Top 5 most overrated artists of 2011

Categories: Year-end blitz
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​It seems that with each passing year, the swelling amount of hype and buzz that surrounds certain bands and musicians eclipses and eventually drowns out any of the music that they produce. That is certainly not the band's fault (in most cases), but a lot of music fans get turned off by seeing and hearing certain artists everywhere they turn. But at the same time, a LOT of people buy into the endless hype and promotion of these bands, making the artists themselves very famous and wealthy in the process, which only feeds into the backlash. 

So while I'm sure that for every person who agrees with some of my selections of the most overrated bands and musicians of this year, there will be three people that love those very same artists passionately. But who knows, by this time next year, they might be sick of them too. I know I am.


5. EMA

I've tried with EMA, I really have. But I just can't get into her sound at all, really. It doesn't help that her show at the Entry was terrible, but even on record I still find her lacking. A lot of people whose music  tastes I respect love EMA, so I keep giving her a chance, but I'm done trying. I'll take PJ Harvey every day of the week.

4. Dawes

Most people I know in the Twin Cities love this band. A lot of my friends who live in other cities don't even know who they are. Local music fans are absolutely rabid for this band,  And while I certainly get the appeal of Dawes (having seen them live a couple of times), I really have no idea why they are THAT popular around here. But it's a love affair that clearly goes both ways, as the California band chose to play Minneapolis for their New Year's Eve show. Me, I've got other plans that night.

3. Adele

I wonder if anyone at Adele's 2008 show at Theatre De La Jeune Lune had any idea she would go on to become one of the biggest selling acts of the last few years. Sure, she's got a good voice, and she works with talented producers and songwriters (including local boy Dan Wilson) who have helped her get where she is. But seriously, she bailed on First Avenue (twice) because she felt she should be playing arenas in the U.S., and not dingy nightclubs (I don't totally buy the voice excuse, even with her recent surgery). It's just added drama that this diva-in-the-making can use to write more flimsy songs of woe.

2. Odd Future 

When I was in High School (before grunge broke), all I listened to was rap music. Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, EPMD, Boogie Down Productions. I loved all of that. And the reason I identified with that particular style of hip-hop was that there was a message being delivered there by some truly talented poets. Words of wisdom that weren't necessarily directed at a white kid living in suburban Milwaukee, but I still took their message to heart and learned something about black culture in the process. I don't hear any of that in the rhymes of Odd Future. All I hear is misogynistic, violent, homophobic garbage from a bunch of kids who don't know shit over tired bedroom beats. There are plenty of other hip-hop acts that deserve the kind of attention the Odd Future crew are currently receiving, I just hope raps fans find them and forget about these  guys until they learn to grow up.

1. Foster The People

The continued, growing appeal of this band just baffles me. On the strength of one smash-hit which I'm not even going to type here, Foster The People are set to play the Target Center next year. And they will probably sell-out the place. But where these fans come from and, more importantly, WHY, is beyond me. Their music sounds like nails on the chalkboard to me, and comes across as soulless and thin. I'm not saying that they are bad people (I've actually heard that they are all very nice), I'm just saying they make bad music that is clearly not for me.


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33 comments
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Paula Barky Phommounivong
Paula Barky Phommounivong

OH YOU DONT LIKE FOSTER THE PEOPLE I SEE!!! LET ME TEACH U A LESSON!!!! FOSTER THE PEOPLE MAYBE SOUND LIKE NAILS ON A CHALKBOARD TO U BUT TO ME ITS A NEW AND UNIQUE SOUND!!! U  PROBABLY JUST LISTEN TO PUMPED UP KICKS!!GO AND LISTEN TO THEIR OTHER SONGS!!!- FTP'S #1 FAN

Geeyermo
Geeyermo

Boney Vair.  The hype of this totally average album is befuddling.  The Current must have a contract to play Boney 4-5 times per day.

Meyer
Meyer

``I'm just saying they make bad music that is clearly not for me.'' Brilliant! As Monty Python might say, ``Aih'm conveenced.''

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Angie
Angie

Dan Wilson did not make Adele a star. She was well on her way.

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TheGeneralPublic
TheGeneralPublic

As someone who also listened to rap when rappers actually had to form a coherent thought to release a song, much less an album, I stand wholeheartedly behind the Odd Future hate. I don't even care that the guys are rapping about misogyny, homophobia and all that. What I mind is that they flat out SUCK. Tyler's got no flow, their beats are garbage, and then you get to the point where their lyrics are just someone shitting into a mic.

I'm sure in their mind this is all some big performance art piece on how to suck at rapping and make a career out of that, but Nelly already did that. Even Allen Iverson could put out one track that was worth listening to.

