Best 30 Songs of 2013

best songs, best artists, music, of 2013

It is so hard too order songs in a coherent list.  For our list of the top thirty songs of the 2013, we took a little bit of a different tack than the last couple years.  We didn’t list 200-300 songs like previous years.  Instead, we all just submitted our individual lists of our favorite twenty songs of the year unordered.  Then we made sure we were all familiar with everyone’s lists, and started ordering from there.  This was a beautifully streamlined experience, taking a ton of precious time out of the way.

Even with this streamlined process, it is still difficult.  All three of us would likely rate each of these songs a perfect score, so often it is just an indescribable feeling causing us to rate one song ahead of another.  But as always, we do our best to incorporate the elements of composition, lyrics, and performance of each individual song into our ratings.  Let us know what some of your favorite songs of 2013 were, and thanks for reading.

 

30. “Byegone” – Volcano Choir

Volcano Choir didn’t reach the highs of Justin Vernon’s previous project with Bon Iver.  That doesn’t mean it was devoid of any value and “Byegone” continues to get us all excited for Vernon’s career, no matter who he is collaborating with.

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Kanye West Review Royale: Yeezus

Kanye West

Yeezus

Kanye West Yeezus album cover art

Beyond comparing oneself to God, Kanye’s latest shows Kanye has more than a little bit in common with John Lennon. Both are undoubtedly musical visionaries, even if it’s annoying to hear Kanye call himself one: it’s true.  Both have an ongoing controversial relationship with the media, think quite highly of themselves, are very idealistic yet live very contradictory lifestyles: John being all about peace and love but being the most combative of all the Beatles, and Kanye talking about believing and following God in the same breath as his prideful, greedy, and misogynistic comments. This contradictory lifestyle is part of what makes Kanye so appealing though: we all to some degree live contradictory lifestyles, Kanye is just bold enough to wear it on his sleeve. Yeezus is Kanye’s Plastic Ono Band: a 21st century primal scream album stripped down to its simplest rawest form, with Kanye bearing his soul on relationships and race. While with John this lead to some very heartbreakingly honest and gut-wrenching moments, Kanye errs a little too often on the side of senselessness, even if the music is brilliantly groundbreaking.
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Kanye West “New Slaves” Building Premiere Review

Kanye West "New Slaves" Building Premiere Review

For those who didn’t hear, this past weekend was a big one for Mr. Kardashian aka Kanye West. The divisive rapper announced the release of his sixth album Yeezus June 18th, played two new songs on Saturday Night Live, and most interestingly, debuted his first single “New Slaves” Friday night on buildings across the globe, everywhere from Berlin to Miami to Sydney, totaling 66 different screenings.

My wife and I just so happened to be downtown with a friend when we saw the buzz start to circulate online about the video premieres, and we looked online and found there was one coming in an hour that was only a mile from us. We had nothing better going on, so we headed on down to Six Points in Wicker Park to see what all the hub bub was about. Over the half hour leading up to the event, probably over 500 people circulated on 6 street corners, which is pretty insane in itself. It’s a testament to the power of Twitter (where Kanye announced the screenings) and to people’s yearnings for an experience.
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