Posted by Demoskinos (13853 posts) -

Hello, and Meeeeery Christmas! Got a few minutes on my hands here so I figured I'd type up a quick blog. 2013 had a ton of good music in it personally these days I tend to swing to the Pop/Hip-Hop end of the spectrum. And there was a ton of good music in both.

5. Taylor Swift - RED

Taylor is considered by a lot of people to be one of the best lyricists in pop music these days. And it shows she had a number of amazing singles on the radio this year from "We are never getting back together" to "22" and "I knew you were trouble" one of the songs that I was depressed that didn't make it on air was the track the album was named after "Red" she really shows off her chops here using multiple clever similes to express her joy and sorrow of her relationship with whoever the song was written about. She is also consistently the most goddamn adorable girl ever.

4. Kanye West - Yeezus

While not as good as MBDTF the good thing about this album is we get way more tracks with just Kanye. MBDTF was great but it was also extremely feature heavy. Which, I don't really have a problem with that because I do enjoy that album more but I also just enjoy hearing JUST Kanye. Kanye also seems way more aggressive on this album than in previous one. In Black Skinhead he proclaims "They see a black man with a white woman at the top floor they gone come to kill King Kong" if this album taught me anything is I like aggressive and angry Kanye. The best track of the entire album however is "I Am a God" Its obviously the most arrogant thing he's ever produced but over a dull thud he talks about existentialism and stacking millions. In the end its a strangely beautiful track if for no other reason for the stupidly blind ambition that he pumps into the track. Someone bring this man his damn croissants.

3. Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Experience

If there was ever a doubt that JT lost his groove this erased the final remaining critics. I almost get physically sick at how talented this man is. The thing I like most about the album is how it really goes places. At the beginning he is laying down lyrics about charming women out of their clothes with his suit & tie to one to a very genuine and heartfelt ode to his grandparents with "Mirrors" the gaps in between are filled with mostly solid efforts my favorite of the entire album being "Strawberry Bubblegum" the full song is a full 8 minutes. After about 4 1/2 minutes a musical interlude plays and the song transitions into what could be cut out and billed as and entirely different version of the same song. I know quite a few critics and fans alike gave JT shit for allowing the large majority of his tracks to meander well over the 5 minutes. Hell the shortest song IS 4:48. I however really enjoyed what in most tracks seemed like two concepts for the same song into one long musical journey.

2. Miley Cyrus - Bangerz

This, was by far my biggest surprise of the year. I knew I was going to listen to every album I listed on here. And then Miley caught my attention. Sure her VMA performance was criticized by many but what it did for her was pretty significant. It caught a lot of people's attention including mine. Her initial single and party anthem "We Can't stop" got peoples attention and then her follow up "Wrecking Ball" inspired numerous parodies including one by a very very old Hulk Hogan. The tracks range from a love ballad with "Adore You" to "Do my Thang" where Cyrus takes a stab a rapping a verse or two. For fuck's sake people there is a country do-si-do inspired song that features Nelly of all people. Fucking Nelly in 2013. I enjoyed Cyrus' brazen attitude on the album even if many accuse her of trying way to hard to shed her Disney Girl image. My favorite track on the album after listening to it quite a bit is "FU" a track where Miley not so subtly lays out her feelings for her former boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. Really enjoyed her performance on this one and the feature verse by French Montana is one of the better features on the album. I'll be watching Cyrus from now on.

1. Lady Gaga - ARTPOP

Was there any doubt this would be my favorite of the year? Man, where do I begin. First off I'll just say that this is WAY better than Born This Way. I liked Born this Way but it lacked the same zing that The Fame Monster did. Artpop as a whole might even surpass The Fame Monster. She obviously had a lot of pent up emotions after breaking her hip on stage and having to cut her tour short. Which is something that she brings up multiple times on the album with the first single Applause directly addressing her lamentations from being away from the stage. Gaga even dips her to into the Hip-hop genre with "Jewels n' Drugs" which features T.I. , Two $hort and Twista. All of the songs on the album are solid but the stand out tracks for me are G.U.Y, Aura and my favorite track "Gypsy". God, Gypsy might not only be my favorite track on the album but my favorite Gaga track period. The upbeat tempo and lyrics are one of the most feel good songs I've heard all year. I'm really hoping Gaga makes it her 3rd single its a song that deserves all the attention it gets.

