Monday, December 16, 2013

Top Ten Releases of 2013 - Part Two

My subjective list of the "Best of 2013" in music releases continues with part two - albums six through ten. As with the Top Ten - Part One, these are not in a fixed and regimented order - they're just the releases I listened to and enjoyed the most this year.

6. Blitzen Trapper "VII" -  the band's 7th album is slinkier with more of a "late night vibe" (in the band's own words). I'll be honest - haven't warmed up to it as much as I did their last one, American Goldwing, but that album has a place in my heart and soul, so not every release makes it that far inside. "Thirsty Man" has a great groove going on:

7. Pearl Jam "Lightning Bolt" - it's been a while since a PJ album got inside and under my skin like this one has. Great collection of songs this time out - personal favorite right now is "Swallowed Whole" - solid effort this time from Pearl Jam:

8. The Avett Brothers "Magpie and the Dandelion" - I like this, but it didn't go higher on my top ten because it feels like a little bit of an afterthought, coming right on the heels of last year's "The Carpenter". The songs were recorded at the same time as that set's. There's even a live cut on the album. Still... it's quality. New music from the Avetts, what's not to like? Did not realize the lead track was about modeling until I caught the video:

9. The Lone Bellow (self-titled debut) - one of the first songs that really blew me away this year was "You Never Need Nobody" by The Lone Bellow. Their self-titled album was released a little later in the spring. It's really that first track that has them on the list, though. The rest of the album is good - but "You Never Need..." is soul-chills fantastic!

10. Mike Doughty "Circles Super Bon Bon..." One of the more interesting efforts this year - with the aid of PledgeMusic and his fans, Mike Doughty revisited the songs from what had been a dark period of his life, his years with Soul Coughing.

Great seeing him do the material live, too. Had a good chat in The Point studios before his Higher Ground show as well:

So that's my Top Ten... in no particular order. Thanks for checking it out! Also? If you're interested, I put together a mix of the best tracks of 2013: