Jan 18, 2014

Best 50 Albums Of 2013

So, yes. It's a bit late. But here, finally is my final review for 2013. Albums. Yes, albums. Those long things with songs. Sometimes albums even have themes and are meant to be listened to in full. With a connection between each and every song. The way the artist intended. This review will be shorter than usual. As mentioned before I find time illusive these days. Time to blog is a hard thing to do. So many bloggers have stopped recently. I guess for a combination of factors. Fatigue. Time. Change. Growing older. I think I will continue, but not in a regular fashion. I still consume as much music as before. But I just won't write about it as much. So what did I consume in 2013. Plenty really. But one album stood above all. A near perfect blend of melody and melancholy, my two favourite elements in music. "Modern Vampires of the City" by Vampire Weekend was a sheer delight from start to finish. An album of surprising depth and supreme beauty. And those melodies. That production. What else? Local Natives produced an amazing second album. Spencer Krug returned with a heartfelt and emotional album that was simply superb. Kanye West dropped an album out of nowhere and it was a fiery statement indeed. American guitar gods made statements all year. Albums full of pathos and depth. Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent), Kurt Vile, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, Kevin Morby were great reminders to me why American music rules my heart and mind. In fact most of this top 50 was born in the USA. But that's how I see it. I really enjoyed some new discoveries this year. Mainly lo-fi quietly spoken albums. Such as Gambles, Mutual Benefit, Campfires and Jackson Scott. The Australian scene produced some gems. Dick Diver and Whitley in particular. I also enjoyed efforts by Bitch Prefect, Absolute Boys and Scott & Charlene's Wedding. And Nick Cave returned and reminded us all that there is still fire in the belly. Some acclaimed albums left me flat. I will never understand the appeal of Daft Punk. And the much anticipated Arcade Fire album swung quickly between and great and average. A mixed bag in my opinion. And Lorde and Haim somehow received huge acclaim. To me they were pretty albums with precious little depth. But all in all I would say 2013 was a solid year. One masterpiece. 8 or 9 great albums and a host of good to very good. And still we push on. Searching, waiting, anticipating. We already have new albums by Woods, The War on Drugs, The Men, Kevin Drew and Sharon Van Etten to look forward to in 2014. Keep it coming!

1. Modern Vampires Of The City-Vampire Weekend
2. Hummingbird-Local Natives
3. Julia With Blue Jeans On-Moonface
4. Wakin On A Pretty Daze-Kurt Vile
5. Muchacho-Phosphorescent
6. The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You-Neko Case
7. Yeezus-Kanye West
8. Sub Verses-Akron/Family
9. MCII-Mikal Cronin
10. New Moon-The Men
11. Destruction In Yr Soul-Hospital Ships
12. Harlem River-Kevin Morby
13. Soft Will-Smith Westerns
14. Trouble Will Find Me-The National
15. Monomania-Deerhunter
16. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace and Magic-Foxygen
17. Calendar Days-Dick Diver
18. Pedestrian Verse-Frightened Rabbit
19. Sleeper-Ty Segall
20. Repave-Volcano Choir
21. Love's Crushing Diamond-Mutual Benefit
22. Old-Danny Brown
23. Trust-Gambles
24. Reflektor-Arcade Fire
25. Evil Friends-Portugal. The Man
26. Floating Coffin-Thee Oh Sees
27. Doris-Earl Sweatshirt
28. Wondrous Bughouse-Youth Lagoon
29. Slow Focus-Fuck Buttons
30. Even The Stars Are A Mess-Whitley
31. Magpie and the Dandelion-The Avett Brothers
32. Nobody Knows-Willis Earl Beal
33. Carrier-The Dodos
34. The Terror-The Flaming Lips
35. Caveman-Caveman
36. Carey's Cold Spring-Frog Eyes
37. Law And Order-Jonathan Rado
38. Push The Sky Away-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
39. The Silver Gymnasium-Okkervil River
40. The Beast In Its Tracks-Josh Ritter
41. Nightmare Ending-Eluvium
42. Overseas-Overseas
43. Blood Oaths of the New Blues-Wooden Wand
44. Fade-Yo La Tengo
45. Home Life-Andrew Cedermark
46. Temperate Touch,Tropical Tears-Stolen Violin
47. Kveikur-Sigur Ros
48. American Kid-Patty Griffin
49. Cruise Your Illusion-Milk Music
50. Afraid of Heights-Wavves


  • At January 22, 2014 , Anonymous The--Kid (Last.fm) said...

    Great lists as usual! Just wondering if you had a chance to listen to Frog Eyes - Carey's Cold Spring. It is available for download, and it's my favorite album he has done. I do think you would enjoy it too! Hope you guys enjoyed your trip to NYC, I am from NY:)

  • At January 22, 2014 , Blogger Wayne M said...

    Thanks! Yes I did. It came in at 36. As usual another great record from Carey. We loved New York. We stayed in the East Village. Had an amazing time!

  • At January 22, 2014 , Blogger James said...

    I get older, music blogs stay the same age. I'm doing the same as you Wayne, pulling back considerably as life gets realer and realer. Back at my old blogspot site for now, in case yr interested. Vampire Weekend is a worthy number 1. Enjoy 2014, hope you enjoyed NY (I was only a few miles away), and I will continue to check in.


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