I propose the following definition:

Temper-trapped past participle verb tricked into a buying a music album on the strength of one song, to discover that it’s the only decent one on the whole album.

It’s derived from the band The Temper Trap: I bought their debut album Conditions after hearing the songĀ Sweet Disposition, but was disappointed to find that the rest of the album is utterly mediocre and forgettable.

I’ve recently been temper-trapped again by John Grant. His song Down Here, an infectious indie pop ballad, was stuck in my head for weeks, so I bought the album, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, which turned out to be weird electro nonsense: not even the same style of music as the one song I’d enjoyed.

What albums have you been temper-trapped by?

2 thoughts on “Temper-Trapped

  1. I have a “two songs I like, then buy the album” rule. Never bought from one. However the regretted albums are many, and in some ways it is a worse offence. Silver sun, Neo Wave bought from hearing I’ll see you around, and Too Much Too Little, Too Late. Athlete, Tourist, wires and half light. Stereophonics JEEP Mr Writer and Have a Nice Day. I could go on.
    Conversely my favourite album is When I was born for the 7th time by Cornershop which I bought based solely on Brimful of Asha the fat boy slim remix. This specific song isn’t on the album and all other songs are totally different.

    Never bought from one apart from that one time.

    • I like Tourist.

      Two songs then buy the album is a good rule. Definitely safer. But I quite like the risk of the one-song buy. When it goes wrong, you get temper-trapped, but often it goes very, very right too. Last year, I one-songed: II by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sun Structures by Temples and The Race For Space by Public Service Broadcasting – all amazing albums.

      I went through a stage of doing zero-song. Just buying albums based on the name of the band, name of the album and the cover art. That’s how I discovered Neutral Milk Hotel.

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