I am but one person – with a taste in music that’s my own.
These albums are albums that I listened to in 2013 and placed into a best-of list that best represents what I liked this year. My music tastes have moved more in line with mainstream pop recently so there is an abundance of pop music but I believe 2013 to be the most varied year in “pop music” in quite some time.
Here are the 30 albums that I select as my picks of 2013.
#30. Dido – Girl Who Got Away
The fourth album from British singer Dido continues her sound of dabbling in the electronica genre as she places subtle beats behind her sombre melodies and delicate voice.
The elements of trip-hop and electronica are what keep Dido from completely fading away. Her lyrics provide the perfect setting for great mind-filling beats and synths but she continues to hold them back.
As a soundtrack compilation, the roster of artists is pretty impressive, especially when considering all of the songs were newly recorded for this – a rarity nowadays where many soundtracks opt for a collection of older and previously recorded songs.
This soundtrack is much more upbeat than the soundtrack to the first movie with songs that take Catching Fire’s themes and makes them more universal. Songs of triumph and love.
Sheryl doesn’t just dabble in country music – she jumps right in, resulting in an album that is more country-sounding than what many of today’s big country stars release. She sounds right at home on the record, delivering an authentic set of songs, most of which she co-wrote in Nashville.
Feels Like Home may be too country for radio but deserves to find a home in country music fans. It’s an album that is long overdue from Sheryl and easily her best in a decade.
True is all over the place but it does feel like a big club party that is welcoming to everyone. Avicii is attempting to come up with something new and interesting with the genre he calls home and for the most part, he pulls it off.
It’s not necessarily the type of music you’d expect, or maybe even want to hear on the dancefloor in some cases, but he covers a lot of ground with this record with a focus that extends beyond the reach of the club floors.
Instantly catchy ear candy made of Katy’s perfected brand of pop music that fit in just enough for today’s pop music landscape.
Katy Perry has already proven almost a dozen times that she has mastered the makings of a pop hit on her last two albums, and she does it again on Prism. She gives what is expected from her: fun, catchy, harmless pop songs.
Seven years since the release of the Dixie Chicks’ last album, Natalie Maines resurfaces with her first solo album and an attempt at re-entering the music world by moving beyond it all with Mother.
Despite the weaknesses, she makes an effort to take her sound beyond what she’s been known for. With Mother, she leaves nearly all of her former sound behind, save for a few touches here and there, and gives a pretty broad sample of where her head is at.
Sara sounds more sure of herself but she doesn’t get cocky with her delivery, rarely deviating away from the sound she’s become associated with.
The Blessed Unrest isn’t an instant record but there are strengths and Sara’s are with her lyrics. As she sings on Eden, “let me paint a picture for you/then I’ll have to teach you to see it.” It’s like a learning process. Not difficult or groundbreaking but worth getting lost in.
A 13-year delay may have been the best thing to happen to Silver Bell and for Patty Griffin. It serves as a warm reminder of the consistency of Patty’s output, whether this is considered her third album or her eighth.
It’s a story of triumph against time and circumstance, where she was given the opportunity to focus on her craft of creating timeless songs that have positioned her as one of the most respected songwriters in folk and americana.
There is a shift in the air as Sway seems to be focusing on the good days rather than the bad of lead singer and songwriter Justin Furstenfeld.
Sway is the lightest album Blue October has recorded, in terms of music and lyrics. The heaviness of themes from past albums has lifted as this record has a greater focus on the recovery. But Blue October always has something to say and the past problems aren’t without acknowledgement.