Here are some things I have noticeably liked more than others in 2013...
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Best songs of the Year
Drake – ‘Hold On (We’re Going Home)’ Well, duh. Of course this is the best song of the year.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ Congratulations to Arctic Monkeys for getting their groove back this year and making music that sounds like they care again – typified by this engorged, slow-burning number.
Summer Camp – ‘Fresh’ *Sigh* If only there was something anywhere near as good as this swooning disco beauty on their self-titled second album…
Daft Punk – ‘Giorgio By Moroder’ We all felt similarly let down by Random Access Memories: “Wait, what do you mean it’s not got 13 ‘Get Lucky’’s? We demand JUSTICE” (not the rival French electronic group – the abstract noun). This explosive track was the album’s saving grace.
Lady Gaga – ‘Do What U Want’ ARTPOP’s finest cut by a long shot but how are we supposed to respond to R.Kelly’s participation? How are we supposed to digest Gaga’s sexualised live deliveries of this song which totally undermine the moral message? And when will she stop caring about that week when people called her fat and start fighting back against the idea that she’s over? Seems just a little bit more important…
Albums of the Year
WHO CARES? Why has every music criticism outlet bothered with an ‘Albums of 2013’ list? There has not been one single million-selling album this year. No one is buying them. Even when big hitters release an LP it sells an okay amount (i.e. enough to achieve a No. 1 debut) and then drops off the radar within a number of weeks (if not, days). There’s just no point… We need music with staying power.
Film of the Year
Behind The Candelabra Devastatingly good cinema thanks to all the right ingredients: a "I can’t believe it is, but it damn well is" true story, sensitive character portrayals and stunning visuals.
Book of the Year
Morrissey’s Autobiography It was worth waiting for: Morrissey, in his own words. There were lines which caused roaring laughter and passages that evoked intense sadness. Did it make the author any more knowable? No, of course not. Did it make you want to know everything about him? Yes, of course. Autobiography functions in the same way all of Morrissey’s lyrics do; posing as stark confessionals but in actual fact are unravelable paradoxes.
Another special year-end title for Morrissey is Best Trousers of 2013 for the airy flares he sported at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert – very stylish.
Artist of the Year
Easy decision: Bruno Mars. For anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing his Moonshine Jungle Tour you don’t need me blabbering on about his faultless versatility. His half-time show at the Superbowl will be the moment the unconverted agree he is in the superstar league.