Turkey Shoot 2009 & Opinions on Rihanna and Julian Casablancas

Sound Opinions' Annual Turkey Shoot: It's time to put those musical turkeys out of their misery...and ours. Tune in to hear Jim and Greg’s biggest musical disappointments of 2009.

Annual Turkey Shoot
Download Subscribe via iTunes

Music News

It's entirely possible that two of 2009's biggest hits will have come from reality TV stars. This week both Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent and Adam Lambert from American Idol have new albums out. While neither singer actually won his or her respective talent competition, both are poised to have huge hit debuts. Boyle has already broken Amazon's record for most pre-sales, and some sources predict sales in the millions. Lambert shocked some audiences at last week's American Music Awards, but perhaps the controversial performance, or perhaps because of it, he could sell over 200,000 albums in his first week. Greg admires Lambert's attempt to break out of the pristine Idol mold, but doesn't think the record goes far enough.

Turkey Shoot 2009

Every year Jim and Greg celebrate Thanksgiving with the Sound Opinions  Turkey Shoot. They take out the year's biggest musical turkeys-albums from normally great artists that fell flat. Hope you're hungry...here are six turkeys for your feast.


  • Neil Young, Fork in the Road
  • Pains of Being Pure at Heart, S/T
  • Bruce Springsteen, Working on a Dream


  • The Gossip, Music for Men
  • Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown
  • Bob Dylan, Christmas in the Heart


Jim and Greg also hand over the rifles to a couple of listeners.

  • Matt from Pasadena CA

Andrew Bird, Noble Beast

  • Phillip from Austin TX

Chris Cornell, Scream

Rated R Rihanna

Rated R: Remixed

Jim and Greg review two new albums-are they triumphs or turkeys? First up is Rated R, the 4th album from Rihanna. The pop singer blew up in 2007 with her song "Umbrella." She was recently in the news for an incident with boyfriend Chris Brown. While Brown was being sentenced for felony assault, Rihanna began working on Rated R. The result, for Greg, is surprisingly a record of substance. While Rihanna didn't write the songs, they are haunting and seem to directly address her abusive relationship. He never expected to say it, but Greg thinks this is one of the best records of the year. Jim agrees. He won't go so far as to compare the pop star to the towering voices of Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin, but Jim thinks Rated R is a record of empowerment. It gets a double Buy It rating.

Is This It The Strokes

Phrazes for the Young

The Strokes debut Is This It was recently named the best album of the decade by NME. Now the band's lead singer Julian Casablancas has released his first solo record, Phrazes for the Young. This is a left turn for Casablancas, and rightly so, according to Jim and Greg. It wouldn't have been a good move to try to do a Strokes album without the band. But, none of the experimentation panned out for Jim. He really wanted to like this album, but it ended up being a real turkey. Greg agrees-the songs just aren't there. And neither is the tension between a strong rhythm section and Julian's dream vocals. Phrazes for the Young gets two Trash Its.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!