Monday, January 6, 2014

The Talent's Top 50 Albums Of 2013

What a year of music it has been. After a year of tireless listening, it is now time to present my top albums of 2013 list. Now, I obviously couldn't listen to every single album that was released in 2013, but I did listen to quite the amount and a wide variety, These were my favorites.

50. If You Leave - Daughter
An album filled with heart wrenching melodies and devastatingly beautiful lyrics.
Daughter’s If You Leave is almost guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye.

*
 49. Afraid Of Heights - Wavves
I like to put Wavves in the genre of Coke-rock. These guys are crazy, and it
shows in their music. Really great riffs and hooks bring Afraid Of Heights to life.

*
 
48. Tightrope EP - Walk The Moon
 The follow up EP to their fantastic self-titled 2012 album. You get the title track,
an acoustic cover, some great new songs, and then an epic live cover
of the Talking Head’s Burning Down The House. How fucking cool is that?!

*
 47. Magna Carta Holy Grail - Jay Z
Jay through out this LP is telling us he's the "king", and rightly so. We're
gonna need to come up with some sort of Magna Carta to stop him from
putting a beating on everyone in the game as he sips from his holy grail. 

*
46. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die -
Panic! At The Disco
Too Weird is short, sweet, and to the point. Panic! is back, but they're not the band
you knew back in the Fever days. This is a pop album and it's fucking awesome.

*
45. Static - Cults

It may not be as unique as their previous self-titled debut, but it is still
as relentlessly catchy. Cults don't miss a step on Static.

*
44. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels
Killer Mike and El-P come together in the creation of Run The Jewels,
a smart and fun mixtape.

*
43. Stop Talking - Pacific Air
 The sound of most of the songs have a very medium tempo, are very melodic and
ambient at times. They combine simple, reverbed guitar riffs, synths, whistles, wind
pipes, basic drum patterns and heavy echoed vocals to create this very fun
and enjoyable 12 track LP. 

*
42. Night Time, My Time - Sky Ferreira
She’s no pop icon, nor does she aim to be. Night Time, My Time combines
strange/interesting lyrics with a peppy upbeat sound that come together
wonderfully.

*
41. Hummingbird - Local Natives
An excellent follow up to their outstanding debut LP. Hummingbird brings
back the unique harmonies, hand claps, and stellar guitar riffs that we
heard on 2009's Gorilla Manor.

*

40. Overgrown - James Blake
Blake is an innovator. He is single handedly creating a new genre and he is doing it in
a breathtaking fashion. First with his masterful self-titled debut and now with
Overgrown.

*
39. The Next Day - David Bowie
 It's hard to believe that after releasing countless amounts of amazing records since
the 60's that Bowie would still be doing it, but believe it or not, he's is. The Next
Day proves that he's still got it and that the rust still hasn't hit.

*
38. Wolf - Tyler, The Creator
 Odd Future's rambunctious leader's WOLF is really something special. Tyler
always has a great story to tell, and this is one of his most intimate and detailed.
He brings something very unique and fantastic to the Rap genre.

*
37. Melody Calling EP - The Vaccines
 After their interesting Sophomore album Come Of Age, fans weren't sure what
to expect from the band next. The Melody Calling EP seems to hint at
a return to the sounds of their excellent debut album What Did You Expect.

*
 36. Wondrous Bughouse - Youth Lagoon 
Youth Lagoon’s Wondrous Bughouse will leave you feeling like you just listened
to MGMT’s new record, if it were actually good.

*
35. Psychic - Darkside
 A very unusual, but well-done album. Nicolas Jaar’s Darkside project’s
dark and mysterious tones will win you over.

*
34. LONG.LIVE.A$AP - A$AP Rocky
 An album filled with smart rhymes, and excellent craftsmanship. Every track is
important to the album. Even the fun, almost generic hip-hop/rap track
Fuckin' Problem fits in perfectly, and even with the chorus reading "I love bad
bitches that's my fuckin' problem" it still creates an extended depth to
LONG.LIVE.A$AP.

*
33. Repave - Volcano Choir
 The bands strays slightly away from the rapid experimental sound, that was
highlighted in Unmap, to focus on a more constructed, tuned product.
With Vernon focusing purely on lyrics and vocals and the rest of the group
concentrating on the instrumentals, Vernon's story telling shine like never
before.

*
32. The Electric Lady - Janell Monae
Luckily for us pretentious kids who still like to shake our hips and not hate our
selves for doing so, there's Janelle Monae.

*
31. Because The Internet - Childish Gambino
 This record is a lot like it’s title. It maybe wasn’t what you were expecting or
really wanting, but you’re not upset about it.

*
30. Bankrupt! - Phoenix
Phoenix hits you, once again, with very cryptic lyrics which seem to be a theme
from the band backed by cool synths and awesome harmonies.

*

29. Birthdays - Keaton Henson
Yet another unforgettable album from the UK singer/songwriter. His voice and lyrics
hold so much emotion and beauty, anyone who has experienced serious heartache will
connect with his songs.

*
28. B-Room - Dr. Dog
 After last year's fantastic Be The Void, I had no idea how Dr. Dog was going to
follow up after such a short break from the studio, but the managed to exceed
my exceptions with the mysterious B-Room.

*
27. Changing Of The Seasons EP -
Two Door Cinema Club
 Though I'd already gotten the chance to listen to the title track/single several
times and 90 second previews of the other three tracks, I was still
unbelievably excited to listen to this EP and I was not disappointing in
the slightest.

*
26. MBV - My Bloody Valentine
 The unexpected return of one of the greatest progressive rock bands in history gave
us mbv, and damn it, was it worth the wait!

*
25. Vessel - Twenty One Pilots
 Some strong tracks (Ode To Sleep, Holding On To You, and Guns For Hands), with
a wide variation of sounds and style. Overall, Vessel is a solid record to kick back
and jam out to.

*
24. Cupid Deluxe - Blood Orange
 With an excellent blend of R&B and Hip-hop, Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe 
is on of the most pleasantly surprising records of the year.

*
23. New - Paul McCartney
Paul hasn’t lost a step. New is a great display of a musician who’s really done it
all but still wants more.

*
22. Days Are Gone - Haim
 Girls. Girls with guitars. Girls with amazing song writing skills. What's not
to like about the Haim sisters? I sure as hell don't know.

*
21. Obsidian - Baths
It sounds like a Passion Pit record, but far darker and a bit more thought provoking.
Obsidian became a huge favorite of mine for 2013 after just one listen.

*
20. Beyoncé - Beyoncé
 Before this album, I was one of the very few people who didn’t idolize Beyoncé. I
always thought she had some nice, fun songs, but she was nothing more than a
top 40 artist. Then she dropped this. This album is so perfectly crafted and
well put together, and it is clearly a very personal album for her, and that really 
shines through her lyrics and the selection of audio samples from
the past that are added into some of the tracks.

*
19. Doris - Earl Sweatshirt
The group (Odd Future) gets most of its recognition from their crazy antics, mostly
those of the groups fearlees leader, Tyler. But what not enough people seem to realize
about OFWGKTA, is that, they are a collection of extremely knowledgeable and
talented lyricists, producers and performers. Earl being possibly the best of them all.

*
18. Government Plates - Death Grips
 The title of the final track on Government Plates, Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching),
is probably the best example of what this album is. Death Grips don’t give a shit
about what anyone thinks, they are doing whatever they want with their music,
and they are doing it well.

*
17. Loud City Song - Julia Holter
From start to finish, Julia Holter’s unique sound and melodies move fluently and 
gracefully in Loud City Song.

*
16. Comedown Machine - The Strokes
 They really tried their hardest to please everyone with this album but at the
same time also saying "Fuck you, we'll make the music we want to make."
And they did it quite successfully.

*
15. Monomania - Deerhunter
 Deerhunter crushes it yet again, this time with a lo-fi, garage record that make you
want to jump around and break shit.

*
 
14. The Bones Of What You Believe -
Chvrches
 Chvrches delivers one of the best electronic pop songs of the year, and
maybe of all time, with The Mother We Share, and several other fantastic
tracks with this album.

