MID-YEAR RUNDOWN: THE 25 BEST ALBUMS OF 2013 SO FAR

It’s July 1st, meaning we’re exactly half way into 2013. What a fast six months! With the past six months has come a plethora of great music. I’m more than likely going to do another Top 50 albums this year at the end of 2013. I said that was as much as I’d do because it’s pretty daunting but I may do a top 75 this year, with the last 25 just being honorable mentions and not writing about them. We’ll see.

It’s been a little bit slow developing in terms of massive blockbusters from the Rock scene (My main area of focus) but it’s been a grab-bag of return to form brilliance from vets, surprises from artists who completely took their game to new levels, and newcomers threatening to steal the show. There’s destined to be a lot more shakeup on this list by year’s end with records still expected out by Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, and Deer Tick to name a few. Add to that the rumored possible releases by artists like The Black Keys, Ryan Adams, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, and yes maybe even U2 and you’ve still got a bounty of magnificent music left on the table.

So here’s a little taste of what’s to come down the road of the Top 50 at year’s end. The Top 25 at halftime:

1.       Black Sabbath- 13

2.       Queens Of The Stone Age- …Like Clockwork

3.       The National- Trouble Will Find Me

4.       Portugal. The Man- Evil Friends

5.       Phosphorescent- Muchacho

6.       Dawes- Stories Don’t End

7.       Frank Turner- Tape Deck Heart

8.       Jake Bugg- Jake Bugg

9.       David Bowie- The Next Day

10.   Palma Violets- 180

11.   Iggy Pop & The Stooges- Ready to Die

12.   Frightened Rabbit- Pedestrian Verse

13.   Andrew Stockdale- Keep Moving

14.   Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City

15.   Dropkick Murphys- Signed And Sealed In Blood

16.   The Joy Formidable-Wolf’s Law

17.   Free Energy- Love Sign

18.   Treetop Flyers- The Mountain Moves

19.   Ivan & Alyosha- All The Times We Had

20.   The Strokes- Comedown Machine

21.   Local Natives- Hummingbird

22.   Tribes- Wish to Scream

23.   Smith Westerns- Soft Will

24.   Foals- Holy Fire

25.   Josh Ritter- The Beast in its Tracks

It’s been a fierce battle for the top spot with two heavies-  Black Sabbath’s excellent return to form with 13 and Queens Of The Stone Age reemerging after a six year hiatus with …Like Clockwork as the monstrous 1-2 punch. The National, Portugal. The Man, and Phosphorescent are all chomping at their heels right behind them though.

I guess some people will inevitably see ranking music as stupid since it’s ultimately subjective (…well). That’s fine you can think whatever you want, you’re entitled to your opinion. Most people that voice this thought are on a total different wavelength than me anyway both in processing music and in preference. For me I see this as engaging and exciting. New releases have never been more pivotal or eventful to me than in the last five years when I started doing this back in 2008. I wish I had started it sooner in all honesty. I may be old fashioned but I still love the feeling of days when new records come out you’ve been anticipating for weeks and months before hand. I really hope the art of making an amazing record isn’t lost in the future when people have millions of songs in the palm of their hands with their Spotify accounts without paying attention to the artist’s true vision… or let’s be honest, paying attention to anything really. Regardless, it’s been a very good first half of 2013 for music and the second half could be even better.

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