Green Day, American Idiot (Warner Bros.). This overwrought rock opera lacks compelling characters, pensive lyrics and the musical momentum to sustain its grotesquely bloated running time.
Handsome Boy Modeling School, White People (Atlantic). Rambling jokes and stunt-casting cameos damn this intermittently amusing album with a novelty-record shelf life.
The Killers, Hot Fuss (Island). The Killers raided the '80s, stole two songs (a pallid power ballad and a derivative dance jam) and stretched this thin template to album length.
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Epic). Modest Mouse strips funk of its party-starting power and sordid sex appeal; Good News sounds like the Chili Peppers catalog as covered by art-school eunuchs.
The Roots, Tipping Point (Geffen). Thanks to a stubborn live-instrumentation bias, critics continue to tout the Roots' static backdrops as superior to hip-hop's dynamic electronically enhanced alternatives.