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 Post subject: Album of the Year 2013
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:18 pm 
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I'm back! Well, I really never left, although I'll admit the frequency of my posts has waned over the past year or so. Regardless I feel compelled to perform my civic forum duties and create the annual "Album of the Year" post; wherein I'll ruminate over 2013's releases (and what incredible releases there were) to finalize my list of favorites. Inspired by the editors at metalsucks.com I've put together a list of my top fifteen favorite albums of the year; running the gamut from dreamy pop music to fucking massacre metal (patent pending). 2013 was quite the year for music. Oftentimes I find myself sifting through websites and my itunes library every December to find just five decent albums to slosh together into a rudimentary "best of" list, but this year I had to drop band off the list just to trim down to fifteen. So, apologies to ASG, The Safety Fire, Scale the Summit, Skeletonwitch, Watain, and any other bands that didn't make the cut; you all represent this year's honorable mentions. But enough exposition, let's get into it!

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Past Winners:

2012 : Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
2011 : The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum
2010 : The Reign of Kindo - This Is What Happens
2009 : Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect
2008 : Protest the Hero - Fortress
2007 : Between the Buried and Me - Colors
2006 : The Human Abstract - Nocturne
2005 : Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV: Volume 1 - From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness

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NOTE: I won't be embedding any youtube videos this year. Too many seem to adversely affect the load times for the page. I will provide links to either youtube, bandcamp, or wherever else I can find a full album stream when applicable.

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15. Starfucker - Miracle Mile
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Full album stream on Bandcamp


14. Shining - One One One
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Full album stream on Noisey


13. Cult of Luna - Vertikal
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Full album stream on Youtube


12. Steven Wilson - The Raven that Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)
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Full album stream on Grooveshark


11. Devin Townsend - The Retinal Circus [LIVE]
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No full album stream available. Here's the song "Kingdom" on Youtube


10. The Reign of Kindo - Play With Fire
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Full album stream on Youtube


9. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
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Full album stream on Youtube


8. Tesseract - Altered State
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Full album stream on Youtube


7. Revocation - Revocation
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Full album stream on Guitar World


6. East of the Wall - Redaction Artifacts
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Full album stream on No Clean Singing


5. Deafheaven - Sunbather
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Full album stream on Youtube


4. Anciients - Heart of Oak
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Full album stream on Terrorizer


3. The Ocean - Pelagial
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Full album stream on Youtube


2. Protest the Hero - Volition
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Full album stream on Youtube


1. Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)
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Full album stream on Youtube

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Top 3:

2. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience (complete experience)
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2. Coheed and Cambria - Descension
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3. Eminem - Marshall Mathers LP 2
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4. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
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5. Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy
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disappointments of the year:

1. Yeezus (seriously, fucking seriously)

2. Magna Carta, Holy Grail (this has one, giant, saving grace)

song of the year:

Bad Guy (just that 4 minutes of foreplay and then.....damn....)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:01 pm 
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@BubbleMan: I dunno what the hell is wrong with me, but I have listened to most of what you mentioned this year and except for The Ocean, I hated all of it. Like Shining, or Intronaut, or Deafhaven, or Revocation, or Tesseract... Maybe I'm just too much of a traditionalist? Either that or I'm starting to see a clear division between American and European tastes.

Anyway, here's my top15 (I included full albums where I found them):

15: Powerwolf - Preachers of the Night
Intentionally chees european powermetal with chugging riffs, soaring vocals, hammer monster lyrics and a twinkle in its eyes.



14: Grandexit - The Dead Justify the Means
Deathmetal with a weird, doomy undercurrent.



13: Kalmah - Seventh Swamphony
The best traditional, pure scandinavian melodic deathmetal you can get these days.



12: Surtr - Pulvis et Umbra
The legitimate heirs to the void left by the demise of Reverend Bizarre.



11: Borracho - Occulus
Light doomrock with a sunny disposition and especially great vocals.



10: Amon Amarth - Deciever of the Gods
It's Amon Amarth but it's also their best album in years.



