Albums of the Year 2013

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In a year that had some great moments in music, such as Justin Bieber announcing his retirement from music or Kanye West’s ridiculous “Bound 2” video, we thought we’d highlight the best albums to come out of 2013.

Ifyouleavedaughter“IF YOU LEAVE” – DAUGHTER. Early in 2013, Daughter released their debut album ‘If You Leave’. Charting at #16 on release, the album is a reflection of the band’s calmer, more inventive twist on alternative music. The chilling lyrics delivered through Elena Tonra’s haunting vocals backed by the entire band’s spry instrumentals, especially in tracks such as “Human,” make this album delightfully miserable. “Youth” is another example of Daughter’s “delightfully miserable” approach, with enticing, deep instrumental, yet again paralleled by grating vocals from Elena.

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“IN LOVE” – PEACE. When listening to “In Love” you can definitely sense there’s a sort of creative energy about Peace. That being said, “California Daze” and “Float Forever” sound awfully similar. Out of everything we’ve heard this year, “In Love” is probably the nicest, in terms of lyricism. For example, “she tastes like sunlight,” seriously, there’s no way you can’t love that.

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“ACID RAP” – CHANCE THE RAPPER. This has been the long overdue in which Chance The Rapper has catapulted himself into the limelight of Hip Hop music. This may have been aided one of two collaboration projects, but the real reason is his fantastic solo album; Acid Rap. His unique style of half singing as he raps has such a likeable warmth to it that it is hard to not like a single track on the whole album. Tracks such as ‘Juice’, ‘Cocoa Butter’, ‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Everything’ and ‘Smoke Again’ could of all been released as singles and stormed the charts, but the whole album was released for free via Chance’s website, which makes it even more pleasing.

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“KISS LAND” – THE WEEKND. As one of the most influential R&B/Singer Songwriters working today, it is so pleasing to see The Weeknd become so versatile. His 2013 album “Kiss Land” was one of the highlights of the urban music scene purely due to the fact it was nothing like we expected. We were all looking forward to hearing the classic reverberated vocal tones layered around beautiful yet minimalistic sound-scapes. However, the genius production team that is DannyBoyStyles and Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville pushed the boat out even further, delving into more disco like influences, and the fusion worked perfectly.

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“SUMMER KNIGHTS” – JOEY BADASS. With the impressive ‘The Aprocalypse’ as Pro Era’s last release, front-man Joey Badass followed up with the ‘Summer Knights’ LP. The contrast between the cypher orientated feel of Pro Era as a collective and Badass’ solo performance isn’t so far removed that it feels out of place, but instead, a natural progression. The style of production is similar, yet more tailored to Joey’s vocals which gives the album more of a personal feeling. Although not without faults, Joey Badass’ style of writing and level of creativity with performance is the reason Summer Knights is our top picks of 2013.

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“MARCI BEAUCOUP” – ROC MARIANO. Roc’s done it again, only recently after releasing ‘The Pimpire Strikes Back’ as well as collaborating with many artists, including a feature on KA’s album, ‘Marci Beaucoup’ is lyrically very similar to that of ‘Reloaded’, which he released at the end of 2012. However, Stylistically, this EP is a lot more reserved in terms of production and delivery. It’s amazing how relaxed Roc Marciano can sound when rapping about murder. That alone deserves a top three position for me.

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“THE CITY UNDER THE CITY” – L’ORANGE & STIK FIGA. Stik Figa and L’Orange teamed up for this one for Mellow Music Group. Another classic from the label also responsible for Oddisee’s success as well as people like Diamond District and Apollo Brown. ’The City Under the City’ has been incredibly slept on, certainly in the UK at least. L’Orange’s instrumentals are on par with any producer currently in the limelight of contemporary hip-hop. This partnered with Stik Figa’s creative lyricism and consistently on-point delivery makes this a title contender for 2013.

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