Best of 2013: Albums

Everyone is doing their own top 10 album of the year and to be honest most of them are pretty similar. Instead of doing the same thing, I’m gonna do my own top 10 of album that I personally really enjoy this year. I’m gonna overlook genres since this is my personal chart and I personally love any music. So, without further a do, here are my top 10.

Honorable Mention:

The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars

Loadstar – Future Perfect

Om Unit – Threads

DJ Rashad – Double Cup

Rudimental – Home

10. John Newman – Tribute

NewmanI first discovered John Newman from Rudimental’s single ‘Not Giving In’. His voice have such strong character that from that point on, I kept my ears open for his next  work. His debut album ‘Tribute” joined strings of 60’s revival in the style similar to the like of the late Amy Winehouse. Once again, The UK continues to produce outstanding talents by taking their own spin on classic American R&B. Outstanding tracks include ‘Cheating’ and ‘Love Me Again’

9. Danny Brown – Old

dannyAmerican rapper Danny Brown’s 3rd album ‘Old’ gain its much needed attention because it was released on A-Trak’s ultra hip label Fool’s Gold. But let’s not take away the fact that this 3rd album is good with his sick lyrical delivery that talks about anything from the street of Detroit to drug dealing without ever glorifying it.

8. Yuna – Nocturnal

yuna‘Nocturnal’ is the debut album from Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna. Her breath taking vocal combined with melodic pop that veered towards electronica in ‘Someone Who Can’ might get her compared to Jess Mills or Jessie Ware. Nonetheless,  Nocturnal manage to balance commercial sound and cool factor without getting to pretentious.

7. Avicii – True

Untitled 2I must say I was impressed when I first heard Avicii’s lead single for this album ‘Wake Me Up’. In the oceans of sameness that comes out from the EDM scene, here’s someone who were willing to take a chance. It tooks balls to combine a Mumford & Sons country folk with EDM and the result was something entirely fresh and refreshing. Other notable tunes in this album include ‘You Make Me’ & ‘Hey Brother’.

6. Yacko – The Experiment

Untitled 3 The Experiment is Indonesian rapper Yacko’s 3rd album. This album has been listed in many best of 2013 list in Indonesian media. Working with various producers from Indonesian EDM scene, Yacko has delivered her finest album to date. Drawing influence from wide range of styles such  Drum & Bass, Trap, Juke, Moombahton, Electro and many more and her ferocious rhyme, the aptly titled ‘The Experiment’ delivered one of the most unique hiphop – electronica crossover album.

5. Camo & Krooked – ZeitgeistUntitled

The Austrian duo Camo & Krooked delivered one of the most underrated album this year. The buzz around this time is that drum & bass is making a comeback and slowly becoming cool again and these guys definitely helped that cause. This album shows exactly why drum & bass continue to stay relevant today despite constant assault from EDM. It’s uncanny ability to adapt to any style of music doesn’t get more obvious than this album. I’ll go as far to say that here’s a Daft Punk sounding drum & bass and they sound good. At this rate, drum & bass might possibly reclaim its glory days again.

4. Special Request – Soul Music

Untitled 2So here’s another new mutant genre coming by the way of UK. They call it New Jungle and its actually quiet refreshing. When drum & bass nowaday is all about programmed 2 step drums, nu jungle brings back the old skool amen breaks and slowed down the tempo, bringing the music closer to its roots.  Just listen to tracks like ‘Undead’ and ‘Lockjaw’ and you’ll understand what I meant.

3. Swindle – Long Live The Jazz

UntitledDubstep might be permanently ruined, thanks to Skrillex and the likes. Honestly, though proper dubstep are still happening and artists like Swindle make sure that true dubstep is still alive , kicking and here to stay. Swindles’ Long Live The Jazz brilliantly combined jazz and soul samples with grooving subbass. None of that bro stuff here and heck, this album reminds me why dubstep was so exciting at one point.

2. Disclosure – Settle

Untitled 2Just like fashion, music trend is also going in cycle. roughly a decade ago UK Garage was the hot things with the likes of Artful Dodger and MJ Cole. Nowaday, MJ Cole is still relevant but the baton has been passed to the pair of sibling that makes up Disclosure as the ambassador of UK Garage. There were so much hype building up to this album that I was afraid the weight of expectation would crushed it. Fortunately, solid numbers of tunes such as ‘F For You’, ‘You And Me’ and the now classic ‘White Noise’  are strong enough, to make this one of the most pleasure to listen to in 2013.

1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Untitled 3In term of hype and anticipation, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories would be one of the most eagerly awaited album of 2013. When the album dropped, the initial review was underwhelming. It was not what people expect. Instead of delivering a dance floor centric album, Daft Punk opted to release a disco album. It might not be what people expected but nonetheless, it was a brilliant album. Collaboration with Pharrell Williams in tracks such as ‘Loose Your Self To Dance’ and last summer’s anthem ‘Get Lucky’ brings back the time when people were dancing with a partner instead of by them selves. Working with legendary disco producers from the 70’s such as Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers help brings that authentic disco sound even more. Then my personal favorite, the Fleetwood Mac tinged ‘Fragment of Time’ completed this nostalgic trip to the 70’s. This album might makes no sense whatsoever for today’s generation of EDM lover but it was one hell of a blast to listen to.

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