TOP 10 ALBUMS 2013
By: Jonathan D. Wright
Highwire Daze Magazine
The Wright Stuff
The Ocean Blue
With The Ocean Blue releasing Ultramarine, this is their first full-length studio recording since 1999. This record measures up to their better work of the 1980’s till early 1990 wise ease. Longtime fans will recognize the airy guitars with accented synths. David Schelzel’s soft mature vocals are intact to keep your ears dreaming. The Ocean Blue’s melodic pop sound is a perfect fit to keep them retro yet with that slight indie vibe of alternative sound of what is available today. This is an outstanding release in both production and in the artwork. This is a whole package release. A thought out project from start to finish.
2. MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE
Legends already in the pop folk rock genres, 10,000 Maniacs lost their lead vocalist and had to find a new one. Natalie Merchant shoes weren’t easy to fill. But if you were the backup vocalist you had a shoe in for a try out. Sure enough now background vocalist was a front singer. Could Mary Ramsey write songs and lyrics as well or as good as Natalie Merchant could? Not only does she writes great lyrics, and sings but plays a great violin as well. The band decided to make this a whole recording process live all together. They did this by performing on a stage in the round. The CD was also funded by using www.Pledgemusic.com which let the bands audience participate and feel involved in the making of this record. Also Jeffrey Erickson and member Dennis Drew also wrote some of the new songs as well.
3. YOU ARE EVERYTHING
Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy
Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy have put out another installment of dreamy mood swings with lush backgrounds. This in return lets you float across and yet still feel that You Are Everything. In the eyes of the lyricist here and with the musician’s music it’s so easy to let yourself go for a ride. The adventure isn’t rough or fast but a brilliant wave of sounds and lush chords that lift you around by Steve Kilbey’s bass and baritone vocals compliment it.
Gary Numan has injected and infected darkness to this CD with some love that totally overpowers messages that lurks you to listen wanting to understand more. The Love here has the power to move you physically, emotionally and even internally. Heavier deep lyrics and ever deeper dark sound elements are well produce here. This is giving us convincing electronic rock that still shows it has a dark drive still left in it to explore no matter what character or story that is added to it. Gary Numan truly envelopes you with shattering Splinters of thought which provokes us into taking what we have learned and let those splinters of infection (knowledge or feeling) move us into a dark space in our minds and the one that gets into our hearts. This is a well thought out deeply intellectual album.
5. THE NEXT DAY
Letting go of the past and going forward marks the theme for David Bowie’s newest release The Next Day makes David Bowie’s 24th album. After adapting to fashions and trends of all kinds, David Bowie has put out something that pushes him forward and not listening to anyone but himself.
6. SHE PAINTS WORDS IN RED
House Of Love
Chery Red Records
She Paints Words In Red is the band’s first new work in eight years. Softer the band sounds now these days. There is a small hint of a dark anguish in hurt and suffering in Chadwick’s lyrics in the new songs. However don’t worry the lush strong guitars are plentiful. You feel as if bright pastel pretty colors are painted through the band’s sound on other songs as well. For being eight years this was worth the waiting for. Now to get them to tour will be the next question.
7. THE MINUTES
Modest Music Records
This is Alison Moyet first solo album since 2007. Guy Sigsworth has lead Alison into an electronic programming album. He helped in both co-writing with Alison and also produced it for her. This isn’t a Jazz record that Alison sings well but it’s something in between experimentation and pop. So in the electronic field Alison has fond an Interesting place just for her own expertise in the more art pop side of electronic with this CD. We see Alison Moyet more in control to where her emotionally raw and powerful vocals deliver greatly on here as well too.
