#316; my 2013 playlist, part 1

Ah, December! The month of end of year blog posts and the time that every armchair critic becomes an expert in all things pop culture! So here I go, my sad (totally tasteless, totally shameless) list of what I think is the best in music of 2013 (in no particular order, and some them didn’t even come out this year, but still rocked my world). Am I totally wrong? Did I miss anything incredible? Let me know in the comments & on facebook.

☆ THE CIVIL WARS: The Civil Wars — The Civil Wars are easily my favorite new band of the last few years. In all of music. Hands down. And their sophomore effort (which hopefully won’t be their last) proved me right. No body does harmony and storytelling like these two. Go listen to this album right now.

☆ YLVIS: The Fox — Weird to include this, I know! But this ended up being one of my favorite ‘dance’ tracks of the year and without fail it cheers me up when I pop it on.

☆ DARIUS RUCKER: True Believers — Rucker’s third solo country album delivered with a remake of a classic (“Wagon Wheel”), some great duets, and my favorite track “Miss You”. If you like Carolina country & soulful vocals that only Hootie deliver, be sure to check it out.

☆ DEMI LOVATO: Demi — THIS ALBUM. Seriously. Demi. I may be turning 30 in 2014, but my inner 22 year old LOVES THIS ALBUM. Plus, the pop-dance tracks are a blast, hard driving guitars give it all edge, and her ballads are nearly impossible to beat in pop music today.

☆ ZEDD: Clarity & Stay the Night — Zedd hit me by surprise. I have pretty solid opinions when it comes to my EDM, producers and DJs I’ve been following for years. I don’t tend to jump on new things (strange in EDM, I know!), but Zedd hit me like a ton of bricks. Both of his big tracks this year were perfection and I still can’t get enough of either of them.

☆ MILEY CYRUS: Bangerzz — Even with all the controversery surrounding this album and Miley Cyrus, I have to admit it’s a great album. “Wrecking Ball” is one of the best tracks of the year, which I didn’t know until Miley performed it on SNL, but to not include it would just be ridiculous.

☆ EMINEM: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 — I can’t say enough about this ‘comeback’ album. First of all I don’t think Eminem ever went away – being the top selling artist of the oughts, and all – but I want “The Monster” to become the anthem of the mental health movement. I’m just putting it out there.

Coming soon, thoughts & squeals about: BEYONCE: Beyoncé, ALPINES: Empire, LORDE: The Love Club EP, BETTY WHO: The Movement, JAY-Z: Magna Carta… Holy Grail, ED SHEERAN: +, SARA BAREILLES: The Blessed Unrest, TEGAN & SARA: Heartthrob, VARIOUS: Pitch Perfect Soundtrack, PINK: The Truth About Love, FRANK OCEAN: Orange, MUMFORD & SONS: Babel, and NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS: Push the Sky Away.

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