Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Albums I Bought in Brief:

I bought a bunch of albums this year. A whole bunch in a binge in the last month or so. I like lists of things. Occasionally I am snarky, though its not a lifestyle choice. There was a lot good music this year, and a lot of crappy music as well. These are just some quick opinions. You have the right to disagree. You have the right to think I'm wrong. But anyone who assigns too much importance to them really needs to get out more.
A bunch of these albums are also not stuff that was actually released this year, just stuff I wanted to own (hence a slew of early punk albums). It also does not include stuff I re-purchased when I lost my iPod or stuff I got for free from other people (Which is a whole other list, though for the record you should all get Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel...(long ass name):

2013 Albums I Bought in Brief:

Kanye West: Yeezus – As crazy as everyone says it is, and not nearly as good.
Janelle Monae: Electric Lady – Not as weird as you hope it is, but nearly as good as you hope it would be.
Lorde: Pure Herione – Way better than it has any business being for an album by a 16-year-old, which is exactly what everyone said.
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories – Just as good as everyone said, though I think Nile Rogers deserves like 85% of the credit.
Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg – Like listening to something from Bob Dylan’s back catalog, in a good way. This would be really high praise if not for the fact I’m not a religious Dylan fan.
The Pacific Rim Soundtrack – If not for the kind of lame song at the end, a pretty cool score. I loved this movie and I am a nerd and you shut your mouth.
Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power – Do I really need to explain or review this. Do you like punk? Listen to this album.
The Velvet Underground : The Very Best of the Velvet Underground – Kind of a Ditto here, but also some folky Lou Reed goodness in there for good measure.
Wavves: Afraid of Heights – Like something from the mid-nineties, like Nirvana. Except, you know, without Kurt’s growl, and all the punk-influenced dirtiness that actually made it interesting. Speaking of which...
Nirvana: In Utero 20th Anniversary – The first part of this is just as good as you remember it to be. The second has some interesting alternate takes and demos/instrumentals of songs from a production standpoint but don't really add anything in my opinion to the effect of the original release. I am also not a Nirvana cultist music-wise so maybe I'm not the core audience for this.
Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt – Is it as good as their old albums? No. Is it reminiscent of Eddie Veddie's solo efforts? Yes. Is it still a really good album? You betcha.
Best Coast: Fade Away – Everyone said this was a great kind of poppy So-Cal, beach kind of music. Considering what I usually do when I’m on the beach is leave, find a shady spot and take a nap, they were right, that’s exactly what this album makes me want to do.
Atoms for Peace: Amok – Such high expectations, such low payout. When will I learn? Maybe I just need to give it a few re-listens, but still. A lot of the recent Radiohead stuff makes me feel the same way. A big ole "meh".
Queens of the Stone Age: …Like Clockwork - Makes me feel like pounding whiskey, driving into the desert in a Cadillac and cooking some meth. So in other words: the perfect soundtrack to watch an episode of Breaking Bad on mute to.
Kyuss: Big Sky – Pretty much the same deal here.
Arcade Fire: Reflektor – Like all of Arcade Fire's albums in my opinion: really interesting and/or brilliant arrangements and musical choices. Really interesting lyrical content. Very little that grabs me in any primal emotional way.
The Lumineers: The Lumineers – Yeah it’s just as good and cheery and sad as you hoped it would be. Wish I had bought it at the beginning of the summer and not the end though.
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City – The album that makes you want to punch everyone close to thirty, hipsters, and lead singer Ezra Koening in the face.  I tried okay, I really did, but I still don't like this band.
Avett Brothers: I and Love and You – Not as good as I had hoped it would be. Somewhere between Mumford and Sons and Lumineers but not as good as either.
Churches: The Bones of What You Believe –This album was a bunch of things that musically I have no interest in. Catchy dance-pop, ugh. I should have known when the single was available free from Starbucks. Why did I buy it? Because it was $3.99, and I'm willing to take a risk on something I might not be into for $4.
Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d city -A lot like Dr.Dre's early stuff, and inasmuch he does a guest spot on the album, but there's a sense of self-awareness and introspection that was missing from Dre's stuff. Its really for this reason that it also has the distinction of being just about realest hip-hop album that has came out in a while.
Hans Zimmer: Man of Steel Original Movie Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition) - I like soundtracks. This happened to be one that was actually better than the movie itself. Go figure.
Black Flag: Damaged, Adolescents: Adolescents - Let's just go ahead and group these up with that Iggy and the Stooges album up there shall we?
The Germs: M.I.A: The Complete Germs, X: Los Angeles: Really variable quality here, but if you know anything about these two bands, that kind of makes a lot of sense.
The National: Trouble Will Find Me - Just as sad and morose as you expect it to be, but with some bright moments. Some of the songs will have a tendency to sit on your chest and weigh you down, but in a good way.

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