Monday, 27 May 2013

Joe Gilbey's 'Best of 2013 So Far'

First of all, I apologise again for the scarcity of posts over the last couple of months. However, Joe Sherwood and I are treating you all dearly this half term with our 'Best of 2013 So Far' lists, so I do hope that you forgive us. I feel that two albums need a special mention though considering that they would be on this list if I'd released it a month later, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for Yeezus by Kanye West and Untitled EP 2 by Hodgy Beats, I'm pretty excited about those.

2013 has been dominated by rap and experimental hip-hop so far which is something that I always like to see, and I think that shows through in this list a fair bit so sorry if you feel that there is a lack of variety. Every man to his own, right?

Tweet me or Joe Sherwood if you have any suggestions for albums that we may have missed out on!

20) Dean Blunt The Redeemer (Hippos in Tanks)

19) Iceage You're Nothing (Matador Records)

18) Frank Turner Tape Deck Heart (Interscope)

17) David Bowie The Next Day (ISO Records)

16) Mikill Pane The Lucky Strike EP (Self-released)

15) Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Push The Sky Away (Bad Seeds Ltd.)

14) Slim Guerilla & DJ Smokey Guerilla Warfare (Self-released)

13) Le1f Fly Zone (Greedhead Entertainment)

12) Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City (XL Recordings)

11) Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple Records)

10) Koreless Yugen (Young Turks)

9) A$AP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP (Polo Grounds/RCA)

8) Ghostpoet Some Say I So I Say Light (Play It Again Sam)

7) Tree Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out (Creative Control)

6) Daft Punk Random Access Memories (Daft Life/Columbia)

5) Chance The Rapper Acid Rap (Self-released)

Don't expect too much depth from Acid Rap, that's all.

"Na na na na na, na na na na na!"

4) James Blake Overgrown (Republic)

Overgrown contains some of this unsung British hero's greatest work to date. He has stepped up since James Blake and his various extended plays when it comes to both producing and songwriting, which resulted in him creating one of the most soulful and artistic albums of the year so far. There is almost definitely a lot more to come from this man, and considering that he's been noticed by artists such as RZA, I think that we can expect more hip-hop/R&B artists to collaborate with him in the future.

3) The Child of Lov The Child of Lov (Double Six)

Whatever Damon Albarn touches turns to gold, so after learning that Blur's musically cultured front man would be both producing and appearing on The Child of Lov's self-titled debut album, it was pretty evident that this Dutch artist was off to an impressively good start. The album itself portrays the artist's personal social viewpoint (his identity is currently unknown as he hasn't released much information about himself) in a bouncy and convivial way that gives a very similar 'multi-genre' vibe to that of Demon Days by Gorillaz or a late OutKast album, which shows that The Child of Lov definitely has much potential for the future.

2) The Knife Shaking The Habitual (Brille/Rabid)

Most bands wouldn't dare attempting to take such a risk in creating an experimental album like Shaking The Habitual, but dear lord has this paid off. 

I was fairly anxious about listening to an album of such a monstrous nature at first, but after it had been recommended to me for the third time I just had to but my mind at ease and give it a spin, which turned out one of the best decisions I have made for a long time. It is a relatively slow-moving and spacious album but is undoubtedly rewarding if given its due listen, so if you're easily dissuaded by long tracks then sit on your hands and face your fears; you'll thank me later.

1) Tyler, The Creator Wolf (Odd Future Records)

Wolf is most definitely a large landmark in Tyler's musical life. Not only has he learned to channel his hatred for our monotonous society, he's also combined his trademark versatile beats and lyrical dexterity in a way that only offends a small minority of social groups, as opposed to half of the globe. Of course, he continues to rant about his father, uncultivated fans and women in general, but what more could you expect from a member of Odd Future?

The album features many impressive guests such as the infamous OFWGKTA crew (Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean etc.) and also a few of the most successful hip-hop artists of the past decade, including Erykah Badu, Nas and Pharell. This unquestionably reflects well on Tyler's huge jump in maturity, as it shows that he's conscious of his influence on his ever-growing fan base, and therefore has an inherent duty to inspire future generations with legendary music.

Although Tyler's lost some of the zaniness that made Goblin such a compelling listen, he's technically improved in just about every way, which makes Wolf a near impossible album to top this year.

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