Gerard’s Top Music Albums of 2013!

I think this is my first Top Music Album list ever. I may have worked on a couple of other music related lists for WSB but they were never about what I thought cut the muster in any given year. The catalyst for this decision is that I received an analog (non-USB) turntable for my birthday earlier this year and I went on a bit of a VINYL binge. It was great! I discovered and re-discovered my love for music, records, and actually full length albums! If it’s one thing about listening to vinyl it’s that you are forced to listen to the record in its entirety. Unless you’re a master with the arm & needle (I am not), you have no choice but to step into the musical journey that the artists have created with their music – in full. This list is made up of vinyl selections, but every album here was released in 2013, and sound quality or whatnot is not a factor. I’m not going to compare CD and Vinyl quality here.  Go ahead and relax, set the needle, get a glass of wine, and enjoy my Top Music Albums of 2013! 


Ghost - Infestissumam - www.whysoblu.com  If You Have Ghost - Ghost - www.whysoblu.com


1. Ghost – Infestissumam & If You Have Ghost – We’re gonna start the party off at the top and what a party it is.  The Swedes bloody took over in 2013! Go Svenska! My newest discovery in 2013 was the band: Ghost. In the U.S. they’re known as Ghost BC but the “BC” is silent everywhere else. They are the bringers of “Doom Metal” but personally they sound like a combination of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Blue Oyster Cult, and The Doors. The band members are comprised by a few chaps that call themselves “Nameless Ghouls” and their lead singer is the anti-Pope himself: Papa Emeritus II. Papa has an amazing voice that will melt your heart and soul. Their image may throw you off, because they do play up the satanic shtick up pretty hard but it’s all in good fun. They’re all Kiss fans and theatricality and deception is their weapons of choice. The reason Ghost gets the coveted top spot on my list is due to the band releasing their second studio album earlier this spring and their newest EP cover album last month. It was truly a no-brainer for Ghost to take home the #1 spot. Ghost gave the world a double whammy in 2013.

The Sounds - Weekend - www.whysoblu.com

2. The Sounds – Weekend – Taking the number two spot is another set of Swedes (I told you they were taking over) known as The Sounds, with their fifth studio album entitled: Weekend. They came in with a more melancholic sound but blended just about every track with their signature new wave style. Weekend does not play favorites in that no two songs on the album sound alike and every track incorporates various elements of production that give it a very consistent and even sound. The band’s musicianship and Maja’s vocals are as strong as ever I will say that if had not discovered Ghost this year (and their TWO records) The Sounds and Weekend would have definitely been my #1 of the year. As it stands Weekend is #2 on the list of my favorite albums of the year.  *Note: I imported the vinyl from the UK but Amazon in the states will have it starting 12/24/13.

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories - www.whysoblu.com

3. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories – Hell, looks like we really are keeping it Euro aren’t we. That robot duo from France is back after a long ass break, with what some (myself included) would call their “Disco” album. Daft Punk released Random Access Memories after months of teasing and not pleasing. DP collaborated with many singers, producers, and musicians to craft their latest masterpiece. I will say that it’s a “disco” album in that it’s a Daft Punk disco album. It’s not generic garbage trying to capitalize on a trend but a touching tribute to the musical past of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Future disco, perhaps? Yeah, I’ll go with that!

David Bowie - The Next Day - www.whysoblu.com

4. David Bowie – The Next Day – The man from outer space made his triumphant return to the world with a very smooth and less experimental album than his previous album. The Next Day is a more traditional sounding Bowie rock ‘n roll album but it’s also very complex, lyrically. The studio also released a bonus set that featured tracks that were only available as Japanese imports.  I have a feeling that The Next Day will make it on more Top-10 lists before the year is over.

Black Sabbath - 13 - www.whysoblu.com

5. Black Sabbath – 13 – Folks had counted Black Sabbath out for a while and even more so when original drummer Bill Ward didn’t come back to play or tour with Ozzy, Geezer, and Tony. Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) filled in on the skins and uber-producer Rick Ruben took the helm at the controls and molded one of the finest Black Sabbath albums in years. Seriously, 13 sounds like Paranoid’s cousin. You can pair both albums up and see how close they sound without coming to the conclusion that it’s the band trying to ape the past. Ozzy’s vocals are great and the doom and gloom come through magically. It’s also a very progressive album, so not only does Ozzy shine, the rest of the band gets to shine, as well. Several editions out there contain a few bonus tracks, too.

Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese - www.whysoblu.com

 6. Primus – Sailing the Seas of Cheese REMASTERED – Here’s an oldie but a goody from Primus. Their landmark album Sailing the Seas of Cheese was personally remastered by Les Claypool himself across the various sound formats currently available to humans today. Every subtle nuance, snare, bass pluck, guitar scratch has been attenuated for maximum effect. Sailing the Seas of Cheese is considered one of Primus’ landmark albums and the TLC it has received on this “cheddar cheese” limited vinyl set, that I was lucky enough to acquire, makes it all worthwhile.

M83 - Oblivion - www.whysoblu.com

7. M83 – Oblivion Original Soundtrack – Yes, I was a mild fan of Oblivion but an even bigger fan of the awesome synth – orchestral score of M83 that accompanied the film. Originally, Daft Punk were going to do the score but dropped out and M83 filled in. I’m glad, because it’s one of the better film scores this year that will probably be ignored. It’s also one of the better scores to hit stores in general. I purchased the limited edition MONDO set and it is gorgeous! If you have the Blu-ray you also get the opportunity to listen to the soundtrack in 24-bit DTS-HD MA 5.1. How many music scores get that kind love nowadays? Not many, so take advantage!

Drive - Mondo OST - www.whysoblu.com

8. Drive – Drive still lives on and so does its soundtrack. The MONDO special edition (artwork by Tyler Stout) finally made its debut earlier this year and it did not disappoint. There were random pink variants but i was not one of the lucky ones to get one of those. Cliff Martinez did a super job in composing the the slick synth heavy score that accompanied the film. Drive really set the bar high for soundtracks in the past couple of years and many took notice. If you can, give the vinyl version a spin. It’s worth it.

Summary: Yeah, so I didn’t quite make it to a Top-10 list but maybe that will change next year. 2013 was definitely riddled with new and amazing discoveries and that’s what it’s all about. If you’re interested in any of the vinyl selections above all you need to do is click on the images and you will be magically transported to Amazon where you may purchase the LP’s. I shall return with a few more lists before the year is up and I hope that you will join me then. Cheers!


5 Responses to “Gerard’s Top Music Albums of 2013!”

  1. Brian White


    I just can’t get into Ghost, try as I might.

    Love the Drive soundtrack…and of course Oblivion (my favorite score of the year).

    I’m okay with Sabbath…just not the strongest compared to my every two heavy metal faves who both dropped albums this year…where’s the love for Korn and Rob Zombie? Their albums are outstanding! 5FDP also put out two pretty good solid releases this year too.

    And of course for us lovers of electronica…Knife Party released a new EP too!

    As far as the much anticipated album from Daft Punk…I could not have been more disappointed in it. Liked one song and the rest are B-side trash in my opinion. Let’s have a track where a guy reads to you. Sounds like a great idea. Not!

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Rob Zombie’s album was just okay – not deserving of top-10 praise. I’ve never heard of Knife Party. Electronica you say? Never got into 5FDP.

  3. Brian White

    Maybe Knife Patty would be best described as electronic dub step. They are in UK. My faves in the genre. Loved every song on Zombie album. You still buying Revenge off me?

  4. Gregg Senko

    The Black Sabbath album was a pleasant surprise! Well deserved placement on the list. I’m not familiar with your number one, so I can’t comment there. The Daft Punk album was a let-down for me. For a follow up effort to the Tron Legacy album, it was a quite disappointment. I thought Homework was a 1,000 times better. Drive soundtrack…some good tunes on there, a lot of just sound effects too. Here’s a quick list; worst singles of the year: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Wake Me Up by Amicci. That guy (the latter) has so much vibrato in his voice that I thought it was a sheep singing that song. My favorite single of the year goes to Drake for Hold On We’re Going Home.

  5. Zabrina

    Knocked my socks off with your musical tastes!