Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, and Prince have all released excellent albums in the past. Unfortunately, they released stinker albums in 2015 that would have killed the careers of other artists.
In 2013, Miley Cyrus released Bangerz, an album that was so good that it completely overshadowed any backlash Cyrus received from her 2013 MTV VMAs performance. The songs showcased her growing voice and proved that no matter what anybody said about Miley, she still had talent. The same can’t be said about Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz, an album which, thankfully, was released for free. It’s hard to imagine people spending money on it.
One has to give Cyrus credit for trying to do an experimental pop album. Unfortunately, the experiments sound like drunk karaoke night at a dive bar. The album contains cliche after cliche about ex-lovers, doing drugs, etc. It’s a big disappointment for a pop star who has so much potential.
Perhaps almost just as disappointing is Coldplay’s album A Head Full of Dreams. It’s everything that Coldplay’s critics accuse the band of being: overblown, no substance, and worst of all, boring. The use of a clip containing President Obama singing “Amazing Grace” could have made for a touching song, but instead feels like an opportunist move on “Kaleidoscope.”
But it just gets worse for what was supposed to be the band to take over U2. “Hymn for the Weekend” is so bad that they needed Beyoncé to spice it up. Instead, her appearance reminds us that they needed a megastar to spice up a bland song. “Everglow” is another head-scratcher. It starts off with a nice piano rift, but soon turns into a self indulgent song about Chris Martin’s breakup with Gwenyth Paltrow. Those who still consider Coldplay a relevant band may want to get their heads examined.
Prince is one of the biggest acts in history and he can afford to make a bad album or two. However, HitNRun: Phase One is his worst album to date. Prince is a musical genius who likes to experiment. Like Miley Cyrus though, his experimentation sounds like he was playing around after having a little too much to drink.
“Hardrocklover,” with it’s heavy hard rock intro, sounds more like a parody of a rock song than a Prince song. It’s an insult for Prince to have included samples of “Lets Go Crazy” and “1999” on “MILLION $ SHOW,” a song that doesn’t make it past the first twenty seconds. The worst is the song “Shut This Down,” which attempts to mix new-age EDM with old-age Hip-Hop. It paints Prince as completely out of touch. The one passable song here is “Aint About to Stop,” which features top-notch vocal performances from both Prince and Rita Ora.
Although Prince, Miley Cyrus, and Coldplay produced clunkers this year, it doesn’t mean we should count them out. Miley Cyrus needs to stay off the drugs and rely on her natural talents, while Coldplay needs to get rid of all the pretentious mess that is clogging up their music. Prince needs to realize that he can be experimental, but it doesn’t have to define him. Let’s hope Prince, Miley Cyrus and Coldplay release great new music in 2016.
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