Bringing 2013 To A Close.
Ho ho ho!
Since all the radio stations are now whipping out the Christmas songs, my husband Michael Bublé has made his annual festive reappearance on every single TV show in existence and the Coca-Cola advert has fronted our TV screens for at least 5 months or so, I feel obliged to write my favourite post of the year: the post that sums up the year in music! And it’s my blog’s third birthday this month – yupee!
Alright, so the veteran readers amongst you will know that I tend to post a poll around this time every year, asking you to cast votes for your favourite few releases and allow the battle to commence according to your views. This year, I’d like to apologise and instead write my own few words on certain highlight releases of 2013; and this year it’ll be different. I’ll go back to my criticising roots and allow myself to not only praise the musical gods of 2013, but also to slam down the villains (I’m sorry but Robert Thicke needs to return to where he came from… HELL. Take Miley with you!). Here’s to an otherwise great year in music!
So since I’ve just mentioned it, I’ll start with:
Robert Thicke – ‘Blurred Lines’
Tracks like this genuinely make me question humanity. I’m sure you’ve all heard it by now; the messages of rape / objectification of women / glory of power and sex have hardly been missed out from media coverage; especially that of social media. I won’t say that it’s a bad track – in fact, once it gets stuck in your head it’s particularly fun to sing out loud during a somewhat tipsy night out with your uni flatmates. And oh the magnificent, drunken harmonies… Sadly though, that’s what makes Blurred Lines a hit amongst far too many: it is addictive and covers up the fishy meaning with a great little beat. It just makes me sad, really. However… Lilly Allen! Absolutely love her parody of it, under the name of ‘Hard Out Here‘. Hence I shall post that instead of Blurred Lines, as it is far more worthy of recognition. Excuse the swearing / twerking / Nicki Minaj references in the video…
Haim – ‘Days Are Gone’
I’m feeling a lot of woman power here; please do excuse the feminist slant of this post. But you can’t refute the fact that these three gorgeous Californian sisters with guitars may as well be royalty of today’s music industry. I’ll be honest: American music rarely impresses me, now that the days of 2006 Fall Out Boy are over. However. Haim’s debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’ is filled with something groovy that I can’t quite classify. Well. I guess that’s just it: groovy. It makes you want to dance but not in a ‘drop-da-bass-wub-dub-dub’ way; rather, it’s the almost 80’s vibe that is so prevalent throughout the album that makes it one of my favourite releases this year. Take ‘Forever‘, for example. It was the first song of theirs that I heard and I fell in love with all three of them at once! (In case you are starting to question my sexuality, I do promise I am not a lesbian… sometimes).
Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’
From one goodie to another. Admittedly not their best, but Arctic Monkeys’ latest offering demonstrates the band’s growth from bratty teenage boys rolling in a riot van, to lone rangers riding through an open space, amongst other likewise bizarre descriptions. And there’s evident heartache. But also the ‘I no longer give a damn’ attitude too. And a general feel of badassness. Badassness. Hehe.
I’ve always ranked Turner as quite the lyrical genius of the 21st century; I mean, try: “I wanna be your vacuum cleaner”. What a master… No but seriously, “So have you got the guts? Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts” is quite possibly my favourite line out of the best track of this album. Or perhaps that would be ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’ – it’s an open battle! A lot of people I know have said that this is their best album yet. I think otherwise; I stick by ‘Humbug‘ but that’s just me. I do appreciate the change in sound though: rougher guitar jams (‘Are You Mine?’) and slower ballads (‘I Wanna Be Yours’) and chilled tracks in general (‘One For The Road’ – so underrated!) and just… ahh, my former Turner love has been reignited.
Miley Cyrus – ‘Bangerz’
No, I’m not joking. I’m only including this so I can openly laugh at rich, spoilt little white American girls with too much time and too much money. Consider this: Miss Cyrus named her 2013 album ‘Bangerz‘. With a bloomin’ z. In 2013. *sigh* I just wish she would leave that junk in 2007 and also leave her junk in her trunk and lock it up and lose the damn key. Could ‘Wrecking Ball‘ have any more nudity in the video? It almost surpasses the ridiculous nudity levels of Blurred Lines; how is this garbage allowed to be released uncensored? There’s 12 year-olds roaming the alleys of Youtube – I would not want my 12 year old child (if I had a 12 year old child) to stumble upon a twerking Miley. Nor would I not want my own 19 year old self to stumble upon a twerking Miley, either. It’s her life, whatever – “It’s my party, I can do what I want” as she announces in ‘We Can’t Stop’ but I can’t help the feeling that someone here may be buckling under the influence of fame. Ugh. Avoid at all costs to preserve your sanity.
Birdy – ‘Fire Within’
My admiration for this girl grows with each passing day. Her music portrays talent, composure and this innocent, loveable spark that seems lacking in far too many young artists today. ‘Fire Within’ marks Jasmine Van den Bogaerde’s second album and brings with it a bundle of progress since her self-titled debut a couple of years back. I’d say my favourites of the lot would be ‘Wings’, ‘Light Me Up’ and ‘‘All About You’. One could say that she needs to smile a bit more but… I don’t know, I think I quite like the melancholic sound of her voice.
I think I’ll finish this post here, despite there being many memorable releases that I could easily go on and on about. Take AWOLNATION, or that funky but heavily overplayed Daft Punk track, or the Laura Marling album which I am yet to get my hands on. Little Jake Bugg has grown up, Lilly Allen killed Keane, Arcade Fire “refleked” on their career (oh God I’m sorry it had to be done) and the world has gained yet another forgettable winner of that mundane “singing” competition…
Merry Christmas to you all! Make 2014 your best year to date (: