Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Music: Top 10 Albums of the Year

25. Anavae Dimensions
24. Tom Odell Long Way Down
23. Into It Over It Intersections
22. Pentimento Pentimento
21. Mallory Knox Signals
20. Chvrches The Bones Of What You Believe
19. Ben Marwood Back Down
18. Cold Crows Dead I Fear A New World
17. Citizen Youth
16. Senses Fail Renacer
15. Keaton Henson Birthdays
14. Turnover Magnolia
13. Deafeater Letters Home
12. Real Friends Put Yourself Back Together
11. Touché Amoré Is Survived By

10. The 1975 The 1975
So I got into The 1975 at some point last year and since then they’ve just exploded. They’re playing something ridiculous like three nights at Brixton and three nights in Manchester Academy. Anyway, this is a great album. It’s not something I’d usually listen to, but I think that helps its charm. A quick listen to radio 1 and everything sounds like it was written by Matthew Healy and co.

9.  Balance And Composure The Things We Think We’re Missing
So I got into this album pretty late in the year and what a waste of time before I had. It’s typical B&C and just as good. Balance are one of those bands that I always forget how good they are until I listen to them, and you have those “Oh my God, we should totally do this more often!” moments you get with friends. I’ll never leave you again Balance, I promise.

8. Fall Out Boy Save Rock And Roll
Fall Out Boy started the year on hiatus and ended it in the hearts of pretty much everybody again. Armed with nothing but songs they wrote before 'From Under The Cork Tree' and internet photos this album may be tongue in cheek but it’s also damn good. How can any album featuring Elton John and Courtney Love on consecutive tracks not be?

7. Paramore Paramore
So what with all the line-up changes in Paramore, and Hayley’s songwriting coming to the fore, it was a bit unknown what this album would actually bring. Anyway, it was very un-Paramore but still exceptionally good. After the Singles Club I was expecting pretty massive things and 'Now', 'Part II', and 'Future' are all amazing, even if the latter has a strange fade-out-in. I know many a person who has this higher in their list and that says something about the quality of it. Well done, Paramore.

6. Biffy Clyro Opposites

Biffy Clyro headlined Reading Festival this year. How mental is that? They’ve already been announced for Isle of Wight next year and they played a sold-out arena tour including a date at The O2. Basically, Biffy Clyro are massive now, so there was always a chance this album would be terrible and 'Many Of Horror'-y and I know many people thought that this was a regression in Biffy’s discography, but I love it, and I think it’s worthy of their new King of Rock status.

5. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP2
So I really shouldn’t like this album. Middle-class boys from Berkshire tend to be brought up on something slightly more refined than Marshall Bruce Mathers III. 'Recovery' was good, and a return to form but damn. This is incredible. I love the callbacks to the first LP that are concealed in the freshly penned lines. Some, admittedly, not concealed at all. I think it’d be criminal to mention the album without mentioning 'Rap God'. Far and away the best thing on the record, basically taking a swing at everyone and everything but also, strangely, sees a softer side come out ("At least once in a while so I wanna make sure // Somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle // Enough rhymes to maybe try to help get some people through tough times"). Technically it may not be the best rap album - and I really wouldn’t know - but it’s my favourite by quite a long way.

4. Transit Young New England
This album got a huge amount of stick when it was released and I still don’t really understand why. Sure, it’s not Transit of a few years ago but bands evolve. It’s not exactly been a great year for Boston either and in many ways these songs are made more poignant by their timing and context. ("Boston never drinks alone") It’s one of the only albums I actually forked out to get on vinyl and that should tell you enough. I love it a great deal.

3.  Frightened Rabbit Pedestrian Verse
I shan’t recount old Frightened Rabbit stories again but needless to say this record was pretty damn good. The first released through Atlantic, and I personally think FRabbit’s sound probably suits a major label, and off the back of it a date at Brixton Academy. The boys did good, the boys did very good. ALSO, shout out to 'Architect' which was probably the best song of the year (which was on the split RSD release with Manchester Orchestra)

2. Los Campesinos! NO BLUES
Hello Sadness seemed like an album by a band in transition (even more now you look back at it) but NO BLUES seems like they've perfected their new sound. I'm not sure it helped that the lyrics to the band's fourth album had to be rewritten following Gareth's break-up and the albums on this seem much more comfortable and well thought out. I love all the football references but that may just be me. LC! have crafted a damn fine album, and their live show is pretty damn great too. Judging by sounds coming out of the band it wasn't their easiest year, but hopefully there's many more albums to come.

1. The Wonder Years The Greatest Generation
In number one position, The Wonder Years! Shocking absolutely nobody. Both 'The Upsides' and 'Suburbia...' had huge sing-a-longs, catchy melodies, and an overriding emotion pushing the albums through and TGG is no different except for the fact that the emotion seems to have changed. Where 'The Upsides' had hope, and 'Suburbia...' had something that I can't quite put in to words, TGG has a bundle of the last two, packaged with a semi-new angry outlook. It's an interesting transition but an incredible one. I don't know how it's possible but they've stepped up again. Wonder Years fanboy 4lyf.

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