Best Albums of 2013

Discussion in 'Music' started by Britishism, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Britishism Gummi Ship Junkie

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    So, the dust has settled on one of the best years for music that recent memory can't provide. If an artist wasn't making their first album in 8 years, they were certainly making their most prolific one. Young musicians became prominent again, music got back to its roots, and Bangerz was actually pretty fun to listen to. If that wasn't an omen, then I can't think what is. I watched the GRAMMYs this year, even. Macklemore won, but it ended up being a pretty good time. So that brings me to my point. With music sucking less than it has in ages, what better way to celebrate than talking about HOW GREAT ALL THE ALBUMS WERE.

    (January 2014 included because I'm late getting around to this)

    ACID RAP by Chance The Rapper

    This album is the best album I've heard in years. Chance Bennet, the eponymous Rapper, is a 20 year old rapper with the best lyrical sense of any 20 year old since your average 20 year-old was trained to be a bard/prostitute by the monarchy. And the best part is, it's got music, too. Too often does a brilliant rapper forget that lyrics cannot save mediocre backing tracks, but Chance isn't having any of that. From song one, Acid Rap is optimistic. This optimism is bright and enthralling, and even though the lyrics are darkest early in the album, Chance is so damn happy to tell you that he can make music about it. The album is loaded with brilliant guests like Action Bronson and No-Name Gypsy, but they don't for a second distract from Chance's sole goal of making you feel good, feel angry, and feel like music is going to go somewhere. And with a collaboration with James Blake on the horizon, Chance is going to take it somewhere, whether the complaining traditionalists are ready or not.

    Oh yeah, and it's free. What the hell are you waiting for?

    Silver Medal:
    MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY by Vampire Weekend


    So you've probably heard that this is a good album. You've also maybe heard that it was kind of a weird album. The problem with that statement is that it was a indie pop album with bubbly background tracks, pitch shifting, and a lead singer who sounds like he's just having a grand old time. That hasn't been weird in like EIGHT YEARS or something. But maybe it's because this album is fully deserving of an album of the year rating, when it's from a band that has pumped out solid, bubbly indie pop for years now. That's what's weird. Vampire Weekend decided to stop playing like they were going to get anywhere with that act, and they broke out some Paul Simon records and some notebooks, and wrote the best damn indie pop I've ever heard. It's so layered, so off-beat, and so fun that you think it would be among the many 2013 peers, but you have got to give mad respect for what is essentially the biggest turnaround from "everybody else" to "top of the pyramid" in the past few years.
    So Close/2014's Hopeful :
    SO LONG SEE YOU TOMORROW by Bombay Bicycle Club

    I find it so confusing that for someone who didn't really like the Killers, apparently I really missed the Killers. Yeah, the new Bombay Bicycle Club album sounds like the Killers sometimes. I thought it was weird, too. But it's not that that they always sound like the killers, sometimes they sound like Coconut Records. Sometimes, when they're in the mood, they sound like Bombay Bicycle Club. But So Long See You Tomorrow is so much better than the plethora of things that influenced it because it has all of them. Bombay Bicycle Club did folk-rock around the time everybody loved folk-rock. Now they're taking the things that everybody loves, mashing them up into an upbeat, peppy, well-composed and really damn confusing album that provided me with the best listen of the past month.

    Honorable Mentions:The Bones of What You Believe by Chvrches
    "Man, that band spells churches with a V! That is absolutely insane, what is up with that. This avant-garde bullshit can really get on a fella's nerves, I'll tell you that much." Here's the story: they didn't want people to Google 'Churches New Single' and get the remastered version of Our God. And this album is exactly what they've been trying for: unmistakeable. Lauren Mayberry has a killer voice for synth-pop, and when they pull the strings for these songs to get excited, you can't help but start dancing. My feelings on Random Access Memories are mixed, and this album is probably why. Music that makes you want to move is dance music. Chvrches with a v really made you want to jump.
    Old by Danny Brown
    Danny Brown blew it out of the park with Old. This album is a dark, lightly scored rap masterpiece that serves as perhaps the best flipside to Acid Rap I can think of. The Detroit native is a natural musician and showman, but this album isn't about making bright music, it's about making the nursery rhymes of the rap world angrier, sharper, and more manic than they were on his first album. This isn't the album you sit down to when you want to be comfortable. This is the album you listen to when you want to be really, really mad at Big Brother and not know why. And it's genius for it.
    The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae
    Janelle Monae is one of the best artists I can think of off the top of my head. She's a confident young woman who knows that Retro-Inspired doesn't have to mean dusty. But then, I have to remember that I didn't really like her first two albums. They were great albums, fun to listen to, and a pretty great sci-fi story at that. But because it was telling a sci-fi story, her robotic theme gave her music the overly-shiny touch of the new Star Trek movies. The Electric Lady was her taking that image, breathing life into it, and slapping on some killer bass for good measure. She's no longer the robot of her debuts. No, now she's smart enough to just write about them.

    So what were yours?
     
  2. -Xero- Twilight Town Denizen

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    I liked the new Red album, "Release the Panic". It came out around this time last year. Pretty good album IMO.
     
  3. Hayabusa Venomous

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    Not much in 2013 caught my interest musically, but at least these albums were good stuff from what I've heard:

    30 Seconds to Mars - Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams

    Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks

    Jamie Christopherson - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Soundtrack
     
  4. SoulboundAlchemist Gummi Ship Junkie

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    Switchfoot's new album Fading West was easily the best album of last year!
     
  5. Ty Traverse Town Homebody

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    Anything in Return by Toro y Moi was AOTY for me.
     
  6. Britishism Gummi Ship Junkie

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    Christ, I forgot that came out in 2013. That's easily an honorable mention, thanks for reminding me. Brilliant album.
     
  7. Ty Traverse Town Homebody

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    Yeah, January releases always mess me up. It's a great record, though.
     
  8. Antidote Fa├žade

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    Sky Ferreira - Night Time, My Time

    For a girl who has been held back by her label for years, refused album releases and generally being controlled musically by her managers, this is a very surprising listen. Gone is the (label) forced bubblegum pop that she detested making at 16 years old and instead you have a very slick and intelligent album, cruising through a multitude of genres, like an 80s pop sound mixed with 90s grunge.

    She was on the verge of being dropped by her label after persisting with her choices, and many thought that they were just giving up and releasing her album as a digital download only so as not to put too much money behind her. It's safe to say that they were proven wrong and the album received critical acclaim, and now they know to leave this girl alone to use her own creative genius.

    The lead single You're Not the One sounds like something Siouxsie and the Banshees would've put out, while 24 Hours has a sort of Blondie feel to it.

    It is definitely a very unique album and I've honestly listened to it hundreds of times since it has released. It's anything but a soulless pop record.

    Some highlights;







     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  9. Ty Traverse Town Homebody

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    Love that record. Good post.