1 AMY WINEHOUSE SELF-DESTRUCTS
It’s always sad to see a performer fall victim to the excesses of fame, but when it’s someone as talented as Winehouse, it’s a damn shame. From cancelling shows à la classic George Jones, to being too drunk to get through a song when she actually shows up, to looking like the latest emaciated victim of one of those crazy neo-R&B vampires, Winehouse is a disaster. Her music’s good, her band’s great, her beehive is fantastic, but when are people gonna stop caring and ask, “What kind of fuckery is this?!” Well, Amy, what kind is it?
2 STOOGES The Weirdness (Virgin)
Completely devoid of the creativity, sensuality and raw power that made the Stooges great, The Weirdness is so utterly lame, it tarnishes the group’s entire legacy.
3 SAM THE RECORD MAN
While it’s unfortunate that the beloved Yonge Street landmark closed its doors this year, the disappointing part is that if Sam’s had stayed on top of changing trends and stocked music people actually wanted to buy, it’d still be thriving today.
4 CANADA’S DMCA-STYLE LEGISLATION
We’re already talking about private health care. Do we really need America’s copyright reforms, too? New copyright legislation similar to the States’ sue-your-ass-style Digital Millennium Copyright Act was supposed to be introduced by the Conservatives in December, but it’s been pushed back to next year. If it passes, you fervent downloaders had better find lawyers fast.
5 AIR Pocket Symphony(Astralwerks)
Air let their elevator music tendencies get the best of them on this, and the result is an incredibly forgettable record of little interest to anyone but insomniacs and rabid fans.
6 POLARIS PRIZE
What was originally meant to be a big-up for important Canadian talent on the rise has quickly become an indie rock popularity contest celebrating media darlings who already get more attention than they deserve. Time for a rethink.
7 ALICIA KEYS As I Am (RCA)
Instead of challenging herself on her third album, the talented Keys continued her descent down the slippery slope into adult-contempo R&B on the numbingly safe As I Am. Worse, the hook to lead single No One sounds cribbed from Where Is The Love, by the Black Eyed Peas.
8 50 CENT Curtis (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
He said it was going to be his most personal. He said it was his best yet. He said he’d retire if he didn’t outsell Kanye. All lies. The self-proclaimed Sound Scan Killer shot blanks, and if not for I Get Money’s catchy beat and hook, 50 would be in Cam’ronville.
9 V-FEST September 8-9
While it’s true that this year’s V-Fest was better-organized and -executed than last year’s, it was still an incredibly annoying event to navigate and felt like you spent the whole two days standing in various lineups and being herded around like cattle.
10 BJORK Volta(Warner)
Despite working with Timbaland, Björk somehow managed to make Volta her loosest, dullest and most unfocused record ever.