Justin Timberlake

YEAR IN REVIEW: My favorite songs of 2013

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

This year had a TON of really good rock songs, partly because there were a lot of solid albums (consequently, there are a lot of repeat artist). Luckily I liked a lot of singles too, so the list is a really nice mix of things. There aren’t that many pop or hip-hop stations in Minnesota so I wasn’t exposed to this as much as I have been in the past, but I was able to find 30 songs that I actually liked by artists that I THINK are on pop stations, or would be considered a dance song.  I’m sorry about all the Justin Timberlake songs, but that’s what happens when an artist releases 2 albums in the same year. In hip-hop, 2013 was really bad year for good hip-hop, and there was so much promise going in.  Big names in the genre like Kanye West, Tyler, The Creator, Jay-Z, Drake,  and Lil Wayne all released records that vastly disappointed, as did promising up and comers like Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and Big Sean.  And for the first time in a long time, we didn’t have a hip-hop smash hit that everyone recognized and got excited about when they heard it on the radio (I guess “Suit and Tie” might fit the bill, but it’s a real stretch calling that a Hip-hop song to begin with).


YEAR IN REVIEW: My favorite albums of 2013

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

…Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age  (81/100)

“Refreshing” is the word that comes to mind.  …Like Clockwork is definitely the purest rock album we’ve had in years.  No gimmicks, no sell out songs,  just loud guitar riffs, pounding drums, and the occasional piano.

Reflektor by Arcade Fire (77/100)

Reflektor is by no means a perfect Arcade Fire record, but people tend to hold the band to a much higher standard.  I think Reflektor‘s problem isn’t the fact that they tried something new, but that it has more just-ok, don’t-really-give-it-a-second-thought songs (“Flashbulb Eyes”, “Here Comes the Night II”, “Joan of Arc,”) than any of their other works.  But then there are songs like the title track, “Awful Sound” and “Porno” that are so intricately put together that it makes up for any other tracks that might be lacking a little something.  I’m a much bigger fan of disc 2 over disc 1, but the album as a whole is quite indulging.

Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend (74/100)

To me, Vampire Weekend is a band everyone is embarrassed about liking.  You don’t feel cool saying that you’re listening to them, but you know you want to listen.  Modern Vampires of the City is by far the band’s best album.  It’s extremely playful and upbeat; great for a summer day at the beach.  Every song has it’s own personality. (more…)