Saturday, January 4, 2014

DrogeMiester's Top 10 Albums of 2013

Yes, I listen to a lot of music. If you haven't been following my blog recently, in the last few weeks I have created three different music lists. Those would be the Most Popular Songs of 2013, my personal favorite Songs of 2013, and my personal favorite Music Videos of 2013. This upcoming list is the grand finale of all these music of 2013 lists, and that would be, as the title suggests, my personal favorite albums of the year. This list actually took a long time to make, not because I was struggling to come up with a specific order, but rather because I didn't listen to as many full albums this year as I did individual singles. Yes, there was several that I had listened to, and I had a top 5 ready, but I wanted to make a top 10, so I spent a lot of time in the last week or so sampling a bunch of different albums this year and finding the ones that I liked the best so I could come up with a good solid top 10. In the other lists, I posted the songs and music videos with each choice so you could listen to the song as you read why it made the list. With this being full albums, I'm not going to post a link. Instead I'll just post the album art and let you go find a place to listen to the album yourself, like YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, or wherever you go to listen to music. Enjoy!

10- "Bad Blood" -- Bastille

You may know their hit single, Pompeii, but let me tell you that Bastille is a really good new band. Not every one of the songs on Bad Blood is blow you away awesome, which is why this album only comes in at number 10, but all the songs are good, and there are several songs, Like Pompeii and Icarus that are very excellent. The sound of Bastille is really chilling. In some ways, they remind me of those old Gregorian chants mixed with recent pop music. Or maybe I'm just crazy by saying that. Either way, the sound of this album is rather awesome.

9- "Atmosphere" -- Kaskade

And here we go! If you know me, or have listened to the songs from my favorite songs list, you'll know that I have a type. I love electronic music. And even though I do think that this particular list does include plenty of non-electronic music, thus showing the versatility in my musical tastes, I won't shy away from mentioning the electronic albums that I personally enjoyed, even if I am the only one that did. Ryan Raddon, known by his stage name of Kaskade, is really awesome. I learned recently that he attended the same University that I am currently attended, that of Brigham Young University. What does that have to do with this album of his? Nothing really. Just a fun connection. The album itself I think is super beautiful. He sings some, but does his DJ-ing for most of it. It may not be as creative and mind blowing as some other albums higher on this list, but the whole album has a beautiful feel, like say the feeling of you gliding through the atmosphere.

8- "Intense" -- Armin Van Buuren

Here we have our second electronic album in a row. After that, we will take a break from the genre for a while. I think the two albums right here, Atmosphere by Kaskade and Intense by Armin Van Buuren, are pretty similar albums. Kaskade's album is a prettier sounding album, however I give the nod to Intense  as the slightly better album because while Atmosphere is much of the same for the whole album, Intense is a more versatile. While not nearly as creative as a later album that blew my mind, there are a lot of different sounds and voices on this album, thus making it really fun to listen to.

7- "Pure Heroine" -- Lorde

It's been a huge year for Lorde as the 17-year-old's first single quickly become one of the biggest songs of the year. Most people her age have only begun to consider what they want to do for their career. I was quickly impressed with how talented this young girl is. I'm also surprised by how mature her music is. Had I not known before, I would've never guessed that she is as young as she is. When I first listened to Royals, I wasn't completely blown away. However, the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. Her whole album is the same style that Royals is. Once you get used to her style, you quickly fall in love with all her music. It's fantastic.

6- "All That Echoes" -- Josh Groban

Out of all the voices in the musical world, Josh Groban's voice is my favorite. I just get blown away every time I listen to him sing. This recent album of his may not be as good as his past albums as there's not a whole lot of songs that you will remember for a long time after you listen to it, but it's still Josh Groban. That voice is still amazing. Even though Brave is the only the only song that really gets stuck in my head afterwards, the whole album is still great to turn on, listen to, and relieve all the stress from the day.

5- "Kveikur" -- Sigur Ros

I first heard of Sigur Ros when they did the music for the movie We Bought a Zoo. Not only was that movie excellent on its own, but the absolute beautiful music in the movie made it that much better. I've been in love with Sigur Ros ever since. I know that means I'm probably late on the band wagon, but oh well. This most recent album I can't understand anything that's being said and I don't even know exactly what genre to label it as, but that doesn't matter. I just call it beautiful music.

