Sunday, 15 December 2013
My Top Thirty Albums of 2013 (30 - 21)
I've not had a whole lot of time for blogging lately, for small baby-related reasons (I'm not complaining!) However, I couldn't let the year pass without giving mention to the records that kept me sane throughout 2013. Before we get to the Top 20, here are a few interesting runners up...
30. Adam Ant - Adam Ant Is the BlueBlack Hussar Marrying the Gunner's Daughter
The album title alone gets it through the door. It's good to have him back.
Top Track - Cool Zombie
29. Jake Bugg - Shangri La
There's no denying Jake Bugg can write both a TUNE and zeitgeisty lyric, and his debut album did crack me after a good few listens. Whether this will do the same, I've yet to see, I only got it a couple of weeks back. However, I did buy another record on the same day that's already made it into my Top 10. Sometimes though, growers are better than immediate sparklers. Only time will tell.
Top Track - Messed Up Kids
28. Noah & The Whale - Heart Of Nowhere
A concept album about a world where teenagers are illegal... or something. Hardly Tommy, and nowhere near as mindblastingly wonderful as their last record... but I do hope its lack of success doesn't put them off.
Top Track - There Will Come A Time
27. Bon Jovi - What About Now
Look, just deal with it, OK?
Top Track - Because We Can
26. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
If you want to get picky, this was originally released last year. But it got a big boost this summer by the promotion of its Velvets-meets-Pavement single, Stoned & Starving. If every track on the album had been as strong as that, this might have made my Top 3.
Top Track - Stoned & Starving
25. The Handsome Family - Wilderness
Who knows what goes through Brett & Rennie's minds? On their latest record, each track was named after a woodland critter. The songs were about far more than wildlife though...
Top Track - Woodpecker
24. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Re-listening to this record in preparation for this countdown, I came to the conclusion I haven't given it enough time. So I've taken it to play in the car. In another couple of weeks, it might be Top 10.
Top Track - Demons
23. Luke Haines - Rock 'n' Roll Animals
Luke Haines's latest concept album insanity was a children's fable about three rock 'n' roll animals (Jimmy Pursey, a fox; Gene Vincent, a cat; and a badger called Nick Lowe) who travel up country to battle the evil Angel of the North. Narrated by Julia Davis, naturally.
Top Track - Rock 'n' Roll Animals
22. Johnny Marr - The Messenger
Good to hear Johnny finally deliver the solo album we always knew he was capable of. Shame his former partner is too busy penning Penguin Classics to lend him a few spare lyrics. We can but dream...
Top Track - New Town Velocity
21. The Arctic Monkeys - AM
Alex Turner's Elvis-channeling Glasto performance and the NME's Album of the Year notwithstanding, this was just another year in the life of the Sheffield Monkees. Again, I only picked up their latest album a few weeks back and perhaps with a few more listens it might have crept into my Top 20. But I can tell already it's not up there with their debut or even their last two records. It might be better than Favourite Worst Nightmare... or I might just be being churlish.
Top Track - Number One Party Anthem
And now, because everyone's heard the Arctic Monkeys at some point this year, here's Adam Ant one more time. Because even at #30, he deserves it.
A few surprises there... I know, if some of those only made my Top 30, who the hell made better records this year? You'll have to wait and see.
Start laying your bets for the next ten... or the number one. Any guesses?