The end of the musical year is always a favorite time of mine. It's a chance to look back at the year that was in music and analyze the massive amount of tunes I have listened to throughout the past 12 months. It can be difficult at times to try and remember what music I listened to in a certain year, especially the releases that came out in the beginning of the year that maybe haven't been listened to for a couple of months. The reason for the difficulties is because I don't really go out and buy the physical releases of an album any more. I more often than not end up downloading an album and either throwing it on my iPod or burning a disc of it. So it becomes hard to make that physical connection to a certain album because I'm not actually holding it and looking at the artwork. Instead the music just becomes a list of files on iTunes or a stack of generic looking CD-R's with random Sharpie scribblings on them.
However, there are some advantages to having all of my music in a digital format. The first is all my music is stored in one spot, everything that gets downloaded goes in to my iTunes. So when I'm trying to recall what I have listened to throughout the year I can always look through my download history and see what I have listened to throughout the year. Also, iTunes keeps track out what I have listened to the most. This is actually a really cool tool to figure out just exactly how much I enjoyed a certain album, more often that not the music that I have listened to the most throughout the year ends up being some of my favorite albums of the year. It's also really convenient to have all this music stored in one central location because its easier to keep track of. Long gone are the days of me searching through all my CD's to find a certain album. Also, long gone are the days of me losing albums left and right or searching through my car to try and find them. So while I do miss actually having the album, all the artwork, and making that physical connection to certain piece of music; there are really great advantages to having all this digital music. Technology is crazy like that.
After looking at all the music that I have consumed through 2013. I have narrowed it down to my favorite 13 albums of the year. I decided to narrow it down to 13 because it matched with the year (duh). I know it's kind of on odd number , but I just liked the sound of "Top 13 of 2013". I have included in this book a page that lists out each album from 13 to number 1, with an explanation to why I liked this album and why it made my best of list. Also throughout the list are many links to many full lengths reviews of certain albums, interviews, music videos, live concert videos filmed and edited by myself, and various pictures of album artwork and bands. Most of the links are content that was originally hosted on my music review website that I edit and run called website Bearded Gentlemen Music. Most of the content was written by me, but I have also featured some interviews and reviews from a couple of B.G.M.'s contributing writers as well. This list serves as sort of a personal time capsule of the year that was in music. I really enjoyed looking back at everything I listened to throughout the year and reflecting on it. I hope you enjoy reading and listening through this list as much I enjoyed writing it and collecting it all together. Check it out here. - Jon Robertson