Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TJR's Top 10 Albums for 2013

For 2013 I was unable to rank my top 10 album....It's like asking me to pick which of my kids  I love more.....if I had kids that is.  

So here in no particular order are my Top 10 albums for 2013

Janelle Monae - Electric Lady
I am ecstatic to have discovered this R&B Prodigy, Her latest album is part 3 of larger sci fi funk concept piece and I am happy to say that the two previous albums are also must haves.

Get The Electric Lady Here  

The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow
Like the Fleetfoxes “Helplessness Blues” this album takes me out of time and into a timeless universe. The opening track doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but the rest of it floors me.
Get The Lone Bellow Here

Kasey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
So many country music artists today want to write and sing songs about the trials and tribulations of everyday American life. Many of them do this with painfully unoriginal lyrics that beat you over the head with their themes. Not so with Kasey Musgraves who songs are catchy, who’s lyrics are original and also filled with irony, and double en tendre. And who songs talk about the pains, and happiness that make up everyday life. Get Same Trailer Different Park Here

Elvis Costello and The Roots - Wise up Ghost
Every once in a while an album really catches me completely off guard. Thus is the case with Wise Up Ghost. This collaboration with Elvis Costello and the Roots is genre bending and one of the most original albums I have heard in a long time. Get Wise Up Ghost (Deluxe) Here

Melissa Etheridge - 4th Street Feeling
This albums songs are cinematic in that they really transport you into the worlds and live and of the characters that inhabit her songs. I was only a casual fan before this album, - but now I have been exploring her catalog and I am beginning to fully appreciate her contribution to Rock’n’Roll Get 4th Street Feeling [Deluxe Edition] Here

Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension

There are 9 stellar tracks on this latest (and who knows perhaps last ) album from Aerosmith. Remove the remaining 6 tracks and you have an Aerosmith album that is as good as “Toys In The Attic”.  Get Music From Another Dimension! Here

Paul McCartney - New
McCartney It’s amazing that after all this time that McCartney still has something New and interesting to musically communicate to the world, and even the deluxe edition with three extra tracks holds up to repeated listenings. Get New [Deluxe Edition] Here

Valerie June - Pushing Against Stone
While I was less than thrilled with her performance on the iTunes
festival, I was really taken with her debut album, that combines both folk, blues, and 50’s rock’n’roll. Get Pushin' Against A Stone Here

Rodriguez - Searching for Sugarman soundtrack
This soundtrack from the motion picture documentary offers nothing that you can’t get on the artists only two albums ever released, but it is through this soundtrack that I first was exposed to the music of this lost and overlooked 70’s answer to “Bob Dylan” who went by the name of
Rodriguez before vanishing into obscurity. Get Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) here

Natalie Maines - Mother
Albums of mostly covers can sometimes be a lot of fun but I tend to not put them into my top 10 lists. But this particular one is an exception. This album is a good example how the right artist paired with the right producer (in this case Singer songwriter Ben Harper) can produce great results. This album really sets a great mood and tone that makes all of this albums covers sound original. Get Mother here

Honorary Mention: Black Sabbath 13
This album would have probably been higher on my list if they had backed up on the compression a bit. There have been a few high profile comeback releases that have been (for me) killed by over-compression. This is not one of them. But I wish they had backed off on it a bit more and allowed more of the emotion of the performance to shine through. Aside from this, “13” is a welcome return to the classic Black Sabbath sound and will be fitting coda for them, if this ends up being their last album. 13 (Best Buy Deluxe)

Wished I could have gotten to: 

Gotye - Like Drawing Blood  is a superior follow up to last years Making Mirrors. The songwriting is just overall stronger. It’s too bad that it’s not getting the traction that “Making Mirrors” received. Get Like Drawing Blood here

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