Thursday, December 12, 2013

Year in Review 2013- Top Ten Albums Part 1 (The Just Misses & Let Downs)

Another great year is finishing up for Rock The Body Electric and we wouldn't be a proper music site if we didn't end the year with a "Best Of" list, so without further verbiage RtBE Presents first part of the Best of 2013 Top Ten Albums, The Just Misses & Let Downs:
In the instance that RtBE has reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review and just give a quick summation, just click on the name and title and you can read it.  RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so expect some overlap. Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen to the all the way through.

Today we are going to focus on the "Just Misses" of our top 10 and unfortunately the "Let Downs" released this year.  Here's hoping you like them, but also feel free to voice your opinion in the comments.  Expect installment 2 (#10-6) soon, but for now click on the jump:

Just Misses:
Every year features a host of great albums and since we like the number 10 that's what we use (hey it it is a good round digit, what can I say?) but these albums are also really really solid; worthy of praise, your time, and hard earned cash. These are the honorable mentions, in no particular order:

Chelsea Light Moving- S/T

While still mourning the demise of Sonic Youth we were hit with our first post SY release in the form of the Thurston Moore led Chelsea Light Moving. Simply put we have hope again, this music is a lot like SY so fans will be happy and Thurston gets to do what he wants with new players. We saw and reviewed (here and here) all of the '13 post-SY releases from the members and as we wrap up the year we can say CLM was our favorite but all make us excited for the future.   

Ivan & Alyosha- All the Times We Had

This is an amazingly sculpted debut album of pop/indie rock. Very pro-sounding and well produced, but the songs are very solid too. Maybe not tracks we would normally reach for but tough to deny the catchiness and buoyancy of the tunes. Other bands in I&A's style may have gotten more buzz but few worked as well as this debut.

Speaking of pop records we liked in 2013, Yes, It's True is some solid grandiose pop from the large Dallas, TX based ensemble led by Tim DeLaughter. The lushness of recording shines through as the band launches into flights of Beatles and Flaming Lips (more on them later in this post) inspired orchestral pop.   

Dumpstaphunk- Dirty Word

Funk is such an in the moment live experience that there are few truly great studio albums in the genre. Even with Parliament-Funkadelic I go back to my greatest hits more often then any individual full length album. Dirty Word is one of the best in the genre from any year and the band is a force of nature live.   

La Luz- It's Alive
Very rarely does a press release accurately describe the music contained within, shockingly rarely in fact, however on La Luz's first release It's Alive I came to know "Surf-Noir" and dig it in the process. Sadly the band members were in a bad accident but thankfully no one was killed. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery from this interesting collection of female rockers.

Goodie Mob- Age Against The Machine
This is a late entry as we were slacking in reviewing this and in a few years I think I will either regret not ranking it higher, or have forgotten all about it, but it definitely needs time to marinate in your brain. Lots going on here need more time to let it breath, but I didn't want to over look it we shall see....

Oblivians- Desperation
The quintessential garage rockers came back with a successful shimmy and shake on this years Desperation. With Greg Cartwright covering "Call The Police" how could we not love this album?!? Having no backstage knowledge of the drama between the players it is good to see the trio still on working terms, playing and even touring as a unit. The interplay is key for this band, more then most as they switch off instruments, but as mentioned in the original review it is the songs that count. Oh and that lo-fi burn out your speakers production, damn it feels good in a dirty way.

Let Down's:
Now for the bad news...some Albums that let RtBE down...we had high hopes for dice.  These are by no means the worst albums of the year, they are just from artists RtBE like/respect that went a different route which we didn't particularity care for. There are always releases we don't like that others seem to, to each his own, but these were our choices for biggest letdowns of the year:

The Flaming Lips- The Terror
The second time the Lips show up in the Let Down section, as both of the bands last two releases have been underwhelming at best and jumbled dull messes at worst. Unlike say, Pearl Jam who we know what we are getting from at this point, the Lips have that air that anything can happen, unfortunately anything did happen, we got a garbage record with The Terror

Trombone Shorty- Say This To Say That
Well this is a surprise, he has been on this list twice before but both times on the "just miss" side of things. This one was just a stale, dull R&B tinged disk. Thankfully his live show is still super dynamic.

No Age- An Object
We really dug on Everything In Between which is why An Object is here, this was weaksauce from the drop and if we had never heard the boys we wouldn't have cared, but give us a taste of the good and we will reject the bad. 

Big Boi- Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Technically we are cheating as this came out last year, but we didn't get a chance to review it until early 2013. Woof, we wish we had passed completely, this sucked hard. Heard Outkast will be back next year, good news for all involved including the listeners. 

More in our Best of 2013 to come, including our top 10 so stay tuned. Agree? Disagree?  Let us know in the comments.

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