I heard someone once call it Scary Monsters syndrome. That is, whenever David Bowie releases a new album, all the reviews will say ‘This is his best album since Scary Monsters’.
Now, this might actually be the case. But given the number of times this trope appears in reviews – it’s obligatory for Paul McCartney, or any band or artist widespreadly considered to have had a lapse from form – the cynic might have cause to speculate whether the critic has actually listened and evaulted all the intervening albums, or whether they’re just assuming they were crap because they haven’t.
It makes no sense. Not every successive David Bowie album can be his best since Scary Monsters – that would mean each was improving upon the last, which hasn’t been the case, because he has yet to better hours... (which really was his best album since Scary Monsters).
Even more annoying, though, was an interview with Noel Gallagher of the Oasis boys, where he was saying their new album was great, and was their best one since Morning Glory, and wasn’t crap like all the rest. Well excuse me, Noel, but I paid ten bloody quid for each of those albums. And whilst they might traced the downward trajectory of diminishing returns with quite startling accuracy, it’s a bit rich for you to turn around and slag them off now. And your new album isn’t the best since Morning Glory, it’s like someone just took the songs from all your previous albums and then averaged them out.
The same goes for artists slagging off each other, Blur vs Oasis, or whatever. I like you both! Don’t make me choose! Can’t we all get along? It just makes you seem petty, that to big yourself up you have to belittle someone else.