Friday, November 21, 2008

How Long Do You Back A Bum Horse?

Something I've been pondering lately is how long to stick around with a band who has lost some of the qualities that drew you to them in the first place. I think you can go through similar feelings with an author, or a television show, and certainly with a sports team (which Bill Simmons has discussed quite a bit on espn.com) and I may discuss those later on. A few of bands come to mind for this.

After buying Guerrilla at the old Kemp Mill Music in City Place, I have been disappointed by every Super Furry Animals album that has come after it. Mwng wasn't bad, but had some cringeworthy moments that evoked what I imagine Welsh soft-rock might sound like. Rings Around the World had a lot of great songs, but had some painfully dull attempts at country. To add insult to injury, some of these were played live. Both of these albums were saved a bit by bonus discs with some excellent tunes.

Then things went really downhill. Phantom Power was a mess and I literally only got four tracks into a review copy of Love Craft. And yet, I haven't fully given up, mainly because leadsinger Gruff Rhys (love those Welsh names) has put out two charming, low key solo albums and a wonderful '80s throw-back concept album about John DeLorean with Boom Bip as Neon Neon. So it's hard to give up, when you know there's still potential there. SFA's last album Hey Venus! wasn't bad, although not great either. There may still be a bit of hope.

Then there's Weezer. The decline is pretty straighforward - two amazing albums, two decent albums, and then the band started circling the drain. At this point, despite the interesting if uneventful Alone albums put out by Rivers, the quality filter for the band has vanished. They've gone past the point of no return. A handful of decent songs on an album won't cut it. I don't see myself ever buying another Weezer album.

3 comments:

Jason Heat said...

The consistent decline in Weezer has been one of the most personally disappointing musical things ever - and I'm not sure what I think about the fact that only song I really like on the new album was actually written by Brian Bell.

Shylock said...

I'm going through this now with Oasis. Their new albums average about one to two listenable songs, but I've loved them for so long that I still buy their records out of habit (I don't even steal them on bit torrent or anything). But it's getting harder.

Jason Heat said...

Really? I haven't bought an Oasis album in awhile, but I really like their new single "The shock and the Lightning."