#1 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4655 posts) -

Was Red really this year? Yikes, it feels so long ago I was listening to that. The rest of these I never much listened to except a single here and there. I am more into pop of the K and J variety.

#2 Edited by Demoskinos (13853 posts) -

@immortalsaiyan: Well, no it did come out late last year but I only ever got around to listening to it at the beginning of the year like January. So sort of a technicality on that one but whatever its my damn list. =p

#3 Edited by Dixavd (1131 posts) -

I concur on Taylor Swift. Never bought one of her albums before, kept hearing good things about this one and then checked it out and fell in love with it. It's especially surprising for me since I tend to not like female voices that much, and in general Taylor swift has a fairly standard female voice. But her album stood out to me a lot. I think "Sad, Beautiful, Tragic" maybe be one of favourite English-speaking female-sung songs ever. I tend to be a harsh critic on music which is why that album stuck out to me so much for me liking it so much. I'm glad she's so successful.

Here's a list of my favourite Album's that defined this year for me: I'll put in the year they were originally released in as I tend to tall in love with must quite a while down the line, plus, three tracks that stand out to me as being outstanding. I'll link the album title to its wikipedia page and the song title's to a youtube video

Honourable mentions:

I hope you find something here you like. Thanks for the blog post (it reminded me to write my list of best music this year).

#4 Posted by big_jon (5657 posts) -

Videogames!

#5 Posted by Milkman (16228 posts) -

Is Yeezus really a pop album? I would probably argue it's the exact opposite.

#6 Posted by Demoskinos (13853 posts) -

@milkman: I would argue it is simply from the sentiment that Kanye is pretty mainstream and his shit is stuff that you would still at least theoretically hear on a top 40 radio station. Pop = Popular music the classification of pop music in itself is pretty goddamn broad TBH.

#7 Posted by Wikitoups (711 posts) -

Mine would be a toss up between Reflektor and Random Access Memories.

#8 Posted by Chop (1963 posts) -

@dixavd: I'm glad to see someone who thinks highly of The Hurry and Harm. Thirst and Two Coins are, musically anyways, the best stuff he's ever done. Sometimes was okay but I want more creativity and band work, not less =/

#9 Posted by Dixavd (1131 posts) -

@chop: Yeah, I was surprised how little fanfare it got. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the guy: but I loved Bring Me Your Love as the band, as well as this years album. I think for me he has the perfect tone, and capitalizes on them extremely well on some of the tracks on his latest album. While I think overall it's not as strong as Bring Me Your Love, tracks like Two Coins rival almost anything he's ever done.And I do think it was a return to form on a huge level. Glad you also Liked it. I still think I prefer the simplicity and melodic rhythm of Waiting over Two Coins, but that depends less on how well it was written and more on the mood I'm in at the time.

#10 Edited by benpicko (1923 posts) -

@milkman: I would argue it is simply from the sentiment that Kanye is pretty mainstream and his shit is stuff that you would still at least theoretically hear on a top 40 radio station. Pop = Popular music the classification of pop music in itself is pretty goddamn broad TBH.

Nothing from Yeezus other than Bound 2 would ever be seen on a top 40 radio station though.

Also nobody's mentioned it but WMWTSO by Mac Miller was perfect and the biggest surprise of the year for me

#11 Edited by GaspoweR (2510 posts) -

Yeah, Pop music essentially encompasses a lot of genres so a song from a particular genre (whatever genre it may be) can be a pop song but not every song in every genre is a pop song. Also I particularly liked The 20/20 Experience though it probably does have too many songs if we were to consider both versions or the entirety of the album. It would have probably been better off with a few choice songs from both versions of the album. Strawberry Bubblegum is also one of my favorite tracks from the first version/half of the album along with Pusher Love Girl and Suit & Tie. On another note, Miley Cyrus as a musician is a great singer in her own right but unfortunately her antics ends up being in the forefront instead of her music and admittedly I also end up not taking her seriously than I otherwise would have.

I'm surprised at not seeing Pure Heroine on here if we're talking about great pop albums that have come out this year and also Ariana Grande's Yours Truly I found to be surprisingly good, like reeeally good. Though it is very heavily produced, it didn't really bother me as much since her voice and singing really are at the forefront and a lot of the songs just drips 90's R&B and though I wasn't a fan of the genre back then when I was younger, being older now has given a better appreciation for it. Listening to some of the songs in this album is like being sent back in time when these songs would have probably been big hits back then and she is an incredible singer.