Or, in this case, one album wonders. I was looking over my CD collection the other day and remarked to myself what a shame it was that certain bands seem to have put out a single good album and turned to crap.
Thus, here’s yet another music meme with a pessimistic slant. Think of three to five bands who have one good album to their names. Bands with only two albums don’t count, nor do bands with some good and some bad. Hence, even though I loved the first Ours album and strongly disliked the second, I couldn’t choose them because they haven’t shown themselves to be consistently bad yet.
Here we go!
No Doubt • After stuggling to find their sound in their first, eponymous album, they created Tragic Kingdom, which was jazzfunkpoprock par excellence. I listen to a song like “Excuse Me, Mr.,” with Gwen’s voice all over the register, and Vaudevillian piano/horn breakdowns, and then hear tripe like “Hollaback Girl” and just want to vomit. I’m just now getting to appreciate the album again, too, because once it topped the charts, the radio did half the album to death. Return of Saturn was a half-decent follow-up, but really lacking in the power and diversity of its predecessor. By the time Rock Steady came out, Gwen had decided that she no longer liked being an Anaheim punk/ska child and went ghetto, forever soiling the singer that I respected.
Matchbox 20 • Yourself or Something Like You may be one of my favorite straightforward rock albums of all time. Like Tragic Kingdom, every song on it is good, and as Matchbox 20 seemed to come out of nowhere, all their songs seem to have an earnest soul that lacks any industry polish or or pretension. The radio also did half of this album to death. All of the band’s later albums, though good, seemed extremely formulaic, and now Rob Thomas made himself look like Justin Timberlake and is doing an album with drum and bass. Way to go, man: I’ve heard your new direction, and you sound like every other vacant pop star that’s ever had their 15 minutes.
Evereve • The year is 1998, and a German goth rock band, fresh off of a nice but entirely uninspired album called Seasons releases a semi-concept album called Stormbirds. With Tom Sedotschenko on vocal duties (and apparently in charge of a lot of the band’s musical direction), it’s a really fantastic album, going a lot of places. One of my favorites of all time, in fact. Then Tom quit the band and committed suicide, and the remaining members turned the outfit into a vapid electronica group (think Orgy, only less catchy). Oh, it just breaks my heart!
Dream Theater • The first album I ever bought by Dream Theater was 1999’s Scenes from a Memory, and I fell in love with it. The live DVD (where they play the entire album plus more) is also fantastic. Some of the one-off albums like the Liquid Tension Experiment releases, are also amazing. But. Everything before Scenes from a Memory (not counting A Change of Seasons, which is only an EP) is rather a bland, 80s sort of progressive rock, and everything after (Six Degrees…, Train of Thought, Octavarium) is all nu-metal wannabe garbage. Garbage. It’s amazing to me that musicians as talented as those in Dream Theater, who created and perform an album like SfaM, could purposely emulate Linkin Park and Metallica. What a bunch of wankers.