9: Soilwork - The Living Infinite
Peter Wichers might have left for the second time but this time, they are not fucking around. Best damn output since Figure Number Five.



8: Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
Grundgy Doom from Japan with serial killer lyrics.



7: Rote Mare - The Invocation / The Kingdom
Australian doom double pack. Raw, pure and very talented.




6: Fractal Gates - Beyond the Self
Simpe, straight Deathmetal from France. Gets additional points for a balls out awesome cover of Mighty Wings.



5: Sahg - Delusions of Grandeur
Holy shit, awesome Space Rock. Not exactly the 70s doom they started out as but may Satan chocke me with his butthair if it isn't addictive.



4: The Ocean - Pelagial
Can't add anything that hasn't been said about this one.

3: Beehoover - The Devil and his Footmen
I can safely say I haven't ever heard anything like Beehoover. Drum and base but not the way you think. This duo will fuck your brain. This is like... brutal music but then again, it is not. Just listen to it.




2: Ayreon - The Theory of Everything
It's a new Ayreon album with a completely new story. It's fucking Ayreon!



1: Bad Religion - True North
Holy shit, never would I have thought that these old fucks would still have such a fast, exploding, catchy and completely awesome album in them. They had some very good albums in the Brooks Wakerman aera but not like this. This is grade A, up there with No Control and Agains the Grain material. I wept tears of joy when I first heard this.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:18 pm 
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I don't think anything new I really cared about came out this year.
Can only think of two albums I got and know I enjoyed.

Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer
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Haken - The Mountain
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The mountain had a song called Cockroach King which I instantly fell in love with.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Hmm... (I have no order for these. Maybe QOTSA for the number 1 spot)

- Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
- The Heavy - The Glorious Dead
- Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
- Mattias IA Eklundh - The Smorgasbord
- Paramore - Paramore
- Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused to Sing
- David Bowie - The Next Day
- Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:21 pm 
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QOTSA was a disappointment for me. I preferred Vista Chino's debut.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:27 pm 
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I forgot all about Hesitation Marks coming out this year. I got like half way through it (enjoyed the hell out of it) and then got distracted by podcasts.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:28 pm 
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TheGuyFromAustria wrote:
@BubbleMan: I dunno what the hell is wrong with me, but I have listened to most of what you mentioned this year and except for The Ocean, I hated all of it. Like Shining, or Intronaut, or Deafhaven, or Revocation, or Tesseract... Maybe I'm just too much of a traditionalist? Either that or I'm starting to see a clear division between American and European tastes.


Everyone has their own tastes. I've always favored metal on the more progressive end of the spectrum, which I guess is pretty evident from my list. I liked some of the releases you posted, but stuff like Powerwolf and Ayreon, while good, is still a little too cheesy for my tastes. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago it would have been a different story, but now I'm all about tight/prominent leads, odd time signatures, jazz influence, etc.

Oh, but that Kalmah album is bad ass. That shit ain't too cheesy for nobody.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Bubble Man wrote:
TheGuyFromAustria wrote:
@BubbleMan: I dunno what the hell is wrong with me, but I have listened to most of what you mentioned this year and except for The Ocean, I hated all of it. Like Shining, or Intronaut, or Deafhaven, or Revocation, or Tesseract... Maybe I'm just too much of a traditionalist? Either that or I'm starting to see a clear division between American and European tastes.


Everyone has their own tastes. I've always favored metal on the more progressive end of the spectrum, which I guess is pretty evident from my list. I liked some of the releases you posted, but stuff like Powerwolf and Ayreon, while good, is still a little too cheesy for my tastes. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago it would have been a different story, but now I'm all about tight/prominent leads, odd time signatures, jazz influence, etc.

Oh, but that Kalmah album is bad ass. That shit ain't too cheesy for nobody.


I was more surprised Coheed's Descension didn't get anywhere for you after Good Apollo was one of your favorites (Descention is probably the best they've done since GAIV to most people)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:07 am 
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Bogey wrote:
Bubble Man wrote:
TheGuyFromAustria wrote:
@BubbleMan: I dunno what the hell is wrong with me, but I have listened to most of what you mentioned this year and except for The Ocean, I hated all of it. Like Shining, or Intronaut, or Deafhaven, or Revocation, or Tesseract... Maybe I'm just too much of a traditionalist? Either that or I'm starting to see a clear division between American and European tastes.


