Wow……What a year it has been! Not just for us in the Daddy club (congratulations again Morky boy), but the music has been pretty darn decent as well. It has been an absolutely stonking year for established acts, and my Top 10 highlights this with only one debut album in the mix courtesy of Chvrches.
My list changed at least a half a dozen times before I was happy, but my Top 2 have remained consistent throughout. So here we go:
10. DAFT PUNK – Random Access Memories (FRANCE)
I’ve always enjoyed Daft Punk’s upbeat music and this is a great release with some rousing electronic tracks. Perhaps a couple of album fillers in there but still a very enjoyable listen.
9. WOODENBOX – End Game (SCOTLAND)
Woodenbox are a folk band from Edinburgh, with a mariachi twist. The Caledonian Calexico, if you will. This is their very strong second album that gets better with every listen. There’s a great tempo to the whole album that has me looking forward to hearing more from them in the future.
8. THE VEILS – Time Stays, We Go (ENGLAND\NZ)
Yet another very good album from The Veils. This album is possibly aimed at breaking into the mainstream market, but they have lost none of their bittersweet brilliance in doing so.
7. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – Like Clockwork (USA)
Well….we’ve pretty much all agreed that this is a great release from QotSA. Josh Homme proving yet again he is the man.
6. EDITORS – The Weight Of Your Love (ENGLAND)
A fine release by the lads from Birmingham. 5 months has passed since this album debuted and it is still on heavy rotation. Easily my favourite Editors album since The Back Room.
5. BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB – Specter At The Feast (USA)
BRMC do not know how to release a bad album…..fact. Even when experimenting with different sounds on previous albums I’ve always found time to listen to their back catalogue, and with SATF they have a worthy addition. Consistently great tracks with a return to the strong, chunky riffs that had me hooked after a couple of listens.
4. JOHNNY MARR – The Messenger (ENGLAND)
When I first listened to this my first thought was “OK, that’s not a bad album. Could have been better I guess”. How wrong I was. This got better, and continues to, with every listen. The flow of the album is superb with his signature riffs taking us through each track. This is the Johnny Marr album I had hoped for.
3. CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe (SCOTLAND)
Each year there seems to be at least a couple of unasahdemly poppy albums that peak my interest, and the Glasgwegian synthpop trio Chvrches definitely fall into that category. However, with two of the band having been in reputable Alternative Rock bands prior (Aereogramme and The Twilight Sad), it’s fair to say that Chvrches’ credentials are perhaps better than your average synthpop band. Add to that the delightfully cute Lauren Mayberry as lead singer and they get a big thumbs up from me.
2. ARCTIC MONKEYS – AM (ENGLAND)
After a couple of albums that didn’t quite fulfill my hopes the Monkeys delivered, and then some, with AM. There’s not a weak track to be found here on the album that correctly features in many of the critic’s 2013 lists.
1. DAVID BOWIE – The Next Day (ENGLAND)
In any other year AM would have topped my list, but Mr Bowie…..where the hell did this album come from? A genuine modern classic from a true musical genius.
Close, but no cigar….
Jagwar Ma – Howlin
Moby – Innocents
Suede – Bloodsports
Travis – Where You Stand
The National – Trouble Will Find Me
Biffy Clyro – Opposites
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
Top gig and musical highlight of 2013….
The Stone Roses, Vector Arena, Auckland, 27th February 2013. Best gig of the year, of the decade……of my life???