#5. The Cat Empire - Steal the Light
These guys can do no wrong, another very strong album from them and unlucky they released it with so many other albums coming out this year. They have really gone back to their roots with this one, I think some were disappointed with their previous, Cinema, thinking they had gone a bit 'soft', for lake of a better word. But this album is right back up there. The title track Steal the Light, Prophets in the Sky, Wild Animals, Brighter Than Gold and Am I Wrong are among the highlights.
=#4. The Fratellis - We Need Medicine
London Grammar - If You Wait
Now I know it's a bit of a cop out to have an equal 4th place but this is my reasoning: These were both released relatively late in the year (October and September respectively) and haven't had enough time to really sink in... That's my excuse anyway :-p
We Need Medicine: I had no idea The Fratellis were back together and recording until about a month before the album was released and was still waiting for Jon Fratelli to release his second solo album. Now that's been shelved (which is a shame but another story) and The Fratellis have released a fantastic album here. As I mentioned, despite its late release in the year, this is easily equal 4th, there are some brilliant tracks on this album, such as: Whiskey Saga, Halloween Blues, Seven Nights Seven Days and This Old Ghost Town. Those are my highlights but Until She Saves My Soul, Shotgun Shoes and the title track We Need Medicine all deserve a mention too.
If You Wait: Now I only discovered this album a few weeks ago as I type but it has certainly left a lasting effect. Hannah Reid's voice is exceptional and the minimalistic approach to the instruments behind it make these songs very special. It's hard to pick out a one or two standouts here but I'll try: Strong, If You Wait, Hey Now, Sights and the amazing cover Nightcall (better than the original IMO). But the whole album is very good and again the skips button gets no use here.
#3. Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Another wonderful album from the Scottish band, they can do no wrong in my book! I had been waiting for this album ever since I heard they were playing new music at festivals and gigs this time last year, but it's been worth the wait. There are some great songs on this album including but not limited to Bullet, Goodbye Lovers & Friends, Treason! Animals., Fresh Strawberries and Evil Eye. But again the whole album is great all the way through!
#2. Stereophonics - Graffiti on the Train
Unfortunately I can't find an image of the cover my CD copy has but that's a side note! This is another one which had a very long wait. The first tracks to appear online were In a Moment and Violins and Tambourines and that was around November 2012, the album was released early September 2013. But once again it was worth the wait! Highlights are first and foremost the two aforementioned tracks as well as Take Me, We Share the Same Sun, Indian Summer and Roll the Dice which when listening to the album all the way through transitions with Violins And Tambourines sublimely, even though they're not joined track by music or anything, the end of Roll The Dice just fits so perfectly with Violins and Tambourines. Anyway, great album!
#1. I Am Kloot - Let It All In
Another band I 'discovered' this year, mainly through last.fm's similar artists believe it or not. The offending band was Cherry Ghost (who may feature in the 2014 top 5 :D), I was listening to so much of their stuff and wanted more so checked out these guys and I could not stop listening. In fact they now have more plays on my profile than Cherry Ghost!! But this album is fantastic, the lyrics on some of the songs, and not just this album, are so clever and the way they put to the music is really great! My highlights here are Shoeless, Hold Back the Night (clever lyrics here), Bullets (really clever lyrics in this one), Let Them All In, Even the Stars and Some Better Day. But once again the whole album is quality!
And now for the honourable mentions... And there's a lot. Really gutted to leave Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City, in fact I had it pencilled in at 5 until I remembered The Cat Empire needed to fit in. Unfortunately for him (I'm sure he's really upset :-p) Jake Bugg misses out second year running due to late release of his second album Shangri La. Also The Feeling's new album Boy Cried Wolf misses out, they normally crack the top 5 but the competition was too strong this year. The National's new one Trouble Will Find Me also deserves a mention, as does Kings of Leon's new one Mechanical Bull and finally, mentioned last for a reason, is Arctic Monkeys newest album AM. This would have been number 6 I think, so it narrowly misses out and contains the song of the year Do I Wanna Know?.
So that's it for this year, a few new albums expected for next year are Cherry Ghost, as mentioned, I believe Angus & Julia Stone are recording at the moment and Damien Rice is rumoured to have new material on the way, so it could be another good year musically!
Thanks for reading :D happy listening!