Josh Antonuccio: My Top Albums of 2013

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This is the seventh in a series of year-end blog posts by WOUB staff, volunteers and contributors. Check out all of this year’s lists at this link.

Undoubtedly, 2013 may have been one of the best years for music since…2004.

I kept finding myself repeatedly pleased, stunned and genuinely ecstatic at the stream of creative, thoughtful and downright amazing albums that have rolled out from the outset of the year.

That being said, here are my 20 favorite albums from 2013.

1. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories: A modern masterpiece, or as Mary Poppins would describe herself, “practically perfect in every way.”

2. Thee Oh Sees, Floating Coffin: The garage rock hailstorm of glory continues from these San Francisco rockers, with their most ambitious effort to date.

3. Kurt Vile, Walking On a Pretty Day: Kurt Vile returns with a wholly engrossing songwriting effort of melodic downer anthems.

4. Deerhunter, Monomania: A brilliant and trashy follow-up to Halycon Digest and a genuine step of genius by one of my favorite indie bands of this era.

5. My Bloody Valentine, MBV: The 20-year follow up that a generation of fans had been waiting for. Not flawless, but the return was worth the wait.

6. Avicii, True: Two of the greatest singles of the year hailed from this record, alongside an onslaught of pop-infused electronic dance music.

7. Phosphorescent, Muchacho: Phosphorescent revealed a new depth of songwriting and production, as well as poignant lyricism.

8. William Tyler, Impossible Truth: A sprawling, instrumental guitar album with strokes of Jimmy Page, John Fahey and Richard Thompson.

9. Mikal Cronin, MCII: The underground pop gem of the year. Easily one of the catchiest indie albums in some time, giving hope that anthems aren’t dead.

10. Foxygen, We are the 21st Century: Capturing the revelry and pastel dreaminess of 60s psychedelia, Foxygen triumphed with echoes of The Zombies.

11. Savages, Silence Yourself: The greatest thing to happen to feminist punk since Patti Smith.

12. Parquet Courts, Tally All The Things That You Broke: After last year’s Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts are my new obsession. This EP did not disappoint.

13. Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady: Shades of epic funk and electrified dance singles. A sprawling and infectious party album.

14. Lorde, Pure Heroine: New Zealand’s newest sensation was ubiquitous this year and for good reason. Brilliant songs and production.

15. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Push The Sky Away: Nick Cave’s change of lineup led to a sparse and dark effort that yielded some terrific songs.

16. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience: Elongated dance funk numbers infused with expertly crafted pop vocals.

17. Yo La Tengo, Ohm: Another out-of-the-park release from Hoboken’s indie-rock troubadours.

18. Arcade Fire, Reflektor: An ambitious departure from The Suburbs, James Murphy molded them into an LCD-shaped rock band.

19. James Hunter Six, Minute by Minute: A great old school soul record made in collaboration with Daptone’s Gabriel Roth.

20. David Bowie, The Next Day: Recorded in secret with Tony Visconti, Bowie released his strongest album in decades.

Honorable Mentions:

James Blake, Overgrown
Wavves, Afraid of Heights
Caitlin Rose, The Stand-In
Rhye, Woman
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito
Pissed Jeans, Honeys
Date Palms, The Dusted Sessions
Mavis Staples, One True Vine
Camera Obscura, Desire Lines
Widowspeak, The Swamps
Melt Yourself Down, Melt Yourself Down
Bombino, The Nomad

Josh Antonuccio is a lecturer in the Music Production/Recording Industry program at the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies and owner/producer at 3 Elliott Studio. He can also be found around Athens, Ohio, performing with his band Scubadog.