Last week, Craig got our new “Throwback Thursdays” feature going with an impressive look back at his Top 20 Albums of 2013. This week, I will be taking on this nearly-impossible task as well. As I looked back at my personal list of Top Albums from 2013, I find myself very intrigued by this idea of looking back at how we ranked things over a year ago. This is an interesting concept, because we often forget how much things can change in a year. When these albums came out in 2013, I was a completely different person, making this list almost like a time capsule of who I was in 2013 (pretty dramatic, I know). But it’s fun to look back, and I do think this list serves a purpose: it will help me to provide you with a better view of the most interesting and best albums of 2013, and hopefully give you a few albums to check out that you maybe didn’t get around back then.
It’s important to note that my list will not be formatted the same way Craig’s was, because I don’t think I can make a list that accurate and comprehensive. What I’m basically going to do is list the Top 10 Albums that have still stuck with me since 2013 ended, with a little musing on each, and I’ll also be throwing in some other albums from 2013 that I’m still fond of, but not quite as much as my Updated Top 10. Those albums are as follows:
Haim – Days are Gone: Great rock/pop from a sister trio that have all the spunk and musical chops to become superstars. Taylor Swift loves them, and so should you.
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City: The hipster darlings returned with thier third album to rave reviews, and their music continues to be one of a kind.
Foxing – The Albatross: The emo band that everyone spent all of 2014 fawning over after missing the late-2013 release of their debut album released a collection of unbelievably sad songs.
twenty|one|pilots – Vessel: Impossible to be described in a single word, 21p’s debut full-length took them to unbelievable heights that only continue to soar.
Citizen – Youth: Interestingly enough, this may be one of my most-played albums from 2013 now, thanks to songs that are so easy to go back to like “Sleep,” “Roam the Room,” and “The Summer.” Citizen are building a very strong case for one of the best young emo/post-grunge bands in the game right now.
The National – Trouble Will Find Me: The indie kings released another woefully miserable album last year that hits all the right notes and plucks all the right heartstrings. (Last year’s rank: 20)
AFI – Burials: Returning from a long hibernation, AFI came roaring back with “I Hope You Suffer,” and quite a few more dark emo/punk tracks that only they can concoct. (Last year’s rank: 19)
Dance Gavin Dance – Acceptance Speech: Jonny Craig out, Tillian Pearson in, and the same old unique post-hardcore jams from Dance Gavin Dance. This album also showcases the best performance for screamer Jon Mess as well. (Last Year’s Rank: 18)
A Day to Remember – Common Courtesy: A bitter legal dispute with Victory Records nearly torpedoed this album, but in the end, ADTR returned louder and bolder than ever. (Last Year’s Rank: 17)
Moving Mountains – Moving Mountains: Somewhere, Craig is softly weeping for the lost of this great, incredibly diverse band. Their final album was also their best, which made saying goodbye to Moving Mountains in 2013 even more difficult. (Last Year’s Rank: 16)
Hands Like Houses – Unimagine: They sounded a little too raw on their debut full-length, but Unimagine shows that Hands Like Houses is starting to hone in on the sound they’re comfortable with, and the results are magical. (Last Year’s Rank: 15)
Touche Amore – …Is Survived By: An exhibition of how good emotional hardcore can be, and nothing less. Touche Amore pushed thier boundaries this time around, and now their future is limitless. (Last Year’s Rank: 14)
The Dangerous Summer – Golden Record: Basically the opposite of Moving Mountains, The Dangerous Summer went out with arguably their worst album to date (though the songs are still quite good), but their inner turmoil finally boiled over and ended the band’s career. (Last Year’s Rank: 12)
Jimmy Eat World – Damage: They’ve stuck around longer than anyone could have imagined, and when Jimmy Eat World releases albums like Damage, it’s easy to see why they still resonate after all these years. (Last Year’s Rank: 11)
Bastille – Bad Blood: Don’t for a second think that mega-single “Pompeii” is all this album has to offer. Bastille can go from arena-ready anthems to indie power ballads at the drop of the hat, and can do both extremely well. (Last Year’s Rank: 10)
Cartel – Collider: Arguably past their prime, Cartel came back with a self-released album that bolstered their catalog with one of the band’s most complete efforts. (Last Year’s Rank: 9)
Now, let’s take a look at my Updated Top 10 Albums of 2013!
10. letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful: The chaotic post-hardcore outfit’s sophomore full-length has all the bite and bark you can handle, and maybe even more. No band in the genre is making music this infectious right now. (Last Year’s Rank: 8)
9. Balance and Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing: After releasing the instant-classic Separation, B&C came back with another album chock-full of head-bangers, somber, drudging tracks, and a few more curveballs in between to show they’re one of the best young bands in the world right now.
8. The Story So Far – What You Don’t See: The angry, immature band that released Under Soil and Dirt grew up in a big way, and the result was a more introspective album that still maintained the band’s devoted tumblr following, and earned them a spot on Main Stage last summer on Warped. Is there any limit to where this band can go? (Last Year’s Rank: 13)
8. The Devil Wears Prada – 8:18: Stepping up their game in a big way on Dead Throne, TDWP’s maturation process continued on 8:18, and their sound continued to expand and improve with this release. Mike Hranica’s painfully self-depricating lyrics continue to delve into darkness, and the band’s sludgier sound accentuates his lyrics even better. (Last Year’s Rank: 6)
6. The Front Bottoms – Talon of the Hawk: Still quirky, still catchy, still very emo, The Front Bottoms continued their meteoric rise that shows no signs of slowing down. One listen to “Twin Sized Mattress,” and you’ll see why. (Last Year’s Rank: 5)
4. The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation: It’s getting very difficult to come up with new ways to praise The Wonder Years, but when they make albums like these, it’s a labor of love. “I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral” continues to be the best pop-punk song written in the last 5 years. (Last Year’s Rank: 5)
3. Have Mercy – The Earth Pushed Back: Somehow, this album flew under my radar, and I finally got it around to it in 2014. Since then, Have Mercy have become one of my favorite bands. Their alt-rock/emo blend has taken the scene by storm, and this album in particular, buoyed by singles “Let’s Talk About Your Hair” and “Hell,” has all the makings of a cult-classic. If nothing else, making this Updated Top 10 allows me to atone for the mistake of not putting this album on my original list, and for that I’m very thankful. (Last Year’s Rank: Not Ranked, inexplicably)
2. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll: Fall Out Boy’s comeback album has stayed in high regard for me thanks to the replayability of its singles, and on quite a few of its deeper cuts as well. The album is one of the most important to come out in the past few years, and the swagger the band displays on their comeback still holds up now more than ever. (Last Year’s Rank: 2)
1. The 1975 – The 1975: This list was almost as difficult to make as the original list, but one thing that made it easier was that my favorite album from 2013 has not changed at all. If anything, the eponymous debut from The 1975 has gotten even better with time. “Chocolate” is still as sweet as the first time you heard it, no matter how overplayed it may be, and there’s something that always keeps you coming back to “The City,” or craving for more “Sex.” The 1975’s first album was ten years in the making, and it will be remembered for even longer than that. (Last Year’s Rank: 1)
Wow, that was fun! So, reader, what did you think? What albums did I get right or wrong? What are your favorite albums from 2013? Leave it in the comments or hit me up on twitter, and let’s get a discussion going!