50 Cent

: Instead of manning up and delivering a third album worthy of his first two, 50 came with

Curtis

, a lumbering assemblage of by-the-book thuggery. It was deservedly pistol-whipped by Kanye West in their hyped-up sales competition.

Joni Mitchell

: The revered singer-songwriter followed Paul McCartney to Starbucks' Hear Music label, with her first album of new songs in nine years. The shine wore off

Shine

before the first latte was through, however, as its stiff, jazzy songs played like one pedantic screed after the next.

Rilo Kiley

: The heretofore flawless Jenny Lewis returned to her bandmates and made the ill-advised decision to remake themselves as a supposedly sexy Fleetwood Mac of the '00s. The results: The biggest indie letdown of the year.