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Old 01-03-2014, 09:13 PM   #511
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I listened to Kurt Vile again this morning and I'm starting to think it should have been 1 or 2 on my list.

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:14 PM   #512
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Still time to alter your list, Cobbler!
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:29 PM   #513
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So are you guys going to let me include After Dark 2 on my list or not?
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:40 PM   #514
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It's on my list. Don't pay any mind to the anti-compliation brigade.

SOLIDARITY, BROTHER.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:53 PM   #515
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Haven't explored new artists as much as I usually do this year, so forgive this for being a bit familiar/obvious. Hope to check out stuff I missed based on the contributions from the rest of you.


1. Los Campesinos! - No Blues (13)
2. Deap Vally - Sistrionix (12)
3. Yo La Tengo - Fade (10)
4. After Dark 2 (10)

5. David Bowie - The Next Day(8)
6. Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady (8)
7. Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Experience Vol. 1 (8)
8. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City (8)

9. She & Him - Volume 3 (6)
10. Bettie Serveert - Oh, Mayhem! (6)
11. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away (4)
12. Arcade Fire - Reflektor (3)
13. Cults - Static (2)
14. Foxygen - We Are The 21st Century Blah Blah Blah (1)
15. Kanye West - Yeezus (1)


It pains me that the Phoenix wasn't good enough to make this list. I probably like more songs on Bankrupt! than I do on Yeezus, but I have more respect for the whole of the latter.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:53 PM   #516
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It's on my list. Don't pay any mind to the anti-compliation brigade.

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I need to adjust my list then

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:59 PM   #517
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Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium (10)
The National - Trouble Will Find Me (10)
Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze (10)
Sigur Rós - Kveikur (10)
After Dark 2 (10)
The Thermals - Desperate Ground (5)
DJ Koze - Amygdala (5)
Atoms For Peace - AMOK (5)
Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus (5)
Washed Out - Paracosm (5)
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City (5)
Deerhunter - Monomania (5)
The Flaming Lips - The Terror (5)
Arcade Fire - Reflektor (5)
Lucius - Wildewoman (5)
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:12 PM   #518
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4. After Dark 2 (10)
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After Dark 2 (10)

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:56 AM   #519
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I need to adjust my list then


Volume 1.

Volume.... 1
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:15 AM   #520
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Volume 1.

Volume.... 1
I can't wait for The Hits Keep Coming: The Best of Nickelback Volume 2, just in time for Black Friday 3091.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:08 PM   #521
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I think we allowed Cruel Summer to get votes so After Dark 2 is fine by me.

Also, I find it hilarious that Laz and I were the only two to vote for Cults. So random.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:12 PM   #522
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Cults!

Anyone else want a hug?
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:01 PM   #523
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No.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:30 PM   #524
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I need to adjust my list then

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Old 01-04-2014, 07:19 PM   #525
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1. David Bowie - The Next Day (15)
2. Savages - Silence Yourself (12)
3. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks (12)
4. Arcade Fire - Reflektor (10)
5. The National - Trouble Will Find Me (10)
6. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (10)
7. The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law (7)
8. Los Campesinos! - No Blues (6)
9. Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) (4)
10. Foals - Holy Fire (3)
11. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (3)
12. Atoms for Peace - Amok (3)
13. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripley Pine (3)
14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito (1)
15. Rachel Zeffira - The Deserters (1)

Honorable Mentions:

16. Depeche Mode - Delta Machine
17. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe
18. Gary Numan - Splinter
19. Sarah Neufeld - Hero Brother
20. Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
I wanted to do a bit of a write-up for my top 5 albums and add a few other favorites for songs, concerts, etc. I finally got enough free time to write them so here we go.

The National - Trouble Will Find Me

Every time The National are set to release an album, someone will wonder if this is the record where the band will change its sound. On Trouble Will Find Me, the answer is still no. Why? Because there is no need to fix what isn't broken. The National's latest continues a string of successful albums with the usual mix of moroseness and humor from Matt Berninger, tight guitar work from the Dessner twins and powerful rhythms from the Devendorf brothers. Songs like "Humiliation," "This Is The Last Time" and "Graceless" are thrilling trips that build layers on top of layers, sometimes exploding, sometimes pulling back. Memorable melodies engulf nearly every number on the tracklisting, making this record one of those rare affairs where skipping is unnecessary. That consistent excellence is what helps make The National one of the best bands playing today.

Best Moments: "Pink Rabbits" saloon piano, when the drums kick in for "This Is The Last Time," that smooth, almost jazzy guitar in "I Need My Girl," all of "Don't Swallow The Cap" and "Sea of Love"

Arcade Fire - Reflektor

When I first listened to this album in full, I wasn't sure what to think. I liked many parts of it, but it was difficult to tell how it felt as a whole. It was only on repeated listens that Reflektor connected with me. I like how it has a kitchen sink approach, with each song having a unique style.

