The Vermont Cynic

2013: a musical spectrum


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In 2013, a musical evolution took place among the characters that create it. 

New sounds dominated many of the genres that were becoming stale. 

The prevailing sounds of the past couple of years have developed further to be better than ever before. 

Instead of pointlessly rating the top albums, here are my favorite albums from a variety of genres. 

Old – Danny Brown

The Detroit rapper’s third full album, Old, was heavy, complex and simply impressive. 

Danny Brown’s previous albums were not as popular due to their experimental nature, but whether Brown intended to or not, he has now gained the attention and respect of a large audience. This is for good reason. 

Old is influenced by the up-and-coming genre “grime,” a hard-hitting new sound coming from producers such as Darq E Freaker, who Brown worked with in 2012

The album is an interesting blend of Brown’s emerging style as an indie, free willing word blender and his irresistible prowess as a raging party track wizard.

Random Access Memories – Daft Punk

Although already electronic music legends, Daft Punk’s legacy wouldn’t be the same without their latest album. 

In a dance music scene progressing more and more toward computer-generated sounds, the duo sought to “Bring Life Back to Music.”

The summer’s greatest hit was their track “Get Lucky,” which features a supremely catchy chorus line and a plucked guitar rhythm reminiscent of the timeless riff from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” 

This blend of Daft Punk’s carefully designed electronic sounds and good ole acoustic instruments give depth and soul to epic disco/dance.

AM – Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys is an English band with a rock-and-roll foundation that has evolved throughout their career so far. 

AM offers the Monkey’s most polished studio album yet, setting a larger sound stage with a slightly more American feel, similar to the respected band, The Black Keys. 

What has undoubtedly remained, however, is the Arctic Monkeys’ reign as the grandmasters of soul shaking heartache. 

Not only do front man Alex Turner’s lyrics croon and pulse with energy, the guitars and drums themselves seem to ooze with tantalizing sexual energy and frustration. 

Electric Lady – Janelle Monae

The pop industry today seems to have produced an era of stars worried about their appearance and recognition, rather than focusing on developing a high quality pop record that can appeal to broad audiences. 

However, “Electric Lady” has an eclectic style that stands as a beacon of hope and a raised bar for the rest of today’s pop divas. 

Monae’s album deftly displays a vast array of musical styles and firmly establishes her powerful infiltration of a scattered genre.

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2013: a musical spectrum