What would prompt a musician to criticize their own work in public? Is it excessive modesty? Suicidal candor? Or is it a weird, counter-intuitive way of getting noticed? After all, Lupe Fiasco has gotten a lot more attention for his vocal criticisms of his new disc, "Lasers," than he ever would have gotten for saying how great he thought it was.
Fiasco's recent bout of self-flagellation got Click Track thinking about other artists who have disowned-or just about disowned-their albums. We're not talking about artists who don't like their hit singles: Everybody knows that Radiohead hates "Creep," Ravel is thought to have hated "Boléro," and Robert Plant is ambivalent about "Stairway to Heaven." We're talking about genuine, open dislike (sometimes hatred) of an entire work. Read on:
Who: The Strokes
What they don't like: Their upcoming disc, "Angles."
Why they don't like it: It's more collaborative than most Strokes discs, and no one appears to be happy about the "too many cooks, not enough Julian Casablancas" end result. "I feel like we have a better album in us, and it's going to come out soon," guitarist Nick Valensi told Pitchfork. To the New York Times, Casablancas referred to the disc as "Operation Make Everyone Satisfied."
What's not to like: It just leaked (or, uh, so we’ve heard) so we haven’t fully digested it yet. So far, so good, though.
What he doesn't like: His 2004 disc "Encore"
Why he doesn't like it: "The last couple of albums I let some people down," he told Vibe magazine last year. "But looking back on it now, there was some pretty mediocre things that I was putting out. When I was making 'Encore,' my addiction took on a life of its own. I remember going to L.A., recording with Dre and being in the studio high, taking too many pills, getting in this slap-happy mood and making songs like 'Big Weenie' and 'Rain Man' and '*** Like That.'"
What's not to like: He has a point. "Encore" is unquestionably Em's worst disc-simplistic and repetitive and juvenile.
What they don't like: Their 2004 disc "Around the Sun"
Why they don't like it: For the same reasons lots of people didn't: It was sleepy and rote, one in a lengthening series of phoned-in discs from the band. Said Peter Buck: "It seemed like we'd turned into one of those bands that just book like a million months in the studio and just beat it to death. The last record, for me, just wasn't really listenable, because it sounds like what it is, a bunch of people that are so bored with the material that they can't stand it anymore."
What's not to like: See above.
What they don't like: "Pinkerton"
Why they don't like it: Frontman Rivers Cuomo told Entertainment Weekly in 2001 that he thought it was hideous, elsewhere saying "The most painful thing in my life these days is the cult around 'Pinkerton.' It's just a sick album, sick in a diseased sort of way. It's such a source of anxiety because all the fans we have right now have stuck around because of that album. But, honestly, I never want to play those songs again; I never want to hear them again."
What's not to like: "Pinkerton" is now regarded as a classic, and Cuomo has walked his comments back a little since, telling Pitchfork in 2008, "'Pinkerton''s great. It's super-deep, brave, and authentic. Listening to it, I can tell that I was really going for it when I wrote and recorded a lot of those songs."
Who: Lupe Fiasco
What he doesn't like: His new disc, "Lasers."
Why he doesn't like it: The disc had a troubled birth; according to Fiasco, several songs on it were done at the record label's insistence. "When I think about what it took to actually get the record together and everything that I went through on this record—which is something I can’t separate—I hate this album," Fiasco told Complex.com. "A lot of the songs that are on the album, I’m kinda neutral to."
What's not to like: Aside from the vaguely focus-grouped feel of tracks like the John Legend collabo "Never Forget You" (which Fiasco has singled out as for criticism) it's a pretty solid disc.