Everyone has their own tastes. I've always favored metal on the more progressive end of the spectrum, which I guess is pretty evident from my list. I liked some of the releases you posted, but stuff like Powerwolf and Ayreon, while good, is still a little too cheesy for my tastes. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago it would have been a different story, but now I'm all about tight/prominent leads, odd time signatures, jazz influence, etc.

Oh, but that Kalmah album is bad ass. That shit ain't too cheesy for nobody.


I was more surprised Coheed's Descension didn't get anywhere for you after Good Apollo was one of your favorites (Descention is probably the best they've done since GAIV to most people)

I liked Descension (it was a huge improvement over their last two albums), but there's something about Coheed that doesn't grab me like Good Apollo (and their earlier albums) did back in 2005. They're still a great band, but I just find myself listening to different stuff nowadays. Also, I like all types of metal now, and for some reason that's where my tastes have gravitated recently. I usually tell people (and I think this is true) that all the most talented musicians in the world are playing metal right now. I guess that's what I like most of all. You know how they say some bands are "guitar player's bands"? I've been playing guitar for a decade, so I tend to think very highly of bands that put tons of effort into their writing, instrumentation, recording, mastering, production, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:42 am 
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I grant you that Powerwolf is more cheese than the entire state of Wisconsin but Ayreon? That, to me, is the purest expression of progressive Rock/Metal on an epic scale. No cheese at all.

I have been regressing in the past years, away from speed and complexity that ruled much of my late 20s to slower, more deliberate riffage, great hooks and massive low ends. So, I'm gravitating to Doom and oldschool Hardcore. I still like complexity but I don't want it to the detriment of melody. With those jazzy, mega distorted and (often) rather blackened bands... they just don't ring any emotional bells with me except annoyance. The Ocean do very right by me for example whereas Mastodon just don't fly. Or listen to the Beehoover stuff I posted above. Please, I implore you, listen to it! Words don't do those dudes justice, take 10 minutes and ingest the live video. They deserve much more attention than they are getting.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Totally forgot The Dillinger Escape Plan.

That was good.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Jonny McBane wrote:
Totally forgot The Dillinger Escape Plan.

That was good.


Man, I was so exciting to see them this summer but then the guitarist went ahead and broke his wrist or something :(

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:32 pm 
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TheGuyFromAustria wrote:
Jonny McBane wrote:
Totally forgot The Dillinger Escape Plan.

That was good.


Man, I was so exciting to see them this summer but then the guitarist went ahead and broke his wrist or something :(

What a selfish man.

Ben Weinman that is.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:48 pm 
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I saw them once a couple of years ago, was fantastic except for the mic and guitars sometimes cut out, they were apparently very upset and trashed the stage during their last song, it was great!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:03 am 
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the winner was clear:

1) Turmion Katilot - Technodiktator

they bust out a saxaphone on this track. so awesome.


and this one is a big fat layer cake of stylings.

2) Front Line Assembly - Echogenetic

this album is a lot of Bill Leeb showing off how awesome of a producer he is, but it sounds good.

EDIT: looks like Skinny Puppy also has a new one: Weapon


listening now, but it sounds worthy to put here.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:51 am 
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The only electro-industria-metal band I like has a new album out? Why didn't anybody tell me?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:08 am 
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Go Finland...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:47 am 
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TheGuyFromAustria wrote:
I grant you that Powerwolf is more cheese than the entire state of Wisconsin but Ayreon? That, to me, is the purest expression of progressive Rock/Metal on an epic scale. No cheese at all.

