Tuesday, 7 January 2014
Schönbys 2013 - Best Album
Posted by Schönberg
In my humble opinion, 2013 has been an annus longplayerus. That's a good year for the album to all you non-latin speakers. Now, my humble opinion may well be tainted by the fact that for nine months of this year I have had to endure 90 minute commutes to Sunny* Scunny, and this time has more often than not been made more bearable by having a new album or two to listen to along the M18 and the M180.
Earlier this year I decided that, in order to fit all of our belongings into one room while Schönberg Central was being re-built, I would box up all my CDs and put them into the loft, effectively consigning all future purchases to 'digital download only'. I thought this would spell the end of full album purchases for me, leaving all future purchases as single tracks of whatever was finding heavy rotation on 6music. How wrong could I have been - maybe the commute helped, or maybe it was the quality on offer, but I have found myself buying two or three albums per month during the year - a similar frequency to the heady days of 1991.
With so much good music out there then picking a top 10 for the year has been very difficult. Do I choose the coolest 10? Or the 10 most obscure? (as you know, I am a music snob). Or do I choose the ones that I would want you to know that I like? In the end, I have decided to let my laptop decide. I have graded my top 10 based on how many plays each has had on my copy of iTunes. It was the only way I could differentiate between some of them.
10 Desire Lines - Camera Obscura
9 Ships - Sweet Baboo
8 Walking on a Pretty Daze - Kurt Vile
7 Delta Machine - Depeche Mode
6 AM - Arctic Monkeys
5 Trouble Will Find Me - The National
4 Holy Fire - Foals
3 II - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
2 Corsicana Lemonade - White Denim
1 Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
No real surprise with the No.1, but the extent to which it came out on top really surprised me. Most albums get about 10-20 listens on my iTunes, but the Daft Punk album was a full 30 listens ahead of it's nearest rival. This I put down to the versatility of the album, equally at home being listened to at full blast in the car, or background dinner party music, or even on the outdoor speakers for a barbeque. Anyway, if you don't own it then you should.
Honourable mentions must go to Public Service Broadcasting, John Grant, Suede, Drenge and Midlake, who could have featured higher in the ratings if I'd acquired them earlier.
*interestingly, Scunthorpe does seem to be sunnier than Sheffield