Albums of the Year 2013: 10 – 6

A fantastic year for music; probably the best since I started doing these annual roundups. My favourite album last year was very good, but probably wouldn’t have cracked 2013’s top 5. My ten albums of the year today and tomorrow, then my top 20 tracks to take us up to 2014. Usual caveats: it’s my view alone, and I haven’t even come close to hearing everything I’d like to because of all this TV I keep watching.

Near misses this year: ‘The Civil Wars’ by The Civil Wars, ‘Settle’ by Disclosure, ‘Days Are Gone’ by Haim, ‘We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic’ by Foxygen, ‘Cerulean Salt’ by Waxahatchee, ‘Yeezus’ by Kanye West, ‘Dream River’ by Bill Callahan, ‘Rewind The Film’ by Manic Street Preachers, ‘…Like Clockwork’ by Queens Of The Stone Age, ‘Cupid Deluxe’ by Blood Orange, and the particularly unlucky ‘AM’ by Arctic Monkeys, which was in the top 10 until a couple of weeks ago, when the world’s biggest female star unexpectedly reclaimed her throne.

10 Phosphorescent, ‘Muchacho’

9 Prefab Sprout, ‘Crimson/Red’

8 Kacey Musgraves, ‘Same Trailer Different Park’

7 The National, ‘Trouble Will Find Me’

6 Beyoncé, ‘BEYONCÉ’






20 thoughts on “Albums of the Year 2013: 10 – 6

  1. Ace_Of_Wands December 28, 2013 / 2:10 pm

    Prefab Sprout? Is it 1985 already? 😉

  2. Jed Bartlet December 28, 2013 / 3:59 pm

    It’s really good, Ace, but I can’t honestly claim it represents much of a departure. So if you liked them in 1985, there’s every chance you’d like this.

    • Ace_Of_Wands December 28, 2013 / 6:16 pm

      Are you reviewing or just listing? I’ll give Phosphorescent and Kacey Musgraves a listen, and see what 5 – 1 brings. Hotdog, jumping frog, Alburquerque…

  3. Ace_Of_Wands December 30, 2013 / 10:36 am

    You’ve managed to remind me of ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ by The National. I was carried to Ohio, in a swarm of bees. Which was nice.

  4. Jed Bartlet December 30, 2013 / 7:55 pm

    The National are astoundingly consistent. My personal favourite from that album is ‘Anyone’s Ghost’. (And my favourite indie American band song about bees is probably Wilco’s ‘Muzzle of Bees’)

  5. worldofnick December 31, 2013 / 10:38 am

    If you like Kacey Musgraves you should try Brandy Clark ’12 Stories’.

    • Ace_Of_Wands January 1, 2014 / 7:31 pm

      worldofnick that’s a bit ‘too’ country for my taste, fella.

      • worldofnick January 1, 2014 / 11:09 pm

        Haha.. give the country a chance! You’ll be wearing cowboy boots and a stetson before you know it…

    • Jed Bartlet January 7, 2014 / 6:52 pm

      If you’re out there, worldofnick, have now been able to listen to ’12 Stories’ a couple of times. Very good indeed, and once again the sort of album which I would have rejected without listening to it a couple of years ago.

      • worldofnick January 9, 2014 / 6:26 pm

        Awesome. A convert. I know what you mean though I too was very Country prejudice but a couple of compilations on Soul jazz called ‘Country Soul Sisters ‘ changed my mind.

  6. Jed Bartlet December 31, 2013 / 11:13 am

    Thanks, worldofnick, I will. Country music has always been a blind spot of mine, but having been pointed towards the Kacey Musgraves album this year, and having enjoyed quite a lot of the music in Nashville, I’ve started to wonder what else I’ve been missing out on.

    I like The Civil Wars as well, but I’m aware that they’re not hardcore enough for some proper country fans…

    • Ace_Of_Wands December 31, 2013 / 11:54 am

      I like The Civil Wars as a brilliant vocal combination, but they’ve split haven’t they? Joy is sexy as hell.

  7. Jed Bartlet December 31, 2013 / 12:27 pm

    Officially they’re on hiatus, Ace, but I’m not sure that anyone’s expecting them to get back together.

    As for the reasons: as CJ knows I could speculate, but no-one’s saying anything. *squees quietly*

    • Ace_Of_Wands December 31, 2013 / 1:22 pm

      Are you suggesting that ‘The One That Got Away’ is very autobiographical? ;-). Poison and Wine is just brilliant, and always reminded me of Roy Orbison.

  8. Ace_Of_Wands December 31, 2013 / 1:31 pm

    I’ve now gone bluegrass, and I’m playing ‘I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow’ by The Soggy Bottom Boys. I blame you. *struts and links arms*

  9. Jed Bartlet December 31, 2013 / 9:34 pm

    Not only completely and 100% non-autobiographical, Ace, but in my top 5 of the year…

  10. Jed Bartlet January 27, 2014 / 5:08 pm

    I’d probably be in a better position to say it was fully merited had I any familiarity with the other nominees. (Well, I’ve heard a few tracks from the Taylor Swift album, which is fine, but plainly isn’t country.) But it’s a great album.

    Kacey also won Best Country Song for ‘Merry Go ‘Round’, which made my top 20.

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