Yet, some tracks go wonderfully together, like the aggressively in-your-face "Normal Person" and the bouncy "You Already Know." The chaotic drums that convert into a Neil-Young chorus on "Awful Sound" and the 80s-synthtastic "It's Never Over" are two-sides of the same coin, two interpretations of the same story. The differing styles keep it from feeling repetitive. The title track and "Afterlife" both marry that Caribbean rhythm with Arcade Fire's usual bombast and sincerity. The latter particularly has grown on me and has my favorite set of lyrics on the album, with Win moving from condemning the idea of an afterlife to realizing the appeal in an afterlife shared with a true love. While it could have been a little shorter (No need for "Here Comes The Night Time Pt. 2"), Reflektor is another winner from Arcade Fire.

Best Moments: The rave segment of "Here Comes The Night Time," the "Billie Jean" bass line on "We Exist," Bowie's backing vocals on "Reflektor" and any time Regine sings.

Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks

I actually reviewed this for No Ripcord, a music website I write for. I think I put my thoughts on this album out there the best. I think Trent Reznor really does a fantastic day of showing both the continued viability of Nine Inch Nails and industrial metal as a whole.

Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks - Music Review - No Ripcord

Best Moments: The swarming drones of "Disappointed," the taunt sound effects and string scratches that start "All Time Low," the chaotic breakdown in "Copy of a" and the out-of-nowhere saxophone in "While I'm Still Here"

Savages - Silence Yourself

Savages' created my favorite debut album by far for 2013. I love how intense and sparse this record sounds. Not one note in its 40 minutes sounds out-of-place or unneeded. Jenny Beth's vocal delivery has shades of 80s post-punk but her performance feels wholly her own and is completely captivating, such as on "I Am Here" and "Husbands." The rest of the band is right there with her, creating punishing landscapes of guitar, bass and drums that sound like they're going to physically attack you. After every song, I was wondering if the pressure would let up and while there would occasionally be a slower number, the tension never abated.

The track that probably exemplifies this energy best is "She Will," one of my favorite songs of the year. The opening riff is sharp and memorable. The lyrics seem to be forced out, like Beth doesn't want to say the words. But then the chorus comes in. The drums bash on the cymbal over and over, the guitar takes on a far harsher tone and Beth repeats the title like a woman possessed. The slower numbers are just as strong, like closer "Marshal Dear," carried by icy piano keys.This album won my over wholeheartedly and I can't wait to see what Savages does next.

Best Moments: The odd audio clip that opens the album, only to go right into the driving bass line of "Shut Up," the blast of energy that is "Hit Me," the warped clarinet on "Marshal Dear" and guitarist Gemma Thompson's ability to go from the nastiest guitar tones to Edge-like echoes on "No Face."

David Bowie - The Next Day

I'll be honest. Before this year, I wasn't the hugest David Bowie fan. I loved the hits and some of his albums like Ziggy Stardust, but he wasn't someone I really looked at as a currently-active artist. The only song I knew past "Let's Dance" was "I'm Afraid of Americans," due to its association with Trent Reznor. But when Bowie announced The Next Day, I was really excited at the opportunity to appreciate a new release from him. I liked "Where Are We Now?" and loved "The Stars Are Out Tonight." I couldn't wait to see what the rest of the album was like.

For me, Bowie did not disappoint. I love every single song on this album. The title track's foreboding atmosphere, building to a triumphant chorus that I never get sick of. Every guitar riff feels like a classic as soon as you hear it, like on "Boss of Me," "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" and "Valentine's Day." I love the stories he creates on so many of the tracks too, such as the teenage soldier on "I'd Rather Be High," another favorite of mine. I also enjoy how the album is reflective on his own past, but rarely obvious in its throwbacks. It reminds me most of another dark Bowie masterpiece, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, which is my favorite of his albums. This album far exceeded all of my expectations and showed that Bowie putting out his strongest work in three decades. For those reasons, it's my album of the year.

Best Moments: All of the title track, the drunk horns in "Dirty Boys," the lyrics in "I'd Rather Be High," the opening female vocal on "If You Can See Me," the mix of synths and guitars of "Love Is Lost" and of course, the "Five Years" tease.


All the other stuff:

Top 5 Songs

1. Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing
2. David Bowie - The Next Day
3. Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, Trent Reznor - Mantra
4. Nine Inch Nails - Copy of a
5. Arcade Fire - Afterlife

Top 5 Concerts (in no order)

Bat for Lashes at Webster Hall
Depeche Mode at Barclays Center
Nine Inch Nails at Barclays Center
Savages at Terminal 5
Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theatre

Best album cover: The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law
Worst album cover: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
Surprise of the year: The return of Bowie.
Disappointment of the year: Haim's Days Are Gone, which I was really excited for and then could not get into at all.
Album released before 2013 that you discovered (or rediscovered) this year: I've dug deeply into Blur's back catalog this year, specifically their self-titled and 13.
Musical live moment of the year: Hearing an arena full of fans drown out The National on Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks to end the concert.
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