Thursday, December 19, 2013

Year In Review 2013- Top Ten Albums Part 2 (10-6)

Here is Part 2 of RtBE's Year in Review of 2013.  (Part 1 was here if you missed it) Today we venture into our Top Ten List of Best Albums for 2013.
In the instance that RtBE have reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review, just click on the Band name and title to get there.  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 full way through.

After the jump you will see our list for numbers 10-6, this year wasn't as rich as previous years for full length releases, but we will have to wait and see how the album's age. That is just one glorious thing about music and these lists, both are little time capsules.  That said these are all excellent and worth your hard earned money and hard drive space, so without further ado Click that read more link.

10. Kanye West- Yeezus
Buy the album here
Wait wait, don't click away! Ok let's get right to it, do I think in the mythical world of number rankings this was the 10th best full length released this year? I do not, so then why is it here? Because no other album made me think more about popular music then Yeezus in 2013. I am sure friends of mine were sick of talking about it and people are probably sick it made my year end "best of" but one of great music's general rules is it is supposed to be challenging. I had conversations with everyone from bartenders to bankers, metal heads to hippies when this album first came out and the fact that a mainstream billionaire artist/producer/designer/tabloid-self-infatuated-douche-bag created this is worth discussing...and yes giving props too. Two main criteria for this yearly list is: 1) Is it a full album not just random songs. 2) Will I go back and listen to these albums in 1 years time..2 years time...etc. I am pretty sure I will go back to Yeezus (for good and bad) so it is here.

Now that all THAT is out of the way, how about what is really important? The music. Kayne made a minimalist hip hop album on a grand scale. Songs either were successful in sparse, dense dynamic ways ("Black Skinhead", "On Site") or failing in flaming scalding fashion ("I'm A God", "Blood On the Leaves") but most seem confused, scattered, scared and dick swinging pompous all in one breath like on "New Slaves". The other thing Yeezus should get credit for is that it is a full artistic work, not a collection of singles. I said a bunch already and in the original review so I will wrap up but color me surprised that West made the album that made me think about music unlike any other mainstream release this year...

9. Valerie June - Pushin' Against A Stone
Buy the Album Here!
Still With Me? Ok...Something now we can hopefully agree on. The combo of the bird like voice of Valerie June and the dirty riffs of Dan Auerbach was too good to resist. Auerbach was everywhere on this album (producing, writing, playing and singing) but it was June's voice and her approach to things that really rung true. Her first proper full length release June dabbles in lots of genre's and has potential to go anywhere she wants too, exciting times for this artist and we can't wait to catch her live.

8. Hanni El Khatib- Head In the Dirt
Buy the album here
If the Oblivians are the old dirty men at the garage rockin' party Hanni El KHatib is the pretty new boy in town. Simplistic rock and roll in the garage vein (produced by who else, Dan Auerbach) Khatib has mega potential and the songs on Head In the Dirt show that in spades. "Family" blasts away, "Nobody Move" stays repetitively great and the prettiest tune "Penny" shines (I recently heard it in a Milkbone commercial...wild). Khatib used to be an art designer at a bad ass skate shop HUF which we have purchased things from in the past, good to see his musical style locks right in with ours too. After catching him live we can't wait to see where he goes next.   

7. The Men- New Moon
Buy the album here
This one really spoke to us. New Yorkers mixing up things by creating songs seemingly influenced by Dino Jr. The Band and The Ramones all at once. Pretty much right in our personal wheelhouse. They really caught our ear at 4 Knots Fest and we dove into their album deeper and found a lot to love. Some critics hated on the lo-fi production and ramshackle lumbering, personally I found it instantly endearing and elevated this above many other albums of it's ilk. Adventurous, about to fall of the rails, makes for a hell of a ride.

6. Rough Seven - Codebreaker
Buy it here!
There is so much personal love for this disk it might cloud whatever critical judgment I might have. That confessed this disk holds up from any angle of scrutiny. Diverse, heartfelt, sad, joyous wizened the Rough Seven have it all. I can't wait to see them live again, this short video sums it all up, Rob wailing away on riffage, Scully's rough voice and I love the disgust on Meschiya Lake's face trying to hear herself amongst the maelstrom.

That's it for Part 2 of of our list, thoughts? Feel free to comment below and stay tune for our top 5 albums coming soon.

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