• 2013 Albums Of The Year

    Dic 31 2013, 12:15

    Listed below are my top ten favorite albums of 2013 and the reasoning why they make it into the list this year.

    #1. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock And Roll.

    WHY: When Fall Out Boy made my year by reuniting, it might have seemed like a no brainer to slate the latest album of my all time favorite band on the top spot. But it might have not been the case if they had not announced the reunion the way they had. Complete with a fully booked world tour, the band was more than ready to prove to the world that they still go it. Armed with a renewed determination and a responsibility they previously almost didn’t have before their hiatus, Fall Out Boy’s impressive fifth full length ‘Save Rock And Roll’ is ambitious from start to finish and front to back. Smartly formulating an album that surrounds a dark theme of desiring to stay young and beautiful, ‘Save Rock And Roll’ is essentially the darker side of the band’s last release ‘Folie À Deux’. With the help of multiple guest vocals such as Elton John and Courtney Love, Fall Out Boy kept it classy by continuing to experiment with their brand of rock music. With the inspiration to eventually save the rock scene from dying, Fall Out Boy also made sure to make their born again presence felt by offering the best comeback album of the year. Because it will never be a proper reunion without a successful new album.

    Check out -http://youtu.be/996nDRrFa64

    #2. Transit – Young New England.

    WHY: It is always an exciting time when Transit releases new music. Especially when their last few albums have gotten rave reviews despite the complete transformation within their brand of music. No longer limited by their youthful days of angrily playing fast thumping tempos and heavy distorted guitar tones, ‘Young New England’ has progressed into a beautiful album that focuses more on spacey and complex melodies and careful drum rhythms. Crafted to surround a melancholy theme that pays homepage to Boston’s autumn weather, the progress from Transit’s last release ‘Listen & Forgive’ resonates dearly in Young New England. Sharping the formula that has been developed from their second to last album, Transit delivers an album that tugs the corners of my heart by deliberately keeping the album melancholy until the very last second.

    PS: The only tricky part about adoring an album that revolves around an autumn season is mentally trying to imagine those golden leaves falling from trees in the midst of living in a tropical country. Click it - http://youtu.be/OlDDrZ6vSfI

    #3. Green River Ordinance - Chasing Down the Wind EP.

    WHY: Through the recent string of Pop-Rock bands coaxing their way back into both mainstream and indie scenes, it was almost unsurprising how Green River Ordinance’s brand of music easily stood out from the bunch. Gearing up from their last full-length ‘Under Fire’, ‘Chasing Down The Wind’ is a collection easy going songs that genuinely seems rare within today’s high demand of Pop music. Using the band’s enchanted southern charm, the rustic Country music that heavily dictates the molding of ‘Chasing Down The Wind’ give Green River Ordinance the chance to reinvent their identity. Coupled by the brilliance of outstanding harmonies and instrumentations, the captivation of ‘Chasing Down The Wind’s magic is surprising one of a kind. Especially when it has a personality of its own.

    Check out - http://youtu.be/sWrCLA7h53A

    #4. Bad Rabbits – American Love.

    WHY: When it comes to Bad Rabbits, sexiness is only one thing that comes to mind. Lusting it up a notch from their last EP release ‘The Stick Up Kids’, American Love is an album that oozes an overwhelming amount of sexy love songs. Set as the first part of a dual album series, Bad Rabbits’ American Love is a meaninglessly fun and blissful album that rightly serves to get any party going. Complete with crazy falsetto runs and funky guitar progressions, American Love accomplishes everything desired within an R&B album. Especially if it’s in favor of the repeat button.

    Jam to - http://youtu.be/8dKy50VNyhM

    #5. Lights & Sound – Reanimation.

    WHY: They say movie making is made expensive by the use of sound effects. But without it, a movie will never be able to sustain the effect it needs to move an audience. Like the expensiveness of music use within movies, Christoffer Franzen knows just how to make his music sound expensive. He wastes no time to effortlessly self teach himself to play instruments and record a glowing debut album that revolves around a special place. Using the moniker Lights & Sound, Reanimation is much like motion picture. Delivered with heartwarming harmonies, the journey of this debut release toys around with the simple concept of painting a drawing through music. Complimented with suspenseful and intense buildups, the album’s carefully sequenced songs will leave an impression that is too overwhelming to recall. But even so, every second of Reanimation’s journey will be absolutely worth it.