I have been regressing in the past years, away from speed and complexity that ruled much of my late 20s to slower, more deliberate riffage, great hooks and massive low ends. So, I'm gravitating to Doom and oldschool Hardcore. I still like complexity but I don't want it to the detriment of melody. With those jazzy, mega distorted and (often) rather blackened bands... they just don't ring any emotional bells with me except annoyance. The Ocean do very right by me for example whereas Mastodon just don't fly. Or listen to the Beehoover stuff I posted above. Please, I implore you, listen to it! Words don't do those dudes justice, take 10 minutes and ingest the live video. They deserve much more attention than they are getting.

I'll do it! (always on the hunt for new music)

Maybe I shouldn't have said Ayreon is cheesy, I dug the new album (even though I think I've only listened to it once all the way through).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Bogey wrote:
Bubble Man wrote:
TheGuyFromAustria wrote:
@BubbleMan: I dunno what the hell is wrong with me, but I have listened to most of what you mentioned this year and except for The Ocean, I hated all of it. Like Shining, or Intronaut, or Deafhaven, or Revocation, or Tesseract... Maybe I'm just too much of a traditionalist? Either that or I'm starting to see a clear division between American and European tastes.


Everyone has their own tastes. I've always favored metal on the more progressive end of the spectrum, which I guess is pretty evident from my list. I liked some of the releases you posted, but stuff like Powerwolf and Ayreon, while good, is still a little too cheesy for my tastes. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago it would have been a different story, but now I'm all about tight/prominent leads, odd time signatures, jazz influence, etc.

Oh, but that Kalmah album is bad ass. That shit ain't too cheesy for nobody.


I was more surprised Coheed's Descension didn't get anywhere for you after Good Apollo was one of your favorites (Descention is probably the best they've done since GAIV to most people)

That's hard to say. While I feel it was a bit more diverse than Ascension and captured a wider variety of sounds... I don't know if I'd say it's their best since GAIV. I always feel like I'm in the minority here, but I fucking loved Black Rainbow.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:07 am 
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Ayreon is great, but come on. Nobody can seriously claim it's not cheesy as all fuck. The first album contains a song about the "Knights of Round" in which they "Realize the Holy Grail was in their hearts all along, and slay the dragon of their dreams." It sounds like something a bunch of dads would come up with while playing D&D with each other, and I mean that in the best possible way.


Also, my list is something like

1. The Devil's Blood: III, Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars
A much more "rough" album than The Thousandfold Epicentre, the rawer sound really suits them well, and this album is a great swansong for the band. It's just sad they're going their separate ways now.



2. Chance The Rapper: Acid Rap

This took my completely by surprise. In a year where I was a tiny bit disappointed by rap (compared to 2012, where I was very impressed), I found both Wolf and Dorris a bit of a letdown. Then I listened to this free mixtape from a dude I'd only vaguely heard of, and holy shit. Probably the best rap album of the year, maybe my favorite album of the year in general.




3. Tesla Boy: The Universe Made of Darkness:

I don't know what to say about these guys apart from that they're incredible, super corny 80s synth-rock goodness. Some of their stuff sounds like what I think a lot of people wish Daft Punk's new album had been (I personally liked Random Access Memory, but didn't love it), and some sounds like straight up Billy Idol. Might be your cup of tea, might not, but I dig it.





That's about it from me. Some special note does go to Wolf and Dorris, which both had a number of tracks I did really like, but weren't quite as good as what I'd come to expect from Tyler and Earl. The new Jess and the Ancient Ones EP was pretty great as well, but also was a very short EP (as EPs tend to be) and left me wanting WAY more. And the new Gambino is pretty great, but it just came out, and I'd feel weird calling it one of the best albums of the year without giving it a bit more time.



Honestly most of the music I listened to this year wasn't new music, it was stuff from a few years ago that I was just finding out about, so I'm a bit out of the loop, but that's the shit I definitely enjoyed from this year.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:41 am 
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@Morte, Re: Ayreon

Look, nobody denies that Mr. Lucassen startet out with a whiff of gouda but I think he left it all behind. (Mostly, there's still Star One for SciFi cheese goodness).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:32 pm 
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It was a really odd year for my musical tastes. Almost no good hip hop as far as I'm concerned, and I don't really give a shit about rock/metal/whatever anymore. i forgot that Coheed and Cambria and Starfucker put out new albums this year, so I'll probably retrofit those into my list somewhere.

