I listen to music almost all day long. I almost can’t work unless I have headphones in. And this year the combo of Pandora plus Amazon MP3 turned out to be a pretty epic combo for discovering and purchasing music. I ended up purchasing close to 60 albums this year. (Why I still feel the need to purchase music is beyond me, but I do.)
I had a really hard time coming up with a top 10 list for the year because while While I bought close to 60 albums this year, most of it was back catalogue stuff of bands that I discovered thanks to Pandora recommendations or repurchasing some albums digitally that got lost through the different years of format transitions.
But of the 2013 releases, in no particular order, here’s my top 10 list:
1 - Phoenix, Bankrupt Next to M83, Phoenix is my favorite French band. Of course I think these are the only two french bands I like.
2 - Cumulus, I Never Meant It To Be Like This A brilliant little Seattle band that’s just getting started. They have a very refreshing sound, you should check them out.
3 - AFI, Burials A late 2013 release I almost missed this one if it hadn’t been for my daughter. The beginning and end of the album feels a lot like their last few albums but the middle of the album, particularly Heart Stops and Rewind, is especially fun.
4 - Atoms For Peace, Amok A Thome York side project that shouldn’t be missed.
5 - White Lies, BIG TV Good British rock, not pop. Solid album.
6 - Sleigh Bells, Bitter Rivals A guilty pleasure of mine. I’m just a sucker for 2 person guy/girl bands from NY (see also Matt and Kim and Phantogram).
7 - Bloc Party, The Nextwave Sessions I love this band and when I heard they had unexpectedly released a 5 song EP, I got really excited until I heard that they had also announced they were going on indefinite hiatus. I hope this album wasn’t just breakup sex. Either way it’s really good.
8 - Steve Jablonsky, Ender’s Game This year was a big year for me getting into soundtracks. I’d always liked writing to Hans Zimmer soundtracks but I specifically remember sitting in the theater watching Ender’s Game and thinking how great the bass line in some of the scenes were and then buying the album as soon as I got home. It doesn’t disappoint.
9 - Hans Zimmer, The Lone Ranger For a while now I’ve felt like movie soundtracks are the new classical music. And if that’s the case, Zimmer is like the Mozart of movie soundtracks. A very commercialized Mozart but still. Zimmer puts out about 4-6 soundtracks a year and usually one 2 of them are really good, but even among those this one is really good. Probably my favorite of his yet. Man of Steel which he also did, was good, but this was better IMO.
10 - Michael Giacchino, Star Trek Into Darkness Giacchino usually does big popcorn movies like Transformers, but this was another movie I remember thinking how good the soundtrack was. Not as complex as the previous 2 I mentioned but makes for really good writing music.
What did I miss? What were some of your top albums?