*
13. Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
 They are back with a vengeance, pairing up with the likes of Panda Bear, Paul Williams,
Pharrell Williams,  and Julian Casablancas on several tracks. Might it be the duo's
attempt at escaping the gimmick of the synthesized voice or is it just an
attempt at something new? Who's to say, but it works extremely well.

*
12. Trouble Will Find Me - The National
 Another incredibly written album by The National. Matt Breninger's voice and lyrics
compliment the keyboard, drums and guitar so perfectly. Don't Swallow The Cap,
I Need My Girl and Fireproof impressively stand out most on this album.

*
11. AM - Arctic Monkeys
AM brings something competitively new to the game. The Arctic Monkeys are
innovators, renaissance men, and surprise, surprise, they hail from Britain. This
all comes after the release of their 2012 single 'R U Mine?'. After such a
positive response on the track from both the fans and the band themselves,
they decided to make a whole album of R U Mine-esqu tunes, and thus, 
AM was born. 

*
10. Nothing Was The Same - Drake
Once again, Drake delivers another stunning, fresh, and exciting album. He continues to
show why, behind Kanye, he's the best in the game.

*
 9. Holy Fire - Foals
Yet another amazing record from the British band. Holy Fire delivers exactly what
their first two LP's did and then some. A fantastic ratio of slow tempo tracks (Late
Night, Stepson and Moon) and upbeat/heavier tracks (Inhaler, Bad Habit and 
Milk & Black Spiders).

*
8. Old - Danny Brown
Danny Brown loves music. So often these days we see artists that make music for many
reasons, but the love of the craft doesn’t seem to be one of them. "Make some songs,
throw them together and call it an album." Old takes on the aesthetic of a double
LP and delivers a true music lovers, two sided album.

*
7. The 20/20 Experience - Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience returns us to the groovy, poppy, sounds that we heard
from FutureSex/LoveSounds, with the addition of some more classic R&B tones and
influences that I personal was pleasantly surprised to hear. The songs are not
just radio single after radio single. They are stories about life, love, and
living. Justin delivers a knock out.

*
6. Reflektor  - Arcade Fire
When a band consistently puts out great records, you have to eventually ask, when are
they going to pull a Zeppelin? Reflektor’s interesting tactic of incorporating Haitian
percussion certainly set the band up for failure, but instead, just helped the band
create something totally new and dynamic.

*
5. Evil Friends - Portugal. The Man
 An outstanding and blindsiding album. I was so pleasantly surprised with how
much I loved this album. I had liked their previous LP In The Mountain, In The
Cloud, and expected this to be hopefully just as good, but it completely
blows In The Mountain out of the water. Insane hooks and
melodies, flawless production, incredible lyrics, and great depth.

*
4. Silence Yourself - Savages
An epic debut that will never be forgotten and might just positively change your
opinion on all girls, post punk revival bands, that is, if you even had an opinion
to begin with.

*
 3. Acid Rap - Chance The Rapper
A very pleasant surprise, A very unique and fun listen. Chance is someone you
need to keep your eye on, he's about to blow up and Acid Rap is a big
reason why.

*
2. Yeezus - Kanye West
 "How much do I not give a fuck?" Mr. West asks in On Sight, the first track of Yeezus. The
answer is clear. The question is quickly followed with a familiar College Dropout sample
sounding tune that goes on to say "He'll give us what we need / It may not be what we want."
Which, is the perfect way to describe what this album is. It's not something we want(old Kanye)
but something we need(new Kanye).

*
1. Modern Vampires Of The City -
Vampire Weekend
 All I can really express is how this album may be the most important piece of music I have
ever listened to. There is so much beauty in the minds of Ezra, Rostam, CT and Baio.
The four of them plus additional producer Ariel Rechtscaid have created a spectacular
record that I believe will never be forgot. The album seems to revile a bit of maturity in the song
writing of Ezra Koenig. He moves away from the college campus and Cape Cod
and directs his ideas to morality and the Unbelievers.

*

-The Talent

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