Albums

Top Albums | 2013

3 Comments 28 | December | 2013

It’s the most wonderful tiiiime of the yeeeeear!!  Lists, Lists and more L-I-S-T-S!!

After perusing the entire internet for every “Album of the Year” list I could find, I’ve finally created an algorithm to determine the undisputed Top Albums of 2013.  Eat your heart out Nate Silver.  It was an enormous undertaking, but I think you’ll agree that I’ve reached the pinnacle of musical list taste-making.  Here are some of the steps taken to deliver such a flawless feature.

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1.  I cross-referenced the entire libraries of Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes to gauge  popularity.  Additionally, I’ve scoured the Clearchannel playlist to eliminate terribly overplayed and/or overhyped songs.

2.  I analyzed twitter hashtags for grammatically correct and scholarly insight.  None found.

3.  I viewed miles of Facebook status updates for recommendations and underground finds.  Nothing but baby pictures.

4.  I took my typewriter and my knitting bag and my unicycle and my bowtie and my bed head to the local 110% organic non-profit coffee shop to chat up the barista with a Masters in Tahitian anthropological anecdotes to see which bands were setting the other cool kids abuzz.

5.  I “chillaxed” at “the quad” and “LOL’d” with “frosh” from the “ultimate frisbee” team and scrolled through their iPods while they spent their tuition money on headphones so large they have Snell approval.

6.  I guest DJ’d at KKTY, Bayside High’s favorite radio station and quizzed Richard “The Big Bopper” Belding on all the latest grooves.

7.  Finally, I copied Pitchfork’s Top 40 albums and called it a day.

*whew*done*

In actuality, I did exactly none of that.  Instead, I listened to a lot of great music recommended by a lot of great friends; I kept an eye out for new releases based on my musical tastes; and I tried some “random” artists.   In the end it was another bumper crop of fantastic tunes.  Well done, 2013!!  Jolly good show!!

My usual warning, if your favorite album is not sitting at #1 or if it failed to even make the list it is because of what you did in the summer of 1992.  You know what you did and you should be ashamed of yourself.  That and your favorite album sucked.  Neener neener.  And with that bit of classy banter….BEHOLD:  Long | Distance | Drunk’s Top Albums of 2013.

(drumroll)

 

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#40: Frightened Rabbit | Pedestrian Verse

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#39:  Ra Ra Riot | Beta Love

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#38:  Bass Drum of Death | Bass Drum of Death

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#37:  Okkervil River | The Silver Gymnasium

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#36:  Dr. Dog | B-Room

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#35:  Run the Jewels (El-P + Killer Mike) | Run the Jewels

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#34:  J Roddy Walston and the Business | Essential Tremors

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#33:  Arctic Monkeys | AM

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#32:  Foxygen | We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

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#31:  Hockey | Wyeth Is

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#30:  White Denim | Corsicana Lemonade>

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#29:  M.I.A. | Matangi

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#28:  The National | Trouble Will Find Me

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#27:  Portugal. The Man | Evil Friends

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#26:  Fitz & the Tantrums | More Than Just a Dream

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#25:   Hanni El Khatib | Head in the Dirt

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#24:  The Strokes | Comedown Machine

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#23:  Phosphorescent | Muchacho

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#22:  Jake Bugg | Jake Bugg

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#21:  J. Cole | Born Sinner

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#20:  The Blow | The Blow

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#19: Bastille | Bad Blood

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#18:  Pusha T | My Name is My Name

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#17:  Javelin | Hi Beams

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#16:  Arcade Fire | Reflektor

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#15:  Lorde | Pure Heroine

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#14:  A$AP Rocky | Long.Live.A$AP

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#13:  Cold War Kids | Dear Miss Lonelyhearts

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#12:  Everything Everything | Arc

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#11:  Tegan & Sara | Heartthrob

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#10:  Kanye West | Yeezus

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#9:  Autre Ne Veut | Anxiety

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#8:  Lucius | Wildewoman

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#7:  Josh Ritter | The Beast In Its Tracks

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#6:  Born Ruffians | Birthmarks

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#5:  HAIM | Days Are Gone

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#4:  FIDLAR | FIDLAR

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#3:  Cayucas | Bigfoot

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#2:  CHVRCHES | The Bones of What You Believe

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#1:  Vampire Weekend | Modern Vampires of the City

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I know what you’re thinking.  “Another f*(&ing list with MVOTC at the top?!”  The short answer is “Yes”.  The long answer….

I battled with my final selection.  Not because I don’t like Vampire Weekend, quite the contrary.  I love them and I love this album.  Trust me, if I could choose a font called “unapologetic”, I would.  Really, I just didn’t want to be the umpteenth list with the same “champion”.  I’d much rather create more buzz for CHVRCHES or Cayucas or FIDLAR since they’re relatively unknown, but something in the back of my mind new that I’d be lying.

What set MVOTC over the top is this…

Back when music came on these things called CDs I used to listen to albums repeatedly, memorizing every song, anticipating transitions and song changes.  Great albums would flow in my head even without listening to the music.  The playback of the entire album became a landscape of sorts in my head; I had all of the highs and lows mapped out.  My listening experience became akin to hiking a favorite trail; knowing what steep hills lay ahead; when you were about to reach the log bridge; and when you were just about to round the corner to see the crystal clear lake.

These days such an experience is rare.  Music is everywhere.  Single songs are pimped on a multitude of media sources.  Music becomes ambient noise in the background of our lives while our attention is diverted in a thousand directions on an hourly basis.  Hell, I barely have time to look up from my phone in order to drive.

What makes MVOTC my #1 album is despite all of life’s noise, I was still able to “map it”.  What’s more, it’s a gorgeous map; so much topography it practically spills over the sides.  Despite hefty swings in mood and style the album maintains continuity; it actually works as an album.  It’s far more than just a collection of good songs thrown together and labeled “Vampire Weekend’s Third Album”.  MVOTC is a stunning ensemble of great songs that has reminded me of how rewarding it is to really love an album front to back.  It’s doubtful I will ever find another Perfect From Now On (the Built to Spill album that single-handedly launched my quest to pursue “better” music), but by consistently living up to, and even climbing beyond the enormous mountains of hype that critics amass in anticipation of their work, Vampire Weekend have found themselves a place at the same table.

As delicious a main course as one could ask for in 2013, my appetite has been whetted for the menu of 2014.  In the meantime, please excuse me, my 110% organic coffee is cooling and those Facebook baby pictures aren’t going to look at themselves.

#amazeballs #spelingiz4loozrs #swagtag #algebrasux #ttc #h8rsgonh8

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