Top Albums of 2013
West was inspired by minimalism from design, including architecture, with a particular interest in the works of Le Corbusier, and visited the Louvre several times while in Paris. Musically, Yeezus is dark and sonically experimental, combining elements of Chicago drill, dancehall, acid house, and industrial hip hop. West continues his use of unconventional samples, including the vocal refrain from Nina Simone's cover of "Strange Fruit".
The album title was revealed during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25 with a preview of the lead single "Berzerk" The song was released two days later, and peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by two singles: "Survival", released on October 8, and "Rap God", released on October 15, 2013. The former debuted at number 17 on the Hot 100, and the latter at number seven. "The Monster", featuring Rihanna, was released as the album's fourth single on October 29, 2013.
The album has been commercially successful, peaking within the top ten of at least ten countries. True debuted at number two in the United Kingdom during September 2013, and has subsequently re-peaked at number two in February 2014. On 24 March 2014, Avicii released a remixed version of the album, titled True.
A 2-disc edition, comprising the standard 10-track "True" alongside the remix album was released featuring a brand new cover, in June 2014.
The album debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with 286,000 copies sold, becoming Perry's best opening week to date. The album also peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Prism became Perry's fastest-selling album, the second best-selling album in Australia in 2013, and the second best-selling album released by a woman in the United States in 2013.
The album was nominated at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album.
The album features guest appearances from Pharrell Williams, Drake, Lil Wayne, Mase, Pusha T, Chrisette Michele, Fergie, Iamsu!, T-Pain, Dolla Boy, Rich Homie Quan, and Lloyd among others. The album's production was handled by Diplo, Mike Will Made It, Drumma Boy, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Mannie Fresh, Wonder Arillo, Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E. and DJ Toomp among others.
It was supported by the singles "Feds Watching" featuring Pharrell Williams and "Used 2", along with the promotional singles "Where U Been?" and "Netflix". Upon the album's release, it was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. It debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart selling 63,000 copies in its first week.
Gaga described Artpop as "a celebration and a poetic musical journey" and an exploration of the "reverse Warholian" phenomenon in pop culture. It displays an intentional "lack of maturity and responsibility" by comparison to the darker and anthemic nature of Born This Way. Assuming an integral position in its production, she enlisted longtime collaborators including Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair and RedOne and newer partners Zedd and Madeon to achieve Gaga's desired sound. The lyrical themes revolve around her personal views of fame, love, sex, feminism, self-empowerment, overcoming addiction, and reactions to media scrutiny; references include Greek and Roman mythology, and classic jazz and electronic musician Sun Ra.
Pure Heroine received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who commended its songwriting and production, and praised Lorde's vocal ability. The record debuted at number one on the Official New Zealand Music Chart and the Australian ARIA Charts. Pure Heroine performed strongly on international record charts, reaching number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 and charting within the top-ten in eight additional countries. Pure Heroine was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
After several reformation attempts the album was recorded in secrecy at Rubyred Recordings in Santa Monica, California, beginning in the fall of 2012. The album sessions were marked by a desire to reinvent the band's sound in a more modern form. The band brought in producer Butch Walker for a fresh approach, marking their first time without longtime producer Neal Avron. In the band's new form, each member of the quartet was involved in crafting the compositions, although sessions were initially difficult as they struggled to reconnect.
The album was a commercial and critical success, reaching number 1 on the Billboard 200. This marks Avenged Sevenfold's second album to top the Billboard chart as well as their first to reach number 1 in the UK, topping the UK Albums Chart. It also topped the Canadian, Brazilian, Finnish and Irish album charts. Also, the album spawned two number 1 singles on Billboard's Mainstream Rock, Hail to the King, and Shepherd of Fire. The former spent 11 weeks on the top of the chart. On July 16, 2014 the album was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 copies.
