Monthly Archives: January 2014
12 months, 365 days.
Thousands of records and hundreds of bands, but only a few captured our hearts (for some, again!) during the booming year of music. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but these are my personal favorites from the music highlights of this year!
*Fall Out Boy- Save Rock And Roll
The legendary pop-punk band managed to record the entirety of this album without public knowledge until PropertyOfZack started dropping hints. Still, the announcement of a completed album and huge tour blew up the scene, and with Save Rock And Roll’s hip hop/pop influenced sound, pop-punk successfully infiltrated the Top 40. The guest appearances, such as Elton John and Courtney Love, make for an interesting- but ever catchy album. The storyline told through music video has yet to unfold in 2013, but fans everywhere still hold their breath for the conclusion.
*Lily Allen- Hard Out Here
After nearly four years of not making music, and making two children, Lily Allen had to make a statement to be reinstated into her position in the pop industry, as a painfully honest, sometimes crude, but always lovable musician. Living up to even her most popular hits, “Hard Out Here” not only reminds us of who Lily Allen is, but it’s modern satirical outlook on the discriminatory scenes of music genres like pop and rap leaves us both contemplating, and laughing. The video makes an even larger statement (yeah, she’s calling you out Thicke!), one that some people may have a hard time swallowing. Whether you love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it or Lily Allen afterwards!
*Avenged Sevenfold- Hail To The King
Nightmare was bittersweet for many fans of Avenged Sevenfold, and for a fleeting moment it was up in the air, a question everyone wanted to know, “Would Avenged Sevenfold continue making music without their friend and drummer known as The Rev?” And the answer is, of course, yes. They picked up a new partner-in-crime, the worthy Arin Ilejay, and began writing again. The result was an album that was a kind of tribute to their origins, the sound of Metallica and Black Sabbath that fueled every metal band since their rise. The sound is different, right down to the purposeful diversion from The Rev’s drumming style, the guitar riffs and vocals. But few could say they were disappointed, for it was a great album.
*Eminem (feat. Rihanna)- The Monster
The “Rap God” is back with his fourth collaboration with Rihanna! Everyone has demons to face, and Eminem comes to terms with his in “The Monster”. It’s everything you could expect from an Eminem song, and Rihanna’s powerful chorus is just too catchy. The inflective verses remind us that the off-the-wall rapper knows who he is, and that includes his faults. You don’t have to read too much into it, though, because the song is phenomenal either way.
*Pentatonix- PTX, Vol. II
The a capella group that started a little over a year ago blew up this spring, and they’ve been rolling uphill ever since. With each cover their vast fanbase gets bigger, and to no one’s credit but their own. This quintet is lovable from all sides, and if you’ve forgotten, PTX Vol. II will remind you why. On this album is their Daft Punk medley and their cover of “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, along with several originals. These innovative musicians have harnessed the power of the voice itself, and their talent shows.
*Justin Timberlake- Mirrors
From the boy band to the solo career, Justin Timberlake has always been at the top of his game in music. And he had kept up that reputation in 2013 with “Mirrors”. The song is smooth and beautiful, but with changes of pace that make it not only pleasing but interesting to listen to. While he puts out single after single, I have to say I loved “Mirrors” the most from this year.
*Pearl Jam- Lightning Bolt
The problem with great bands is you either burn out, or fade away…usually. Pearl Jam is still driving hard, and they haven’t run out of material yet. Lightning Bolt combines new sounds as well as old ones, and you can always rely on Eddie Vedder’s strange lyrics to provoke contemplation. Living up to the original albums that shot them to stardom, you can enjoy every single song on
this record, and each one for different reasons. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
*Twenty-One Pilots- Migraine
I saw these guys a few months ago, and believe me, this duo is up and coming fast and powerful. With a unique sound that is part techno, part rap, and sort of punk, Twenty-One Pilots is one band you have to listen to. A personal favorite from their 2013 career is “Migraine”, with a pretty chorus and infectious verses. The soul that is put into this music is visible with all of their music, and the message in this song is pretty clear.
The band that set the foundation to the standards of female fronted pop-punk artists is back and better than ever. With the departure of both Farro brothers, Hayley, Taylor, and Jeremy, had to seek out a new sound. And it was mature, pulling a totally different style out of each of the members. With “Ain’t It Fun”, “Still Into You”, and “Anklebiters”, this album is bound to have you jumping around and dancing.
*Bring Me the Horizon- Sempiternal
This is arguably the best album of 2013. Oliver Sykes took his vocals to a whole new level that many skeptics didn’t think was possible, a level that many artists never reach. The music has matured too, taking it’s time instead of rushing forward like older records of theirs. You don’t have to change a good thing, but you can always make it better. And that’s exactly what Sempiternal
Love or hate the young new pop star, you can hardly deny that her first single that put her on “the map”, “Royals” is catchy. The kind of catchy that you associate with the flu; you can’t help but sing along no matter how much you hate the song. In fact, it’s almost impossible to hate the song itself, because it’s dark sound lulls to us, and the chorus is beautiful. Musicians of all kinds have had their fun covering it (Pentatonix, Halestorm, Paradise Fears, etc), and maybe that’s because it sounds great no matter what genre you associate with.
*Hollywood Undead- Notes From The Underground
The hybrid rock and rap group Hollywood Undead have created a steady following through their fun club anthems, such as “Comin’ In Hot” and “No. 5”, as well as their darker lullabies like “Pour Me” and “Black Dahlia”. Notes From The Underground was no different, with its twisted “Dead Bite”, funny and upbeat “Pigskin” and ballad “Believe” it topped charts immediately. Album after album and so far this group hasn’t slowed down. All around this record was really diverse, allowing each song to take on a life of its own for us to enjoy.
*Panic! At The Disco- Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die
Announced just after Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock And Roll, this album envelops a catchy new sound, just like every Panic! At The Disco record before it. It’s a little smoother, with a techno sound laced through pop and the attitude that is solely “Panic!”. The singles “Miss Jackson” and “This Is Gospel” only scratch the surface of the sound that will get stuck in your head for months.
*We The Kings- I Like It
Following both their own style and the movement created by Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco, We The King’s new single “I Like It” has the hip-hop background that anyone can enjoy with the sound of punk-pop that we all love. It’s catchy and fun, and despite the criticisms, I can’t stop listening to it.
* Miscellaneous Artists- Punk Goes Christmas
The Punk Goes… compilations have been every hardcore, punk-pop, and punk kid’s dream for years since its inception…and ‘tis the season! This Fearless Records creation contains both covers and original songs by “punk” bands across the spectrum, all in time for the holidays! The originals are personally better, with New Found Glory’s “Nothing For Christmas” and The Ready Set’s “I Don’t Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You” being both catchy and beautiful.
Well, that’s my list.
What music from 2013 did you love best?
What are you expecting from 2014?
Let me know! Happy New Year, friends.