    Try and imagine movie scenes here –http://youtu.be/RBxkJ0Bl9mY

    #6. Matt Hires - This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend.

    WHY: While catching up on Grey’s Anatomy last summer, it became apparent that Matt Hire’s music was taking up a bigger spotlight than the actual happenings within the series itself. Debuting his major label album, ‘This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend’ ‘s complete journey rides down an emotional road that is full of bittersweet stories. Crafted with witty lyrics and simplistic melodies, Hire’s deep and raspy voice to deliver everything that is needed to tell his stories of despair, perseverance and heartbreak. However, despite the cynical themes that was present until the very last song, ‘This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend’’s continuous upbeat instrumentations offers the perfect balance needed to lighten up Hire’s bitterness and eventually makes the album easier on the ears.

    Check out - http://youtu.be/Zk4dKviGpXw

    #7. Touché Amoré – Is Survived By.

    WHY: Every musician’s biggest dream is to leave a legacy before they are gone. For Touché Amoré, that dream is no different. Naming their album ‘Is Survived By’, the band ambitiously goes about executing their legacy by constructing the most intense heartbreaking album of 2013. Using their compelling understanding of empathetic themes, Touché Amoré cramps each and every song by facilitating the already somber subject with soaring and empowering melodies. Best described as frantic and panicky, the never-ending heartache that is felt throughout the album does not halt to give a breathing room. Deliberately leaving the complexity within the band’s songwriting craft to resonate with an overwhelming feeling. Thus guaranteeing the legacy that the band had wanted all along.

    Mosh out to - http://youtu.be/IJ5yfreafAw

    #8. The Summer Set – Legendary.

    WHY: After naming their sophomore album ‘Everything's Fine’ one of my favorite albums in 2011, The Summer Set have now found themselves in the midst of a major music experimenting. And surprisingly, they are very comfortable with it. Unlike the collection of easygoing Pop-Rock songs in ‘Everything’s Fine’, ‘Legendary’ takes a complete different approach. Much like Touché Amoré’s desire to leave a legacy, The Summer Set has taken that same theme and worked it to surround their latest effort. By stripping off a little bit of the sophisticated songwriting craft that they had gained from their sophomore release, the end result of ‘Legendary’ is one that is simply less serious and more fun and trifling. And though every song is written to carefully wrap around the somber theme of being a legend, The Summer Set has managed to keep it light by writing cheeky lyrics that pays tribute to some of their favorite TV shows such as How I Met Your Mother and Dawson’s Creek. Making The Summer Set’s ‘Legendary’ easily one of the most comfortable Pop albums that could resonate beyond a dismissed summer album.

    Listen to - http://youtu.be/3P07t59qCC4

    #9. Holy Ghost! – Dynamics.

    WHY: Boosted by the popularity of Electronic music within the top 40 charts, Holy Ghosts!’ contribution to 2013 was one that delightedly took me by surprise. Although to have been previously unfamiliar with their music, the first impression of Holy Ghost!’s catchy sophomore release does come off as an annoyance. And with the 80’s New Wave inspired instrumentation, it might translate as so throughout the album. But once the drum machines are joined with the synthesizers, that annoyance does transformed into something more pleasant. With only simple vocal melodies and lyrics to back up the band’s ambitious music, Holy Ghosts!’s ‘Dynamic’ is the perfect modern take of the 80’s era. More so, the nostalgia that they bring through their sophomore release will give the opportunity to travel back in time to relive the disco scenes. Essentially, making the forefront of ‘Dynamics’ into one that screams ‘ REVIVAL!”.

    Dance to – http://youtu.be/9i7hVp1KVTM

    #10. William Beckett - Genuine & Counterfeit.

