With a constant stream of new music every week, the occasional record ranks below the others. Some albums seemed destined to be critical failures (the new Machine Gun Kelly album, for example); however, records from promising artists that take a sharp downturn can be even more disappointing. Here are some of those albums from 2022, not necessarily as bad as Machine Gun Kelly, but disappointing that they somewhat tarnish a promising artist’s reputation.
The Wombats - ‘Fix Yourself, Not the World’
For those who enjoy The Wombats’ lively indie-pop sound, Fix Yourself, Not The World is not far off from their original records. For everyone else, it’s more just a frustrating reminder that the band has not developed much since their breakout single “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” back in 2007.
SASAMI - ‘Squeeze’
Sasami Ashworth debuted in 2019 on Domino Records with a promising dream pop-inspired indie record that left some room for expansion. Squeeze expanded too far, creating a conflicting sound alternating between nu-metal and laidback singer/songwriter hooks. Ashworth’s questionable decision in trying to blend soft and hard rock never lands with the intended impact.
BODEGA - ‘Broken Equipment’
Broken Equipment is another classic sophomore slump release, trying to evolve the BODEGA sound and losing the focus that sharpened their debut. The added new wave shimmer is not enough to fix the lack of captivating songwriting.
Dolly Parton - ‘Run, Rose, Run’
Though Album No. 48 for Dolly Parton is not necessarily one to run away from, it does not have much surprising material for the seasoned country singer (her 2010s output came across at a similar level). A few cringe-inducing moments, like in the lead single “Blue Dreams and Faded Jeans,” make it tough to get through an already slow, looking-to-the-past record.
Los Bitchos - ‘Let the Festivities Begin!’
The story (and name) behind Los Bitchos sounds incredible on paper; if only the music lived up to the hype. Four women from four countries met and connected by chance, then banded together to create music that combined sounds from each background. Recorded with Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, this lead-up to this album beginning in 2019 has resulted in not much more than agreeably pleasant background music.
While these albums might be worth avoiding, there are plenty of exciting records this year to seek out! Be on the lookout for the good ones, and all these albums are available for streaming if something above sounds appealing.