We already looked at the best and worst albums of the year, but there were some releases this year that didn’t fit into either of those categories. These are three albums that stand out either because it was a stellar reissue of a classic record or it just didn’t meet the high expectations. Either way here are some other notable releases of 2013.
Disappointing Album of 2013:
You guys know I really, really love Bullet for My Valentine, so when they released their new album I was pumped, especially because their 2010 album was so good. Unfortunately, the record wasn’t as good or as memorable as their past efforts. It’s not a terrible album, but most of the songs are bland and lack the signature BFMV brutality they became known for. Tracks like “Temper Temper” and “Riot” are pretty tame compared to their past work and while they can be catchy, it takes a while for them to grow on you. There are some shining moments on the album, like “Tears Don’t Fall Pt. 2” and “Dirty Little Secrets,” but sadly most of the songs are dull. The one song that stands out as being just awful is the Chris Jericho (yes, the wrestler) penned track “Dead To The World.” Every cliché ever uttered that describes how much life sucks is used here. Even the band knew the album wasn’t their best, which is why they rushed to the studio to record “Raising Hell,” which is another okay effort. Hopefully, their next album will get fans’ blood boiling once again.
Best Re-release of the Year:
In Utero: 20th Anniversary
Nirvana’s third and final studio album In Utero turned 20 this year. Of course the only way to commemorate the anniversary is with an expensive remastered edition! To be fair there were several different versions fans could buy depending on their budget, but the super deluxe edition was supreme with tons of bonus material, a book featuring Kurt Cobain’s hand written lyrics, a poster, and more. The best part of the anniversary was getting Nirvana’s infamous 1993 show Live and Loud both on CD and DVD. For the first time fans could watch the entire concert with no interruptions. It’s definitely one of their best shows with several songs from their third album being played live. With all their studio albums successfully remastered, one wonders if any of their other albums will get the same treatment. For the sake of everyone’s bank account I hope not for a long time.
Live Album of the Year:
Live at Rome Olympic Stadium
Muse has proved time and time again how they are one of the best live acts around and its no different with this release. All of Muse’s live albums are great and this one isn’t any different. While there are some tracks here that have been featured on their past concert releases, like “Supermassive Black Hole,” what makes this one worth your time is it features the best songs from their latest album The 2nd Law. There are killer renditions of “Survival” and “Panic Station” that you have to see for yourself. Also, the entire concert on DVD sweetens the deal. For this concert Muse went above and beyond for their visuals. Acrobatic dancers hanging from inflatable light bulbs, Muse money pouring from the sky, and dancing presidents will leave you in wonder and awe. One thing I know is I can’t wait to see these guys again.
I hope you guys have a happy and safe new year. I’ll see you in 2014!