Top 10 Albums of 2013 December 17, 2013 Albums, Best of, Best of 2013 2013 came and went. Another year down in the books. In late 2013 we created Casablanca Sunset! And with our eyes focused ahead on a constructive 2014 we are excited to make a useful media source out of Casablanca Sunset. A site that viewers can enjoy and discover music from. So before we continue ahead to 2014 it is only appropriate that we address 2013 and the collections of music that it left behind. Below is our Top 10 Albums of the Year. There were really so many great albums that it was tough to narrow and organize everything down to just 10. Regardless though we did it and we are happy to share. Also be sure to also check out the other best of lists which you can exclusively find on casablancasunset.com. Enjoy… Top 10 Albums of 2013 10 Drake – Nothing Was The Same [Cash Money] With the hip hop scene more muddled than ever, Aubrey Graham seems to be one of the only rappers able to stick to what he knows the best, himself. Within an obvious maturity and evolution for producer Noah “40” Shebib, this was one of the few hip hop albums of the year that actually lived up to its hype. Covering everything from flexin’ to his family to females this is one of, if not, the best chapters in the book of Drizzy. 9 Flume – Flume (S/T) [Future Classics] In late 2012 Flume took the world of internet music by storm. The young Australian producer quickly signed to Future Classics and top just about every online chart with his singles Sleepless and Holdin On. With the advice of his label he decided to wait and release the official album almost a year after his music achieved global recognition. I’m not entirely sure I agree with the strategy they took, but it is what is. The full length didn’t include anything that will surpassed Sleepless and Holdin On, but none the less it officially came out in 2013 and it was still great. 8 Washed Out – Paracosm [Sub Pop] 2010’s Washed Out EP Life of Leisure was arguably was the catalyst of ‘Chillwave’ music. In 2013, frontman Ernest Holmes displayed himself to the music community with Paracosm as a respectable and talented artist that is here to stay. From beginning to end Paracosm is a blissfully intelligent album. Gliding from track to track, Paracosm is an easy listen that goes down smooth & easy like a nice wine; calming yet stimulating at the same time. 7 Kanye West – Yeezus [Def Jam] Potentially one of the most divided receptions of the year, Yeezus brought Kanye to the forefront of not just hip hop, but entertainment. We knew Kanye was going to make a statement with this sixth studio release, but we could have never predicted what he unleashed on us. Kanye welcomes us into the angry, unsympathetic world within his psyche through some of his most provocative writing and unforgiving production. Kanye produced a work of modern art unlike anything heard in hip hop before and leaves us waiting to see what comes next. 6 Disclosure – Settle [Universal Island Records] In 2013 dance music stays just as fast as it arrives. The majority of 2013 DJs and Producers don’t make new dance music that will stay relevant for more than a year. Consumers now have Facebook feeds, music blogs and discovery engines to keep their curious minds moving. Disclosure’s Settle is the UK’s answer to America’s continuous cycle of electronic irrelevancy. Settle is a superiorly produced dance record that is solid from beginning to end. The albums melodic structure and intelligently craftwork actually suggest longevity. Along with this, they also put on an incredible live show. They performed their music live similar to a Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 set, whereas most DJ/Producers mix studio recordings. All of which earns them a spot at #6. 5 A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP [RCA Records] One of the earliest releases of 2013 was A$AP Rocky’s heavily anticipated Long Live A$SP. Based of 2011 mixtape, Live. Love. A$AP, the full length album finally saw it’s released in January of 2013. All the waiting was left with little disappointment. Nearly every song on the record is single worthy, featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Santigold and Skrillex. His ability to melodically constructed alternative based music and turn it into an absolute banger is impressive to say the least. A$AP is going no where as this album justified his location on top and verified his worthiness. 4 Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return [Carpark Records] Anything In Return was Toro Y Moi’s 3rd studio full length record. In typical Toro Y Moi fashion it pushed boundaries and stretched his genre to it’s limits. Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick created an album that features the sounds of the UK club while remaining true to his psychedelic rock roots. Toro Y Moi has really come into his own and is real deal. He is on the rise and anticipate multiple quality albums to come. 3 Foals – Holy Fire [Warner Music] Holy Fire is an album that gets better with every listen. This album feels like a landmark in a six year journey of both triumphs and missteps for Foals. They successfully sharpened skills and brought a bigger sound to their already emotive and intelligent music. With leading tracks like My Number and Inhaler, Holy Fire demands greatness and solidified “headliner” status for the band. 2 James Blake – Overgrown [ATLAS] James Blake is an artist that continuously grows and evolves in his craft. Compared to his previous release, this album seems to have a solid backbone that it rests on while still reaching to almost disorienting heights. Blake is able to stay within the same hazy world as his first studio album, but is able to expand and extend his breadth in both instrumentation and production. With help from Brian Eno on ‘Digital Lion’ and RZA on “Take a Fall for Me” this is a well rounded and complete sophomore release for the producer and awarded him with the 2013 Mercury Prize. 1 Daft Punk – Random Access Memories [Columbia Records] From the depths of darkness Daft Punk returned in 2013 with their 4th studio album Random Access Memories. The years of production on Random Access Memories was undisclosed and kept entirely secret until just weeks before its release on Columbia Records. Daft Punk intentionally kept their album undercover (which Billboard documents in a timeline here) to avoid association with the current conditions of the electronic music scene. Instead of following the bedroom production patterns of the modern “EDM” scene, which they heavily influenced, they turned back the dial and release a million dollar west coast 1970s disco influenced record. The record and is one of the best engineered albums of the past few years and has a budget to prove it. RAM is up for 3 Grammy Nominations and Rolling Stone awarded their dance floor hit Get Lucky as the #1 song of 2013.