Albums

Best Albums of 2013

Impact asked YOU to tell us your favourite albums of 2013. The survey answered by UoN students gathered over 130 responses including albums of every genre imaginable and the list has been compiled in descending order with our Number 1 slot featuring the most in your Top 10s.

10. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

After a tricky operation in 2010, the prospect of death, personified as The Vampyre Of Time And Memory, concentrated Josh Homme’s mind. In …Like Clockwork, he has renewed purpose: his voice is more authoritative, the lyrics are more poignant and the riffs are as devastatingly effective as ever. Recruiting some of his friends in high places – notable cameos coming from Alex Turner and Elton John – Homme, realises his macabre vision without a hitch.

9. David Bowie – The Next Day

The Next Day is Bowie’s first album in a decade. While old fans got sentimental, Bowie’s words are for today’s youth. The sharp, urgent lyrics warn us of our celebrity-obsessed, consuming culture, matched by angry drumming, screeching guitars and Bowie’s pressing vocals.

8. Danny Brown – Old

Danny Brown’s Old did not fail its difficult task in following 2011’s XXX. The lyrics range from descriptions of the Detroit ghetto he grew up in to references of alternative music acts. Danny’s distinctive rapping forms the backbone of each song, and production features a number of DJs, including Rustie and Oh No.

7. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

In May 2013, the lords of dance music came down from above and dispelled Pitbull and David Guetta from their seats with Random Access Memories. Here was dance music that didn’t have misogynistic subtext. It was pleasant to the ear. It was an artistic masterpiece. ‘Get Lucky’ was the favourite song of the year for 6% of those surveyed.

6. Savages – Silence Yourself

Shrugging off early criticism as merely Joy Division revivalists, Silence Yourself is highly indebted to the British post-punk movement, yet also treads plenty of new ground. From the screeching chorus of ‘Husbands’, the raucous punk of ‘Hit Me’, through to the eerie ‘Waiting For A Sign’, Silence Yourself hints at much more to come.

5. Haim – Days Are Gone

Days Are Gone, the debut album from Haim, the outrageously cool LA sister act, peaked at number 1 in the UK albums chart. They cross Fleetwood Mac’s ’70s pop with a sleek sensitivity for contemporary RnB to great effect.

4. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Reflektor saw Arcade Fire develop once more, leaving behind the 80s synths and making a full-on dance record, complete with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy on production duties and a David Bowie cameo. ‘Talking Heads’ is a piece of art.

3. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City

If you’ve been down on Vampire Weekend before now, this may well just be the album to change your mind. It’s a more adult and dynamic evolution that wasn’t necessarily expected but was most certainly welcomed. It has taken the number one spot on Pitchfork’s ‘Top 50 Albums of 2013’, and deserves a listen. Must hear tracks are ‘Step’ and ‘Hannah Hunt’.

2. Arctic Monkeys – AM

Turner and co’s. latest offering blends Black Sabbath-esque testosterone-fuelled riffs, with slick, RnB falsettos. On paper, it really shouldn’t work. On record, AM is one of the albums of the decade thus far.

1. Kanye West – Yeezus

Top of your 2014 charts is King Kanye West having appearing in more top 10’s than any other artist. Like an unadvised chemical experiment conducted by a mad genius, Kanye fused the increasingly relevant EDM sound with his egomaniacal persona. It resulted in that heartfelt ‘Bound 2’ chorus, the galloping ‘Black Skinhead’ beat, a contorted Nina Simone sample and Kanye announcing ‘I AM A GOD.’

Alex Neely, Liv Clark, Daisy Foster, Bryony Lingard, Ishmael Anwuri, Ian Fillingham and Jeremy Dobson

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