Obnoxiously large hair, the white glove, in appropriate schoolgirl uniforms and getting creative with condoms. These are just a few of the memorable and cringe-worthy fashion choices made by musicians over the years. According to Spin.com, the seven rock acts who turned heads in ’08 opted for less sensational fashion duds that seem styled by their local vintage store. After the jump we ask: Does dressing to impress have anything to do with making good music?
7. MGMT Audience favorite MGMT have become quite the hipster glam poster kids — with lyrics describing the superficial world of the rock star, including Paris getaways, scoring models for wives, and shooting heroin. *Pitchfork gave their debut album a lukewarm 6.8, saying “It’s a charming idea — making a career out of fantasizing — and on Oracular Spectacular, they not only accept their playacting destiny, they demonstrate that, just maybe, it’s a path more people should take.” We guess rainbow robes and feathers couldn’t sway critics.
6. Ladyhawke Unkempt dirty blond hair with bangs. Messy eyeliner. Vintage t-shirt. There’s no question here: Ladyhawke is the epitome of rock chic. But this Kiwi’s funky Joan Jett meets Cyndi Lauper debut, which Pitchfork gave a 6.6, hasn’t received quite the Winehouse level of praise. Their consensus: “Part of the problem might be that no one really knows what to make of her.” We do: shopping buddy.
4. The Knux While many struggle to pull off the ’80s look (keep trying, Kanye), the Knux are too cool for school, rocking old school Adidas kicks, varsity jackets and those larger-than-life glasses. As for the music? It gets an ‘A’ for effort. Pitchfork says “While the first 20 minutes supply an appropriately cocaine-like high (with the requisite comedown), what’s really missing is the debut they somehow skipped over, one where they could’ve showed where their passion comes from, rather than merely being actors in a Hills-hop hybrid.”
2. Janelle Monáe According to Spin.com, Janelle Monáe is the love child of Little Richard and Joan Jetson. As for her music? Pitchforkhas its concerns: “Nothing about Janelle Monáe’s sound fits with any current trends. She blends synth-rock with the kind of retro-futurist oompah OutKast have explored in recent years. Not exactly the hippest, hottest thing.” Originality is not exactly a bad thing. Now we know who Solange’s fashion inspiration is.
1. Brandon Flowers The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers has a knack for rather colorful fashion ensembles, but these ringleader out of a Tim Burton film costumes apparently shutdown our hearing senses. Concerning The Killers’ latest effort, Day & Age, Pitchfork says “There’s no central concept here — even the album’s title is as vaguely all-encompassing as possible. This is the Killers’ spitball album, the one where they try everything and see what works while Flowers grasps for a relatable tone.” You can’t win them all.
* To keep comparisons fair, we used Pitchfork as our barometer. Mostly so we could send you back to this post.