Another edition of my very favorite end of the year list, the AV Club's Least Essential Albums. I was sure it would be Phil Collins' Motown cover album, but although it does get mentioned, it is not the winner. I think it's impact was diluted by Huey Lewis' equally pointless Stax cover album. So our winner:
Santana, Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All TimeAll that time people spent worrying about Y2K in 1999 should have been spent worrying about the precedent set by “Smooth.” That misguided, extremely popular Santana/Rob Thomas collaboration stormed the charts and made Santana commercially viable again, setting the stage for this year’s Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time. From the opening strains of the first cut, “Whole Lotta Love” as screeched by Chris Cornell, it’s an hour of dispassionate wailing that only gets worse and more grating as it goes along. The hits keep coming with an abysmal Rob Thomas take on “Sunshine Of Your Love,” a version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” inexplicably featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a woozily underwhelming Gavin Rossdale on “Bang A Gong,” and worst of all, a Scott Stapp assault on “Fortunate Son.” (Fans have to pony up extra for that last one, as it’s only on the “deluxe” release.) The whole record is set off with farty guitar, tons of absurd conga drumming, and an absolutely abhorrent absence of taste.
It's hard to argue with this.