For my last Music Monday of 2013, I thought I’d do something different. Lots of music publications have been sharing their “End Of The Year” lists over the past couple of weeks, so I put together my own top 10 albums, limiting myself to albums I actually (physically) own.
Thus, in no particular order, here are my top 10 releases of 2013 (including my favourite song from each – sorry that I’ve used some of these songs in past Music Monday posts):
1) Save Rock & Roll – Fall Out Boy
When FOB announced their return after a 4 year hiatus, my heart (and Twitter feed) exploded with excitement. Save Rock & Roll is a fantastic album that combines classic FOB with their newer, somewhat more mature outlook on life and music in general.
2) Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die – Panic! at the Disco
P!ATD can do no wrong in my book, and their 4th album continues their trend of always surprising their fans by never sticking to one sole genre and experimenting with different musical elements. They’re still as charming as ever, though!
3) Forever Halloween – The Maine
A little more mature, a little more rock & roll than their previous efforts, The Maine never fails to delight me. Plus the amount of time and effort they spend on making new music for their fans is incredible: 2013 also saw the release of their “Imaginary Numbers” EP, approximately 6 months after their full length album dropped.
4) Sempiternal – Bring Me The Horizon
One of the more recent bands for me (I’ve been listening to them for about a year and a half, maybe less), this album allowed singer/screamer Oli Sykes a chance to use clean vocals (whereas before it was all screaming all the time), and it made them more accessible to people who aren’t necessarily metal fans.
5) Battle Scars – Paradise Fears
I love these guys and they consistently put out great songs, whether it’s a cover of a current pop hit, or something as deep and meaningful as this album’s title track, “Battle Scars”.
6) Legendary – The Summer Set
This third album from the Arizona quintet features songs that combine fun danceable jams with slightly more serious undertones – for example, the title track, “Legendary”, which touches on the idea of growing up and also references “How I Met Your Mother”.
7) Burnout – Anarbor
Seeing Anarbor at Warped this past summer made me realize that a) their singer, Slade, got a lot better looking and b) (on a less superficial note) they may have disappeared for a while between albums, but they’re still as fun and refreshing as ever.
8) Old Souls – Deaf Havana
Though it technically won’t be released in North America until mid-January (I picked up a copy in London at the beginning of December), this album continues Deaf Havana’s shift from semi-screamy to alternative-but-still-catchy-as-heck.
9) Genuine & Counterfeit – William Beckett
I love anything WB touches and his first full length solo album is no exception.
10) Wild & Free – A Rocket to the Moon
As sad as it was to see ARTTM split up shortly after the release of their long-awaited sophomore album, they went out with a bang!
HonourROble mentions (aka albums that my sister Ro owns):
1) Opposites – Biffy Clyro
Their SIXTH album helped solidify them as a certifiable rock band and one that everyone needs to see at some point because their live shows are crazy-energetic.
2) Bad Blood – Bastille
So catchy, so fun, so good to see live. These guys are talented and I hope we see more of them in 2014 and beyond.
3) The 1975 – The 1975
Ditto. (though for some reason, these guys get more recognition than Bastille, even though they probably fall into the same genre).
BONUS BESTS OF 2013:
EP: The Pop Underground – Andrew McMahon
Remember when I said I love everything William Beckett touches? The same goes for Andrew McMahon, including his first solo EP. I’m pretty sure I listened to “Synesthesia” on repeat for over an hour when it first came out.
Re-Release: Don’t Panic, It’s Longer Now – All Time Low
Just when I thought 2012’s “Don’t Panic” couldn’t get any better, ATL re-released it and included 4 new songs, as well as 4 acoustic tracks. I had a hard time picking between “A Love Like War” and “Canals” as my favourite new song, but I absolutely adore this video (if I was making a list of favourite videos, this would probably be numero uno).
Plus, I didn’t even consider Mayday Parade’s Monsters in the Closet because I’ve only listened to a handful of songs. And just this past weekend, I bought Pierce the Veil’s Collide With the Sky and The Wonder Years’ The Greatest Generation, but they both need another 2-3 listens before I can pass judgement.
Here’s hoping 2014 brings even more fantastic albums!