    WHY: Following the break up of ‘The Academy Is…’, former member William Beckett found himself immediately transitioning from a frontman into a solo artist. Stirring away from brand of Pop-Punk music that ‘The Academy Is....’ had formulated, Beckett’s approach as a soloist begins with him showcasing his ability to compose Pop music that is complete with punchy drum beats and addictive guitar rhythms. Three EP’s later, the debut ‘Genuine & Counterfeit’ continue to dabble with that. Experimenting furthermore with instruments such as the banjo and organ, the end product of Beckett’s debut album is one that is infectious. Especially with earworm songs that could have anyone humming for days.

    Check out - http://youtu.be/33fVpciX6qs

    2013 Honorable Mentions: Turnover – Magnolia, The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation, A Day to Remember – Common Courtesy, Dropkick Murphys – Signed And Sealed In Blood, Haim - Days Are Gone, The 1975 – The 1975, Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady, Real Friends - Put Yourself Back Together, Sharks – Selfhood and Tom Jordan - The Home EP.

    Anticipated Albums of 2014: Against ME!, David Cook, Ed Sheeran, Fireworks, Real Friends.
  • 2012 Albums Of The Year

    Dic 24 2012, 15:47

    Listed below are my top ten favorite albums of 2012 and the reasoning behind why they are my favorite.

    #1. Fun. – Some Nights.
    WHY: After my prediction that Fun would rise to success because one of their songs (‘We Are Young’) managed to be featured on Glee came true, the band’s sophomore release Some Nights has since catapulted into a bigger spotlight. Earning nods from the Grammys (in which the band is nominated for six of them). Taking a slight departure from their previous theatrical influenced work ‘Aim and Ignite’, Fun has successfully simplified their songwriting craft by fusing Hip-Pop elements. Resulting Some Nights to be an instant favorite of the year.
    Check out - http://youtu.be/qQkBeOisNM0

    #2. Kris Allen – Thank You Camellia
    WHY: In a pure curiosity of wanting to see an artist develop, pre-ordering Kris Allen’s third album on vinyl was almost like a calling. After rating his major sophomore self-titled as a generic and mediocre album that truly lacked an identity, Thank You Camellia manages to focus less on the commercial demand and more on Allen’s ability to songwrite. Unlike his Self-Titled, Thank You Camellia dives the music into a simple and relaxed fictional world. Showcasing a genuinely formulated Pop music that got absolutely hindered by the popularity of House and Techno influenced dance music playing in the top 40 radios.
    PS: I’m STILL constantly play it on a week-to-week basis. Check out - http://youtu.be/oziBLktrfIo

    #3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist.
    WHY: When an unknown rapper makes a buzz so big that not only got the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, but also got the LGBT community to phrase them. It meant something was definitely worth checking out. Bringing together their debut release, rapper Macklemore alongside his sidekick producer Ryan Lewis made a bang that was not easy to dismiss. With no well-known samples or a record label to back them up, The Heist’s biggest highlight and attention grabbing moments were marked when Macklemore talked about unlikely subjects in the Hip-Pop genre to rap about. For example, the controversial matters of gay marriage and the joys of thrift shopping. Hence why The Hiest is one of the most vibrant and touching albums of 2012. Granted, it was one of the only two Rap albums I heard all year.
    Check out - http://youtu.be/xHRkHFxD-xY

    #4. Sharks – No Gods.
    WHY: When fans start describing a band as the modern take of something that has already been done, it often leads to a lack of originality and identity. Upon a first listen to Sharks, it was noted that they did sound like the modern take of The Clash. One of the most influential bands in the Punk genre. However twenty seconds in, the only similarities between the two bands were that they are both British. Aside from that, Sharks is truly something else. Using their young age to regenerate and infuse every bit of traditional punk-rock influences with today’s progressive punk movement, the band has succeeded in crafting a solid album that correlates perfectly from start to finish.
    Check it - http://youtu.be/jb6YCz_MS5I

