It’s difficult enough to make an album full stop, let alone a perfect one. Without impeccable attention to detail, let alone the ability to write great songs, the vast majority of records are going to wind up with at least a handful of duff tracks. A perfect album, hit after hit from start to finish, is a rare thing indeed. Most albums don’t get anywhere near perfection.
Some, though, come achingly close. Everything’s going swimmingly, until one track - just one regrettable track - comes along and ruins the streak. They can come early or late, they can be misguided comedy tracks or overly sincere mood killers. Whatever the problem, there are some great records that fall just short of spotlessness due to one dud.
Is it better, then, to fall far short of brilliance, or to come so close only for hopes of perfection to be dashed by one mere mistake? Well, it’s the second one, obviously.
These albums are still great works of art, even with one flaw. But when you’re so close to the gold standard, it’s the hope that kills you.