While we like celebrating the biggest comebacks, our favorite songs and albums and all the insanely awesome GIFs, sometimes things are just a flop. This year was filled with a number failures, whether it was albums (sorry, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake), music videos (all Kanye) or reunions (98 Degrees had nothing on the competition). Unfortunately for these artists, things didn’t work out. Here are the biggest flops of 2013:
10. 98 Degrees Reunion
One expected trend to happen this year: ‘90s pop group reunions. Destiny’s Child got back together during the Super Bowl, Backstreet Boys reunited the original line up for a new album and world tour, and N*SYNC shared the stage at the MTV VMAs. Meanwhile, 98 Degrees reunited and released a new album with little fanfare. The group, which was always came in third to BSB and N*SYNC, failed to make headlines like the other reunions. The group’s performance on The Sing-Off was a wonderful reminder of their talent, but it was too little too late.
9. The Other Two Members Of Destiny’s Child
After reuniting at the Super Bowl, 2013 looked like a promising year for all three members of Destiny’s Child. While Bey went on tour (and secretly worked on her album), Kelly Rowland signed up to judge the X Factor and released her fourth solo album. Talk A Good Game was generally liked but failed to burn up the charts. Her judging stint did nothing to boost ratings for the reality competition series. Meanwhile, Michelle Williams announced that she was releasing her fourth solo album and starring in a new reality show. However, by the end of 2013 neither one materialized. She merely became a footnote in Bey’s outstanding year. We miss you girls together, please come back.
8. American Idol
After a sharp decline in 2012, American Idol continued its track downward in 2013. There was nothing the show could do to reignite the love for the series, especially against stiff competition like The Voice and it’s a cappella kid-sister, The Sing-Off. Even though Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj both signed on as judges, the two failed to do anything except squabble with each other. And both failed to get the career boost from the series that was last enjoyed by Jennifer Lopez.
7. Mariah Carey
Failing to enjoy the career boost other judges usually have received in the past, Mariah Carey wasn’t able to do anything spectacular with her American Idol platform. She initially kicked off the summer with easily one of the best jams, “#Beautiful.” However, she never followed it up with anything leaving fans wanting more and wondering if they’d ever get a new studio album. Even though she was considered one of the biggest comebacks of the summer, she flopped on closing out the year.
6. Britney Spears, Britney Jean
It’s too early to tell if the album is truly a flop but given the mediocre response, it’s certainly a disappointment. Presented as the deepest Britney record, it’s mainly just a shell of what the singer once was. Clearly fans took notice. Britney Jean was the lowest debut for the artist landing at number 4 with 107,000 copies in the first week. “Work Bitch,” her first single failed to connect with fans. Although the singer has a loyal fan base with gays, she still has to produce good music in order to get people to buy what she’s offering.
5. Azealia Banks
After blowing up on YouTube and building a rabid Internet fan base, Banks quickly became the one to watch. For nearly two years, fans and critics have been waiting for an album that never materialized. Then there was that homophobic Twitter feud with Perez Hilton and her last-minute cancellation of a headlining performance at Lollapalooza. Sorry Azealia, time’s up. In 2014, we’re banking on Angel Haze.
4. Kanye West, Bound 2 Music Video
While no one can take away from the critical success of Yeezus, there have been a few questionable moments in the promotion of the album. The worst (and biggest disappointing) moment of them all was the music video for the standout track, “Bound 2.” The Lisa Frank-inspired video featuring a half-naked Kim straddling Kanye’s literal motorcycle was not the visual anyone expected. When compared to the other outstanding videos the rapper has produced, it was hard to understand how or why anyone involved thought this was a good idea.
3. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience Pt. II
Even though VH1 listed Justin Timberlake as the year’s biggest comeback, it doesn’t takeaway from the disappointment of his second album this year. Given the strength and success of The 20/20 Experience, it felt greedy (and unnecessary) to release a second album of original music that didn’t hold up to the first.
2. Lana Del Rey, Tropico Short Film
First question: Why? Second question: No, seriously, why? Given the success Lana Del Rey had this year (earning Original Song Oscar buzz for “Young & Beautiful” and scoring her first Top 10 hit with a remix of “Summertime Sadness”), it really makes no sense why she released a 30-minute short film featuring three old songs other than to hold onto people’s attention as she makes fans wait for her next album. If the video had been good, then no one would be bothered but it wasn’t. The film was a bloated, awkwardly literal version of three less-than-stellar tracks. Gaga she’s not and considering Gaga’s year, LDR might want to channel someone else in 2014.
1. Lady Gaga, Artpop
Perhaps in a decade from now, fans and critics alike will look back on this album as something special for the music it delivered. Until then, Artpop will just be regarded as a massive commercial failure focused squarely too much on stunts and not on the music. Given how much Gaga outdoes herself with each new album, it is no surprise that Artpop buckled under the pressure. However no one is feeling the pain more than her record label, which sank $25 million into making this spectacle profitable while Lorde, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus easily ran away with all the success and the attention.