Friday, October 18, 2013

Albums of the Year

This year is not over yet (thank God) but Blue Ridge Outdoors prompted me to share my favorite albums of the year and the process got me thinking about all the great music I've uncovered in 2013.  Two in particular have been hitting me hard in the last few months, thought I'd share.  Hope you like badass pop.

LEAGUES:  You Belong Here

I’ve been a big fan of Thad Cockrell’s since my wife and I landed a brilliant Holiday record of his a few years ago.  He was living in Nashville at the time (as was my wife and I) and they shared some of the same social circles.  I hadn’t heard Thad in a few years before Sarah played me the Leagues debut album but his voice immediately brought me the same sense of joy I had when I first “discovered” his music several years before.  I’m a sucker for badass pop/rock music and this record is as good as it gets.  


This record was released in 2011 but I only just uncovered it when my lovely wife, Sarah, coupled it together with the latest Silver Seas record, Alaska, (2013) for a cross-country journey I took late summer.  The Silver Seas are my favorite band, simply put, and Tashian one of my favorite songwriters.  I can sing every line of every song of every record.  I didn’t read the writing on the disc, just put it in and immediately fell in love with what I thought was the latest offering from the Seas, but when track 10 rolled around and the chorus of Alaska hit, at first I thought “oh, how creative, the title track last” but then the track ended and another began and I realized my error.  I had been listening to Arthur.  Hook after hook, shameless pop and devastating bridges (I once laughed for at least 20 minutes straight at a cocktail party as Tashian riffed on a joke about opening a business on Music Row called Bridges Inc. where all the songwriters co-writing on the row, struggling with the bridge would drop by to get their bridges written for them)... Arthur’s the best thing I’ve heard all year.

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