Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some food for thought: What I like and dislike about 2013 so far

Today I decided that I am going to wait until January to publish my annual best of list. By waiting until the new year, it would allow me to not miss any end of the year releases. It makes more sense to do so. In the meantime I thought I would share with my readers with my thoughts on the releases of 2013 (the good, bad, and ugly).

90% of the music I have heard this year has been excellent. Unfortunately there have been some disappointments. Companion in Crime by Funker Vogt, Babes in Consumerland by Snog, Leaving Babylon by Covenant, and Weapon by Skinny Puppy. I really wanted to like these four albums but frankly I found myself yawning myself into a coma. I was really disappointed in the new Covenant album in particular. There just was no energy or life in the music except for in "Ignorance and Bliss", the one track that really stood out with me. Also the songs sounded way too much alike. The same can be said about Funker Vogt's Companion in Crime. Of course what is one person's trash is another person's treasure. 

That said, on to the good stuff. Do keep in mind this is a preliminary list. There are some albums that I am dying to have that are coming out in coming weeks by the likes of VNV Nation (duh!) and Solitary Experiments. After a stellar year in 2012, I didn't really know if 2013 would come close to it when it came to music. Oh how I was wrong. I heard some kick ass music by artists I am well familiar with and newly discovered artists. So here is my list of albums that I am seriously considering for my best of 2013 list. They all get regular plays at home and at work. This is not in chronological order. For my final list, I will most likely narrow it down to 10-20 albums. 

Helalyn Flowers - White Me In/Black Me Out
Ayria - Plastic Makes Perfect
Sarah Brightman - Dreamchaser
Suicide Commando - When Evil Speaks
Amduscia - Filofobia
Butcher Babies - Goliath
Tristania - Darkest Whites
Blume - Autumn Ruins
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
Goldfrapp - Tales of Us
Syrian - Death of a Sun
Noblesse Oblige - Affair of the Heart
Blutengel - Monument
Kirlian Camera - Black Summer Choirs
Marsheaux - Inhale
Mr. Kitty - Life
Zola Jesus - Versions
Faun - Von Den Elben
Io Echo -Ministry of Love
Kobra and the Lotus - s/t
Gospel Gossip - s/t
The Bellwether Syndicate - The Night Watch
Absolute Grrrls Manifesto Chapter 1
Juno Reactor - The Golden Sun of the Great East
Front Line Assembly  - Echogenic

Right now the new Blume and Goldfrapp albums are getting heavy rotation. I am particularly in love with the new Goldfrapp album Tales of Us. It is the closest to Felt Mountain. It kicks ass in a very quiet and subtle way. Autumn Ruins by Blume is definitely one of the best synthpop albums of 2013. Covenant could learn a lot about crafting a good pop hook from these guys. Sorry to Covenant fans but Blume is a much better band. Their songs do NOT sound the same.

I really don't listen to metal but this year I have picked up a few metal albums that I have been totally digging: Darkest Whites by Tristania, Goliath by Butcher Babies, and the self-titled album by Kobra and the Lotus. Really love the new Tristania album. It is a solid album from start to finish.  The band made a fan out of me. Goliath is one of those albums that took a few listens for the music to grow on  me. Totally dig the brutal vocals from the women in Butcher Babies. Excellent music to clean house too. Finally Kobra and The Lotus. If Iron Maiden had a female singer, I imagine this is how they would sound like. Kick ass album. Kobra Paige has a powerful set of vocal chords. Just blows my mind hearing her sing.

As soon as I pay my mortgage for next month and get paid, I am so ordering the new VNV Nation and Solitary Experiments albums. Definitely also need to get the new Parralox album of cover songs. I am also excited for the next For All the Emptiness album sometime this fall. Oh and I almost forgot about the new Sensuous Enemy album Voyager.

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