1.16.2014

Best of 2013: 21 - 40


After reviewing 50 albums and adding the findings into a spreadsheet with some fairly complex formulas, I'll provide the top 40. In reviewing the albums that fell in the 40 - 21 slots, it seems that most albums fell into one of two categories:
Category 1 - A few great tracks, a few terrible tracks.
Category 2 - Some good tracks, but evenly, consistently ok through the album.

So, here they are!

40. Major Lazer Free the Universe
"Bubble Butt" is an infectious, crass and fun song. Just don't watch the video.
Standout Tracks: Bubble Butt

39. Phoenix Bankrupt! 
This album was pretty disappointing. I expected a lot.
Standout Tracks: Entertainment

38. Mogwai Les Revenants 
Standout Tracks: Special N, Wizard Motor

37. Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt 
Standout Tracks: Sirens, Infallible

36. Yo La Tengo Fade 
I wanted to love this album. 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out was so great. I really wanted this one to workout. There were some songs on this record that I connected with, but there were also quite a few tracks that I was not a fan of. So, 36.
Standout Tracks: Paddle Forward, Well You Better, Cornelia and Jane, Child of the Valley

35. Godspeed You! Black Emperor Allelujah! Dont... 
Standout Tracks: Mladic, We Drift Like Worried Fire

34. Waxahatchee Cerulean Salt 
Standout Tracks: Brother Bryan, Blue Pt. II

33. British Sea Power Machineries of Joy 
Standout Tracks: Monsters of Sunderland

32. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. The Speed of Things 
Standout Tracks: Dark Water, Knock Louder

31. Forest Swords Engravings 
Really interesting, minimalist, noise-scaping. Because it can be really sparse and arhythmic, it is almost unlistenable as an entire album, but there are a few tracks that come on that are still really interesting to listen to:
Standout Tracks: Gathering, Onward

30. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 
Initially, I didn't like "Suit and Tie", but it totally grows on you. "Mirrors" was the wedding dance song for my friends, it was a pretty incredible moment, is pretty great, and "Tunnel Vision" is a pretty legit jam.

29. Hayden Us Alone 
Best known for "Bad as They Seem" off of 1995's Everything I Long For, I was interested to check out his work 18 years on. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Standout Tracks: Blurry Nights, Instructions

28. Laura Mvula Sing to the Moon 
For many of the songs on this album, I feel like you have to be in a specific mood to get into Laura Mvula. One track, though, "She" stands completely on it's own and is an amazing song that I keep circling back to.
Standout Tracks: She, Can't Live With the World, I Don't Know What the Weather Will Be

27. A$AP Rocky LONG.LIVE.A$AP 
This album had some great, great singles that have been in heavy rotation (I'm lookin' at you "F**kin Problems"). It is crass and rough, filled with hooks and awesome. That being said, there were a few really rough spots that dropped it in the rankings.
Standout Tracks: F**kin' Problems, Wild for the Night, 1Train, Goldie
Note: This song and video are NSFW

26. Polica Shulamith 
Go hometown music!
Standout Tracks: I Need $, Chain My Name, Tiff

25. Cold War Kids Dear Miss Lonelyhearts 
Standout Tracks: Miracle Mile, Jailbirds

24. Fuck Buttons Slow Focus 
Noisecore to the core.
Standout Tracks: Sentients, Brainfreeze

23. Icona Pop This is... Icona Pop 
Aside from their, "I love it" single, which I thought was just ok, this album had some really great tracks.
Standout Tracks: Girlfriend, Light Me Up, Hold On

22. Jay-Z Magna Carta... Holy Grail 
Traditionally, I haven't been as big of a Jay-Z fan as I have of Jaydiohead. So, I was pleasantly surprised by several of the tracks on this album.
Standout Tracks: Heaven, Holy Grail, F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit, Nickels and Dimes, Crown


21. Foals Holy Fire
Standout Tracks: Prelude, Inhaler, Bad Habit, Moon

Stay tuned for 20 - 11 and 10 - 1!

11:45 PM