The band begun composing new songs in 2011, and had the album's first recording sessions in early 2012 before the musicians decided to take a break. As all the band members got into side projects afterwards, work on Lightning Bolt only resumed in March 2013. The music for Lightning Bolt has a harder rock sound with longer songs to contrast predecessor Backspacer, and the lyrics convey singer Eddie Vedder's feelings on aging and mortality.
Preceded by a promotional campaign focusing on Pearl Jam's website and social network profiles and two moderately successful singles, "Mind Your Manners" and "Sirens", Lightning Bolt was well received by critics, who considered the album an effective return to the band's old sound, and topped the charts in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The album was supported by three singles, "S.D.S.", "Watching Movies" and "Goosebumpz", which peaked at number 41, 33, and 43 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs respectively. Upon its release, the album was met with generally positive reviews from music critics, which praised his new psychedelic hip hop influence and improved lyricism. The album also fared well commercially debuting at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 101,000 copies in its first week of sale.
Stay Trippy's production was handled between 2011 to 2013 by producers such as Juicy J himself, Mike WiLL Made It, Cirkut, Lex Luger, SAP, Supa Dups, ID Labs, Timbaland, and Young Chop among others. The album also features additional guest appearances from Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, The Weeknd, ASAP Rocky, Wale, Trey Songz, Young Jeezy, Big Sean, Pimp C, Trina, Yelawolf, and Project Pat.
Upon its release, Stay Trippy was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, selling 64,000 copies in the United States during its first week. As of November 6, 2013, the album has sold 138,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was supported by four official singles, the certified platinum "Bandz a Make Her Dance", "Show Out", "Bounce It", and "Talkin' Bout".
On August 12, 2013, Amazon UK officially made the second track, "Copy of A", available for free to download. On August 22, 2013, a radio rip of "Find My Way" was uploaded to YouTube. On August 27, 2013, the album was streamed on iTunes after it leaked online. The album is available in two different masters for digital download, a "standard" version and an "Audiophile Mastered Version" - the latter having extended dynamic range, not meant to be competitive in the loudness war. The album was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.
The album was supported by six singles in total including, "Guap" which peaked at number 71 on the US Billboard Hot 100, "Switch Up" featuring Common, the lead single "Beware" featuring Lil Wayne and Jhené Aiko, which peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Fire", "Ashley" featuring Miguel, and "You Don't Know".
Black Sabbath's original line-up first began work on a new studio album in 2001 with producer Rick Rubin. The album's development was delayed because Osbourne was in the middle of finishing his eighth solo album Down to Earth, and the rest of the band members eventually went on to pursue other projects, including GZR and Heaven & Hell.
The album was produced by Keith Stegall and Jackson's nephew, Adam Wright. It was recorded in Nashville and features Sammy Shelor on banjo, Adam Steffey on mandolin, Tim Dishman on bass, Tim Crouch on fiddle, Scott Coney on guitar and Rob Ickes on resonator guitar.
"Blue Ridge Mountain Song" was released as a promotional single in advance of the album's release.
Two music videos were filmed for two songs of the album: "Blacktop" and "Blue Ridge Mountain Song". The music video for "Blue Ridge Mountain Song" stars Jackson’s middle daughter, Ali, as the lead role.
"House of Gold & Bones - Part 2" is the final album to feature guitarist Jim Root, who left the band in May 2014 to write and record songs for Slipknot.
On Ciara, the singer is reunited with music producers Rodney Jerkins and Jasper Cameron who have respectively worked on previous Ciara singles and albums. The duo are joined by The Underdogs, Soundz, D'Mile, Oligee, Josh Abraham and Mike Will Made It, amongst others. Writing contributions come from the likes of singer-songwriters: Wynter Gordon, Livvi Franc and Ali Tamposi, along with a number of contributions from Ciara herself.
After several false starts and stops, the band began recording ...Like Clockwork in August 2012, initially hoping that collaborator Trent Reznor would produce the album. Following a tumultuous recording period, which included the departure of long-time drummer Joey Castillo, founding member Josh Homme described the album as "documenting the journey of moving forward, you know. It was a tough time and I thought, 'I can run away from this, or I can run into it.'"
