Top 10 Signs an Album is Going to Suck

The Top Ten
1 It's an old band/artist desperately trying to sound young/modern

E.g., Father of All... by Green Day

Risk - Megadeth
Diabolus In Musica - Slayer

2 The artist changes his/her usual genre

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.

E.g., Liz Phair by Liz Phair (2003), 0304 by Jewel (2003)

Steam Powered Giraffe

3 It touches on politics

E.g., Revival by Eminem

4 It's an album by a non-singer

E.g., Playing with Fire by Kevin Federline (2006)

5 It has a lot of guests

E.g., No. 6 Collaborations Project by Ed Sheeran (2019)

6 The release date keeps being pushed back

E.g., Chinese Democracy by Guns N' Roses

7 It has poor producer/songwriter choices

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.).

8 The promotion is very aggressive

E.g., Changes by Justin Bieber

9 It's a follow-up to a masterpiece

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.

10 The album is announced shortly after the previous one

Luckily some didn't disappoint such as Ariana Grande with Thank U, Next

The Contenders
11 The lead single disappoints critically and commercially

E.g., "Yummy" by Justin Bieber (this song still went #2, but it didn't go #1 like JB wished)

More importantly it quickly fell down the charts after that and is already down to number 94.

12 A handful of songs are released before the album

It just ruins the pleasure of discovery and makes the album sound like a compilation.

13 The singer is or collaborated with Justin Bieber

For example, Justin Bieber changes.

I feel like this is an unfitting item to be honest. I feel items shouldn't be things about specific artists but I guess the creator didn't say that.

14 The singer is very active on social media

That can be included in the "aggressive promotion" part

15 The last few albums released were terrible

I think this is a better sign than the previous album being a masterpiece.

I agree, especially when it comes to artists who have been releasing bad albums in a consistent basis these past years such as Nickelback, Limp Bizkit or Chris Brown.

16 Review embargoes put in place on release date
17 Every song released before the album has a featured artist
18 3 or more songs on the tracklist feature samples of well-known songs
19 It's a covers album

E.g., "Vanilla Ice Is Back" by Vanilla Ice (2008) or "Thank You" by Duran Duran (1995)

20 The lead single was released more than 2 years ago

I can't think of any albums that do this.

A clearer example is Sam Hunt's new album, South Side, which was just released while its lead single "Body Like a Back Road" was released in 2017. This is a clear sign that the album will lack cohesion, and turns out this album did lack cohesion.

21 The title has a pun based on a another album
22 It's a rapper who wants to "bring real hip-hop back"
23 It's a "comeback album" after a long hiatus
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