Archive | December, 2013

Best Albums of 2013

11 Dec


As we close out 2013 let’s take a look back at the highlights.  Took quite a long time to compile this list and settling on a final list was difficult, because a lot of worthy music was left on the cutting room floor. In the end these were the albums that found their way to my earbuds the most. To keep the download time down links were put up to most of the albums songs and ponderous bloviation was reduced to the top ten. Be sure to check back soon for the top songs list which is coming very soon! Also check out the Christmas songs list here and here. If you are in a band, or are a musician playing solo or seeking a band, a music venue, maybe a DJ, sign up for and utilize the customized services to your benefit!

1. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds- Push The Sky Away

Cave, and much of the Bad Seeds are in their mid fifties and have been at this game for a long time with very little to no dip in the quality of music he produces. Many critics were not overly enthusiastic about this release, maybe expecting a more stomping rocking affair like his last two Grinderman albums. Cave instead rolled back and did his thing with top notch bleary eyed lyrics and musicianship from his crack band.

2. Jason Isbell- Southeastern

Isbell’s songwriting is a gut wrenching hard hitting true life affair that most of the mainstream country acts from Nashville are way to scared to even hint at in their music and he does it without a fake sugary sweet southern accent. You can hear the south and rural heritage in his voice but he’s not forcing it on you with generic arena rock music and fiddles, just mostly acoustic music and great lyrics and real true talent. Stunning.

3. The Front Bottoms-Talon Of The Hawk

This energetic duo from New Jersey were, for me at least, the find of the year. Full of deft and sprightly indie guitar anthems that are hook filled and full of  Brian Sella’s vibrant and poignant lyrics about self doubt, helping out unworthy friends, solving problems with $437, knowing CPR and losing at love that are a trip worth checking out.

4. Haim- Days Are Gone

The sibling act of the three Haim (pronounced to sound like time) sisters from California was a knock out punch of a pop throwback of the 80’s with the twisting vocals of 90’s era TLC and the earthy vocals of Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie tied up in a hook filled ball that is impossible to resist.

5. Lorde- Heroine

This 16 year old New Zealand native went from blogosphere sweetheart to global dominance with here so over it, but really into it mega smash “Royals.” But the rest of the album with it’s sharp cutting lyrics and electro goth minimalist throb were also equally enjoyable. It was the sound of 2013, all praise our Lorde!

6. Savages- Silence Yourself

The most impressive thing about this female quartet from London debut album is that we’ve heard this brand of gothic post punk many times before but these ladies make it sound fresh new and exciting led by Jhenny Beth’s visceral berating vocals and the slicing guitar wok of Gemma Thompson.

7. The Ocean Blue- Ultramarine

The Hershey, PA. natives quietly go about their business releasing albums every so often. Ultramarine came in under the radar and was criminally overlooked as the band has matured into a solid component of music that pulls and pushes with equal heft creating a perfect balance.

8. Orchestral Manouvres In the Dark- English Electric

O.M.D. revisited every phase of their career on this album from the mid eighties synth pop hit machine to the early 80’s new wave and post punk experimentalism.

9. Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks 

Trent Reznor brought back Nine Inch Nails just four years after putting it to rest. But that’s O.K. because the world needs the sonic tension only Reznor can provide. The electronic based music is a tornadic blast of blistering, claustrophobic, terse, angry, moody, but mostly brilliant musical stew that tore you up and broke you down and that’s just where Reznor wants you.

10. The National- Trouble Will Find Me

The formula hasn’t changed with the driving guitar rockers swaying beneath Matt Berninger’s deep resonant lyrics and that’s a good thing.

11. The Editors- The Weight Of Your Love

12. Motion City Soundtrack- Go

13. Lee Ranaldo And The Dust- Last Night On Earth

14. Free Energy- Lovesign

15. Frightened Rabbit- Pedestrian Verse

16. Batillus- Concrete Sustain

17. Macklemore  & Ryan Lewis- The Heist

18. Sigur Ros- Kveikur

19. Diahrrea Planet- I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

20. Motorhead- Aftershock

21. Adam Ant- Adam Is The Blue Black Hussar Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter

22. Amon Amarth- Deceiver Of The Gods

23. London Grammar

24. Pretty Lights- A Color Map Of The Sun

25. Wild Belle- Isles

26. Parquet Courts- Light Up Gold

27. Disclosure- Settle

28. Sturgill Simpson- High Top Mountain

29. Kvelertak- Meir

30. Mudhoney- Vanishing Point

31. Daughter- If You Leave

32. The Postelles- …And It Shook Me

33. Joanna Gruesome- Weird Sister

34. Sasquatch- IV

35. Kanye West- Yeezus

36. Chelsea Light Moving- self titled

37. Superchunk- I Hate Music

38. Capital Cities- In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery

39. Public Service Broadcasting- Inform-Educate-Entertain

40. twenty one pilots- Vessel

41. My Bloody Valentine- MBV

42. Queens Of The Stone Age- …Like Clockwork

43. Neko Case- The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

45. Pearl Jam- Lightning Bolt

46. M.I.A.- Matangi

47. HEM- Departure And Farewell

48. The Thermals- Desperate Ground

49. Serengeti- Kenny Dennis LP

50. The Haxan Cloak- Excavation