Top 10 Albums 2013
WARNING: some of this might seem a tad, obvious? But they’re all totally deserved of taking one of these ten plots, and have grabbed my attention and ears equally, with sheer force.
1) The 1975 - The 1975
Initially, I was contemplating picking something else for the top spot, but then had to query that unjust decision with myself. This debut is fresh out of angst school, with the right blend of swooning melodies and harsh, howling vocals. They’re a band who have put each teeny, tiny fibre of their being into this album and the four dazzling EPs beforehand; making them entirely worthy winners. I am both humbled and grateful to have heard this.
2) Mogwai - Les Revenants
In a real nutshell, I finished studying and exams, saw an advert on Channel 4 for France’s smashing zombie/resurrection series, and decided to give it a whirl. (On a side note, this journey into the depths of the dead, and an eerie town bordering France, is fantastic). At this point, I was blissfully unaware that Scottish rockers, Mogwai, had composed the entire soundtrack. It’s ghostly, haunting and melancholy, all in one small package, but absolutely outstanding.
(The physical release was this year).
3) Flume - Flume (Deluxe Edition)
Now, this has nothing to do with me being a fan of the Aussies; it just comes as a bonus that he’s a native. This deluxe collection comprises certified hits, and nothing else. The additional treat in this version is the introduction of collaborations with other artists, including not-so-household hip-hop names, Freddie Gibbs and Ghostface Killah. This is laden with cherries on top of already spotless cakes.
(This deluxe release was this year also).
4) Daughter - If You Leave
I can’t find fault with this album. It’s number 4 simply because the first few entries just tugged at my earstrings a tad more. It’s utterly gorgeous, tranquil and melodic throughout, but the staggering “Human” is a more uptempo gift for listeners. Excellent.
5) Fenech-Soler - Rituals
It felt as though decades went by trying to get a copy of this in my hands, but when it arrived, it was grand. I wasn’t under any illusions that it wouldn’t deliver, having had the majority of it on Soundcloud anyway, but what a stunning album. To say it’s a follow-up, the lads have massively pulled it out of the bag, with bells on!
6) Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this man is the true King of Pop. This was the comeback of giants, and I haven’t heard of a single cell on this planet who didn’t enjoy it hugely! Credit also lands itself in the lap of Timbaland, for some seriously brilliant production.
(The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2 was also a great spectacle. This just pipped it to the post).
7) Sigur Ros - Kveikur
This is the first full instance where Jonsi and his men haven’t delivered something ultimately angelic. The album opens with “Brennisteinn”, a thundering, crashing offering, with a bass more wild and violent than any other. “Kveikur” is dark, mysterious and vastly unsettling, which is an absolutely wonderful new territory for the band.
8) The Weeknd - Kiss Land
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a collaboration with Drake or just a soulful piece, this Canadian man can’t seem to put a foot wrong. With a sugary voice to rival Michael Jackson at times, The Weeknd never fails to please me with what he creates. It might be number 8, but again my reasoning is only due to preference of albums further up.
9) Haim - Days Are Gone
I listen to “The Wire” and find myself wondering how Shania Twain is these days. That isn’t a bad thing, though? From one powerful woman to another, these splendid sisters seem to have made exactly what our ears were eager to hear. It’s punchy, full of rock ‘n’ roll riffs, and my printed words can’t express just how fun it is!
10) Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
Oh my goodness me, it might not be my favourite of the year, but my Seattle heroes have returned! I was ecstatic to learn that Eddie Vedder and the guys were making a comeback, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. If you haven’t already got on board with it, you don’t have any viable excuse - proper grunge is here again.
(Not to, under ANY circumstances, be confused with that awful Jake Bugg single).