Top 5 Most Overrated Bands of 2009

There was a lot of great music in 2009, but some bands didn't deserve the hype.

I loved 2009, and I’m going to continue to love 2009 because it’s been a great year for music. No one can deny that with so many strong acts  hitting their strides, like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dirty Projectors and Phoenix. However, with the release of so much great music, there tends to be a lot of overhyped bands. The bothersome part however, is that some critics herald these bands as some of the best in years. It’s time for someone to set the record straight even if it agitates some devout fans.

1)  Animal Collective

This is the big dog. Animal Collective might be the most overrated band in years. Ever since the release of their latest smash hit album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, in January, Williamsburg urchins and leading music critics said the contest was over. It was only January, and suddenly Animal Collective was the best of the year and wouldn’t be denied the title. Wrong. Although very bold and experimental, Animal Collective lacks melody, rhythm and any kind of trace of structure. Normally, this would be avant garde, but Merriweather Post Pavilion is nothing short of a convoluted mess. Fellow blogger, Nathan Mattise can attest that their live show in Monticello was a huge disappointment.

2)  Bat For Lashes

Natasha Khan is talented as hell, and her lyrics are midly amusing, but her latest album, Two Suns from April, was flat. She has the potential to be a force in indie rock, but her music is draining and uninspired. I have a hunch half of her appeal is the combination of her button nose and devilish eyes. Her hit single, "Daniel," is a bright spot on the album, but not nearly powerful enough to leave an impression.

3)  Drake

 Drake, a.k.a. "Aubrey Drake Graham," burst onto the hip-hop scene this summer with his scorching single "Best I Ever Had" on his debut EP, So Far Gone. "Best I Ever Had" was one of my favorite jams this summer, but it didn't take long for it get overplayed. The rest of the EP doesn't have the electricity of "Best I Ever Had," but that's not why I'm knocking him. He's new and a former Canadian teen idol, and has a ton of promise, but he came with so much hype even David Bowie couldn't even live up to. That's why he's one of the most overrated artists of 2009.

4) Neko Case

So far gone are the days when Neko led The New Pornographers, and indie rock had a veteran elite talent. This year, Neko and Carl Newman chased solor careers, and both stumbled. Neko Case experimented with a backyard folk sound in Middle Cyclone, which left me scratching my head and asking, "this is it? This is supposed to replace The New Pornographers? I don't think so."  If bluegrass is your thing, go nuts, because Neko Case has an incredible voice. However, it seems people gave Neko Case the easy play just because she used to be with The New Pornographers.

5) Paramore

Hayley Williams and company like to think they've taken the next step from bubble-gum pop infamy, but they haven't. It's hard to take this band seriously when the lyrics remain so cheesy. Paramore is like a fluffy zombie from five years ago when bands like Good Charlotte were still up and kicking.  To make matters worse, they're an MTV darling, which does more harm than help these days.

Enjoy some of the most overrated music below.


Re: Animal Collective

Scroll to the bottom of the ATP NY review, I'll concur on Animal Collective. I like the AC but that crowd would've went wild if they came out and just did a 40 minute soundcheck.

Fail, Jett.

You know who's overrated? PASSION PIT.


Paramore is a no-brainer and they should probably be at #1, since at least Animal Collective has a significant amount of talent (I think so, anyway. Although I probably agree with the "overrated" thing since they're just always so much gushing over them).

Neko Case's album was kind of a bummer, too, and that's coming from someone who is a huge fan of hers and her incredible voice. It should be noted, though, that she's been doing solo work for over a decade now, so it's not like "Middle Cyclone" was an attempt to distance herself (and "chase a solo career") from the New Pornographers. Anyway, aside from a couple tracks on the album, so much of it fell flat for me, and I can't understand why I keep hearing it everywhere. I fell in love with Neko after 2004's "The Tigers Have Spoken" and it was totally solidified with the BRILLIANT 2006 album "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood." So anyone who is remotely intrigued by her should check those out before becoming to wrapped up in "Middle Cyclone."

Love the blog entry. Would love to see what others think are the most overrated artists of the year, too! My big gross-out this year was the new Conor Oberst album. So sick of that man, and the new album takes boredom to new depths I never thought imaginable. Most overrated faux-introspective indie kid ever.

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