by Zach Phillis
Inspired by A Tribe Called Quest’s triumphant return to the mic, we compiled the indisputable and unquestionable list of the best and worst comeback attempts in music.
- Chris – (Record: 6-4, SKYNET Score: 76.73, Roster Score: 72.41)
D’Angelo – Black Messiah
Back in 2000, D’Angelo was literally the hottest thing in R&B. His album Voodoo was critically acclaimed as a modern classic, and he released the undisputed sexiest video of all time with Untitled. Then things took a tumble. He got addicted to drugs, gained a ton of weight, and got arrested. His follow up to Voodoo was the long awaited Black Messiah, which had been rumored to come out for like a full decade. Chris and I were lucky enough to get a glimpse of some of those songs during his superjam set with ?uestlove at Bonnaroo in 2012. The album lived up to and exceeded the hype. Black Messiah has been hailed as yet another modern classic and proved that you can disappear for more than a decade and comeback with some of your best music ever, even if you lose those abs.
- Floyd – (Record: 6-3, SKYNET Score: 76.61, Roster Score: 75.26)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Daft Punk have always been a mystery. Their public personas have always been two random French dudes who hide behind robot masks and make dope ass electronic/disco/dance music. When Get Lucky dropped in April of 2013 it was instantly the song of the summer. Recruiting the likes of Pharrell of N.E.R.D., Nile Rodgers of Chic, Panda Bear of Animal Collective, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, and Giorgio Moroder of all those albums your weird roommate listened to, they made their most pop album, their best selling album, while also making one of their best albums. And even though Pharrell can’t even get close to hitting those high notes, it’s still a fantastic song to hear on a night out.
- Scott – (Record: 5-5, SKYNET Score: 75.64, Roster Score: 73.81)
A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
A Tribe Called Quest could not have come back at a better time. Who else would have the balls to drop the n-word close to 15 times in one performance? With the sad passing of Phife Dawg earlier this year, there were rumors that this project wouldn’t happen. Q-Tip managed to pull together one of 2016’s best and most needed albums of the year. Let’s all say it together one last time: “I like em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Hatian. Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation.”
- Nick – (Record: 6-4, SKYNET Score: 74.64, Roster Score: 73.68)
My Bloody Valentine – mbv
While not everybody loves the shoegaze sound, My Bloody Valentine pioneered and perfected it. In case you want to hear what getting really high and depressed in Ireland in 1991 was like, put on Loveless.
- Edgar – (Record: 7-3, SKYNET Score: 74.55, Roster Score: 73.22)
Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond
Being from Amherst, Chris and I have had our fair share of run-ins with with the most awkward human on earth J Mascis. His salt and pepper flowing locks are immediately recognizable, as is his weird hunchback appearance and mumbled dictation. Aside from all of that, the dude can fucking shred. I’m excited to go back and run into him in the High Horse for the 9th time.
- Adam – (Record: 5-5, SKYNET Score: 73.24, Roster Score: 72.41)
Dr. Dre – Compton
While Compton wasn’t quite Detox, it was a commendable return. Star-studded with just about every relevant rapper of the past 25 years. Predictably, its best moments were from Kendrick Lamar, but there were a few highlights here and there. An average return for one of the godfathers of the genre.
- Zach – (Record: 5-5, SKYNET Score: 72.70, Roster Score: 71.53)
The Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist
Before he was known for suing his Wrestling Organization, Billy Corgan actually made some pretty good music. Everybody knows and loves 1979, and can probably pick a few other songs off Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Zeitgeist pales in comparison to his earlier work, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what is about to come in this list.
- Pazoles – (Record: 6-4, SKYNET Score: 71.57, Roster Score: 70.42)
Guns N Roses – Chinese Democracy
I know what you’re thinking, “How the fuck can Chinese Democracy be 8th! It’s AWFUL.” We’ll you’re partially correct, it is awful. It’s a fucking joke of an album, but there are bands who have put out far, far worse albums. Just wait.
- Phil – (Record: 3-7, SKYNET Score: 69.82, Roster Score: 71.49)
Metallica – St. Anger
Well, at least it was better than Lulu. Good God.
- Holmes – (Record: 4-6, SKYNET Score: 69.37, Roster Score: 70.96)
Kiss – Sonic Boom
Has anybody actually listened fully through a Kiss album? I’m not talking a Greatest Hits album, I’m talking a studio release. Its fucking torture. Kiss is a terrible band and you should feel bad if you like them.
- Paul – (Record: 3-7, SKYNET Score: 68.69, Roster Score: 69.60)
Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles
“Doesn’t matter what you think, We’re gonna do it anyway.” That quote can be attributed to both Motley Crue who are a group of grown men, or every single middle schooler who think they’re rebelling against their parents by staying out 15 minutes past their curfew. Also there is a song on this album called “Motherfucker of the Year”. Just an FYI.
- Kerry – (Record: 3-7, SKYNET Score: 67.98, Roster Score: 67.92)
Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra
Zach had me make a cameo appearance on this ranking because he knows I have some strong feelings about this particular band, so I’ll try not to disappoint. Limp Bizkit is the sonic equivalent of a pedophilic catholic priest frat party. In the same way that Donald Trump has become responsible for normalizing acts of hatred, Fred Durst and his fellow ear rapists normalized the bacterial cacophony of teen angst called Nu Metal, and made it okay for other bands like Linkin Park and Korn to spell their band names like fucking idiots and pedal the sewer detritus that they call music. After releasing the aptly titled Results May Vary, which features no original songs you’ve ever heard of, to universally negative reviews in 2003, the band went on a long-awaited hiatus. They returned in 2011 to resounding apathy with their album Gold Cobra, which I listened to most of so Zach didn’t have to. Despite garnering career-best “mixed reviews,” rest assured that this album fucking sucks. The opening lyrics of the album, “OHH lemme hit that,” truly set the tone for what is possibly the date rapiest collection of words and sounds packaged as music ever released. Perhaps the image of Fred Durst wearing a Yankees hat and a Rajon Rondo Celtics jersey in the video for Gold Cobra perfectly represents the infuriating nature of this asshole collective.
Sample lyrics of Limp Bizkit clinging to their 90’s prominence:
Remember all them 90’s things, them 90’s hits we laced like this. (“Remember us?! We still exist!”)
Commin’ to you live 2012 and hell there’s still not shit like this. (Probably because it fucking blows)
We still rain the blood in the club like slayer flip it up like Limp Bizkit. (“If nobody’s gonna mention us and Slayer in the same breath, I guess we gotta do it.”)
Tie you up to electric chairs and roast yours guts like nuts on Christmas. (Edgy line)
Never worry if anybody gonna like me. (“I don’t care what you think, Mom!”)
Don’t give a damn if anybody give a fuck.
I’m gonna say what I want you can look it up. (“Seriously, Google all the dumb shit I’ve said.”)
Wikipedia probley gonna fuck it up. (Reference to the fact that it’s no longer 2003)
I don’t give a damn, cuz its on. (Filler)
Most people never last this long. (Define “last”)
Most people never find a way but we gonna rock this motherfucker all night long. (Go die.)