MT Staff Top 10 Albums of 2013
Top 10 Albums of 2013 MT staffers offer up the year’s 10 best, plus our overall pick for Album of the Year.
Published: December 30, 2013
Album of the Year | Danny Brown Old
The votes have been counted and the results are in. The 2013 Metro Times Album of the Year is Danny Brown's Old, and now we're feverishly assembling a trophy with a little gold joint on top. In all seriousness, Brown fully deserves this. He's had a tremendous year, and this album highlights why he's seen as one of the most exciting and unique names in rap right now. Hell, he was even able to make ICP sound great when he guested on the "When I'm Clownin" single. We're incredibly proud to call Brown one of our own, and we're delighted that his album finished the year on top of so many piles. —Brett Callwood
Top 10 Albums by Brett Callwood, music and culture editor:
No. 10 | Dutch Pink Lady Luck Motel Suite (New Fortune)
Dustin Leslie’s vocals are throaty and gorgeous, beautifully backed by Aja Sardis and Serene Arena, resulting in a sound that’s reminiscent of early Seger or Tom Waits — even a little Leonard Cohen.
No. 09 | Junk Food Junkies Junk Food Junkies (Gold Tapes)
Junk Food Junkies’ self-titled debut is quite deliberately rudimentary, in a Shaggs sort of way. However, the cutesy, food-obsessed tunes are so sweet and naïve (again, like the Shaggs), that any shortcomings quickly become positives.
No. 08 | Legz Diamond & the Purple Gang 9 Pistolas (Psychopathic)
There’s a ragged semi-concept to this album, the subject matter centering on Prohibition-era gangsters, good weed and other shit that gangsters get into. The tunes are awesome — super catchy and razor-sharp.
No. 07 | Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Aftermath/Shady/Interscope)
It’s refreshing to know that Slim can still piss people off and do it via the medium of quality rap.
No. 06 | Axe Ripper Welcome to Detroit Destruction (Self-released)
This group of headbangin’ mooks plays the hardcore-influenced thrash metal that gave Anthrax its start — or would have made S.O.D. proud to this day. The art is wonderful (just take a look) and the tunes, while primitive and simplistic, are gloriously primal and tremendous fun.
No. 05 | Luder Adelphophagia (Small Stone)
A thrilling album that both picks up where the previous full-lengther left off and continues the journey — or evolution — into dark and murky waters. The songs, while not without hope, pull at every heartstring.
No. 04 | Danny Brown Old (Fool’s Gold/Warner Bros.)
Brown’s third album highlights exactly why fans love Danny Brown and why everybody else should love Danny Brown. Uniquely sharp and sassy, the man is a huge talent.
No. 03 | The Counter Elites Are You a Counter Elite? (Self-released)
A record that sees this Ferndale duo yelling and snarling about, “Grrr,” corporate greed and “Wuuaarrgghh,” capitalism and stuff. They can really play, and the little Zappa-esque jazz spots suggest these two guys can do what they want. They happen to want loudness and anger.
No. 02 | Scott Morgan Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust (Easy Action)
A box set spanning Morgan’s superb career — taking in the well known (Rationals, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band) and the lesser known (the Hydromatics, Guardian Angel). Most of it is superb — all of it worth a listen.
No. 01 | Bootsey X Women’s Love Rites (Jet Plastic)
There’s no fucking way I’m not putting Bootsey at the top of this pile. Battling cancer and just weeks away from death, he was still able to put out this awesome rock ’n’ roll album filled with trademark attitude and humor. We miss you, man.
Top 10 Albums by Lee DeVito, web editor
No. 10 | Daft Punk Random Access Memories (Columbia)
Two French guys spent their entire career pretending to be robots. Now they’re pretending to be a disco band. It’d be amazing if they somehow “tricked” a swath of EDM-loving millennials into making a disco song the “song of the summer,” but the obvious reason is because “Get Lucky” is so undeniably catchy.
No. 09 | Kurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Mataodor)
I don’t even feel weird saying it: This album is pretty.
No. 08 | Nine Inch Nails Hesitation Marks (Columbia)
In 2009, Trent Reznor announced a new NIN album called Strobe Lights that boasted outrageous cameos by Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Sheryl Crow and Fergie. The whole thing wound up being a giant April Fool’s Day joke (Goths have the best sense of humor), but — you know what? — Hesitation Marks almost sounds like it could be Strobe Lights… and I kinda like it.
No. 07 | New Order Live at Bestival 2012 (Sunday Best)
They may have lost founding member Peter Hook, but these synth-pop giants chug on. Recorded from a headlining set at last year’s Bestival fest in England, the band that was once famous for scrappy, awkward (but still awesome) live shows is documented here as a well-oiled, crowd-pleasing, arena-rock machine.
No. 06 | The Gories The Shaw Tapes: Live in Detroit 5/27/88 (Third Man Records)
Unearthed live recording of the ultimate garage rock band playing at the top of its game in an abandoned Hamtramck storefront. This stuff makes nearly every garage rock revival band from the last 10 years seem safe and slick. Maybe this makes them the ultimate “abandoned storefront rock band” too?
No. 05 | Queens of the Stone Age …Like Clockwork (Matador)
On previous efforts, the Queens sounded as big and dangerous as the desert. After a hiatus, they sound small and kinda vulnerable here, but even then the Queens still rock harder than almost anything else in alt rock right now.
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