As we bring to a close our ’12 Lists of Christmas’ for 2013, we pay homage to the albums of the year. From pop to rock to R&B and everything in between, there have been some great albums released this year. Our list was compiled before a certain artist shocked the world with her unexpected album, so Mrs C gets an honourable mention; but 2013….what a year for music.
So in no particular order, here are the ten albums which rocked our year and hopefully yours too.
1. Lorde – Pure Heroine
The debut album from New Zealand teen star, Lorde, only boasted ten tracks and had a running time of less than 38 minutes, somewhat minimalist when trying to make a first impression. But boy did she make a lasting impression with that musical opus. Thanks to the worldwide reception evoked through ‘Royals’, Lorde managed four Grammy nominations, not bad for her first efforts.
2. Arctic Monkeys – AM
Having already spawned four singles, the fifth studio album from the Arctic Monkeys was definitely given a boost by a Friday night headlining spot on the Pyramid Stage at Glasto back in June. Fusing an appreciation for all genres, the only thing lacking on this album was a Jay Z or Nas verse on ‘Do I Wanna Know’.
3. The 1975 – The 1975
Another debut album to make the cut, The 1975’s self-titled effort entered the album chart in September in the top spot. Considering ‘Chocolate’ may be one of the most annoying songs of the year, the Manchester trio scored a home-run both with the album and their live performance in 2013.
4. One Direction – Midnight Memories
Looks like Simon Cowell’s wee super group may have reached
puberty maturity after all, listening to their third album effort. Midnight Memories definitely sees the fab five display a more intricate understanding of music rather than keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel of the pop bandwagon. Not sure how deep the cross-genre appreciation truly goes with the boy band but this album really had critics taking a second listen.
5. Miley Cyrus – Bangerz
Oh Hannah where for art thou? Seriously could Miley make our heads turn any more with her antics this year? The Queen of Twerk really made the media buzz with her outlandish ways but beyond her onstage frivolity, Miley actually released a pretty decent album. Just a shame it played second fiddle to her behaviour.
6. Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
The debut album from Alt-Rock band Imagine Dragons fared well around the globe and rightly so with the groups huge hit ‘Radioactive’ being a chart fave this year. Securing plenty of exposure in their homeland with a sold out tour and boasting the biggest rock track of the year with the aforementioned single, surely we can expect to welcome them on this side of the Atlantic later this year for a more extensive tour….fingers crossed.
7. Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience
There are certain formulas which just can’t be beaten when it comes to an artists studio creativity and Justin Timberlake combined with Timbaland is a guaranteed hit. Throw Jay Z into the mix and a huge dollop of the production ingenuity shown by J Roc and voila, a classic comeback is molded. JT certainly scored a hit with his 20/20 Experience this past summer. From ‘Mirrors’ to ‘Suit and Tie’ to ‘Pusher Lover Girl’ this platinum selling album was a welcomed ‘peep’ into the grown up world of the former NSYNC star.
8. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2
Armed with a bevvy of personal experiences which also encourage a solid listening experience for fans old and new, Eminem delivered his eighth studio effort in conjunction with longtime associate Dr. Dre in October. Spawning hits such as the Rick Rubin produced ‘Bezerk’ and the Rhianna collaboration ‘The Monster’, The Marshall Mathers LP2 may not be Em’s best album but it definitely makes his top three.
9. Foals – Holy Fire
The third album from Foals just missed out on the top spot on the UK album chart back in February of this year but it certainly left an impression with critics. Holy Fire was up for the coveted Mercury Prize this year losing out to James Blake. The biggest single off the album from the Oxford group was ‘My Number’ which made it to number 23 in the charts but is just as recognisable as any of our top ten songs of the year.
10. Katy Perry – Prism
Following on from Teenage Dream was never going to be an easy feat; but with the breakdown of her marriage to Russell Brand, Katy Perry picked herself back up and hit the studio with a variety of producers and writers to develop her fourth album. Scoring a summer smash with ‘Roar’ Katy definitely proved that it takes a bit more than an English comedian to hold her back with Prism.