Over the years, the “Top 40 Albums” list (once a measly list of 10) has become the apex of BDWPS, a culmination of a year’s worth of obsessive listening and re-listening (and re-listening) to every piece of music I can get my hands on. Even as I compile this final definitive list (which I traditionally question months and years later), I find myself revisiting albums I was quick to write off, or I end up digging for gems that may have slipped through the cracks of my consciousness. I didn’t have as tough of a time leaving albums off the list this year; I don’t know if that means 2013 was a weak year in music or if I just didn’t have as tight of a connection with as much music as usual. Regardless, I can promise you that the following 40 albums are well-crafted collections of music/art worth investing your time in…lord knows I have.
With album art having less and less of an impact on sales due to digital media, I think many labels have gotten lazy, relying on the same tried and true approach to album covers, never taking chances like artists did in the past. While the albums below are all horrible in their own ways, I commend these musicians for at least taking a chance and doing something different at risk of being made a fool (which they accomplished).
In the age of digital media, the idea of album artwork seems a bit archaic, but if you’re anything like me, you still hold the intrinsic connection between music and art to be sacrosanct. Below you will find what I deem the 20 best images to be seen on the cover of albums in 2013. You can go get a closer look at that place your parents used to go to called the record store.
With the end of 2013 just ahead, buckle in for an epic playlist. On this month’s episode you’ll be taken through nine great tracks that will help you gear up for the upcoming year end lists here at BDWPS.com. Check it out HERE or subscribe on iTunes (Keyword: BDWPS).
Grooms “I Think We’re Alone Now”
Mutual Benefit “Advanced Falconry”
Arcade Fire “Normal Person”
Destroyer “El Rito”
Girls Against Boys “Let’s Get Killed”
Future of the Left “The Real Meaning of Christmas”
Dylan and the Dead “Slow Train”
50 years ago, Bob Dylan started a recording career that would revolutionize music forever. To commemorate his evolution over the span of 43 albums, Sony Records has released the entirety of his music library in a $180 box set, The Complete Album Collection: V.1. The inclusion of V.1 in the title seems a bit-tongue in cheek with Dylan now 72 years old, but it may be sincere considering how good ol’ Bob is still touring endlessly and churning out new material about every three years. It may not be to the level of say a Highway 61 Revisited, but to suggest Dylan is a waning enterprise would be premature. In fact, two of Dylan’s recent ventures show that he is still an innovator in the world of music.