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The Best of the Worst Reviews of Dallas Music by Amazon Customers

Why are people still warning us about the music of Vanilla Ice? We know.
Why are people still warning us about the music of Vanilla Ice? We know. Courtesy of Vanilla Ice
Music criticism is becoming a lost art as news media transform and music fans wait for TikTok to tell them what's good. But there are still plenty of aspiring critics to be found among reviews by Amazon’s customers, who really need artists and everyone else to know just how badly their album sucked.

According to Amazon, North Texas musicians have seen their fair share of disgruntled customers.

We looked through the reviews for CDs and vinyl belonging to DFW’s most popular artists, and while most buyers raved about their purchases, the unhappy few had some amusing feedback for their fellow shoppers. Here are some of our favorites.

Toadies, Heretics
A fan of the Fort Worth rock band's early albums gave their 2015 album a shot. And for the small price of $15.98, ended up learning an invaluable personal lesson.

Gerald T. Hauge gave the album 1 star out of 5 and titled his review, "Well, I guess I found out what I wanted."

"Very disappointing album. Not a single good track." he wrote. "I thought it would hold up to the single 'Possum Kingdom.' ... Complete waste of money. I need to do a better job of researching my music."

Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
A customer named Andrea was not a fan of Erykah Badu's fourth studio album. In a review titled "Where is the real Erykah? Somebody please tell me!" she wrote "Erykah Badu is whack!" and added that the neo-soul artist's new record was a disappointment to longtime fans.

"She needs to get it together. I'll definitely be hesitant to buy anything else of hers. She always talks about smoking trees, they must be messing with her brain cells. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and so was my money on this album."

Midlake, Trials of Van Occupanther
Denton band Midlake's Trials of Van Occupanther got an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 from Amazon users, but one person found the album too whimsical or just too awesome, we can't be sure. In 2006, a non-fan wrote that it was a "soundtrack for a Renaissance Fair in hell."

The user named Cactus Grooves wrote that "the best songs on this album sound like the worst of the Fleetwood Mac catalog after ingesting poisonous mushrooms," citing lyrics such as "While we were out hunting for food/ our house was being robbed/ I caught an apple and she caught a fox/so I caught a rabbit but she caught an ox," from the song "Bandits."

The review ended with truly confusing praise: "Lyrics like these are written for drunken minstrels in a reproduction of Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Prince of Tights [Men in Tights]. The best thing this album has to offer is its album cover. Seriously, this may be the most hideous album cover that I have ever seen — its unbearable ugliness is its greatest beauty and only redeemable quality."

Snarky Puppy, Immigrance
Jazz isn't for everyone, but those who love jazz love to nerd out on jazz music in the jazzy feedback section on their jazz music purchases on Amazon. And, bruh, can they just jazz.

One such jazz head named Rob was not impressed with Immigrance by four-time-Grammy-winning North Texas band Snarky Puppy.

"I have SP's albums Family Dinner and We Like It Here, and greatly enjoy them both," Rob said. "This album, Immigrance, is not a patch on either of those — I found it turgid, repetitive and lacking in spirit, inspiration, energy and drive. I'm eyeing up the waste-paper basket in the corner as a suitable place to put this sorry excuse for a CD."

Vanilla Ice, To the Extreme

Of all North Texas artists, Vanilla Ice seems to attract the most haters. We're talking about people taking the time to seek out albums they've never bought to warn potential listeners of an artist's poor rapping skills decades after he's had a hit. Uh, thanks. In particular, Amazon customers have a field day in the customer review comments for any Ice compilation with the rapper's "greatest hits."

His album To the Extreme, however, works well "as a gag gift," according to someone named Robert Jordan, while Andrew Bolduc summed it up in his review title: "The Biggest Disgrace of Music Ever."

"White Boy piece of crap," reads Bolduc's review. "Anybody buying this should have their head examined, or have a bullet put in it."

A U.K. reviewer named Tony also gave it 1 star, saying the album was "arse-gravy, but I bought it for a friend."

Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway
In 2005, Johny Bottom warned us that the Burleson singer's new album was "future elevator music."

"This bottom fed garbage will be the MUZAK you listen to when you're in your 30's and go to the grocery store," he wrote.

But the "Stronger" single, on sale now for $4.99, really struck a nerve with someone who doesn't appreciate the disorderly ways of independent human beings, calling the song "an anthem for people to do whatever they want and not feel remorse."

Mr. Pookie, Ventation of a Crook
The works of Dallas rapper Mr. Pookie range wildly in price. You can find a CD for $2 and a vinyl record of Crook For Life for $1,177.99. Somewhere in between is Ventation of a Crook, which costs exactly $60.08. But one of the two people to review the latter riffed on the title "Not hisself," writing that, "The cover is the most impressive thing about this album. I am a big fan of him but he is not hisself on this album. The fire is gone."

Ashlee Simpson, I Am Me
Most negative reviews of Ashlee Simpson's albums seem to come from people who will never get over her lip-synching fiasco on Saturday Night Live. One user called the 2005 album by the daughter of preacher Joe Simpson an "abomination to god," adding, "I repuke [sic] this in the name of the lord."

Another said the singer was "so untalented that it hurts when I pee," before dropping some classic misogyny with "It would be understandable if she was remotely attractive, or had big cans, but even that isn't the case," closing his argument with, "Buying this album is akin to supporting terrorism."

Trini López, The Very Best of Trini López
At $11.99, two CDs containing 40 songs by Dallas legend Trini López seems like a damn good deal.

But someone named BobWo disagreed, after buying a CD of hits from the 1960s star. Evidently expecting to hear contemporary hits from The Weeknd and Harry Styles, Bob gave the compilation a one-star rating with the following review: "songs are outdated and never heard some of the songs."

St. Vincent, Masseducation
A U.K. buyer named M. Oeleich bought alt-rocker St. Vincent's 2017 album Masseducation on vinyl and warned that it was, "Dull, dull, dull. Boring, what a load of twoddle [sic], about as musical as my dogs bark. Don't touch it with a barge pole."

Pantera, The Great Southern Trendkill
Arlington band Pantera has some of the most loyal followings in heavy metal. Alas, there are also Pantera haters such as an Amazon user named Pantera Hater, who unsurprisingly hated Pantera's album The Great Southern Trendkill. The review, titled "Music for the brain-damaged," sums up the album as "the same rancid garbage they have always been putting out since day one. More overexcessive swearing and screaming, more banal drum beats and most importantly more mastrobatory [sic] [email protected]$$ed guitar riffs."

Pantera Hater claims to have heard better student guitarists in an Antarctica high school band and concludes that, "Pantera is IMHO the worst thing to happen to rock music since grunge or nu metal."

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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio