From Muse to Adele - the albums that came frustratingly close to perfection
Alexandra Pollard
14:41 29th September 2015

We've all got one or two albums that we love dearly, listen to regularly, try to convert everyone we meet to - and yet, have one track on it that we just can't stand. We develop muscle memory that allows us to skip the offending article before its opening riff has even invaded our ears.

"Skip track six, pretend that one isn't in there, sorry about that one," we tell our friends, apologetically. It's a frustrating, but strangely common phenomenon. It's all subjective of course, but there are some albums that we can surely all agree are let down by one dud track.

From The Beatles' Revolver to Adele's 21 via Muse's Origin Of Symmetry, here's 11 brilliant albums that are let down by one dud track. 

  • The Beatles - 'Yellow Submarine' from Revolver: There are two things of which one should never speak ill - the dead, and The Beatles. No amount of hyperbole can do justice to the influence the band have had in changing the landscape of music as we know it... Having said that, 'Yellow Submarine' is an absolute howler. It's a tuneless, primary school dirge which wriggles its way, unwelcome, into your head for weeks.

  • Muse 'Feeling Good' from Origin Of Symmetry: Why the band felt the need to tack a lacklustre cover - a cover that adds nothing and threatens to strip away the song's heart and soul - onto an album that was already brilliant in its own right, is beyond us. We'd much rather have had the band's own awesome b-sides from the time in its place - like 'Futurism', 'Spiral Static' or 'Shrinking Universe'.

  • Simon & Garfunkel - 'Why Don't You Write Me' from Bridge Over Troubled Water: The duo's 1970 album is poignant, uplifting and nostalgic in equal measure. Combining their signature harmonies with timeless melodies, its ever track is a classic in its own right. Except for 'Why Don't You Write Me', which feels leaden with a faux-perkiness. Eventually, it loses interest in itself and just opts to allow the brass instrumental to take over.

  • Katy Perry - 'Ur So Gay' from One Of The Boys: It's difficult to believe that Perry's seminal pop album was released seven years ago - it feels like just yesterday... for the most part. As far as 'Ur So Gay' is concerned, it's difficult to believe it wasn't decades ago - so eye-rollingly dated is the sentiment. You can drape casual homophobia in catchy pop hooks as much as you want Katy, it's still pretty terrible.

  • Adele 'Rumour Has It' from 21: An album of greater depth and soul than anyone, even Adele herself, had offered the world of modern music in a very long time - and yet, with its gratingly perky refrain, which feels as if it's repeated about 500 times within the space of a few minutes, 'Rumour Has It' just doesn't quite cut the mustard.

  • Bright Eyes - 'False Advertising' from Lifted: The production is overblown, and the string sections veer too often into the realm of melodrama, undermining how deeply affecting the rest of the album is.

  • Arctic Monkeys - 'Mad Sounds' from AM: They were, of course, already a hugely popular and acclaimed band from virtually the start of their career - but with AM, Arctic Monkeys triumphantly shed the final remnants of their lad-rock skin. It's an album of startling restraint, effortlessly combining elements of hip hop and R&B with the rock sound that made them famous. On any other album, 'Mad Sounds' would be a perfectly decent track, but given the brilliance of everything around it, it's really quite a comedown... and not in a good way.

  • Green Day - 'Homecoming' from American Idiot: Green Day aren't taken entirely seriously these days - often being written off as mildly cheesy emo-rock - but American Idiot is a truly great musical offering. Given that this album was written after the master tapes for their intended album were stolen, we can't help but be a little grateful to that thief. Having said that, 'Homecoming' doesn't quite have the same punch as the rest.

  • Lana Del Rey - 'Off To The Races' from Born To Die: Arguably the definition of a filler, 'Off To The Races' manages to be both unremarkable and really quite irritating, as Del Rey stretches the sexy-baby voice to its very limits, squeaking at the end of every line. Amongst an album of otherwise sultry, trip-hop gems, it's just not welcome.

  • Gwen Stefani - 'Long Way To Go' from Love Angel Music Baby: Its fetishisation of Japanese pop culture is, admittedly, a little uncomfortable at times, but Stefani's debut solo album is one of inimatable R&B-laced pop. If only it had stopped at track 11 though. The album closer, a duet with Outkast's Andre 3000, is an embarrassingly earnest, overly-simplistic attempt to combat racism. "His skin wasn't the same colour as mine / But he was fine, he was fine / If all men are made equal, then / He was fine." *shudders*

  • LCD Soundsystem - 'Somebody's Calling Me' from This Is Happening: The rest of LCD Soundsystem's third and final album is generally considered to be nothing short of a masterpiece. 'Somebody's Calling Me', though, just doesn't go anywhere.


Photo: Artwork