8. LOUD LIKE LOVE
Placebo has constructed another entry to their spanning catalogue. This is the band’s seventh album. Front man Brian Molko, bassist Stephan Osdal and drummer Steve Forrest give its fans a modern take on their sound. You’ll find it edgy at times but personal felt lyrics fill your listening ears. Placebo still strive in their alternative in sound yet with a strong punch to it in most of this project. This time they have are also trying to explore a more experimental groove in their overall tone. Loud Like Love draws you nearer to them and puts you right into the scenes of the pictures where the band is at in every song with detail.
9. OCEAN AVENUE ACOUSTIC
Ocean Avenue reaches out and connects with our memories from our youth. With this CD you are able to recall memories of teenage years. Thoughts, feelings, and even certain people you know are brought back to the surface of your mind. Yellowcard are best known for writing catchy and light hearted pop punk. They use a violinist to push certain content of distinguished sound throughout the band’s music and here it become more personal done acoustic. Thanks for taking us back to letting us feel our youth in more details. Now that we are mature it doesn’t mean we have to completely forget about the past.
10. LOST SIRENS
It’s really bad when a band like New Order who have been around for many years break apart. With Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook such break ups are pretty deep. Still though Bernard got to keep New Order’s name. But this CD Lost Sires comes to release with songs that were let over when the band was still together. In sound in a Live setting since Peter Hook left I found the band was more loose and playful. But in the case of these eight songs left over, the deep pulsation of the band is very intact. So these eight songs were recorded during 2005’s ‘Waiting for the Siren’s sessions which was to be release as a follow up CD. That never happened till this release now.
BEST EP’S 2013
1. ONE DAY
He might be from the United Kingdom but his music has a universal appeal. His singing voice is expressive and textured. The sound of his is pop that will either make you hum to or dance to. Luke Potter keeps it very simple and clean to which you might want to even play it for your mother. This is definitely catchy, melodic and heartfelt pop songs. This youngster is ready for bigger places and nicer things to come.
They do dancing pop punk at times fast and yet not too hard for one’s finer ear. An interesting thumping beat they bring out that keeps up with your pulsing heart. They are already a radio friendly sounding commercial band.
3. BACK TO LIFE
Former vocalist for Breathe Electric decided to change their name and are now going by Goldhouse. It is still up beat pop dance with a slight alternative edge. This is a 6 song Ep so I’m sure that a full CD is on its way. Some of the dance clubs should take a listen to Goldhouse and give it a few spins for the audience to dance too.
4. SON OF A GUN
For The Foxes
Watch out this is carefree pop. The songs are infectious and contagious. For The Foxes play the most fun music that I haven’t heard in a while. This is very refreshing to listen to.
Here we have a solo song writer that will glaze you over with his pop melodies and textured vocals. He also plays all of the instruments himself.
6. BRIGHT LIGHTS
The Blues And Greys
This is alternative pop with dream soft female vocals. Strong writing lyrics and heart felt honesty is truly given here. If you were to take U2’s album Joshua Tree and inserted a female vocalist this might be something close to that.
7. THE SUMMER EP
My Genuine Find
No too hard and not too harsh but a great sounding alternative band. My Genuine Find pushes limits slightly but keeps you tuned in. The guitars grab your attention but the vocals caress your inner thoughts. What a great combination of strength and stability.
8. SUMMER LOVE
Keep It Cute
This is todays dance fast pop where punchy and bouncy hook up. You’ll find that the lyrics do get personal. You’ll appreciate his fun pop blend of catchy tunes that is for sure.
Arrica uses lushly romantic gentleness mixing it into laid back radio commercial sound that you might get from an adult contemporary station. With the usage of arty canvases, Arrica leads you into making it your own space color wise to fill in with her songs kind of looking through a kaleidoscope.
10. BLEACH BLONDE EP
Here is fun enthusiastic pop with alternative hooks thrown in. Here you will find catchy songs and up beat tempo’s that seem to be endless like a long lost fun summer.
Go listen to these band’s songs on www.live365.com/stations/wrighprod2 now. There is a Top 10 Pics show on the station as well to give you some depth to the top 10 pics as well by host JD the DJ.