Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best (And Worst) Of 2013 In Music

I'll be up-front about it: there were no game changers this year. And that, in itself, is a major disappointment. When I grew up, there was at least one per year:

1987: Guns N' Roses, Appetite For Destruction
1988: N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton
1989: The Cure, Disintegration
1990: Jane's Addiction, Ritual De Lo Habitual
1991: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik
          Metallica, Metallica
          Pearl Jam, Ten
1992: Dr. Dre, The Chronic
          Rage Against The Machine, Rage Against The Machine
          Megadeth, Countdown To Extinction
          Pantera, Vulgar Display Of Power
          Alice In Chains, Dirt
1993: Snoop Doggy Dogg, Doggystyle
          Nirvana, In Utero
          Pearl Jam, Vs
          the Judgment Night soundtrack
1994: Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral
1995: Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
1996: Jean Leloup, Le Dôme
          The Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole
1997: Radiohead, OK Computer
          Buena Vista Social Club, Buena Vista Social Club
2001: The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
2004: Arcade Fire, Funeral

If that list doesn't ramp your brain up with possibilities (and the countless acts that tried to rip them off), I don't know what will.

That being said, here are my tops in music this year:

Top 20 Albums:

20. TRIXIE WHITLEY, Fourth Corner
19. LORDE, Pure Heroine
17. PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Evil Friend
16. MONSTER MAGNET, Last Patrol
15. CHVRCHES, The Bones Of What You Believe
14. LAURA MARLING, Once I Was An Eagle
13. NINE INCH NAILS, Hesitation Marks
12. EMILY JANE WHITE, Blood / Lines
11. TRICKY, False Idols
10. EMINEM, The Marshall Mathers LP 2
9. SUUNS, Images Du Futur
8. CHELSEA WOLFE, Pain Is Beauty
7. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, ... Like Clockwork
6. GHOSTPOET, Some Say I So I Say Light
5. YEAH YEAH YEAHS, Mosquito
4. THEE SILVER Mt. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
3. THE BESNARD LAKES, Until In Excess Imperceptible UFO
2. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS, Push The Sky Away
1. ARCADE FIRE, Reflektor

There are many there whose positions I could switch around depending on my mood, such as NIN's - at times I find it immature and self--centered, at others its standout tracks take me back to the band's heyday. And Lorde, well, some days I can listen to it from start to finish, others I can't stand the electro-pop bullshit. Tricky could have been higher, were it not that GhostPoet made the perfect Tricky record... I almost put Moonface's Julia With Blue Jeans On on there,but I remembered I wasn't into sad piano songs this year. Also, past the dazzle and the tears, it's a shallow record.

And I really like Beyoncé's record so far, but it came out so late in the year, it's too fresh, it's unfair to compare it to the rest.

As for the songs, well that's another story. Most of the songs I listened to this year were from the past. On the other hand, I think I could manage a Top 10 where 5 of the songs are from Arcade Fire's latest...

Top 15 Songs:

15. BLOOD ON THE CURTAINS, Melted Faces (Blood On The Curtains)
14. MOZART'S SISTER, Mozart's Sister (Mozart's Sister)
13. COPY OF A, Nine Inch Nails (Hesitation Marks)
12. CAN'T HELP MYSELF, Dead Messenger (Recharger)
10. SIRENS, Pearl Jam (Lightning Bolt)
9. ROYALS, Lorde (Pure Heroine)
8. BIG SHOT, The Pack A.D. (Do Not Engage)
7. RHYME OR REASON, Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP 2)
6. FOR IT ALL NOW, Outernational (single)
5. HIGGS BOSON BLUES, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Push The Sky Away)
4. GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS (Peter Gabriel cover), Arcade Fire (And I'll Scratch Yours)
3. DESPAIR, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Mosquito)
2. HIGH ROAD, Cults (Static)
1. REFLEKTOR, Arcade Fire (with David Bowie) (Reflektor)

Honorable mention to Biting Elbow's Bad Motherfucker, surely the Video Of The Year.

And, of course, there are the utter disappointments...

Top 5 Failures:

5. JULIA HOLTER, Loud City Song
4. PEARL JAM, Lightning Bolt
3. DAFT PUNK, Random Access Memories
2. KANYE WEST, Yeesus
1. JAY-Z, Magna Carta... Holy Grail

Ok, three of these are actual disappointments, because I always expect Pearl Jam to deliver top-notch rock, and Jay-Z should have at least one monster track per record; Kanye West, well, if he were 10% as good as he thinks he is, he'd be at the list up-top. Un-huh, honey. As for Julia Holter, well, my knowledgeable friends recommended this one way too highly and it just didn't match up.

I wasn't disappointed in Daft Punk per se, seeing as I never liked them, but this fucking piece of shit of a record was overplayed and booooooooooring. I hope we Get Lucky enough that they Lose (Themselves) To Dance and never come back. Seriously, there's a reason disco ended: 4 years was enough, and there was little else to do with it - I, of course, exclude funk from disco just like I exclude Kenny G and Pat Metheny from jazz.

Also, please note I didn't include Beyoncé's record because it JUST CAME OUT and is too fresh in my mind for me to properly position. But it's good!

No comments: