Posted in Best of 2013, Top Tens

Top Ten: BEST ALBUMS OF 2013

best-albums2013 in music was actually a pretty good year. Characterized by amazing comebacks and breakthrough acts. Outstanding records have been made in all genres including indie pop, alternative rock, urban music, soul, and even country.

As most of you have found out Rolling Stones, Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork Media, Billboard have already compiled their “Best of..the Year” lists. In order to catch up with these big magazines The Gramophone Reporter have also ranked the ten best albums of the year. 

 

 

 

 

BEST ALBUMS OF 2013

 Yeezus_Kanye_West

#10 Kanye West ─ YEEZUS

Yeezus is a mixture of mysticism, religion, and post-modernism. This record can put you to trance. Definitely Kanye’s second best album behind his 2009 release My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Setting aside his conflicting persona. Kanye sure knows how to create music. And this might not be good for his ego but if there was a Greek God for Hip-Hop music then Kanye would probably be that one. Without counting his tawdry love jingle to Kim Kardashian, “Bound 2”. The rest of the songs in this album are near-perfect.

Best tracks: “I Am God“, “New Slaves“, “Blood on the Leaves

 Mac_Miller_Watching_Movies_With_The_Sound_Off_Cover

#09 Mac Miller ─ WATCHING MOVIES WITH THE SOUND OFF

From the moment you play “The Star Room”, the first track of the album, you will get captivated. And as the album progresses and reaches its peak at #8 song “Objects in the Mirror” you will fall in love with it. Watching Movies with the Sound Off is Mac Miller’s sophomore record that reflects upon his struggles with fame and his transition to adulthood. Even if you’re not a fan of phsychedelic hip hop music you should still give it a try

Best tracks: “Objects in the Mirror“, “S.D.S.“, “The Star Room

 KaceyMusgravesSameTrailerDifferentPark

#08 Kacey Musgraves  SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK

A satirical view from rural towns in the Southern United States is something you will not hear in country records. Its title explains it all, Same Trailer Different Park; no matter how you change you’ll get into a familiar vicious circle as long as you are attached to tradition. And that is why this 25 year-old Texan is revolutionizing the way country music sounds. She is not afraid of admitting cannabis use or supporting same-sex relationships. Just for the record, I felt very identified with this album. I wasn’t aware of the similarities between Texas and the small town I grew up in Venezuela where most people also happen to live in trailers.

Best tracks: “Merry Go ‘Round“, “Follow Your Arrow“, “Blowin’ Smoke

 la-vida-boheme

#07 La Vida Bohème  SERÁ

This a Spanish-language album from the, Latin GRAMMY-winning, Venezuelan band La Vida Bohème. Será is a concept album set in a post-apocalyptic Latin American city where people live upon nostalgia because they don’t want to face their obscure present packed with violence. Nonetheless they wish for a brighter future. Musically speaking the album contains tracks that range from grunge to hard rock to Calypso. Even if you don’t understand Spanish you can still sense the grumpy sounds it is filled with.

Best tracks: “Hornos de Cal“, “La Bestia“, “La Sange y El Eco

 Queens_of_the_Stone_Age_-_…Like_Clockwork

#06 Queens of the Stone Age  …LIKE CLOCKWORK

One of the greatest comeback albums of the year. Inarguable their best effort since Songs for the Deaf (2003). After six years in hiatus and side projects. Josh Homme and his back-and-forth collaborators have teamed up again to tell all those that exclaim “rock is death” that it isn’t. And it won’t be as long as bands like these are still able to record classy rock sounds with dark lyrics. Keeping up with the nostalgia, this album traces you back to the early 2000s.

Best tracks: “My God is the Sun“, “Fairweather Friends” “…Like Clockwork

 Trouble_Will_Find_Me_The-National

#05 The National  TROUBLE WILL FIND ME

Little attention was paid The National before the release of this album. And how can it go unnoticed? This Ohio quintet sounds like Interpol meets Queens of the Stone Age meets Radiohead. An Americanized version of Britpop blended with folky sounds by Matt Berniger’s -the band’s frontman- deep voice. The 13 tracks from Trouble Will Find Me deals with life reflection as preludes the opening track “I Should Live in Salt” and its follow-up -and lead single- “Demons”. The album’s artwork is just as impressive as it is its music.

Best tracks: “Graceless“, “Don’t Swallow the Cap“, “Pink Rabbit

 The_2020_The_Complete_Experience

#04 Justin Timberlake  THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE (THE COMPLETE EXPERIENCE)

Fifteen years ago, Justin Timberlake was a girl’s heart-breaker and a spoiled kid from the music industry. As years go by, Timberlake was able to breakaway from his N*Sync/Mickey Mouse Club years. Not ala Miley Cyrus-style but evidencing his talent through soul-esque melodies and breaking into Hollywood films like The Social Network or Inside Llewyn Davis. Now at 32, Timberlake released, following a seven-year musical hiatus, The 20/20 Experience; a soul-influenced pop double disc which is pure gold. Most critics praised Part 1 but were skeptical towards the second part and claimed that it disrupted its chances for an Album of the Year-nod. Either way, I personally think both parts are great.

Best tracks: “Tunnel Vision“, “Suit & Tie“, “TKO

 Mechanical-bull-kings-of-leon

#03 Kings of Leon  MECHANICAL BULL

Just like Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon is another band to confirm that rock music isn’t dead. Mechanical Bull, the band’s sixth studio album, manages to pull back the band to their roots after its predecessor, and run-of-the-mill record, Come Around Sundown, intended to disengage. This album can also be described as “up close and personal”. This is perceived through its intimate lyrics -specially in the singles “Supersoaker” and “Beautiful War”-. A souvenir from their 2008 release Only By the Night.

Best tracks: “Supersoaker“, “Wait for Me”, “Temple

 My_Bloody_Valentine_-_MBV

#02 My Bloody Valentine  M V B

If you suffer from the golden age syndrome and feel the 90s is your right time then My Bloody Valentine cannot be absent from your jukebox. This irish band, better known as one of the mentors of shoegazing (a roughly-psychedelic and British version of Seattle’s grunge), is back with their studio album after no less than 22 years! Though released last February, the songs of this album were recorded prior to the band’s breakup in 1996 and during their reunion in 2007, also the peak years for experimental rock music. All nine tracks will make you feel the music in your veins. 

Best tracks: “New You“, “Only Tomorrow“, “She Found Now

 Vampire_Weekend_-_Modern_Vampires_of_the_City

#01 Vampire Weekend  MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY

From the instant this album came out, it became a critical success and has now topped the “best albums” lists on several music magazines, including Rolling Stones. Though not as amazing as Contra is, still, without a doubt, a beautifully-made record. The tracks were so carefully billeted that they jump from acoustic melodies to uptempo beats. And there is no single track that you would skip. The concept behind the album: Transition to maturity; is somehow liverish yet frightening. All in all, is an album to relish and reflect upon, at the same time.

Best tracks: “Diane Young“, “Unbelievers“, “Finger Back

Albums missing the cut:

  • Alice in Chains ─ The Devil Puts Dinosaurs Here
  • James Blake  Overgrown
  • Cage the Elephant  Melophobia
  • The Civil Wars  The Civil Wars
  • Disclosure   Settle
  • Drake  Nothing Was the Same
  • HAIM  Days Are Gone 
  • Lorde Pure Heroine
  • M.I.A. ─ Matangi
  • Modestep ─ Evolution Theory

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