Clevelandchick
Clevelandchick

You don't buy Adele's excuse.."even with the throat surgery"...because..you know...cancelling a US a tour cost her nothing and having your throat cut open just to get out of going on a tour is something all people who make a living with their voice do. Sorry, but that was just an incredibly idiotic thing to say.  She's right, with a number one album and several huge hits she should be playing bigger venues and not dingy clubs.  It's called the 'music business' for a reason.

Swee2th
Swee2th

Those songs suck though. I was in freakin' Europe, and I swore to god if I had to hear her awful voice whine about Wishing Nothing But The Best for whoever the fuck she can't get over, I was going to go postal on some Frenchies.

ben
ben

lol sounds like you're old and out of the loop... all ready disgruntled and cynical... or is that just carry over from the 90's?

Burnz
Burnz

O man! So right! Forster the people is exactly what I was thinking for number one before I even got to the end of the page

Victor Long
Victor Long

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HVC
HVC

My vote for number 1 is Mumford and Sons. 

Idiots
Idiots

Now where in the world did you get an idea for a list like this?

Jason
Jason

Any list of "overrated" artists for 2011 that doesn't include Bon Iver is kind of a waste of time....Bon Iver is just "OK" - not nearly as great as the fawning Bon Iver-iots would have you believe.

henry
henry

It's so great that there are so many comments for this article, and only one for the "underrated" article. You fuckers love to hate so much. How about instead of hating on our local musicians you at least respect them for adding something to this town, wether you like what they are doing or not. At least they are out there doing something and trying really hard to do what they love!

(except for the Current hate, I'm all for that)

Tony Nelson
Tony Nelson

Bon Iver could have put out my favorite album of the year and he would still be the most overrated artist of the year due to the the fawning worship he gets from Pitchfork and other hipster cognoscenti. The fact that he put out a pretty but rather incoherent mess of bearded sensitive boy noodling makes it all the more confounding. Actually, it's that mix of obvious talent and a truly original voice mixed with unlistenable drippiness that sends me off the deep end. I could go on...Wait, is that James Blake I hear?

Bianca
Bianca

The "Current" effect lives on..

Studying...
Studying...

*cough* Bon Iver *cough* Not saying it's not good, but let's all take a little step back.

Mixed on OF, I think some of them have real talent if you get past the subject matter, but I don't know if you should. The production is the highlight for me.

Steve P.
Steve P.

Polica.  Maybe it's just me, but the lead singer's voice is grating.  Not to say her backup band isn't stellar.  It was the same situation for Roma Di Luna, in my opinion.  Great musicians, fronted by an overrated singer whose voice to mean sounds like nails on a chalkboard.  Sorry, that's just the way I feel.  Oh, and pretty much every Picked to Click band except Howler.  Why don't you guys pick some artists who haven't been up there before like Malamanya?    

Netsfan30
Netsfan30

Im confused why you added Dawes here, when you basically said you like them and understand why people like them. This year, the story of most overrated bands can only go to Foster the People. It is a sad story for anyone who remotely says music is an important part of their life. One day, the people who spent $40 on a concert ticket to see these talentless hacks, will realize their mistake. Shame on the promoters and festival buyers out there willing to make a quick buck and this absolute crap. 

Angry internet
Angry internet

I completely agree with this list and completely disagree with every comment posted under it. (except for the one regarding the current)

Knowinstuff
Knowinstuff

i blame the current for pushing dawes and foster the people. i dont like either one of those bands and yet 99% of the time i turn the current on, its one of those bands.

i miss the current from before the format change

Mark S.
Mark S.

Bon Iver.  The layered textured sounds would have been cutting edge in 1998 when Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips were doing it.  Bon Iver ads God-awful auto-tuned vocals to produce the most overrated album this year.   The songs all sound like cool introductions to songs, but leave the listener wondering when the song will actually take off and turn into something.  I'm kind of on board with Dawes.   Good live band, but their Jackson Browne adult-orientated sounding mid-tempo rock songs sounds like Cities 97 on an mediocre day.  If I never hear "Time Spent in Los Angeles" I'd be okay with that.

Guy
Guy

I really like the new Bon Iver album, but I often forget that I own it. I guess it's not really "priority listening." Anyway, criticizing an artist because of the way others react to him is kind of silly. Just listen to the music if you want to; don't if you don't want to.

Crumbly Williamz
Crumbly Williamz

And Local list:

1) DoomShrubs (and their worshipers)2) Har Mar Superstar (why the hell does this guy get attention? He's not a musician)3) Mark Mallman (Wow, he plays for an entire day straight. too bad it's all un-listenable garbage)4) 4onthefloor (freaking gimmick bands. why can't people let their music stand on its own? probably because it's not that good!)5) Spider Baby and 1% Milk (or whatever the hell it's called. just lame)Too bad we were limited to just 5!

Chris
Chris

The four bass drums isn't merely a gimmick. It's purpose is to add extra oomph to the stomping feel of the songs live.

Thefanta
Thefanta

Or the bass drum mic could be turned up.

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