Caleb C.

Reviews 26
Approval 94%

Soundoffs 20
News Articles 4
Band Edits + Tags 1
Album Edits 10

Album Ratings 299
Objectivity 60%

Last Active 12-02-14 8:35 am
Joined 11-28-09

Forum Posts 10
Review Comments 1,359

12.29.14 Swim's 201403.02.14 The 86th Academy Awards
02.08.14 Let It Go01.01.14 Swim's 2013
12.20.13 My Boy Garth12.03.13 4 More Years
08.06.13 June/july Tunes06.04.13 April/may Things
04.08.13 February/March Digs02.01.13 January Digs
12.26.12 Swim's 201205.28.12 Thrice's Farewell Tour
04.27.12 Favorite Tv Characters12.19.11 Swim's 2011
10.10.11 I Need Acoustic12.13.10 Swim's Top 10 Albums Of 2010
12.04.10 Swim's Top 10 Songs Of 201012.03.10 Anniversary
More »

Swim's 2013

A pop music emergence in my personal taste headline what was an outstanding year in music. For me anyway. I like music. Honorable Mentions to Vampire Weekend and The National.

I hated rap in high school. Not only the lyrical content, but the boring ass background noise they were using to highlight their rhymes. It took finding the best producers to finally break my reluctance towards the sound, with artists like Nujabes and El-P proving that hip-hop isn?t always about the rapping, but rather the complete package. Friendzone continue in that vein, creating a freestanding soundscape of lush beats and hooks fully capable of telling its own story without vocal restraints.
14James Blake

Retrograde is my song of the year for every single reason that this album is on this list. It represents the strengths of Overgrown in their most pure. Blake?s sultry tones spread over the cold yet gripping clicks that drive it forward, emptiness an ally in the songs composition as much as every audible note. It?s a delicate balance perfected on Retrograde, and while not as strong elsewhere, the plan succeeds far more than it lets down.
13Touche Amore
Is Survived By

The fact that they can write songs longer than a minute and a half makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The punch of each song still remains, but it?s fully fleshed out this time allowing for an expansion and honing of the ideas before their disappearance. He?s still that verge-of-mental-breakdown narrator we?ve come to appreciate but this time he sticks around to give us a longer picture into his mind, making each theme that much more impactful.
Rival Dealer

The enigma is back with an EP less enigmatic as previous releases while still awfully enigmatic. The anti-bulling theme works way more effectively than other artists attempts (see: anyone else whose ever even tried it) and the tone shifts from prior works sound natural. It?s hard to imagine Burial going down a path such as this one with his music, yet these tracks are clearly only capable of being produced by Burial. What.

My review for this was panned ( for not telling laying out what the music ?sounds like?, but I stand by the rest of the points I made. Ben Sharp found the best parts of his discography and smooshed them together, presenting a unique-yet-welcomingly-familiar blend of emotional instrumental metal. Plus the song names are the best thing.
The Bones of What You Believe

Cute. Get that out of the way early. Take the all the rage 80?s synths and meet them up with the current dance pop zeitgeist and you get Chvrches neat debut. While some of the songs may weigh it down a little, the album is a perfect example of when the highlights make you forgot the lowlights even exist. Turn on Science/Visions during a late night car trip and tell me the night doesn?t awaken. Cute. Shit.
9Alter Bridge

As much as hard rock is a maligned genre we can?t forget to acknowledge that many of the most talented musicians are stuck in the restraints of the mainstream cycle. That?s what made Fortress so pleasantly surprising, because Alter Bridge take a step in the exact opposite of expectations, and display an innate knack of excelling in whichever direction the decide to explore. Be that the doing of Mark Tremonti or Myles Kennedy, it doesn?t matter, Alter Bridge are undoubtedly the best the genre has had to offer in nigh a decade.
Flowers for my Father

As much as ?emo? and conscious rap can be looked down on by hip-hop purists, sometimes you just have to give a man the praise he?s due. Flowers for my Father (my review: Father/) features the strongest production outside of El-P this year, and rhymes schemes that would make many mainstays secretly hope for a ghost write. Seriously that last verse on The Beast. Guys, I?m serious.

I?m such a fucking hipster wannabe. Two spots above Alter Bridge (yep) I have the only black metal album I?ve ever been able to finish. And it?s because of all the softened edges, the climaxes and twinkly bits holding the metal together, that this was even accomplished. It?s a glorious combination of ideas that would typically never even be uttered in the same breath, but here is done so seamlessly that one would wonder why they wouldn?t have been married in the first place.
Pure Heroine

This album could be my anthem, mostly because I?ve always had the emotional range of a 17 year old girl. And even 5 years removed from high school, tracks like Tennis Court and A World Alone still resonate somewhere in my psyche. Maybe it?s in the willingness to stand apart from the excepted norm of it all (in this case pop music) that makes her music so relatable, but somehow Lorde keeps everything on a level that even bitter twenty-somethings like myself can sing along about drinking orange juice and feel perfectly content with it.
5Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience

Hmm. Well, I, umm. Pop music has never been my thing, and this year I have fully enjoyed and appreciated it for the first time, none more so than Mr. Timberlake. Album is daring, explorative, sappy, fun, diverse, and catchy. It takes all of the modern pop tropes and pushes them to the extreme. What Lorde steered clear of, JT embraced. And then embraced them some more over and over again for 10 minutes. I fucking enjoy it because it?s fucking superb, and more artists should follow Justin Timberlake?s lead towards a brave new world of pop.
4Shai Hulud
Reach Beyond the Sun

Motivational and bleak to the point of excess, Reach Beyond the Sun is Shai Hulud?s entire existence compacted and refined to perfection. Each line is a poignant statement about the state of the world spoken (eh, screamed) with such conviction that you smile and join the shout. It?s a collective rebellion against the human race?s downfalls set to a melodic assault of guitars and drums, coalescing to form a rallying cry unheard in metalcore in years.
3Captain, We're Sinking
The Future is Cancelled

Emotionally titled punk rock has become a basis of contention among punk purists and pop-punkers alike, each forming and dissolving bonds with bands based on where they fit on the diverse spectrum of ?what?s too sugary??. Captain We?re Sinking?s The Future is Cancelled rests somewhere in the middle and as a result, everyone wants a piece. Much like fellow Scranton contemporaries The Menzingers, Captain We?re Sinking takes heavy and nostalgic subject matter and slams in home in an extraordinarily accessible package and stays far away from cliché and overindulgence with ease much beyond their years.
2Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels

There is no one in the hip-hop world having as much fun as Killer Mike and El-P. Watch a video. Read some lyrics. Catch an interview. They completely understand that they are killing it right now and they are having an absolute blast sitting on top. It?s a mindset that first presented itself within the album (it?s an album guys) and from there found forcing its way into fact. And they will verbally berate and physically threaten you until you believe it to be true as well.
1Laura Stevenson

It?s obvious that Laura Stevenson?s music sounds good from the start. She can sing, play, and write her way into many a head. It?s the listens beyond the first, the twelfth, the thirty-second, that reveal just how endearing her creations truly are. It?s odd how deeply personal and soul revealing Wheel sounds on the surface, yet how utterly incomprehensible it remains when tried to squeeze for full meaning. Delicately balancing between the two, the music presents lyrical snippets which change, in meaning and impact, from one listen to the next to engage emotions and trigger memories. Each listen turns the wheel over again, but each turn is a new path around towards what is surely another new beginning.
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