Jon Howard’s Top 10 Albums of 2013
After eight long years without a studio album (not counting the arguably perfect live/remix album Alive 2007 or the Tron Legacy soundtrack), Daft Punk made a triumphant return this year with Random Access Memories. The duo eschewed house styling in favor of 1970s-centric genres such as progressive, disco, and funk. While this change of genre alienated a few long-time fans, the overwhelming response was positive, and Daft Punk helped solidify the return of disco in popular music. It is unlikely that any other album released this year will have such a massive influence on music for years to come, and for this I declare Random Access Memories my top album of 2013.
Lamenting the sheer complexity of modern life, Vampire Weekend’s third studio album is a brilliant display of the band’s raw talent as musicians, and offers some of Ezra Koenig’s most thought-provoking lyrics to date.
Pulling off some great experimentation without straying too far from their roots, Arctic Monkeys have created one of the decade’s heaviest, most satisfying records in rock music.