It’s a story that plays like a broken record: Band gets started, band makes great album, success comes quickly and leaves just as soon, as it goes with the sophomore slump album. Sometimes though, even well-seasoned and award-winning artists can suffer from a lack of inspiration, and release a disappointing follow-up. With this year’s Grammy’s still fresh in our minds, here are 12 of the most disappointing follow-up albums from Grammy Award-winning artists.
Mariah Carey – Glitter
Songstress and diva extraordinaire Mariah Carey took the pop world by storm when she made her debut in 1990. She won a Grammy for “Best New Artist” in 1991, and kept us mesmerized for several albums. What happened with Glitter, we don’t know. What we do know is that it was an utter failure, and everyone had a great time using her as a punching bag until she came back strong.
Coldplay – X&Y
Alternative rock group Coldplay made their name on the scene with a one-two punch of albums Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. They even won Grammy Awards for both of those albums. Suffices to say, when X&Y was announced, there were huge expectations for the album. Overall, it was a disappointment, and it’s the reason why all soccer moms now love Coldplay.
BeyoncÃ© – B’day
Former Destiny’s Child member, BeyoncÃ© Knowles, is an amazing singer. Her solo debut album Dangerously in Love was a huge success, and earned her five Grammy Awards, including “Best Contemporary R&B Album.” B’day was released three years later, and was not nearly the success of her first album — only one song stood out. It made us all a little sad, but she made up for it with I Am… Sasha Fierce.
U2 – Rattle and Hum
Irish rock band U2’s album The Joshua Tree truly rocketed them to superstardom — it won two Grammy Awards, including “Album of the Year” — so we expected a lot of their following releases, to say the least. Rattle and Hum was released a year later, in 1988, and it was supposed to be a tribute to rock legends. It came out as U2 simply trying to be one of the legends — a bit too early for their time.
Alanis Morissette – Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
Jagged Little Pill put Canadian singer Alanis Morissette on the map. It was her debut album and it earned her “Album of the Year” and “Best Rock Album,” along with two other Grammy Awards. As for her follow-up Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, not so much. There are some folks who like the album, but in comparison to her debut’s success, it was a disappointment, selling only a fifth of what its predecessor did.
Boyz II Men – Evolution
Boyz II Men found fame during the early 1990’s, and remains the most successful R&B vocal group of all time. Albums Cooleyhighharmony and II were smash hits, and they earned four Grammy Awards for their work. After II came Evolution, with much disappointment and it fell off the charts quickly.
Michael Jackson – Invincible
Michael Jackson didn’t earn the title King of Pop for nothing — he influenced music forever. He had huge success with his albums Bad, Thriller, and Dangerous, but he went down from there it seems. After Dangerous came Invincible, which was not aptly named. It was long, lost steam, and is generally considered his weakest album.
George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
Singer-songwriter George Michaels gained fame in the 1980’s as a solo artist when he released Faith. He won two Grammy Awards for it, including album of the year in 1989. His second release, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, was a bit of an identity crisis. It sold only one-twentieth of what Faith did, and let’s just say there was no Volume 2.
John Mayer – Battle Studies
Singer-songwriter John Mayer won “Best Pop Vocal Album” in 2007 for his album Continuum. He had a great track record of successes totaling 3 albums, that is, until he released Battle Studies. The coveted sensitive-dude rocker just couldn’t cut it this time, and though he tried for a more mature album, he disappointed many fans.
Kelly Clarkson – My December
Kelly Clarkson is the first American Idol winner to score a Grammy. She brought home two Grammy Awards, including “Best Pop Vocal Album,” for Breakaway. Her first two albums had done well, but her third, My December, did not. We can’t even remember one song from the album and the first single “Never Again” was pulled quickly from radio stations.
Lil’ Wayne – Rebirth
Hip-hop rapper Lil’ Wayne took home four Grammy Awards for his hit album Tha Carter III, including “Best Rap Album,” and was nominated for a staggering four others. He was on a roll for a few albums, but decided — out of nowhere — to make a rock album. Granted, some artists can make that genre jump, but Lil’ Wayne just didn’t quite get there with Rebirth. He should just stick to what he’s good at.
Diddy – Forever
Rapper Diddy, P. Diddy, Sean Combs — or whatever he wants to be called these days — saw success when he released No Way Out. It won him a Grammy for “Best Rap Album,” but he just didn’t keep it going with Forever. He had his hand in too many projects to really make this album stick, and it came out uninspired. He’s probably not losing any sleep over it, though.