Settle received widespread critical praise and was nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 44,633 copies in its first week. It had sold 165,000 copies by late October 2013, and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry on 4 April 2014. A remix of the album, titled Settle: The Remixes was released on 16 and 17 December 2013 in the United Kingdom and United States, respectively.
Recorded in various locations, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Martha's Vineyard, Modern Vampires of the City is an attempt to distance the band from the sound they became heavily associated with following their 2008 debut and Contra. Broadly experimental, the sound featured on the record is the result of a variety of unconventional recording assets, including pitch shifting. The cover art is a 1966 photograph by Neal Boenzi of the smoggiest day in New York City history, on which the air pollution killed at least 169 people. Announced in a New York Times classified in February 2013, three singles were released: "Diane Young"/"Step", "Ya Hey", and "Unbelievers".
Taken as a complete experience, The Next Day comes off as a rebellion against everything in current pop. The album was recorded very quickly, without fuss (which, truth to tell, is the usual Bowie way of working) and the songs don't outstay their welcome. Instead of riding on endless grooves provided by industry insiders, Bowie once again works with Visconti and gathers old friends on songs that have a jagged, live-in-the-studio feel. Records may just be promos for monster, money-making tours now but Bowie isn't doing concerts. The internet gives us non-stop celebrity culture, but Bowie isn't talking—so there aren't any interviews with the warm, witty Cockney to contrast against the regal, iconic alien.
Spiky and agitated without coming off as bitter, the album hurtles out of the gate with the title track, slows down on the caustic "Dirty Boys" and jumbles celebrity and mortality on "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)." The majority of the songs here are lean rockers, with Station to Station's Earl Slick juggling the lead guitar slot with David Torn. Sometimes the songs brush past previous works (is that the drum intro to "Five Years" ending "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die"?) but this is an album about the rush to a future we know isn't going to end well for any of us. The elegiac love song "Where Are We Now?" treats memories like the walking dead and holds on to loved ones in the here and now. David Bowie doesn't pretend to have any answers with The Next Day but he still pushes ahead because that is what artists do -- they create. Instead of leaving you feeling empty, listening to this dark album is a strangely satisfying, enlivening experience. – Nick Dedina, Google Play
The vinyl LP version of the record was pressed by United Record Pressing in Nashville, TN.
The album's production was handled primarily by Kanye West, along with others, such as Hudson Mohawke, 88-Keys, The-Dream, No I.D., Nottz, Don Cannon and Swizz Beatz. It also features guest appearances from Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Big Sean, Future, Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown and Kendrick Lamar, among others.
Upon the album's release, it was met with universal acclaim from music critics and was positioned highly on many "Best Albums of 2013" lists by major publications. The album also fared well commercially debuting at number four on the US Billboard 200, selling 74,000 copies in its first week of release. As of November 20, 2013, it has sold 122,000 copies in the United States.
The Civil Wars received generally positive reviews from music critics, and it sold more than 116,000 copies, making it debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The song "From This Valley" won them their fourth Grammy, the second one in the category Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
Doris features guest appearances from Odd Future members Domo Genesis, Frank Ocean, Casey Veggies, Tyler, The Creator, along with Vince Staples, RZA and Mac Miller. Production was primarily handled by Sweatshirt under the pseudonym randomblackdude and production duo Christian Rich. Additional production was provided by Matt Martians, The Neptunes, RZA, Samiyam, BadBadNotGood, Frank Ocean, and Tyler, The Creator. The album was supported by three singles; "Chum", "Whoa" featuring Tyler, The Creator, and "Hive" featuring Vince Staples and Casey Veggies.
Upon its release, Doris was met with universal acclaim from music critics, who praised Sweatshirt's lyrics and rhyme schemes along with the gritty underground production. The album also appeared on numerous critics' year-end lists.