Several artists released follow-up albums that disappointed me this year. Seems like a rather negative way to start all of this but, for a while, this seemed like a recurring theme – all of these were released in the first six months of the year.
I shouldn’t have been disappointed by Luke Vibert’s reincarnation of his Plug alter-ego for Back On Time but, given that it was billed as a return to the archives of his prolific mid-90s period that spawned Drum’n’Bass For Papa, one of my favourite electronic albums ever, I got my hopes up. Unfortunately it was a collection of one-trick ponies with none of the depth or invention that made DNBFP so compelling – confirming the reasons for leaving them in the archive in the first place. Lindstrøm, who produced one of my favourite albums of 2006 (A Feedelity Affair), gave us a bonkers long-player of prog-disco-funk (Six Cups of Rebel) which sounded like he had a lot more fun making it than anyone would actually have listening to it. (NB see later for his second effort of 2012, Smalhans). Sigur Ros continued their downward trend with the barely noticeable Valtari, made half-heartedly with material they rejected in the making of their previous, moderately disappointing album, <longicelandicname>. Sennen, who won one of my coveted ‘Album of 2010’ awards with Age of Denial, made the feather-light Lost Harmony, which, like the previously-mentioned Sigur Ros album, breezes by with nary a trace. Finally, Animal Collective, who did so well in 2009 with Merriweather Post Pavilion, took a giant step backwards with the messy Centipede Hz, which is a bit like the aural equivalent of putting starter, main course and pudding into a blender and eating it all at once. To be fair, they accurately represented the experience with the album artwork, so they can’t say we weren’t warned.