Standard Disclaimer: Contrary to the title, I don’t do “best of the year” lists. My “best of” list always includes material released in previous years which I discovered during the current year. Purists may (and do) complain, but they can suck a nut. Nobody likes purists.
2013 was less a year of discovery and more a year of solidifying how I find new music. My methods still aren’t stable, but at least I have a solid platform to work from. So while I’ll present a few favorites from the year, this is not a 1-2-3 list of albums or songs. That’s just not how 2013 played out for me.
I ditched Spotify in favor of Rdio. Rdio’s interface and mobile app work better for me. I find them more intuitive. Spotify may have the bulk of users, but I like Rdio. You can connect with me at spiritofnine.
And I’ve certainly got my usage out of Rdio this year. I’ve listened to more new bands across more different genres than I’ve probably heard in all my life. Most of them have sucked or not been my cup of tea, but it’s been a lot of fun. My Rdio plays are mostly tracked on Last.fm. Feel free to send a friend request.
Credit for my top find this year goes to Netflix. That’s where I discovered the documentary A Band Called Death, which led me to purchase Death - For The Whole World to See. The documentary is great, and the album is better than that. This is music I believe could’ve changed the face of punk and hard rock in the 70s and 80s. I’ve yet to listen to this album that it didn’t make me smile. There’s not a bad song on it. I wrote about it here.
Rush’s Snakes & Arrows takes second place. This is an incredible album that I don’t think has been given it’s due. The band is tight and the lyrics are top notch. I can find very little fault with this album that isn’t nitpicking. I reviewed the album in this post.
Lamb of God has gotten a lot of play this year. While I’m not prepared to point to a definitive album, I will say you can’t go wrong with them on a lazy afternoon. Here’s their discography on Amazon. I haven’t skipped any songs to date.
Deicide’s In The Minds of Evil is a solid outing. It’s not their best, but it’s a refreshing breather from their Christ hating (although that’s still there, it’s just not as in-your-face – opinions vary). I’ve grown weary of Deicide over the years. That said, I really enjoy this album. Make of that what you will.
Collison Course, a mix-up between Jay-Z and Linkin Park, is very enjoyable. I’ve burned a lot hours at the office spinning this one. Obviously, several songs are NSFW and I have an awesome office.
Finally, Slade’s 2-CD Greatest Hits is wonderful. It’s easy to forget how great these guys were. Their simple, bombastic anthems shaped the face of late 70s to mid 80s hard rock and heavy metal. They’ve never been given their full due in the US, and that’s a shame. These guys rock and this is a solid collection. You should go find it.
Onward and upward, right? Bring on 2014.
Let’s do this.