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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 20 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 51
BEST OF MUSIC 2013: ALBUMS AND SINGLES
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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BEST OF MUSIC 2013: ALBUMS AND SINGLES

by Albert Rodriguez- SGN A&E Writer

Of all the recordings in 2013 (and a few released at the tail end of 2012), these are the albums and singles that stood out for me the most, in ranking order.

ALBUMS

1. Same Trailer, Different Park - Kacey Musgraves
Great stories make for great songs, especially when they're backed with the sweet, delicate sounds of an acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and the slightest of country twangs.

2. Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
The best disco record not released in the disco era. And the hired help - from Pharrell Williams to Julian Casablancas to Panda Bear - gives the album some artistic muscle.

3. 12 Stories - Brandy Clark
Nashville maverick Clark croons about moms lighting up joints and women afraid to commit murder because they won't look good in jail clothes. What's not to love?

4. Yeezus - Kanye West
Though he comes off as a conceited jerk, the truth is Kanye West knows how to transform rap into art, and mixing electronica with hip hop is pure ear candy.

5. The Electric Lady - Janelle Monae
Aside from always keeping it funky, Monae keeps it fresh. She's original to the core, and sumptuous tracks like 'Dance Apocalyptic' and 'Q.U.E.E.N.' (with Erykah Badu) prove it.

6. Bad Blood - Bastille
This album has such a retro '80s pop-new wave feel that I found myself tearing up during 'Things We Lost in the Fire,' as if A-ha and Psychedelic Furs had a one night stand.

7. Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
The Canadian twins get better and better with each album, making Heartthrob their best work to date.

8. Bangerz - Miley Cyrus
It isn't a brilliant album, but it's definitely better than other recordings of its genre - a guilty pleasure that can't be ignored.

9. Immunity - Jon Hopkins
The most intriguing electronic album of 2013 comes from Wimbledon-born producer and artist Jon Hopkins, who fuses a spellbinding concoction of trance, house and light experimental.

10. Trouble Will Find Me - The National
Even a non-fan of The National, such as myself, has to admit that this Grammy-nominated album is simply luscious.

SINGLES

1. 'Get Lucky' - Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
A modern dance classic that's already drawn its share of covers and parodies; the Jimmy Fallon-Rashida Jones holiday version ('We're up all night to eat turkey') is hysterical.

2. 'Royals' - Lorde
This rather infectious single from New Zealander Lorde became the sleeper hit of the year, and it's in the running for Record and Song of the Year at next year's Grammys.

3. 'Backseat Freestyle' - Kendrick Lamar
Good kid, M.A.A.D. city made my best albums list of 2012, and equally deserving of a year-end slot is this fearless track from the Compton upstart released way back in January.

4. 'Mirrors' - Justin Timberlake
Though JT's 20/20 project was uneven, the second single from the album was total bliss.

5. 'Thrift Shop' - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Seattle rappers go global with this monster hit that cites familiar stomping grounds.

6. 'Love and War' - Tamar Braxton
Braxton sinks her heart and stellar vocals into this R&B gem, up for two Grammy Awards.

7. 'Young and Beautiful' - Lana Del Rey
From The Great Gatsby soundtrack comes this lush, haunting piece from the rising American torch singer.

8. 'Falling' - HAIM
Retro pop laced with R&B guitar riffs from three California chicks (sisters, actually). Go figure.

9. 'I Knew You Were Trouble' - Taylor Swift
I want to dislike Taylor Swift, but she keeps putting out these damn catchy songs!

10. 'Bubble Butt' - Major Lazer featuring Bruno Mars, Tyga and Mystic
Not since Sir Mix-a-Lot's 'Baby Got Back' has a song about shapely rear ends been this good.

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PNB's Nutcracker charms in this traditional performance
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Josh Young: An Interview with 'Che' from Evita
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BEST OF MUSIC 2013: HOTTEST ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
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BEST OF MUSIC 2013: ALBUMS AND SINGLES
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BEST OF MUSIC 2013: LIVE PERFORMANCES
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WORST MUSIC OF 2013
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Evita speaks - A posthumous interview with Eva PerĂ³n
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Jerick Hoffer gives a mind-blowing performance as Hedwig
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Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient - Tam O'Shaugnessy on Behalf of Sally Ride - VIDEO
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Magical medieval holiday music at St. James Cathedral
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Invigorating American Hustle a freewheeling con
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Mary Lambert interviews next week with Seattle Gay News
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Northwest News
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Letters
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Quick Change!
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