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Every unopened promotional CD contains a promise. Maybe this is the album that will change us, you, forever. Sadly, the massive amount of promos the Washington City Paper receives every week necessitates a brutal weeding-out process. We can’t possibly listen to every smooth-jazz crooner with dreams of playing Wolf Trap. Nor will we review any album by an ex-Doors member. Ever. So over the past year, we created a “Drawer of Death”—a repository for unopened albums we suspect contain zero promise of greatness. A week ago, we decided to open the drawer, give these albums a listen, and see if we were right.
Description: The girl from The Wizard grows up to be in Rilo Kiley. The kids from Children of the Corn grow up to play campy hayseed rock.
Reason: You’re stuck at a party you don’t want to be at. You have a headache instead of a buzz. You don’t know how to get home. This is the band that’s playing.
Description: coffeeshop pop with relatively inoffensive smooth-jazz textures
Reason: Guy closes his eyes and dreams of the day he opens for Rusted Root. Dream seems not so unrealistic. Why crush this dream?
Description: Jack Black without the subtlety
Reason: Recites an “e-mail” to more famous spoken-word artist Henry Rollins: “How could you rip me off like that?”
Description: New Ageny tunes worthy of the Discovery Store’s CD racks made even worse with turgid organ work
Reason: Every time you pass Jordan Kitts Music at Montgomery Mall, you hear this.
Description: Imagine “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with djembe drums.
Reason: Some NYU performing-arts grad is gonna be able to pay off a third of her student loans by appearing on this record.
Description: You might hear this at the Foggy Bottom Metro stop on Mondays at 2 p.m.
Reason: You can’t even fuck to this.
Description: Former action star plays and sings Chicago-style blues. One song is called “Talk to My Ass.”
Drawer-worthy? Oh, yes
Reason: Is it better than your average South Suburbs bar band’s version of “Sweet Home Chicago”? Probably, but it still makes Jim Belushi seem like Howlin’ Wolf.
Description: stoopid punk rawk
Reason: For all its thrashiness and white-trash jokes, still the most depressing record in entire death drawer.
Description: kid-safe versions of overplayed pop songs
Reason: Liner notes include a game where you can name your band by choosing from a series of multiple-choice questions. Liner notes tell us our band must be called Cool Diva Power because our favorite color is blue, we like cats, and we like hip-hop. But who is Barbie to call us divas?
Description: Pixies battling the Refreshments. It’s sort of promising before the singer takes to the mic.
Reason: Album cover depicts a chili pepper wearing a sombrero.
THE YEAR IN MUSIC
No. 1 With a Ballot: CP critics’ Top 20 |
Music Blogs: Death of the uncool
Dance Rap: Killing or saving hip-hop? |
Metal and Cormac McCarthy: A match made in hell
The Drawer of Death: CDs we didn’t review |
Christmas Music: Not just for Christians!