Not including today, there's only 23 days left in 2017, which means that most of us are wrapping up what was an interesting year to say the least, while preparing our prayer candles and anti-anxiety meds for whatever 2018 has in store for us. And while it's safe to say that at this time last year most of us weren't looking forward to 2017, plenty of artists were. The most eager among them, without surprise, were those musicians poised to making a comeback in 2017. To beat the odds and show the world that they still mattered and had what it took to make it. Unfortunately, as we're all well familiar by now, life is not a dream, and sometimes that feel-good, comeback kid story you were looking forward to just falls flat on its face. So here's to these artists, and all of us, who tried to make 2017 the year we came back, but ended up coming up a little short.
1. Marilyn Manson
Talk about a comeback year that really went bust. I could (and I have
) write an entire article on the dismal year that Manson
had. All the pain and hardships that Manson endured this year are somehow made even worse when considering the fact that there were some pretty high hopes for the shock rocker back in 2016. Heaven Upside Down
was supposed to be released on Valentine's Day of this year but was postponed until October. The reason? The passing of Manson's father. In addition to losing his dad, Manson's new album got a lukewarm reception from most sources, he injured himself pretty bad while on tour for the album, his bassist was accused of rape, and he got into a very public and very embarrassing beef
with Justin Bieber. Kind of makes you just want to curl up in bed and call it quits, huh Manson?
Honestly, did anyone even want a U2 revival at this point? Much like Songs of Innocence
, Songs of Experience
seems like something that no one really asked for, yet U2 felt determined to deliver. Thankfully, our iPhones weren't force fed the new album like they were with Songs of Innocence
. Still though, there's a bit of a feeling that U2 was desperate to hang on, and that desperation is only made more palpable when you release a companion album that smacks as more of a gimmick than a legitimate release. Reception was split on the album, but there's the undeniable sense that Bono and company are rapidly-aging rockers desperately trying to keep up with a generational spirit that they should just give the reins to. Besides, it would give Bono more time to squirrel away his money in Lithuanian shopping malls
3. Taylor Swift
Okay, settle down. I've actually got an argument for this one, and I'm not here just to trash on your problematic fave. By all means, Taylor
was one of the biggest stories this year, and that's gotta count for something, right? I'll give Taylor credit, she once again made millions, dominated headlines, and generally did everything right, so why do I think her comeback failed? Because of the fact that she, in my opinion, squandered the chance to use the comeback as an opportunity for growth and change.
Taylor has near limitless star power and influence, and has almost all the tools of the music world (and regular world) at her disposal, and yet she makes another album full of the same old Taylor. Reputation
is just another in the long line of "Taylor Swift against the World" albums that we've come to expect from her. There's beefs she just can't give up, enemies that she's seeing that no one can, and thinly veiled jabs at people who honestly gave up on messing with Taylor a long time ago. Not to mention the whole fiasco of white supremacists kinda making it their soundtrack to life/hate. Taylor's comeback in 2017 was good, yes, but I want her to do better.
4. Liam Gallagher
Both of the Gallagher brothers hit the charts this year with the release of solo material, and arguably, Liam's
debut solo album hit it bigger, but I still feel like Noel's is the one more people are talking about. Don't get me wrong, Liam's As You Were
is good, and the public certainly thought so, after all it did achieve gold in its first week, but can anyone tell me that they've really given a listen to it? Noel's Who Built The Moon
has only been out a little more than 2 weeks, and maybe it's a timing thing, but it's already having a better critical reception than As You Were
. You could argue that Liam's comeback year was a good one, but I think he might be a little more concerned about being overshadowed by the success of his brother.
, oh dear, sweet, cranky Morrissey. The former Smiths frontman and perpetual curmudgeon hardly needs comeback years considering that his rabid, cult-like fan base will always be there to lap up anything he puts out, but he was still poised to make 2017 a year to remind people that he's still got it. Instead, he released an album that was decent, but nothing special, and made headlines not with his music but with his ever-grating charm.
I'll start with Low In High School
, which had a decent song or two, but generally just felt like another sad and bitter Moz album. But what we just can't overlook is the fact that this year, Morrissey unabashedly showed his true colors. The Moz has always had a bit of a racist streak, and it was made clear as a day when he put his support behind an Islamophobic UKIP politician. And now, following his victim-blaming, thinly-veiled support of men like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, we can't help but wish that Morrissey spent less time this year working on the new album and more time working on himself as a person.
I honestly forgot that Weezer released an album this year until someone reminded me. That wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I reviewed
that very same album a few weeks ago. While Pacific Daydream
wasn't a comeback attempt per say, it was an attempt by Rivers Cuomo to put Weezer's name back in the mainstream, and it succeeded for all the wrong reasons.
Weezer has always been a bit polarizing, and generally appeals to two distinct camps of listeners, but with their last two albums they actually managed to get back to their roots a bit and emulate the post-emo, indie-alt that first made them a name. Unfortunately, Rivers Cuomo decided that what he really wanted as an artist was to release a formulaic, hackneyed and shameless rip off of the Beach Boys that ended up sounding more like One Direction. Fans of Pinkerton
everywhere wept when they heard the "millenial whoop" in "La Mancha Screwjob" and learned a hard lesson, sometimes you just need to let your idols die. (Note, I was going to put in one of Weezer's new songs but I couldn't bear to do that to you, so here's an actual good song from Pinkerton