Thursday, January 02, 2014

Top 30 Albums of 2013

Happy 2014 everyone! We start the New Year with the list of our 30 favorite albums of 2013, chosen among approximately 160 full-length releases we’ve listened to in the past year.

You may have already caught a sneak peak of the top of our CD pile here (yes, it’s still a prerequisite for me to have an object in my hands before considering a record for inclusion in my list - old habits die hard), but now it’s time to cut through the chase and properly unveil the albums that we’ll remember the most from 2013:

All three albums at the top of our list were equally deserving of the title "Album of the Year". In the end, the honor went to Factory Floor for delivering a perfect 53-minute electro-dance odyssey, perhaps the album that New Order should have made right after "Blue Monday". This doesn’t mean that Factory Floor are stuck to the music of a particular decade; influences from different genres and eras creep into the mix and go through the Factory's creative process. The end product is simply amazing - the music of the future has finally arrived! (Click here to see our October review.)

"Shaking the Habitual", the epic double album with which The Knife have made their comeback after seven years, sounds like nothing else around. Whatever the influences of the brother-sister electro duo, they have truly turned them into a sound completely their own, a very rare feat indeed. It’s true that sometimes their music journey took them into strange realms outside of listenable song territory (on the 20-minute drone of "Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized" for instance), but unquestionably there was plenty to be excited and inspired about (the trailblazing "Full Of Fire", our Single of the Year, for example)  in one of the most adventurous albums released in recent years (click here for our full review.)

The Top 3 is completed with "Silence Yourself", the stunning debut album by Savages. The four girls have delivered the best guitar record of the year, taking inspiration from post-punk’s glorious past and injecting it with a passion and fury all their own. I think we can expect even greater things from them in the near future. (Check out here our live review of the band's record release gig at London's Rough Trade Shops in May.)

Here’s the complete list of Cool Music Central’s Top 30 Albums of 2013:

Top 30 Albums of 2013

1.   Factory Floor - FACTORY FLOOR

2.   Shaking the habitual - THE KNIFE

3.   Silence yourself - SAVAGES

4.   More light - PRIMAL SCREAM


6.   Loud city song - JULIA HOLTER

7.   We are the 21st century ambassadors of peace and magic - FOXYGEN

8.   Waiting for something to happen - VERONICA FALLS

9.   Indigo meadow - THE BLACK ANGELS

10. Reflektor - ARCADE FIRE

11. Purgatory / Paradise - THROWING MUSES
12. Push the sky away - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
13. One breath - ANNA CALVI
14. Interiors - GLASSER
15. Inform - Educate - Entertain - PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
16. Slow focus - FUCK BUTTONS
18. Mosquito - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
19. Light up gold - PARQUET COURTS
20. Cerulean salt - WAXAHATCHEE
21. Major Arcana - SPEEDY ORTIZ
22. Static - CULTS
23. Shulamith - POLIÇA
24. Holy fire - FOALS
25. Re-Mit - THE FALL
26. I hate music - SUPERCHUNK
27. The double EP: A sea of split peas - COURTNEY BARNETT
28. Trouble will find me - THE NATIONAL
29. Dream river - BILL CALLAHAN
30. Seasons of your day - MAZZY STAR

Click here for the rest of our Albums of the Year (#31 to #60) and here for the debuts, as well as the sophomore and comeback records of the year.

You can also check out our Top 50 Singles of 2013 here.

Last but not least, a farewell to Benjamin Curtis of School of Seven Bells and Secret Machines who sadly passed away at the end of the year - here's an old favorite of ours, "Prince of Peace", a song we introduced to our Killer Tracks Hall of Fame back in January of 2009:

School of Seven Bells - Prince of Peace

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