The worst music albums of 2000
1 Chocolate Starfish And the Hot Dog Flavored Water
Rap-metal doesn't have to be a brutal wasteland of neuroses and phlegm. From Kid Rock's ''Cowboy'' to Limp Bizkit's ''Break Stuff'' to this year's underappreciated debut by Kid Rock sidekick Uncle Kracker, the genre has its cathartic charms, and those high points still have more character than the interchangeable mainstream-rock brigade. But Limp Bizkit's third album is simply squalid and oppressive, ''anger'' that verges on cynicism. Fred Durst's repeated use of ''f---'' grows old after the first song, and his strangulated voice doesn't help. Runner-up: Kid Rock's The History of Rock, a cash-in mop-up of early work that didn't do him justice.
It may have been a wonderful fiscal year for boy bands everywhere, but artistically it was another story. 'N Sync's No Strings Attached was an often laughable attempt at funkiness, while the Backstreet Boys' wedding-song-heavy Black & Blue played it so safe it couldn't bruise a banana. But at least both those ensembles provided amusement, intentional or not, with their wardrobe makeovers and grown-up-wannabe facial hair. The most interesting revelation about 98 Degrees' latest was how these guys made Justin Timberlake sound like James Hetfield. Their freshest ingredient, evident in their cooing come-ons and the shapeless ooze of their harmonies, is smarminess, not a good sign of maturity.
We know Jakob Dylan is good-looking and charismatic, takes a good photo, and has an irrefutable pedigree. But what does that matter when it all boils down to diluted retreads of Tom Petty and Counting Crows, who were often watered-down versions of dad Bob to begin with? Being a rock offspring can't be easy, but no one said it had to be this tedious.
4 ''American Pie'' (single)
A misguided idea from the start reviving a classic-rock elegy from 1971 that's very much of its time becomes even flatter in execution. I have enormous nostalgic fondness for Don McLean's allegorical original, and I'm a Madonna fan, but this was the day when both of their music died a little.
5 The ABBA Generation
There are remakes, and then there's necrophilia. Anyone who wants to make a case against teen pop should start here, an album of irritatingly chirpy, precisely re-created versions of ABBA hits that lends new meaning to the term unnecessary. A better title would have been The Karaoke Generation, but even sing-along machines might take offense.