    #5. Yellowcard – Southern Air.
    WHY: Hailed from the nostalgic soundtrack of my middle school and high school years, Yellowcard has proven that even after surviving a hiatus that they are truly a revived band. Similarly to all their previous albums, Southern Air represents a journey of deep soul searching. Prompting listeners to take that journey with the band. However with their eighth studio release, Yellowcard has upped their ante. Taking on new grounds with their brand of Pop-Punk music. They have not only taken advantage of having a violinist as a permanent member of the band by giving more room for the strings to soar in songs, but also progressed drastically in their songwriting. Regaining the momentum that was almost lost when the band came back from their hiatus.
    Check out - http://youtu.be/DAvHrZfYszM

    #6. Every Time I Die – Ex-Lives.
    WHY: It’s always an exciting time when Every Time I Die releases new material. Especially when their new album exceeds the typical expectations from the band. With a sound heavier than ever, the band has accomplished in creating one of the angriest albums of the year. Not only did the band progressed excellently from their last release ‘New Junk Aesthetic’, the band has also dared to break new grounds by experimenting with different instruments (such as the banjo) and writing a song that took a departure from their usual brand of Hardcore music. Making Ex-lives very adrenaline pumping and addictive.
    Check Out - http://youtu.be/ReViyKh_XXI

    #7. Frank Ocean – Channel ORANGE.
    WHY: When it comes to Frank Ocean, there is very little to dismiss about his music. Much like his previous releases, the mystifying and smooth instrumentation that is coupled with Ocean’s unique deep singing tone brings the best out of Neo-Soul music. To further emphasis the talent that surrounds it, the debut full-length release Channel ORANGE’s craft has smartly developed into a concept album; Telling a story about living the high standards in Los Angeles. The result of it all is a melodramatic collection of songs that ache to be played on a nice uneventful day.
    Check out - http://youtu.be/zCIo0EMt8G0

    #8. Such Gold – Misadventures.
    WHY: After discovering and listening to Such Gold for the first time several months ago, it was clear that even amongst the cluster of new bands that their brand of hardcore music was standing out from the rest of their peers. Presenting their debut album, the band has succeeded in formulating songs that is all about the fast tempos and fist pumping guitars progressions. Above it all, Misadventures offers an unforgettable rollercoaster ride. Going from its highest and happiest peek to the lowest slump imaginable. Once the Misadventures journey has ended, one will be left in a state of aching and soreness. Even though every minute of listening to it was beyond worth it.
    Mosh out to - http://youtu.be/0Cw984-sL_c

    #9. Adam Lambert – Trespassing.
    WHY: Much like Kris Allen’s Thank You Camellia, curiosity was the main driving force behind what made Adam Lambert’s Trespassing intriguing. For a first time experience to Lambert’s music, the sophomore album gave out the impression of something that is part fun and part meaningful. Focusing away from the simplistic, Trespassing’s heavy blend of funk and European Dance music influences experiments with a more complex instrumentation. Matching it rightfully together with Lambert’s vast vocal range ability. Furthermore beyond the vibrant upbeat songs, the album also has a darker side. Showcasing songs that deal with the personal struggles of an unhealthy relationship and homophobia. If I wasn’t a fan before, I am now.
    Listen and dance to - http://youtu.be/-i7NEStKqPc

    #10. Jon McLaughlin - Promising Promises.
    WHY: During the mid year period, I have became obsessively entranced with pop-rock music. Listening to nothing else but of that genre. When those months was nearing its end, it became obvious that Jon Mclaughlin’s Promising Promises was the highlight. Although to have never been previously exposed to Mclaughlin’s music, his third release succeeds in not only making simplistic music matter. The album has provided the perfect soundtrack to one’s everyday life. Hence giving the collection of songs very easy to relate to regardless of this single status of mine.
    Check out - http://youtu.be/By7YgbX3GuA

    2012 Honorable Mentions: SafetySuit – These Times, Caspian - Waking Season, Love And Theft – Self-Titlled, Rascal Flatts – Changed, Jason Mraz - Love Is A Four Letter Word, All Time Low – Don’t Panic!, Hit The Lights – Invicta, Ben Folds Five - The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, The Spill Canvas – Gestalt and JLS – Evolution.

    Anticipated albums of 2013: Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, Katy Perry, Panic! At The Disco, and Transit.