Mid-Year Music Roundup: The Top 5 Albums of 2013 Pt. 6
Happy July, San Antonio! This week, seven of our music writers are taking turns listing what they believe to be the top 5 albums of 2013…so far. Yesterday, we had J.D. Swerzenski‘s thoughts, now we present Current music editor Enrique Lopetegui ’s picks. Let us know in the comments what your favorite new music of 2013 is and check in tomorrow for the next installment.
1. Savages — Silence Yourself
The darkest, fiercest album of the year, and the main reason why I’ll go to Austin City Limits in October. When I do, I’ll turn my cell phone off, and you should do the same.
2. Vampire Weekend — Modern Vampires of the City
Remember the art of simply writing good songs? Remember melody? Harmonies? You don’t? Oh, you think it is so passé. I understand. Well, imagine Paul Simon plus edge, and this is what you get. Pure and unadulterated songwriting without worrying about “style.”
3. Pat Metheny — Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Vol. 20
Just when you thought there was nothing Metheny could do without repeating himself, here he comes with a his take on John Zorn’s mammoth body of traditional Jewish songs. Metheny played everything except drums (courtesy of Antonio Sánchez), and before you think he got all Hasidic on us, his guitar sound, at times, on this one’s the closest it’s ever been to 1982’s Offramp.
4. Bombino — Nomad
If you’re into Mali’s Tinariwen, you’ll dig this Dan Auerbach-produced jewel from Omara “Bombino” Moctar, Niger’s hypnotic guitar master whose solos and singing are like trippy mantras.
5. Juan Luis Guerra — Asondeguerra Tour
Dominican Republic’s Juan Luis Guerra is a thinking man’s dance master. He did for merengue what Blades/Colón did for salsa: add musical sophistication and poetic depth to a genre (dance music, in any language) often relegated to the lower neuronal bracket. If you’re clueless about Guerra, this live album is a good place to start because it’s his most comprehensive collection of new and old hits since his post-Bachata Rosa conversion to Christianity. Never singing for the Lord sounded so groovy.
Also recommended: Natalie Maines’ Mother, Atoms for Peace’s Amok, Jim James’ Regions of Light and Sounds of God, and a bunch of records from all over the world that haven’t been released in the U.S. yet.