Top 10 Signs an Album is Going to Suck
That would suck
An exception would be "Song Machine Season 1: Strange Timez" by Gorillaz (2020). That album has at least one guest on every track but it never feels phoned in or out of place because each guest complements Gorillaz's performance and is chosen carefully. Albums with lots of guest features are usually overshadowed by their star powers or mostly feel unfocused but that's not the case here.
Death of a Ladies' Man by Leonard Cohen, which was produced by Phil Spector. Not only did a lot of fans feel like Spector's "wall of sound" doesn't fit Cohen's songwriting style, but Cohen himself said recording the album with Spector was a very uncomfortable experience as he drank heavily and owned a lot of guns in his recording studio.
X by Def Leppard (2002), which had contributions from multiple Swedish songwriters/producers (including Max Martin) who worked with pop artists such as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Celine Dion and Westlife.
E.g., Hard Candy by Madonna, where she teamed up with Timbaland and the Neptunes. Coming from her it was seen as a disappointing choice considering she would always choose producers that were relatively unknown (Mirwais, William Orbit, Stuart Price, etc.).
E.g., One More Light by Linkin Park (2017), which transitioned them from alt-rock/metal to electro-pop, to a widespread negative reception from fans.
Wolfmother went from Hard Rock to EDM with their new single "High On My Own Supply".
E.g., Music of the Spheres by Coldplay (a teaser revealed most of the songs before the album came out, which kind of ruined it in my opinion)
Songs of Innocence by U2 (2014), which was uploaded to everyone's iPhones without their consent.
For example, Fall Out Boy's Mania. Half of the songs on the album were released before the actual album itself as well was one additional one being debuted live before the release date.
E.g. Muse's Will of the People. So far (at the time I am writing this comment) there have been 3 tracks released. WSD is awesome, but Compliance and the title track (which isn't bad on its own but the constant "Will of the People chance is a massive killjoy in the song) are mediocre, and looks like there is one more coming titled "Kill or be Killed". Matt calls it a "greatest hits" album but so far I'm not really getting that.
Half of the Silk Sonic's upcoming album have been revealed but I'm sure the album would be really good.
"Cleopatra's Cat" by the Spin Doctors (1994), the follow-up single to their breakout debut album Pocket Full of Kryptonite. Apparently, many critics and listeners were confused and unimpressed with the song when it came out, saying it lacked melody and cohesion. Eventually the album flopped and Spin Doctors faded into obscurity afterwards.
E.g., Avenged Sevenfold's Life Is but a Dream. A lot of A7X fans seemed to be disappointed in the single "Nobody" (though I have heard of a couple of fans praising it) and critics don't really seem to be that crazy for it either.
E.g., "Yummy" by Justin Bieber (this song still went #2, but it didn't go #1 like JB wished)
Or should I say, big magazines and websites such as Rolling Stone, Allmusic or NME refusing to review the album. This is generally an indicator that the album might suck.
This is an obvious sign that the artist is still nervous or insecure about sharing his new material, especially if it's a high-profile artist, because he's conscious it may divide a lot of people.
Drake's releasing a new album in 2021 "Certified Lover Boy". I don't have much hope for it as it's release date did get pushed back. Let's not hope for a Scorpion 2.0
It's generally not a good sign, because it suggests that there is record label interference or the artist is too much of a perfectionist.
E.g. Red Hot Chili Pepper's Return of the Dream Canteen. UL was pretty good but sadly I have a good feeling this one is gonna suck. Unlimited Love came out on April 1, 2022 and now it looks like we're getting another one six months later.
Luckily some didn't disappoint such as Ariana Grande with Thank U, Next
E.g., Playing with Fire by Kevin Federline (2006)
"Comeback albums" are generally hit or miss, but most of the time they feel like an obvious attempt to cash in on nostalgia, especially when a band was past its prime before its eventual hiatus. Sometimes reunion or anniversary tours are just enough.
E.g., Trapt's Shadow Work. This album only sold 600 copies in its first week! Looking at the song titles, they look the same and did they even try naming these songs? (E.g., Far Enough Away, Too Far Away, I Want to Want What I Want, Too Little Too Late, Save Your Soul) I have never heard any Trapt album and never will, and their only hit "Headstrong" is incredibly mediocre. The lead singer's name is Chris Brown, and he's just as bad as the R&B Chris Brown honestly. (E.g., he blamed George Floyd for his own death, fat-shamed women, and insulted and argued with a whole bunch of people on Twitter)
Foo Fighters went from Wasting Light (their best album) to Sonic Highways (their worst album), so that's true.
Not really it might seem worse by comparison with it's predecessor but in general I don't think the follow up to a great album is more likely to suck see the list about the greatest album runs of all time as a counter example.
Also counts for "sequels" to great albums such as Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II, Bat Out of Hell II, etc.
I think this is a better sign than the previous album being a masterpiece.
It can be tongue-in-cheek like it can be a desperate cling for attention.
Not really sure if this is always a bad thing. Paramore's This Is Why was announced in September but wasn't released until February and ended up being one of their best albums yet. Sadly pop punk fans are trashing it though, they pretty much hate on anything post-BNE.
E.g., "Will of the People" by Muse, which will be released on August 26, 2022. The release date was announced 6 months in advance, which is a bad sign because we might either wait too long or have a third or a half of the album released before it actually comes out.
Covers albums are usually nothing to be excited about. They are either an artistic recreation or a cash-grab. In some countries, covers albums were a method for artists to relaunch their careers, but this trend has since fallen. Luckily there have been some solid covers albums recently, such as Delta Kream by the Black Keys.
E.g., "Vanilla Ice Is Back" by Vanilla Ice (2008) or "Thank You" by Duran Duran (1995)
Kanye West just legally changed his name to "Ye". I have never gone through a full album of his but haven't heard some very good things about his newer material.
I agree on this one, I would also count loads of songwriters, because sometimes it shows the lack of personality and cohesion
E.g., Music from the Elder by Kiss (1981)
Concept albums are generally hit or miss. Sometimes they can be a testament to an artist's creativity and songwriting, but other times they can come off as pretentious and self-indulgent, lack the bombast and musical depth it strives for, or just lack cohesion.
Unless these samples are cleverly used or discreet, it shows how creatively bankrupt the artist may be.
Lemonade by Beyonce use a lot of samples Hung Up alone use 4 sample.
I can't think of any albums that do this.