Dear Artist: I’ve broken up with you. Please Don’t Cry

NPR has a pretty funny feature on breaking up with your favorite band.  When you become obsessed with an artist, it’s inevitable that at a certain point you might shake your head and wonder what the hell they’re doing.  Here’s a short list of artist I’ve broken up with.

The Killers

 The Killers started out like a great hook-up that keeps going – their songs were fun, and they seemed to be ready for a good time whenever you wanted it.  Then they discovered Bruce Springsteen, and like many hook-ups that last too long – got serious.  They made the Springsteen-esque  “Sam’s Town”, an album which is easily the most hubristic album of the 2000s.

The Strokes


Despite my inclusion of The Strokes in the 10 Greatest Artist of the Last Decade, The Strokes and I had a pretty bitter break-up.  Is This It was loud, brash, and exciting.  They cared so much about not caring, that in the end, nobody cared.

Kings of Leon


The worst offenders on this list.  As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, I discovered Kings of Leon around 2005 or 2004, and they were the illegitimate children of the Stooges and The Allman Brothers.  The music had a country-twang, but was played at breakneck speed.  And then like The Killers, they too, got serious and needed somebody.  In a few short years they went from sounding like no one, to sounding like everybody else.

Lady Gaga


 Gaga’s antics didn’t really bother me until she decided to call herself a spokesman of a generation (or something like that).  You can’t declare yourself to be the spokesman for people or a group – they have to decide for you.  Even Madonna had a sense of humor – something Gaga should think about lifting as well.

What artists have you broken up with?

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Dear Artist: I’ve broken up with you. Please Don’t Cry

  1. I don’t know early Kings of Leon, but every once in a while I hear a song that’s just so bland and copycat it’s actually irritating. Always turns out to be Kings of Leon.
    And yeah, the Killers’ first CD should be the soundtrack to everything Vegas: Deliberately trashy, immature and glammy — and all the better for it. When songs like “Midnight Show” are your filler, you aren’t doing badly.
    But…yeah, like every Vegas act, the magic disappears long before the actual act does.

    • Youtube “Trani” and “The Bucket” for KOL and you’ll definitely get a sense of what I’m talking about. Let me know what you think…it’s completely different than where they are now.

    • My only beef with the new KOL is the real reverby lead guitar stuff. There is a general lack of riff.
      Whatever he happens to be singing though, Caleb Followill is simply brilliant.

      • I do agree with you about his voice. Somewhere along the line he got a soulful/country-vibe that’s aged nicely. “Cold Desert” is an amazing song, mostly because of his voice. That’s the only one from Only By the Night I actually like. I saw them on Storytellers yesterday and was amazed by the song “back down south” – again his voice is a wonder. Kind of makes me wish he would go out on his own and do a stripped down country-ish/Band inspired LP.

  2. Nich Grayson

    I have to tell you that I broke up with Weezer after hearing the Red album. They crossed the line between nerdy faux-posturing and dickishness. Pork and Beans indeed!

    • Yeah I definitely agree with Weezer, but I never that huge of a fan of them to begin with to make it a significant break-up. Though NPR claims that “Beverly Hills” was their break-up song with Weezer.

  3. Asking Alexandria. I know they PROBABLY aren’t your kind of music, but they have 2 albums. Their first one, Stand Up and Scream was realy good. It’s got kind of a techno-screamo sound. It’s weird, but i like it. Also, the lyrics actually had meaning (for most of the songs). But their new Album, is TERRIBLE. they changed so much and became sell-outs. i hate them now.

  4. I guess there are two artists that I have broken up with in the last few years. Cursive and Interpol. Cursive had strong records up to “Ugly Organ” but began to expand their sound which took away from what made them great which was tight angry anthems. As for Interpol, their one dimensional sound caught up to them on their 3rd record and I am not at all surprised. They have become really, really boring.

    • Didn’t Cursive have a huge buzz like 5 or 6 years ago? At the time I meant to get one of their albums and forgot about it. As for Interpol, from what you said it seems like they’ve had the same problem as The Strokes – locked into a particular style.

    • thegeekswereright

      Oh my god, sooo true! I miss Ugly Organ Cursive. And so does the rest of Omaha.

  5. I would have to say Wilco, while I really admire their music, and still have a great love for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born, (also some of the earlier albums), I can’t get completely into these last couple of albums. I will treasure what I felt and still feel with those albums mentioned, but I have a hard time thinking I will connect with their newer stuff.

    Also, I won’t even give KOL’s new album a chance. I pretty much refuse to listen to it, after hearing one song from it on Sirius, I’m over it. I do listen to Only By the Night, it’s catchiness I can’t seem to completely step away from. 🙂

    • The only Wilco album I don’t like is Sky Blue Sky. I admire it, but it just didn’t do anything for me. Wilco The Album was pretty good, but I can see how some might not like it.
      I haven’t listened to KOL’s new album either. Heard one song and just shook my head in shame.

      I should have also included RHCP on the list. While I definitely admire John Frusciante as a guitarist, their last few albums have been too radio friendly and a striking contrast to the originality that they showed on Blood Sugar Sex Magik. That was an album where they managed to combine their musical integrity with hits.

  6. thegeekswereright

    First, let me say that it’s hard for me to pull the plug on a band. That being said: Maroon 5. Yes, they were always pretty poppy, but as a 7th-grader I loved ’em. As an adult, I can’t justify how Maroon 5 morphed into the Adam Levine show (as hot as he is). Not to mention, they haven’t put out anything that has rivaled the simple, guilty pleasure goodness that was “Sunday Morning”.

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