Shabba! This album would be nothing without Ferg's character. The opening lines are the perfect illustration of this, "We at the All-Star game right now. Eyes closed. Swish. And you still in the D-league doin, uh, layup drills. You feel me?" I laugh every time I hear him say "swish". The effortlessness and casual way he approaches big-ballin is downright endearing. Also, this album bangs.
Twigs is great and all, but Arca makes this record. His smooth, sexy, gritty beats are front and center throughout the entire album's duration. I can only hope that Twigs' debut full length will be solely produced by Arca, as these two are a perfect match.
With every release, Death Grips never sound the same, but they always sound like Death Grips. Government Plates is full of EDM samples that work really well alongside MC Ride's paranoid ramblings. The greatest song on here is "Two Heavens" with a crazy vocal sample comprising the beat. It also includes a great hook ("I'm on my way YEAH") that has been missing since The Money Store's hook-palooza. Is the album worth cancelling shows on its fans? Since I didn't buy tickets: yes.
Virgins is addictive. The sounds on here are so organic and so unique, I can't help but hit repeat when the album is over. It's excellent for relaxing, working, driving, or testing out your new headphones. Virgins is a modern symphony suited for a concert hall and would do very well performed live. Definitely check this one out if you are into droney repetition or piano concertos.
Kanye brought Death Grips' sound to the masses with this record, and the results are awesome. He also solicited the help of producer-of-the-moment Arca. I don't know how much Arca helped, but regardless, the quality of the beats on here are top notch. The lyrics... well Kanye's never been my favorite lyricist. There is something admirable though in his declaration that he is a god and my thinking "Well, he does sound pretty convincing..."
5. Arca - &&&&&
Arca, Arca, Arca. This guy is on a hell of a roll, and his best output all year was released for free. The beats on here are downright insane. I dare you to listen to this and not make a stank face. Go on. Get stanky. &&&&& also includes a closing track so peaceful and yet so bass heavy, it's an excellent contrast as a song and to the rest of the album.
OPN did it to me again. I heard this album, and while I liked it, I didn't love it. I tried to move on, but the album kept coming back to me. There is always this mysterious magnetism in his music, and before I know it, it's my fourth favorite album of the year. I still can not stand "Inside World" or "Problem Areas", but even if I skip those two, the other songs contain enough mini-songs/suites/whatever that the album stands well on its own despite these two. Who knows where OPN will go next, he is the most exciting musician out at the moment.
3. Rhye - Woman
I can't explain why I like this album so much. It's pretty straight-forward, sultry, nu-R&B with an excellent (male) vocalist, but it's just that. But it has worked it's way into my heart in a way that I really connect with, and it's one of those albums I can put on whenever and immediately get into the mood and feel of the album within the first few notes. It's also an album that I think nearly anyone could enjoy, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already!
The Knife are back, and better than ever. Their constant evolution is a fascinating one, and they really nailed this album. The sounds on here reverberate within my brain and create a really psychedelic experience, and no matter where I am, I can't sit still while listening (makes for a dangerous driving experience). I really hope we don't have to wait another 7 years for their next album, but I am sure if we do, it'll be even more batshit insane and unique than anything else they've done.
Yes, I realize I have the same #1 album as Pitchfork. Yes, that fact embarrasses me a little. But let me explain. When I first heard Shaking the Habitual, I didn't think anything would be able to top it. Even after hearing Modern Vampires of the City, I had The Knife just edging out the new contender. As the year went on, Shaking... continued to impress me and never felt old, but Vampire Weekend and I were forming a connection that was hard to shake. I enjoy this album on more than a cerebral level, it has become much more than that. The songs on Modern Vampires... are instantly catchy, but there is something about these pop songs that feel important in a classic kind of way. When an album like this comes along, it's a surprise when a publication doesn't give it the top spot. I look forward to the day when Vampire Weekend's latest is not referred to as a "modern classic" and instead recognized alongside the "greats" such as The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On, and My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.
Well, there was 2013 in the mind of Kyle. Think I'm full of shit? Let me know in the comments. Agree 100% with my selections like the sheeple you are? Let me know that as well. Thanks for reading, and here's looking forward to 2014! I hear The Avalanches are putting out an album finally! Right? ...right?