Monday, December 23, 2013

Our Top Album Picks of 2013 (Part 2)

FINALLY, Eryn finished her list.  While there may be some overlap with Jason's list, there are some differences as well, just to prove that we are not the same person (aka Michael & Diana).  Here she goes:


1)  WOODKID--The Golden Age
Yoann Lemoine made an indelible mark with this incredible debut record in 2013.  The dramatic music.  The brooding vocals.  The haunting lyrics.  The spectacular videos.  Even Absolut Vodka loves this stuff.  A debut for the record books in sheer amazingness.

2)  JANELLE MONAE--The Electric Lady
Monae is a one of a kind talent in a world of generic R&B-ers, and while she may not hit the top of the charts as much as Beyonce or Rihanna, she is in a class of her own.  To be able to release this sophomore record and hang tough with the likes of Prince and Erykah Badu, hats off to this disarming charmer.

3)  DAFT PUNK--Random Access Memories
A virtual history lesson in dancepop and disco, Daft Punk had the audacity to eschew pure electronic bliss in favor of layered tracks laced with orchestra, acoustic guitar, piano, and live drums.  Then add disco Gods Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder to the mix with a touch of the legendary Paul Williams and modern contributors Pharrell, Panda Bear, and Julian from the Strokes.  Somehow, it all works.  This puts two albums by French guys in Eryn's top 3.  Guess those years spent learning French continue to resonate...


Are those sound waves, sunglasses, or a bikini top on the cover?  No matter, as Arctic Monkeys created one of the grooviest albums of the year, and well written and sung as well.  Five albums in and they keep getting better.

5)  WILLY MOON--Here's Willy Moon
Fun and very underrated, Willy Moon made some very catchy retro pop in 2013.  "Yeah Yeah" was a monster in advertisements, but there was also a spooky vibe to some of the more downbeat tracks.  He also covers Jack White.  Ballsy.

6)  DAVID BOWIE--The Next Day
Can't say any more about this that I have not already said except you MUST buy this NOW and is MUST be in your collection.  His first work in a decade, but his BEST work in 30 years.  What's your excuse?

Stephen Merritt suffers from tinnitus and cannot play this album live, so you should do the next best thing and get this album.  Dark humor always wins out, and with songs like "Keep Your Children in a Coma", you cannot lose.

A kooky idea on paper turns into a brilliant idea on record.  Costello rejigs old lyrics with new while the Roots provide a suitably funky and appropriate background beat.  In a year that saw Jimmy Fallon's backing band advance to the new Tonight Show musical group, there is some serious magic at work here.

9)  SUEDE--Bloodsports
Best reunion album of the year, back with original producer, Ed Buller.  Like they picked things up right after the Trash album of 1996.

10)  NINE INCH NAILS--Hesitation Marks
Brilliant return to form and more mature with more subtleties in the mix, Trent Reznor has not lost his touch for making great records.  Some serious anger is bubbling just below the surface, but Trent does all he can not to show his hand so easily.  Those years of making soundtracks like The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo have made his own work that much better.

11)  HAIM--Days Are Gone
12)  VAMPIRE WEEKEND--Modern Vampires of the City
13)  PET SHOP BOYS--Electric
14)  EMPIRE OF THE SUN--Ice on the Dune
15)  ARCADE FIRE--Reflektor
16)  GOLDFRAPP--Tales of Us
17)  PHOENIX--Bankrupt!
18)  FRANZ FERDINAND--Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
19)  CHVRCHES--The Bones of What You Believe
20)  CUT COPY--Free Your Mind
21)  FITZ & THE TANTRUMS--More Than Just a Dream
22)  SHOUT OUT LOUDS--Optica
23)  CAMERA OBSCURA--Desire Lines
24)  HOLY GHOST!--Dynamics
25)  YEAH YEAH YEAHS--Mosquito

Honorable Mentions:
JOHN LEGEND--Love in the Future
TEGAN & SARA--Heartthrob
SLEIGH BELLS--Bitter Rivals

1 comment:

  1. Yeah sleigh belles! Also of course love the NIN album. Been meaning to listen to Haim.