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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My 10 Favorite Albums of 2013

Well, I'm a day late, but I wanted to make sure I posted my 10 favorite albums list of 2013. 2013 saw a ton of great music released. I also found myself expanding my musical tastes slightly by beginning to explore Alt. Country genre.

10. She & Him: Volume 3
This is a perfect summer time album. Zooey Deschanel has matured as a singer/songwriter and it shows on Volume 3. M. Ward again, provides some great guitar riffs that work so well with Deschanel’s singing. Volume 3 is without a doubt my favorite offering from She & Him thus far.

9. Superchunk: I Hate Music
Indie rock legends Superchunk return with the perfect indie rock album. Tongue in cheek, and filled with songs that move an individual to fall in love with music, I Hate Music represents why Superchunk is so damn good.

8. Frightened Rabbit: The Pedestrian Verse
It was only a matter of time before Frightened Rabbit released that “big music” album. Pedestrian Verse is home to some of the bands biggest anthems, and most introspective lyrics. It absolutely boggles my mind that Frightened Rabbit is not bigger than they are. This band is the total package.

7. Billie Joe + Norah: Foreverly
When I first heard that Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones were recording a covers album of Everly Brothers songs, I thought the project was destined for disaster. I could not be more wrong. This album is beyond charming, with Billie Joe and Norah’s voice blending seamlessly together. It actually pains me to place this album so low. This is a GREAT album.

6. Indians: Somewhere Else
This is a great example of the importance of writing out “Best of Lists” throughout the year. Being released in early 2013, I almost forgot about it, because I’ve listened to it so much, for so long. Indians does a great job of blending folk and indie rock together into a haunting melody. This is a band to be on the lookout for to do great things!

5. Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart
This will forever be known as the album that made Frank Turner HUGE! Tape Deck Heart showcases all of Turner’s strengths as a singer/songwriter. The songs are catchy, but self-reflective. Get on Frank Turner’s bandwagon now, because he is only going up from here.

4. Arcade Fire: Reflektor
Without a doubt the most decisive album of 2013, Reflektor sees Arcade Fire take the biggest chance, thus far, of their career. For me it pays off big time. I find it absolutely fascinating to hear Arcade Fire lyrics over disco beats. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem is the unsung hero of this album.

3. Moby: Innocents
Moby continues his upward trend of becoming one of my favorite artists of all time. Each album I listen to has incredible sounds and melodies that can only be fully appreciated when listening to them on headphones. Innocents is home to some great songs and great guest vocalists. But the hauntingly beautiful Almost Home is the stand out track for me.

2. Los Campesinos!: NO BLUES
I love this album! I mean I really love this album. Since I first listened to it back in October to now, it has never left my CD player, or strayed far from my iPod playlists.  No Blues shows Los Campesinos! maturing as a band. Not since Hold Now, Youngster has Los Campesinos! captivated my attention like this.

1. Queens of the Stone Age: …Like Clockwork
We had to wait a very long time for this album, but man was it worth the wait. Queens of the Stone Age delivers the album of the year. And that’s what makes it so great. To truly appreciate its greatness, you need to listen to the ENTIRE album. All of the songs play into the overall theme and tone of the album. By listening to a few songs out of order, the listening experience is greatly diminished. In the iTunes age of buying individual songs, it is so refreshing to see that great albums can still be written. This very much reminds me of listening to Led Zeppelin for the first time. If you haven’t listened to this album yet, stop what you are doing and check it out.

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