4- "In a Tidal Wave of Mystery" -- Capitol Cities

As I mentioned when I put the song Safe and Sound on my favorite songs list, when I first listened to the song I was thinking that it was a fun, but generic pop song, but then the trumpet anthem came in and I was super impressed. Then I listened to the whole album and was really impressed because the whole album was super creative in the way they used different instruments in their songs. It reminded me a lot of fun.'s first album. Just a creative and fun album to listen to in both instances.

3- "Britney Jean" -- Britney Spears

Britney Spears? Really? I know that's what you are all thinking when you see this. Yes. Britney Spears. And I'm proud of it. Britney was the bane of my existence when I was in Elementary School. I hated her and I hated her music. However, I think that she has matured a lot as she has gotten older, at least in terms of her music. The first time she caught my attention musically speaking was with her song I Wanna Go. Not the best lyrically, but I found that I really enjoyed the sound of it. After many years of despise and hatred towards her music, my heart began to be softened. I wasn't extremely impressed with the rest of her Femme Fatale album, but I wasn't opposed to it either. On the eve of her release of Britney Jean, I became curiously excited, especially after I liked the song she wrote for Smurfs 2 and the lead single Work from Britney Jean. When the full album finally came out at the end of November, I found myself very pleased. Britney has said that this is her most personal album and it really shows. It's also a very clean album, which is different from some of the stuff she has done in the past. And last but not least, I love the sound. The album has a lot of electronic influence and, as you know, I really enjoy that. David Guetta is one of my favorite electronic musicians and he actually collaborated with Britney on this album. So essentially it's Britney's lyrics and voice with David Guetta's sound. If me loving this album didn't make sense to you before, it should make perfect sense now that you have that in mind. David Guetta is magical. He has the ability to work with any musician that I have not liked in the past and make me like their music.

2- "TRUE" -- Avicii

Earlier when I was talking about Armin Van Buuren's album Intense, I made reference to an album that was super creative that I would mention later. This is it. The beauty of Avicii's music is how creative he is. When you listen to this whole album, you'll notice that he doesn't purely make an electronic album. He experiments with a whole bunch of different genres and styles of music, with a bunch of different instruments. Then he implements a lot of different singers, both male and female, as the voices. Then after doing all that, he mixes his electronic sounds in with the music rather cleverly. You can definitely appreciate each individual song if you listen to them without the rest of the album, but once you listen to the full album together, it will just completely blow your mind. Each song has a different feel and a different style, and thus each song you listen to is a brand new musical experience. It is rather impressive. Also of note, Avicii doesn't sing. Yet he doesn't give credit to his singers in the title of the song. On first listen, some people will hear a song like Wake Me Up! and say after it ends that they were really impressed with Avicii's voice. I personally laugh at that, but eventually they find out the voice was actually Aloe Blacc. Some people then get mad at Avicii for not crediting him. That there is silly. Aloe Blacc doesn't care that he's not credited. He actually enjoys the anonymous hit. Avicii does give credit in the album credits, so he's safe legally, but it's just his style. He's not the first to do it that way.

1- "Random Access Memories" -- Daft Punk  

I've always enjoyed Daft Punk's music. Back in the day of their first albums, they did have their audience, but generally speaking they got little attention. Several years went by before they came out with Random Access Memories this year, and lucky for them they are one of many beneficiaries of the rise of electronic music. Their lead single from this album, Get Lucky, ended up being one of the biggest songs of the year and concurrently made their album Random Access Memories one of the biggest albums of the year. In fact, Random Access Memories is up for a Grammy this year for best album. All this makes me super happy as I love this album. In this instance, it's actually not me going with the flow of popularity, but rather it's the rest of the world deciding they like the music I like. Ironically, though, Get Lucky is my least favorite song on the album. The rest of the album is super beautiful and is one of the few albums these days that actually works best when you listen to the whole album together. The theme is the future. Towards the beginning of the album there is a song called Georgio by Moroder, which is very unique in the sense the main part of the song is Georgio Moroder himself telling the story of his life. Georgio Moroder is one of the pioneers of electronic music and in his monologue in the song, he tells the story of no one told him of any music rules, so he just did his own thing and when he came up with this style of music, he tells that this, he believed, was the future of music. Daft Punk takes that message and really makes it the theme of their whole album. The whole album has a futuristic theme, culminating with the song Touch, which essentially tells the story of a robot in the future remembering what it was like to have the sensation of touch as if the future has become such that we have lost this and been taken over by robots. This just makes the whole album actually quite beautiful and amazing. I hope it wins best album in the Grammys because it certainly has my vote for favorite album. It would be nice if the public agrees with me for once.

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