Album of the Year: 2013

So with 2013 finally at a close, there really is nothing better to do then to look back and dissect the musical offerings of past 12 months. And what better way to do so then with a top album’s of the year countdown list. Whilst I don’t particularly like making lists or even having to acknowledging a favourite the show must go on and I have put together a top 17 of albums that I have enjoyed over the past year. It is in no way reflective of sales figures, radio play or even global popularity, it’s just simply 17 albums that have made an impression on me at some point during 2013.

The natural starting point for this list was of course my midpoint Top 9 Albums of 2013 so far post. And whilst many of the previously featured records managed to make it through to the end of year list there are some dropouts. This of course opened up space for some shiny new albums. But before I get on to them I’d like to draw attention to some notable absences. The first of which being Daft Punk’s titanic offering. As a fan of the enigmatic French duo I felt left down by the sub-standard, almost alien-like cheesy disco pop offered up in Random Access Memories. David Bowie doesn’t feature in my list either, but that’s only because I never gave his new album a proper chance or listen. I could list other absences but perhaps a better use of your time and mine would be to proceed on to the list of albums that actually made it to the Top 17 (no idea where this love for odd numbers came from)

Album of the year

17. Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action

A return to form for the Scottish ‘art-rockers’? I most certainly think so. And whilst nothing they ever produce from now till the end of days will measure up to the self titled debut release back in 2004 (I’m getting old) Right Thoughts is still a solid, well produced record.

16. This Town Needs Guns (TTNG) – 13.0.0.0.0

15. Peace – In Love

14. Kodaline – In A Perfect World

With sell-out world tours, appearances on major American ‘Talk-Shows’ and a debut album release that has gone on to be one of Ireland’s biggest selling records of the year it’s fair to say that it’s been somewhat of a stellar year for these Irish lads. The 2 disc deluxe album is jam-packed with instant pop classics as well as some others that dabble in the realm of the experimental.

13. Local Natives – Hummingbird

12. Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic

11. Haim – Days Are Gone

10. Bell X1 – Chop Chop

09. Biffy Clyro – Opposites

It’s quite interesting to watch Biffy Clyro sink deeper and deeper into the murky depths of unapologetic pop-rock with the release of each new album. Opposites being the most obvious yet. But strangely enough the band are doing anything but re-inventing themselves. Whilst Opposites is long and in dire need of a good pruning, there are some good tracks to be found (Sounds Like Balloons, Biblical). A slight relegation from its 8th place in my earlier list last year.

08.  Arcade Fire – Reflektor

I almost didn’t include this one. And it would have been a huge mistake. Arcade Fire kept us waiting for their latest album and so I found myself with very little time to acquaint myself. But I’m really liking what i’ve heard so far and I’m sure had I more time this album would be occupying a far more prominent position.

07. Little Green Cars – Absolute Zero

06. John Grant –  Pale Green Ghosts

The Top 5

05. Analogue Wave – N.L.G. W.V.

This is an independent release, need I say any more. In fact I’ve already said quite a lot about the guys (here, here and also here). From the moment N.L.G. W.V. was released its place in this top 5 was more than secure.

04.  Foals – Holy Fire

2013 was a big year for Foals. The early success of Holy Fire allowed the band to obtain large festival slots, sell out headline gigs and for a couple of months, radio domination in the form of ‘My Number’. Holy Fire as an album is far more accessible than previous releases and it is this universal appeal that allowed Foals to achieve all they did. Stand out tracks include Late Night, Inhaler, Bad Habit and practically every other track printed on the back of the album cover.

03. White Lies – Big TV

Personally speaking, this was one of the most anticipated albums of the year. For a relatively young band, the gap between previous and current release was noticeably long. But it was certainly worth the wait. Its style is strongly centred on that of the 80′s synth movement with one track in particular channeling Visage’s ‘Fade To Grey’. With an album title as striking as ‘Big TV’ and a musical subject matter heavily grounded in the 80′s it’s easy to speculate that Ballard was a strong influence.

02. Villagers – {Awayland}

01. Arctic Monkeys -AM

The undisputed champion. AM is just a pleasure to listen to. Arctic Monkeys have completely reinvented themselves and I’m glad to say that it was all for the better. The music is great, the lyrics are well written. What more can I say. This is my album of 2013.

The Playlist

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5 thoughts on “Album of the Year: 2013

  1. The Arctic Monkeys’ latest effort gives off this classic cool vibe that I haven’t heard from a rock album in a while. The hooks are catchy, the verses well-written, and the music itself is sexy. Great album, really. I have to give some of the other albums on your list a listen.

  2. I liked that Arctic Monkeys album too, but I didn’t listen to it enough. If I had, I may have landed on my list too. I will go back to it, though. I will also seek out some of your other choices that are new to me! Happy new year!

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