If you don’t have any of these ten albums, then get them! These tracks are widely tipped for all the top gongs this awards season, and have been the soundtrack to this year. These are the very best, top albums of 2013.
10-Arctic Monkeys “AM’– This album has been a renaissance for this band, leading the way for indie songwriters, and this is their most mature album, yet also their most gutsy; the high two-way choruses which make it so distinct would never have happened a few records ago. “There’s little bounce but the songs feel super sturdy, armed with Turner and his diverting reflections. AM, not that there was much doubt, simply reaffirms Arctic Monkeys as the most exciting band around.”
9-Laura Mvula “Sing to the Moon’– described as retro-soul but so much more than that, this album is a combination of 60s and gospel influences combined with adventurous fusions, such as tracks like the uplifting ‘Green Garden’. Some overlong sounds, but depending on how you much enjoy the Harp and Celeste, this may be a blessing in disguise.
8- Justin Timberlake ‘The 20/20 Experience: 1&2’– creating 30 songs in 30 days is no mean feat, and the superstar once again working with Timbaland has created a catalogue of monster songs that are both futuristic and way ahead of the game as usual. Expect many a musician to borrow some of the themes used by JT on both albums. Highlights include ‘Mirrors’, ‘Pusher Love Girl’ and ‘TKO’.
7-Drake– with the mellow and infectious tune “Just Hold On” as lead single, the rapper has establishing himself as a leader in his genre, stripping back the production to allow the vocals to tell the story of his trademark plight with women. Kudos for not letting the industry change you.
6-Beyoncè ‘Beyoncè’ -Nobody saw it coming. Beyoncé dropped a self-titled visual album that’s as stunning and visionary as Mrs. Carter herself. It has went on to become the biggest selling LP on iTunes ever (currently number one in 104 countries). Her fifth solo project takes her in a completely different direction, sexier than ever, and working with the cream of the music industry (Pharrell, Timbaland, Ryan Tedder) to complete her most impressive work yet, as well as introducing her fans to her new character ‘Yoncè’.
5-David Bowie ‘The Next Day’– Bowie’s first release for a decade is a bold, beautiful and baffling electric bolt through its own mythos”and the mixed-up, celebrity-obsessed, war-torn world of the 21st century.” ‘Tonight’ and ‘Never Let Me Down’ proved that he’s still perfectly capable of making epic hits.
4- AlunaGeorge ‘Body Music’– shortlisted for the BRITs critics choice and the BBC Sound of 2013, this duo finally got their breakthrough this year and are leading the pack in experimental R&B. Their use of arty music videos and clever lyrics (eg “Everything you exhale/is attracting flies”) bridge the gap between hipster and mainstream that could lead to this duos further success in the future.
3-Disclosure ‘Settle’– Dubbed as ‘deep house’, this East London posse have made the genre cool again, and this album has spawned mega-hits ‘Latch’, ‘F for You’ and ‘White Noise’. Despite its mainstream popularity it still managed to gain a shortlist nomination on the Mercury music prize list, which shows how much of a statement these guys have made to the industry.
2-James Blake ‘Homegrown’ The Mercury prize winner of 2013 has been hailed as way ahead of itself in its production. Creating “state-of-the-art, digital dance music to pursue something almost completely contrary to the clubbing experience. These beats are not hard, the sounds are not polished. It is music of emotion and imagination, shifting perspectives in ways that are deliciously intangible, intent on moving the heart rather than the feet.”
1- London grammar ‘If You Wait’ – The groups’s debut is emotional, uplifting and stunningly beautiful. The use of trippy, light and airy dance beats along with strong, lung-busting vocals creates an album that is pushing music into the future, creating a sound for them that is soulful beyond their years.”It’s an assured collection of 11 songs that capture a mixture of exhilaration and heartbreak that is all their own.”