop liking it if half of the planet's population suddenly started diggin' it.
I believe that's all I wanted to say about this particular album. More or less anyway. Knowing myself I knew this was going to be a somewhat long-ish post and therefore I didn't want to try to include any form of contribution in my first post in fear of frightening people away. Check out the album if you can, even if just as a curiosity. I won't like you any less even if you end up disliking it like most people seem to. Anyway, peace and till next time!
Reveal album art. (Click to show)