Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Top 10 Albums of the Year

For each album I've included an excerpt from my original review.

10. Red by Taylor Swift
First thing to note is that Taylor Swift has completely thrown off country music on this album. There are tiny hints of country here and there, but no more than you might find on any pop album. I like the fact that she simply went all in. I think if you are going to make a pop album that's the way to go. 

9. Voyageur by Kathleen Edwards
This is a solid collection of 10 songs. The songs all work well together to create a good album experience and Edwards writing and singing are interesting and solid throughout. 

8. Cave Rave by Crystal Fighters
The opening four songs on their 10 track album are far better than anything on the latest album from Phoenix and though the album struggles home those opening four tracks are so good it makes this one of my favorite albums so far this year.

7. The Next Day by David Bowie
When I was plowing through all those best of the 70's albums I got exposed to a lot of David Bowie. For me he was very hit or miss. This album is a hit. The energy level is high, the hooks are all over the place, and he's having fun tapping into his own past and all the music that he has helped influence over the years. 

6. Cheater's Game by Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison
Robison is best known as a songwriter but he has put out his own solo efforts and has his own base of followers like Willis. Together they make an interesting team and for quite some time now their fan base has been waiting for a joint album. Now it's here and it does not disappoint. 

5. Annie Up by Pistol Annies
The first Pistol Annies album was a fun and enjoyable album, but it felt thrown together in a studio. Three people coming together independent of each other to make an album. This latest album sounds like an album from a band. The sound, the tone of the songs, the performances are fully flushed out and so overnight you are looking at probably the best band in country music today. 

4. Like a Rose by Ashley Monroe
Getting Vince Gill was a brilliant move for Monroe. He's a natural at bringing together a traditional country sound into the modern age and it works wonderfully with this collection of songs from Monroe. 

3. Little Spark by Jessie Baylin
Now that I'm writing this review I'll be pulling it off my queue so who knows I may forget about the album, or come September I may wonder what I ever saw in it, but for three days in 2013 it was pretty much all I listened to. 

2. Somewhere Else by Sally Shapiro
 I stumbled upon Sally Shapiro in 2009 when they came out with their second album My Guilty Pleasure. My Guilty Pleasure was my album of the year in 2009, and is still a go to album for me. It is on its way to becoming a five star album for me. So as you can imagine I was quite excited to hear their latest album. 

1. Tales of Us by Goldfrapp
On this latest album they have thrown the electropop to the side in favor of a quiet, lush, acoustic, album that's all about mood and pace. Lyrically Goldfrapp has gone in for abstract, poetic fragments of thought and expressions that may not always work for me lyrically but do work perfectly for how the songs and the album is constructed.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Rough year--top record got three stars. Good roundup, though.