Honorable mentions, just to get my list up from 8 to 10 albums:
10) Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines. The song, not the album. I dug the song, but man oh man the rest of that album sucks.
9) Super Mario 3D World OST. Not sure if it should count for a list like this, but I tend to listen to a lot of video game music, and will listen to this like crazy once I get the official CD from Club Nintendo.

8 ) Art Vandelay - Eye 8 The Crow.
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This one makes the list pretty much because of one song that is centered around a Mars Volta sample.

7) Wax Idols - Discipline & Desire.
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Some kinda weird punkish duo from San Fran, reminded me of some 80's type stuff. I dug it.

6) Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City.
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Just heard this one a few weeks ago, enjoyed it very much.

5) Capital Cities - In a Tidal Wave of Mystery.
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You probably heard Safe and Sound, but there are several other very good pop songs on this album. It's good shit.

4) Water Liars - Wyoming.
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Pretty good singing, countryish stuff. This was the first song i heard, and the rest of the album turned out to be pretty great, too.

3) !!! - Thr!!!er.
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Great fucking dance music. This is my fucking jam.

2) Phoenix - Bankrupt!
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I can't really pick a song to say much about, it's just a solid album. Listen to this and then immediately press play on this for proper album effect.

1) Daft Punk - Random Access Memories.
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I never really listened to much Daft Punk before this album, which, according to my brother is probably why i liked the album so much. I recognize that it might not be anyone's favorite, but I think I listened to it more than anything else this year. it's a pretty great album to listen to straight through, but the highlights are definitely Fragments of Time, Lose Yourself to Dance, Touch, Get Lucky, and Give Life Back to Music

So yeah, here's hoping 2014 gives me some decent hip hop.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:54 am 
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That Capital Cities cover artework is just awesome.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:19 am 
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Sir Stank a Lot wrote:
So yeah, here's hoping 2014 gives me some decent hip hop.


Childish Gambino just released "Because the Internet" last week. It's a bit different. It's very Royalty with a lot more Camp lyrics. I'd throw it more on the slightly "downer" side when it comes to lyrics. It's good and somewhat experimental, but damn if you're not left after a few songs going "fuck...he really doesn't like himself/his situation". I'd probably call it a more controlled version of Kanye's Yeezus this year. There was a vision, the album stylistically comes together well, and feels planned out. It doesn't come off like a huge clusterfuck that has hints of something really great. (I have a few problems with Yeezus)

Atmosphere released their single Bob Seger. I really liked it. That was in August or so. I'm surprised the album hasn't come out. As they drift further into storytelling (When Life Gives You Lemons, Family Sign) and you listen to Slug go into an older age I'm really enjoying it quite a bit. The old stuff is still good, but I like the live band, old school feel of story-telling.

I'd assume Blueprint will probably (hopefully?) drop something this year after Adventures in Counter-Culture from a few years ago was so damn good.

Marshall Mathers LP 2 (if you take away Kendrick Lamar's guest spot and "Stronger than I was") was a hell of an album to have fall at the end of the year.

I think two of the biggest problems were Magna Carta...Holy Grail was a slight letdown (outside of Timberlake and Jay-Z's amazing song Holy Grail) and Yeezus was just so fucking scattered and random it felt like Kanye finally went Lucas with no one telling him "no" and the thing just fell off the wheels (although New Slaves is pretty fucking great, and Bound 2 feels like it was from an earlier cut of Yeezus before he tinkered so hard).

Granted, MC Frontalot probably is pulling something out next year too, and that guy has become a really dependable MC for dropping an album I really want to hear. With the current state of rap I am far less embarrassed to talk about him than I was when I heard "Nerdcore Rising" (also, I'm older and like what I like without caring if people think I'm cool).

GZA has his album about astro-physics coming out at some point. I know it was suppose to be the end of the year this year, but it looks like first quarter next year. I'm really interested in a hip-hop album about astro-physics by GZA that is being fact checked and helped by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Also, maybe Graydon Square throws something out?

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