As we begin to wrap up our first year here at KUTX, we have asked our DJs to name their Top 10 Albums for the year 2013. Jeff McCord is a DJ here at KUTX. Jeff’s show Left of the Dial is on Friday evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. These are Jeff’s top 10 albums of the year:
1. Savages – Silence Yourself
A knockout debut with heart and muscle, and an abundance of great material. As good a rock album as anything released this year.
2. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
Dread, foreboding, and emotional depth. Gloom rock at its best, and Matt Berninger’s best writing yet.
3. Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze
Medium tempo, overlong and harmonically simple songs that should be little more than a snooze. Instead, Vile’s eerie calm and stoic optimism entrances.
4. Jose James – No Beginning No End
In these days where jazz artists record r&b records, this is neither. That is, James aspires to be no more than what he is, a highly original stylist. His songs groove and glitch, and channel the quiet force of Smokey or Marvin Gaye.
5. Iron & Wine – Ghost On Ghost
Sam Beam continues to reinvent his esoteric folk, notching back the cluttered approach of his previous release and augmenting his sonic groove with jazz musicians. Musically all over the place, which makes it even more fascinating.
6. Mikal Cronin – MCII
Perhaps the last thing you would expect from a guy who, despite his music major pedigree, slams out psych fuzz with the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. But here it is: near pitch-perfect power pop.
7. White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade
Despite the trippy title, Austin’s prog-ish, punk-ish trio fills out and tightens up, irons out the wrinkles and bores in on their songwriting.
8. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
Wise-ass and funny as hell – imagine if Judd Apatow led a rock band. Instead, Denton’s Andrew Savage (also of Fergus & Geronimo) stands in. High art.
9. Elvis Costello & The Roots – Wise Up Ghost
Usually, these good-on-paper concepts end up disasters, but both the Roots and Elvis seem to have had their batteries recharged by this quirky collaboration.
10. Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
No sophomore slump here. Monae doesn’t try so hard on her latest, and by laying back, slips into one nation under a groove. Citizens Prince and Erykah Badu join the party.