The Least Essential Albums of 2015
December 7, 2015 10:56 PM   Subscribe

The (Onion) A. V. Club continues its annual tradition by announcing the least essential albums of the year. While many of them are bad, the purpose is not to highlight the most awful music but the music which has the flimsiest justification for being made.

Previous editions: 1983 (from a retrospective on that year), the '90s, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, [no edition was published in 2004], 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, Entertainments of 1993 (from a retrospective on that year), Entertainments of 1994 (from a retrospective of that year), Cinema, and Reality TV Off-Shoots. Bonus: Nathan Rabin talks the worst/least essential of 2006 with WNYC.
posted by koavf (26 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It’s an EDM record made by a fictional cartoon pony with a dumb DJ name.

The kid has it and is pretty into it. It's... Okay? for an EDM record made by a fictional cartoon pony with a dumb DJ name.

We've got a bunch of those Rockabye Baby CDs too... The Radiohead one is extremely spooky.
posted by Artw at 11:04 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

This article justified it's existence by introducing me to "shreds" videos: Creed Shreds! Yes, they Do!
posted by straight at 11:26 PM on December 7, 2015 [7 favorites]

Ooh, I hadn't heard about the pony EDM album. That sounds like fun!
posted by jb at 2:25 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I guess that there are no Christmas albums on here because it goes without saying? Although I'm not sure if even the most risible cover of "The Holly and the Ivy" can come close to a three-disc Creed retrospective, because even typing those words makes me shudder, as if I'm in danger of summoning something glabrous and rugose from the depths of R'Lyeh with them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:39 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I like how they distinguish the fictional pony's real name from her not real name.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:41 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Least essential? Please. In the time it takes to read this comment, Kidz Bop will have released three new albums.
posted by mittens at 4:51 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

dJ Pon-3's other name appears to be Vinyl Scratch.
posted by Artw at 4:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite] case the sentence, "—DJ Pon-3 is the stage name of a DJing pony whose real name is Vinyl Scratch" in the original article left that unclear.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:59 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I don't know if anything needed to be said about a 3-CD Creed retrospective other than "exclusive Walmart title".
posted by ardgedee at 5:00 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Waiting for their annual The Year in Band Names feature. Here's last year for reference.
posted by kersplunk at 5:06 AM on December 8, 2015

Best-of and worst-of lists are one of my favorite things about this time of year--thanks for the reminder.
posted by box at 5:53 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Creed "retrospective" is hilarious and all, but I think the best case for "least essential" was made about the Van Halen live album:
The band could have collected a number of recordings from its Black Sabbath-ass-kicking peak in 1978-79. It could have remastered a single show from its “no brown M&M’s” over-the-top 1984 tour. Hell, Van Halen could have even dusted off the heavily bootlegged demo tape it made with KISS’ Gene Simmons in 1976. But in the face of all that extraordinary, vital, and historically important material, Van Halen decided to present the world with a recording of a show from just two years ago as its first official live record with lead singer David Lee Roth. It’s not just an inessential record; it’s a borderline insulting one for Van Halen fans.
That's what I think they should have been going for here with "least essential" - albums spawned by bad choices when far better options were available. Like, the Pony album is just going to be adored by bronies and/or five-year-olds alike; it is most definitely "essential" for its target audience. This paltry live album from VH will most certainly not be essential for fans, or anyone else.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Does this feel a little slapdash to anyone else? It seems about half as long as previous years, with a lot less WTF? and a lot more aging has-beens.
posted by Think_Long at 6:28 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeah, this was disappointing this year.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:17 AM on December 8, 2015

Least essential "Least Essential" lists of 2015.
posted by GuyZero at 7:20 AM on December 8, 2015 [9 favorites]

Agreed that this is a disappointing entry for how brief it is and for the dearth of truly head-scratching releases. Maybe that's a sign that virtually all music released this year genuinely advanced the art form of music?
posted by koavf at 7:20 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

#1 on 2015's Limp Noodle Lists List.
posted by Cosine at 7:22 AM on December 8, 2015

The Pope released an album this year... so, there's that.
posted by ph00dz at 8:01 AM on December 8, 2015

Yeah, opening with some hating on the Rockabye Baby series based on the lyrics of the original songs is a bit weaksauce. Their album of NIN covers is spectacular, including the part where they play 'bad luck fist fuck' on the wood blocks.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm glad I'm not the only one rolling eyes at the inclusion of Rockabye Baby. That's possibly the laziest targeting imaginable for an article like this, which affords carte blanche to a brilliant critical lens. Instead, we get, what, someone who thinks Sublime lyrics are naughty? Boring.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:03 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

well, I mean Sublime songs *are* terrible and dumb and misogynistic as hell, so there's that.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, pretty lazy. A least essential 2015 albums list ..... for all those throngs of people who still buy/listen to albums? Ridiculing Creed for a Walmart-only release when that's almost the only market for selling actual CDs/albums anymore? Isn't ridiculing Creed (and Whitesnake!), period, some sort of lowest of the low-hanging fruit? Isn't this list sort of the equivalent of a least essential 2015 TV ads list? I still listen to albums and sit through TV ads sometimes, but I have to think I'm in the vanishing minority on that.
posted by blucevalo at 10:35 AM on December 8, 2015

It's been a while since I worked in journalism, but, if I was guessing, I would guess that labels don't send out promo CDs anywhere near like they used to, which probably has something to do with the paucity of choices this time around.
posted by box at 6:43 PM on December 8, 2015

When it comes to annual music worst lists meant to satisfy a true hater, there's no topping Ghostface Killah.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:56 PM on December 8, 2015

Honestly, if you're going to question the essentiality of a least-essential list, why do you even listicle, bro. Jeez.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:42 AM on December 9, 2015

And just now they hit us with Least Essential TV of 2015.
posted by koavf at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2015

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