2013 and the Giant Fart of Music (except Beyonce, obvs)

Daniel Wren

Thank god for Beyoncé’s album. Besides the fact it’s just EVERYTHING, it’s pretty much the saving grace from a year of pretty underwhelming releases. I made a list at the end of last year of releases I was really looking forward to in 2013 and most of them were letdowns, or just didn’t turn up (Pretty Reckless, Iggy Azalea, bastards). So, here’s my angsty year in music:

Nothing really happened for me until March and then, out of nowhere… JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE RETURNED. FINALLY. Mehhhhh. Six years and there’s little to no progression in his music. It was almost heartbreaking with how disappointing this was.

Then in April I thought I might as well listen to Paramore’s album, seeing as nothing else was happening, and I turned out to realllllly love this release. This surprised me seeing as I can only listen to a handful of their old tracks without getting tired of the LOOK AT ALL THESE FEELS I HAVE. But this album was quite grown up for them and well put together. I even went to see them live for the second time on the back of this album, so I was fully immersed in ALL MY FEELS.

Then Demi Lovato released something or other.

MKS released that single didn’t they? Cool.

After some more silence Ellie Goulding re-released her album didn’t she? That was good but over pretty quickly.

Natalia Kills was on point as per, I just wish she got more attention and hype. It would make the era more exciting. The music and visuals are perfect and brilliant and I’ll always love her and the album, I just wish there were other people to share the love with.

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Nine Inch Nails returned from their abyss with the same old.

Lorde popped up out of nowhere and also saved the year. Her debut is incredible and I can’t wait for more from her. I’m still not over how THAT VOICE and THOSE LYRICS can come from someone that’s SEVENTEEN. ‘400 Lux’ and ‘Team’ are my favourite songs of the year. ‘Bravado’ too, but that’s from her EP.

Justin Timberlake showed up and went away again. Bye.

I was expecting HUGE things from Miley. After trashing her Disney image I was expecting some trap shit over some country twang, but the opening track to the album could fit on any of her Disney releases. Most exciting thing that happens here is 4×4. The promotion and hype just didn’t match the album, it was quite boring and lazy with its various ‘teen’ references or wannabe badass moments, it doesn’t feel real.

Katy Perry was always promising an underwhelming release so I suppose that wasn’t a surprise, she even succeeded expectations of how bad she can be with ‘Birthday’ and ‘How We Do’. Congratulations girl, you’re 29.

Sky Ferreira finally released her debut album and I almost wish she’d just stuck to releasing EPs. ‘You’re Not The One’ was quite good but doesn’t really live up to her her old gems like ‘Obsession’ or ‘Sex Rules’ and the rest of the album is kinda meh. I like ‘Nobody Asked Me’, ‘I Blame Myself’ and ‘Ain’t Your Right’ but again, they pale in comparison to her EPs and overall it’s a fairly bland release.

Avril Lavigne released her lead single in like…what, April? Then released the album in November while saying it’s been completed since last year. What the hell? Besides the album being pretty underwhelming in itself (I get Avril in general is uncool but I fucking love her) the whole wait for the album was just annoying and it got pushed back THREE times. Released in November and full of songs about enjoying summer, its entire release was just a mess. Some amazing tracks like ‘Give You What You Like’ and ‘Bad Girl’, but overall… meh.

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ARTPOP was FINALLY released. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Gaga, so much. So so so much. I don’t care what everyone else is saying, whether it’s flopping, whether people are bored of her image, don’t care at all. Only thing that nags me is we knew the title of this album for well over a year and she’s been teasing constantly since then, and god, it was getting boring just hearing her hyping with nothing coming out and then it finally came out and it didn’t split the universe into pieces and cause another big bang. After everything she said, frankly anything else was always going to be a letdown. Still one of my favourite releases this year, just could’ve done without being teased for so long, cheers.

One Direction, yeah whatever,

Britney. Oh Britney. I love her too, I love her as a person more than some people I know in real life. I just want her to be happy and clearly this whole music thing is not making her happy so I’d rather she didn’t bother. Britney Jean was just…shit. ‘Alien’ is amazing but the album as a whole was just Will.U.Not featuring her over-processed vocals among 20+ other ‘background’ vocalists. What was the point?


Overall, I think the year suffered from TOO MANY releases, like SOOO many, ‘cause amongst the load I’ve already written about the following people also put something out: Will.U.Not, Fall Out Boy, Little Boots, 30 Seconds To Mars, Daft Punk, Stooshe, Kanye West’s ego, Jay-Z, Charli XCX, Ciara, Pet Shop Boys, City and Colour, Queens of the Stone Age, Tom Odell, KT Tunstall, The-One-That’s-Not-Beyoncé, Mac Miller, Jimmy Eat World, Black Sabbath, Sara Bareilles, Backstreet Boys, John Mayer, Naughty Boy, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Arctic Monkeys, Goldfrapp, London Grammar, Janelle Monáe, Sheryl Crow, Jessie J, Icona Pop, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Eminem, M.I.A., Jake Bugg, Little Mix, Robbie Williams, LIKE, YOU GET THE IDEA RIGHT? THERE’S STILL A LOAD MORE.

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Yeah, it could be seen as something for everyone but it feels like an overload for everyone instead. It’s like labels are just throwing anything and everything at an audience in a hope one of them will pick up and sell and it’s a serious case of quantity over quality. Most of these releases were pretty much ignored in terms of a promotional campaign for one of the main pop stars and even then, the attention span for them was a week or, at a push, two, before the next release came along and stole the spotlight for a day or two. Artists that used to be able to snatch some spotlight were just plain ignored this time, like Little Boots, Eliza Doolittle and KT Tunstall.

The end of the year was ridiculous with almost every major popstar bar Rihanna putting something out. It would’ve been so much better if more attention, care, focus and effort was put into both the albums released this year and their releases. Beyoncé showed the entire world this, selling well over a million copies within 3 days by releasing something mind-blowing in a mind-blowing fashion. Nothing else this year comes close to her release, everyone else was shown up with less than three weeks left of the year and no signs of her approach. All just my opinion, of course.

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.