2013 was similar in the music realm as aforementioned movie realm: a guy whose life was ruled by music for a year only heard a small selection of music. Again, I was fortunate to have purchased mostly solid musical selections.
Neko Case’s The Worse Things Get… is an excellent album, although a slight step down from Middle Cyclone, but then again, in my humble opinion, that album was one of, it not the, best album of the last five years. The cool thing about Neko Case is she’s always trying out new things in her music. With this one, there are a lot more horns and a small amount of acapella singing. It’s kind of a continuation of Middle Cyclone both musically and lyrically. The animal nature is here again, although this one is more personal. The songwriting was remarkably strong on Middle Cyclone; The Worse Things Get… isn’t at the same caliber, although it’s still quite good, one of the best of the year in my book.
Muchacho marked a strong return to form for Phosphorescent, returning to his strong songwriting roots after a pair of decent if subpar albums.
Best Coast took a step forward with the Fade Away EP. The songwriting has matured and there are more layers musically, even if the same basic surf rock structure remains distinctively in place.
Tame Impala’s Lonerism was a solid lo-fi piece that recalled some of the best elements of early British Invasion music. With catchy riffs that called to mind The Kinks, this one-man show lived up to buzz that preceded the album.
What other albums did I miss out on? I’ve liked everything I’ve heard of The National’s Trouble will Find Me. But if I’m being honest, I haven’t taken the time to sit down and listen to the whole thing in its entirety in one sitting, so I don’t feel qualified to list it. Also, I hear the new Deerhunter Monomania is quite good. What else stood out in music in 2013?