January 6, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Blues, Classic Pop, Classic Rock, Dream Pop, Electrofunk, Electronic, Electropop, Free downloads, Funk, Hip Hop, Industrial, Jazz, Metal, New Wave, Pop, R&B, Rap, Rock, Soul, Top 2013, Tribal, Tribal Pop, Tribal Rock, Trip Hop, Uncategorized
Cage The Elephant – Melophobia
RIYL: The Stone Roses, Weezer
Melophobia is everything Arctic Monkeys’ AM shoulda-coulda-woulda been if them Monkeys weren’t too busy ripping off the rock gods to notice that they were ripping off the rock gods, but I digress. If you didn’t like Cage The Elephant the first time around you may not get your mind changed just yet; but let’s get real here: “Take It Or Leave It” alone could possibly surpass The Strokes’ “Take It Or Leave It,” (which is saying a lot coming from us).
Frankie Rose – Herein Wild
RIYL: Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, Joy Division
Frankie is one of those rare artists who never fails to disappointment no matter what album or project she’s working on. Her sound is unique yet reliable and familiar, and technically it’s no different than her 2012 album Interstellar, but anything remotely similar to that kind of awesomeness is bound to be mindblowing.
Beyoncé - Beyoncé
RIYL: Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige
It shocked the shade out of us when we found out that Beyoncé released a new visual album with zero promo or teasers beforehand at all, and honestly…it’s pure genius! With all the Artpop/shit/Random Access Memories album promos being shoved down our throats all year, this album is proof that
Jay-Z’s wife The Big B. doesn’t even need all that Artpop-like hoopla thankyouverymuch.
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
RIYL: Prince, Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson
We can all collectively sigh in relief now that Trent Reznor put How To Destroy Angels_ on the backburner to work on some fresh, new NIN. (Okay well maybe his side project wasn’t that bad, but nothing beats new NIN, especially new/good NIN).
White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade
RIYL: The Black Keys, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes
White Denim sounds so much like the The Raconteurs we can’t help but wonder if Jack White is being all sneaky-sneaky on us (as always) and releasing music under a secretive name (sometimes not always). The album is kind of all over the place – almost jazz-like, but mixing that together with a blues/rock foundation makes the album stand out for the rest of the blues/rock releases of the past year.
To read our review of White Denim’s “Pretty Green” click here.
Camera Obscura – Desire Lines
RIYL: Stars, The xx
Camera Obscura have earned a massive, massive following over the years, (similar to that of their Canadian twinsies Stars), and this album certainly helped catapult their cult-like fame even more. The album is packed full of happy, feel-good-lucky tunes that warmed our cold Canadian hearts, and for that reason alone deserves recognition in itself.
Jagwar Ma – Howlin’
RIYL: Kasabian, Django Django, Beta Band
“Come Save Me” was the first track to break our Jagwar Ma cherry, and we became so obsessed with the tune we thought we’d give the rest of the album a listen…and are we ever glad we did. There are a couple of poppish songs similar to the leading track (like “That Loneliness”) but there’s also a few experimental, tribal tracks hidden in the mix as well (e.g. “What Love” and “The Throw”).
Elvis Costello And The Roots – Wise Up Ghost
Costello has been collaborating with The Roots AKA Jimmy Fallon’s “backing band” for quite some time, but working together for a new Costello record brought the art of genius collaborations to a whole new level. Without The Roots, Wise Up Ghost could have easily been another snore-inducing adult contemporary album we’ve been hearing all too much of from Costello as of late, but throw a little ?uestlove funk into the mix and you’ve got yourself a winner.
MGMT – MGMT
RIYL: of Montreal, The Flaming Lips, Empire Of The Sun
We were half expecting MGMT to go down in a fiery, 2004 neon-lit haze, and although a lot of people seem to be on the fence about it we were actually surprised at how much we enjoyed the record. It doesn’t sway too much away from MGMT’s usual electropop formula, but we have to give credit where credit is due: They haven’t lost their neon touch.
To read our review of MGMT’s “Alien Days” click here.
Deafheaven – Sunbather
RIYL: Ash Borer, Vaura Metal
Don’t be fooled by its pinkish exterior, because Sunbather was hands-down one of the most badass metal releases of the year, and its tracks have been circulating around the music blogverse ever since it was released back in June. Oh and PS you can download their single “Dream House” for free in the player below.
Paul McCartney – NEW
RIYL: The Wings, The Beatles, Mark Ronson
Sure, Sir Paul may or may not have used five young producers as a crutch for this record (OK, he totally did) but it was a total genius move on his part. Some tracks were a little ho-hum, but other tracks like “On My Way To Work” and “Alligator” prove that Paul has still got what it takes, and will hopefully remind this younger generation who the real genius was behind Sgt. Pepper’s.
Cults – Static
RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Beach House
It seemed like everywhere we turned Cults’ glittery GIF album cover was shimmering back at us, and because we easily get mesmerized by SPARKLES!! we eventually gave into the hoopla and checked this album out. The release is clearly 2013′s answer to Beach House’s Bloom, and although the high-pitched vocals can be hard to stomach, if you can put up with Grimes for three minutes you can put up with anything.
Kanye West – Yeezus
RIYL: Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Timbaland
Profound hatred and annoyances aside, there’s no denying Yeezus‘ place on any end-of-year list. In a typical “FUCK YOU” move on Kanye’s behalf, the album was recorded in Paris and shockingly starts off with some Eurostyle electronic drones; and as much as we like to make fun of the guy for all the vomit that pour out of his mouth, “hurry up with my damn croissants” is the new “It’s Britney, bitch.”
London Grammar – If You Wait
RIYL: Florence and the Machine, The xx
London Grammar is one of those bands that immediately grab your attention as soon as you hear them, and 2013 just wouldn’t have been complete without Hannah Reid’s deep, booming voice groaning in the distance. Just listening to the album will make you feel as if you’re falling down a well of sadness, darkness and depression…so yeah…it’s a great listen!
To read our review on London Grammar’s “Strong” music video click here.
Volcano Choir – Repave
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Tom Waits
We could care less about the hipster stamp Bon Iver has been getting, because Volcano Choir is no Bon Iver (OK well maybe a little bit thanks to Justin Vernon…but anyways). Repave has helped Volcano Choir become a band that is best listened to by album instead of by individual song, and we have to give credit to an exquisitely-crafted experimental record that made us feel as if we were being transported to another planet.
To read our review of the “Byegone” music video click here.