ctoverdrive's Top Five Records of 2013 Thursday December 19, 2013

So like clockwork, it’s time for me to dust off the neglect of the old c.t.overdrive for some good old year end reflection.

First up on my hit list of things to reminisce about for 2013 is my favourite records of the year. And unlike the past couple of years, I actually had a chance to listen to records in 2013 and to my shock there was enough music to make this list a bit of a challenge whip up. So even though my list doesn’t match up with many of the other lists out there (Yeezus? Really? Arcade Fire? Sort of Really?), here are my favourite records of the year and a couple of also rans to brighten the final days of the year.

P.S. I’ve even created a playlist to make it easier to listen too. I know I’m such a sweet heart.

1. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of The City.

Before 2013, I absolutely hated Vampire Weekend.

Like, really hated them.

Everything I’ve heard about the band and their music just screamed upty-hipster-douchenozzle. It also doesn’t help that I can’t stand listening to Paul Simon records, but overall Vampire Week was never my cup of tea.

… that was until Modern Vampires of The City rolled out. Either way, it’s hard to argue that this wasn’t the record of the year. Such a brilliant record from start to end that was on a continuous loop throughout our rickety household. Hell we even ventured out to the Ottawa Folk Fest to see them live. Which truth be told was one of three fun evenings we had in Ottawa all year.

2. Fitz & The Tantrums – More Than Just A Dream

I absolutely fell in love with these guys because of some random Washington based Cable TV Program and their killer set at the 2012 Sweetlife festival in Maryland and boy did they kill it with More Than Just A Dream. Such a fresh poppy and throwback sound in comparison to all the vomit inducing auto-tuned crap out there.

Break The Walls is one of the most underrated tracks of 2013.

3. Queens of The Stone Age – Like Clockwork

Anyone who knows me, knows I have an unhealthy man crush on Josh Homme. So it goes without saying that a QOTSA Album would end up on this list. It also helps that Like Clockwork was a solid tripped out musical ride from start to finish… even if it could use a little more uptempo songs of the My God Is The Sun variety.

4. Arctic Monkeys – AM

Anyone who knows me, knows I have an unhealthy man crush on Alex Turner. So it goes without saying that an Arctic Monkeys album would end up on this list.

Wait a second, didn’t I just f###‘n write that line.

Oh well… Mr. Turner and the rest of the Monkeys are up to their best on this album. A far better product than the epic disappointment that was Humbug and AM brings the Monkeys’ back to their wittiest. Plus who can’t be excited about a record with a song called Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

5. The Bronx – The Bronx (IV)

It’s been over 14 years since I was sliding Millencolin and Face To Face records in my Math 30 textbooks, but out of the long slumber The Bronx managed to rekindle my long forgotten love with Punk music in 2013. IV is a fantastic and tight 40 minutes of pure energy and joy… It also helps that their hysterical side project Mariachi El Bronx is just as epic.

The Also Rans…

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

Truth be told CHVRCHES deserves to be on the top five list. I just couldn’t find a space to fit it in. While the Lorde record will probably steal most of the limelight from CHVRCHES this year, The Bones of What You Believe is a great record in the same vein as early Portishead. The track Lies is an inescapable track that should easily be one of the best of the year.

A Tribe Called Red – Nation II Nation

Can’t deny how amazing a year it has been for A Tribe Called Red. Sure they’ve been plagued by that ridiculous Head Dress controversy, but from breaking out of the Can-con doldrums to becoming an international musical success in less than a year is pretty impressive. Also, in my opinion, A Tribe Called Red may do more for Canadian/Native American relations in the long term than any piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons this year.

Cults – Static

I actually really don’t like this record as a whole, but the song I Can Hardly Make You Mad is so damn good. I’d say it’s a track of the year contender, but I don’t have any streetcred left in my old age to make that claim.

Pusha T – My Name is My Name

One of my favourite records from my short lived Music Reviewing career is The Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury. Pusha T, the main reason the Clipse were so brilliant, released My Name is My Name and it totally flew under the radar, but it is worth a spin or two or three.

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines

I can already hear people rolling their eyes, but hear just me out. Alright, here’s the truth Robin Thicke totally out Justin Timberlake’d Justin Timberlake, by making a record that is the essence of cheeseball R&B at it’s best. Yeah, yeah, yeah … Blurred Lines is over played, but anyone who can openly sing the song Give It 2 U with a straight face deserves my respect. No seriously, listen to that track and try not to burst out laughing when he sings Angel … Try it, I bet you can’t do it.

Categories: The-Pop-Culture, The-Music,

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1. Thicke wrote a song about non-consensual sex, and then made one of the worst music videos of all time. Oh, and ripped off Marvin Gaye in the process. BOOOO.

2. Modern Vampires is kind of the finale in a trilogy of albums. At least go back and give Contra a second shot. ‘Run’, ‘M79’, and the title track, could all fit seamlessly into their newest album. Come to the dark side, Connor…

3. I love how the hipsters at Pitchfork/NME/Spin were soooo happy that Arcade Fire got a Grammy (“what? You DON’T know who they are?? I heard of them, like, YEARS ago!”) and then crapped all over ‘Reflektor’ for being ‘pretentious’. It’s the goddam Arcade Fire. Of COURSE it’s pretentious. That’s what they do. ART is pretentious. But with James Murphy producing, this was a great album. Title track alone…

4. I love how much hate ‘Yeezus’ is getting on most music lists. Jay-Z is a safe entry, because he made a truly boring album (and then dropped shit lyrics on Beyonce’s album…) Kanye is an egotistical maniac, and he made a bloody brilliant album this year. I said it! :)

5. Recommendation for an end of year addition. Did you hear Tegan and Sara’s “Closer” this year? Best album they’ve ever put out, hands down.

And with that… Rennie out!

Jamie · Dec 19, 03:45 PM · #permalink

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1. I’ll give you that. But the rest of the record, is pure guilty pleasure… and really who hasn’t ripped off Marvin Gaye, isn’t everything just a remix.

2. I’m slowly warming up to them, but the earlier stuff is still tainted to me. One day I’ll full come over to the dark side… but not today. (albeit they put on a damn good live show!)

3. I don’t think Reflector is a bad album, but I’m also not an Arcade Fire fan boy. I’m sure some people think it’s a stunning album, but not my cup of tea.

4. I’m as much as a fan boy of Kanye (fully agree that he’s a musical and eccentric genius), but I’m not sold on Yeezus. I’ll give it another run, but as of now I yearn for the days of 404 Heartbreaks and Graduation….

5. I did, was not a fan of it. I like the title track but after that it faded for me. Good record, just not my cup of tea.

ctoverdrive · Dec 19, 04:53 PM · #permalink

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I hate Vampire Weekend as well, so perhaps I should give this album a listen?

Sarah W · Dec 28, 02:38 PM · #permalink

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