This year has seen the return of many of my favorite artists in many years, ones who released albums in the past that I think are essential listening. Even ones who I thought I'd never see a new album from released stuff this year.
Seriously, the list is quite incredible. Artists that I had been waiting years for: David Bowie, The Knife, Pheonix, Nine Inch Nails, Franz Ferdinand, Queens of the Stoneage, Jimmy Eat World, Justin Timberlake, even Daft Punk! Then add to that a year in which My Bloody Valentine AND Boards of Canada release a new album... Yeah, a special year.
The thing is some have been far more successful than others for very different reasons. The new Pheonix album for example is a crushing disappointment because it it's dreadfully loud and dynamic-less sound. The Daft Punk album was just a stylistic misfire in my eyes, and an album I can't get into. The Knife really managed something I thought was impossible and really kill any love for them I had. What I would still call a defining album, Silent Shout, was followed by Shaking the Habitual, an overlong mess of an artistic attempt. I don't get it.
Others are much better. the MBV album was starling at how nice it was, the Boards of Canada album is pretty incredible, and the Bowie even is listenable to. Biggest surprise was how much I liked the new Nine Inch Nails, Franz Ferdinand and Queens of the Stoneage albums. Very good.
2013 has been a weird year because of that. I have so preoccupied with older artists coming back I have missed a lot of the new debuts from this year. I will catch up with them in the coming months. If only Avalanches, Modest Mouse and Wild Beasts had pushed something new out... I would have loved that.