It’s that time of year again when I tell my friends and the world about my love affair with music. I normally only do this on Facebook, but this year I thought I would go global. For those that don’t know me, yes, I write horror, but I don’t listen to the expected Death Metal genre that seems to be the norm. Then again, I’ve never fit into the norm. I do listen to Dark Wave/Goth music but nothing new this year really struck me as that compelling. While Blutengel, Diorama, Pride and Fall, Technoir, VNV Nation and many others had new albums this year, they sadly did not make my list even though their release were good.
20. Katy Perry – Prism: please go away. I don’t know why I downloaded this album. It’s gross. I don’t like it (I don’t have to) and it’s boring. What happened to kissing a girl? That was fun, this was boring. Oh, I said that once already.
19. Army of Lovers – Big Battle of Egos: this is a Greatest Hits sort of album with new songs that, to be honest, suck. It was like Alexander Bard didn’t have anything to do at the moment and called the other members back together for a quickie and missed the mark. Well we can’t be perfect all the time.
18. Boy George – This is What I Do: Really? You might say and shake your head. Yes, he came back again with another album. It’s got an interesting House beat on most of the tracks. As freakish as he is, it seems you can’t keep him down.
17. Icona Pop – this is…Icona Pop, and Krewella – Get Wet: I put these two together because they are in the same category of artists that will be forgotten quickly because they only have one song; Icona Pop – I Don’t Care and Krewella – Alive. I don’t mean any disrespect to their adoring fans, I do enjoy their beats. I could be wrong, they will be the artists that will record 100 records, but I doubt it.
16. Depeche Mode – Delta Machine:did you hear that Depeche Mode had a new album this year? They used to be one of my favorite groups, but I just don’t get them anymore. The lyrics were pretty much the same as the last two albums; all about David Gahn trying to stay clean. Give it a rest.
15. Lady Gaga – ArtPop: why do you have to say ArtPop in just about every song? Are you trying to hold a theme now, unlike the last album that was all over the place? I don’t have anything else to say but it’s Gaga.
14. Hurts – Exile: this is the second album from the boys and it is on the depressing side. The songs are full of melancholy and sadness—take some anti-depressants already. I much preferred their debut album, Happiness. Hurts Website
13. Marsheaux – Inhale: the girls from Greece are back with some fun tracks filled with endless loops of synth-beats and sound effects (and no cover of “Popcorn” that I still don’t understand). This album is probably their best in their discography. Marsheaux Website
12. Celine Dion – Loved Me Back to Life: Yeah, I know what you’re gonna say, “you listen to Celine Dion?” Please let’s keep it between us. Our little secret. If you can get over her snooty, pinched-faced shrew look (maybe that’s a Canadian thing), she has a great voice. Celine Dion Website
11. Little Boots – Nocturnes: I’m listening to this album as I write this and the first thought that came to mind was, I don’t listen to this album enough.She is amazing. Her sound is so smooth and sensual. They lyrics fill me with romantic visions mixed with the rhythmic sounds that accompany her. Meet me at the motorway. OK, I’m there. Little Boots Website
10. Hot Chip – Dark & Stormy: this is their 6th album and they still have the same Synthpop/Electronic sound they’ve had from the beginning. I find it sad that few people have heard them, you are missing out. A definite must listen to. Hot Chip Website
9. Berlin – Animal: it seems that 2013 was the year of the comeback for quite a few 80’s staples. They returned with a mix of harder-hitting beats and faux guitar (I could be wrong on the guitar). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the album is bad—nothing of the sort—it made a mark in my mind’s dancing arena and I would recommend checking it out. Berlin Website
8. International Observer – More Tales From the Dungeons of Dub: I know what you’re thinking…who? Am I right? This is the 3rd incarnation of the fabulous group from the 80’s, the Thompson Twins. Actually, it is only Thomas Bailey (lead singer of TT). And, oddly, he’s not singing anymore. This is all House, Dub, Techno, like the songs TT did for the Cool World soundtrack. Nothing wrong with change. International Observer Website
7. Alison Moyet – The Minutes: some of you will know her as the 80’s vocalist for Yaz (Yazoo) with Vincent Clarke. This album is reminiscent of the old days in sound with a mix of new. Her voice still has the rasp but on a higher scale. All in all I found it very good. Alison Moyet Website
6. Britney Spears – Britney Jean:OMG, OMG, Britney has a new album. It is on the lighter side and not as provocative. Of course there are exceptions, like Work B**ch; I don’t understand the need for **, she says the word in the song. Keep it up Britney, I love you. Britney Spears Website
5. Johnny Hates Jazz – Magnetized: talk about “if I could Turn Back Time”, these guys certainly did. Without a peep from them since the very early 1990’s, suddenly they appear again with their lovely Sophisti-pop sound. Very impressive album, why did it take you so long? Johnny Hates Jazz Website
4. Cher – Closer to the Truth: I thought you “retired”? I’m glad you didn’t. This is some fun shit, except the AutoTune or whatever the hell it’s called. Woman, you can sing, we all know it. Stop with the stupid robot voice, that was so 2000. At least not all of the tracks were laced with it. This album is great, give it a listen. Cher Website
3. Pet Shop Boys – Electric:This year definitely was filled with my favorites from back in the day releasing new music. This album reminded me of “Introspective” and “Very” with the likes of Thursday and Bolshy and nothing like “Release” (thank the music gods). Pet Shop Boys Website
2. Erasure – Snow Globe:while the album is technically a Holiday album, it has many songs that are not Holiday songs; allegedly Gaudete is a Holiday song, maybe I need to have it translated because I don’t hear it. I can never say no to Andy and Vince. Erasure Website
1. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) – English Electric:talk about a blast from the past. With greats like “If You Leave” and “So In Love”. This is absolutely the most fantastic thing I’ve heard all year. The Intro track is breath taking and chilling. Each song is filled with classic and new sounds that kept OMD in my favorite artist list for many years. Thanks for this one guys, I really appreciate it. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Website