George’s songs of 2013

With the year coming to an end, I used to write a variety of “best album” or “best song” collections. As I’ve aged, I’ve been less inclined to write those lists – I simply don’t pay enough attention to new music as much as I’ve used to.

But music is a personal thing and it might have been the year that I listened to music the most (Thanks Spotify!). The year was dominated by Hip Hop – probably a combination of my job, the city, and the fact that I did not really emotionally connect with any rock album this year (with the exception of a 16 year old girl from NZ). Anyway, without further ado – here’s my list (in no particular order).

Kanye West – New Slaves

I’m the resident Kanye West apologist of my friends, so despite his ever increasing controversy – I felt that 2013 was a great year for him. I, personally, loved Yeezus and think it is an amazing album. New Slaves was the stand out track for me and really was less a change for Kanye, but more an evolution of what he’s been talking about since College Dropout (Listen to All Falls Down…).

Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle

My album of the year for 2012 was probably “good kid, m.a.a.d city” by Kendrick Lamar. The album in its entirety is amazing and a moving artistic description of life in the city. I’ve written about Sing About Me, but the song off the album that dominated my playlists in ’13 was easily Backseat Freestyle. It made my gym mix. It made almost every playlist I made. It is hip hop in a pure form that I like – with the fun, grandiose, bravado that I look for in my music.

Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

Sleigh Bells is just my favorite rock band out there and the opening track of their new album was easily my favorite.

Lorde – A World Alone

It’s really hard for me to pick a song off of Lorde’s debut album “Pure Heroin.” The entire album probably dominated my spotify listening for the latter half of the year. A World Alone has one of my favorite lines from a songwriter in a long time though – one I used ad nauseam this year as it was appropriate far too many times: “Maybe the internet raised us…or maybe people are jerks.” It’s weird being 33 and connecting with the lyrics of a 16 year old girl, but art is a wonderful thing.

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines (Feat. Pharrell and T.I.)

I can’t say that I really liked the song when I first listened to it, but by the end of the summer it was practically inescapable. It was at the center of my work life and, due to the constant airplay, my social life as well. With the music video and VMAs, it will go down as one of the songs of the year from a pop perspective.

Jay Z – Tom Ford

This song might be the reason I am looking to rock Tom Ford at my wedding next fall (Mr. Ford’s amazing sartorial sense would be the primary reason), but it didn’t feel right having this list without Mr. Carter making an appearance. Honestly, there’s a part of me that feels that this song was “lazy” on the part of Jay Z, but the beat and the catchiness just makes it something I couldn’t stop listening to. I still need more digesting of MCHG – it was not an easy listen for me but has grown on me at points.

A$AP Rocky – Fucking Problems

I love A$AP, but this song was all about Kendrick and 2 Chainz. Carefree confidence and pure fun – that’s what I love about Hip Hop and the verses in that are exactly that.

Those are the songs that really stood out this year. There were artists whose albums I enjoyed a lot – J. Cole, Pusha T, Eleanor Friedberger, BOY…to name a few), but they didn’t have that standout song (for me.)

Did I miss a song that you loved? An album that I need to check out? Want to get into an argument over ‘Ye? Hit me up on Twitter or leave a comment….