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Top Albums of 2013

This is the last one!  This review of Grey Reverend’s record will conclude the reviews of some of our top albums of 2013. We hope you have enjoyed reading these reviews as much as we enjoyed writing them.  Happy Holidays!

 

Artist: Grey Reverend

Album: A Hero’s Lie

Label:   Ninja Tune

http://greyreverend.com/

Louis Armstrong once observed that “All Music Is Folk Music, I Ain’t Never Heard A Horse Sing A Song.” Satchmo’s wit eloquently dissolves the notion that music needs to be categorized and that is precisely what I like about “A Hero’s Lie” – the second album under the name “Grey Reverend” by D.L. Brown. Steeped in serious music theory and jazz improvisation (in addition to rock and blues), Brown was on his way to becoming a jazz guitar soloist when a neurological disorder called “focal dystonia” limited his ability to play such complex and intricate music. Undaunted, Brown purposely leaned inward toward a more direct subtle, melodic, thoughtful, thankful, literate side of songwriting. The highly complex became more accessible and sincere; jazz music became […]

Top Albums of 2013

Here is the second to last review of some of the PlayNetwork music team’s top albums of 2013.  Stay tuned for the last review tomorrow!  Enjoy.

   

Artist: Milk Carton Kids

Album: The Ash and Clay

Label:   Anti Records

http://www.themilkcartonkids.com/?page=media

What I love most about the Milk Carton Kids is the simplicity of their approach and the haunting beauty of their songs. What I love almost as much about them is their carefully crafted live act and stage personas. That might not be strictly applicable when selecting your favorite studio-recorded album of the year, but once you’ve experienced the duo in a live setting their personality and charisma cannot be separated from their music. To cheaply convey the aesthetic of the Milk Carton Kids to the uninitiated, they could be simply pegged as Simon & Garfunkel harmonies with Dave Rawlings (Gillian Welch’s musical partner) style guitar playing. Which you might expect to just be some lofty hyperbole, but the thing is those harmonies are actually on par with […]

Top Albums of 2013

We have a few more reviews of some of our top 10 albums from 2013.  Enjoy this review of Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us.

Artist: Goldfrapp

Album: Tales of Us

Label: Mute

http://goldfrapp.com/#music/

On their sixth studio album Tales of Us Goldfrapp (Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory) take a substantial departure from their previous record Head First. Gone is the synth-driven electro of “Rocket” and “Believer.” In its place is a lush collection of acoustic and intimate songs that are subdued and somber. The instrumentation is sparse – acoustic guitar, strings, and piano with nary a drum to be heard. But the arrangements are effective, creating the proper atmosphere to take you on their personal and reflective journey. Although the record lacks a true standout song (my favorite is “Annabel”) the album as a whole is mesmerizing – proof that the duo’s talent goes well beyond pop hooks and electronic production.

-Mark Campbell, Music Supervisor

Top Albums of 2013

This review of Disclosure kicks off the second half of the 10 reviews of some of our favorite albums of 2013.

Artist: Disclosure

Album: Settle

Label:  Island/Universal

http://disclosureofficial.com/music/

If I had to pick one defining album of 2013, it would have to be Disclosure’s Settle. Not only do teen prodigies Guy and Howard Lawrence manage to reach global popularity with Settle, they did so by focusing on a sub-genre that has yet to obtain mainstream success outside of the UK (Garage). As a fan of Garage, Deep House, Techno and other “4/4” genres that have kept dance music interesting for the past 30 years, it’s refreshing to witness emerging talent like Disclosure pay homage to the underground. Each song is an expertly crafted pop anthem, that doesn’t placate the listener with mainstream “EDM” production tricks used by David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, Afrojack and the like.  In fact, it’s the unique production on Settle that makes the album standout both as a commercial and […]

Top Albums of 2013

This review of Wooden Shjips marks the half way point of the unveiling of some of our top 10 albums of 2013.  Stayed tuned for the second half, we promise you won’t regret it!

Artist: Wooden Shjips

Album: Back To land

Label:  Thrill Jockey

http://www.woodenshjips.com/media/

 

On ‘Back to Land’, the band delivers a sonic milkshake that smells and tastes definitively like “Wooden Shjips music,” but it’s got a new confidence. Some washes of harder-edged electronic stuff, some happier moments and some darker moments. Miles of guitar solos / fuzz / distortion, of course, and motoric bass and drums. But the mix is heavier and more varied from track to track. You’ll hear them pushing the edges out, loosening the ties. The result is a record that’s more sonically rich than anything that’s come before, and also more accessible. Here, boundary-pushing involves the occasional inclusion of acoustic guitars in a supporting role in the band’s drone-friendly Suicide-meet-’Sister Ray’ stew, as well as tunes that occasionally risk a third […]

Top Albums of 2013

We hope your weekend was great.  If you need inspiration to get your Monday off to a great start, check out album review #4 of 10 of our favorite albums of 2013.  Enjoy!

 

Artist: Jagwar Ma

Album: Howlin

Label:  Mom + Pop

http://jagwarma.com/music

Not unlike the Australian outback, Jagwar Ma released a debut album, ‘Howlin’, that is vast, remote, and baked under the sun. What started as an experimental duo in Sydney quickly became a more ambitious trio in France (and now England), transforming living room jam sessions into an album of dub-heavy, psychedelic dance rock. Their first two singles, “Man I Need” and “Come Save Me”, could have been chart toppers in 1993, alongside The Charlatans or Oasis (who are big fans, incidentally) but the band still manage to sound modern and relevant. No other album in 2013 hit me so quickly, upon first review, and still sounds fresh, weird and wonderful, after 12 months of non-stop listening.

-Dean Sven Carlson, Lead Associate […]

Top Albums of 2013

It’s that time of year… time to pick your top albums of 2013.  At PlayNetwork, we’re going to do it a little different this year.  Our music team picked their top 10 albums and then wrote a review for one of the albums that made the list.  We are going to feature 10 of these album reviews written by our music team.   Here is the first one, enjoy!

Artist: Classixx

Album: Hanging Gardens

Label: Innovative Leisure

http://classixx.la/blog/

Following a steady string of hotly-tipped remixes and singles over the last four years, LA-based electronic production duo finally unleashed their debut studio album this past summer and quickly became a go-to soundtrack for the sunny season. Hanging Gardens showcases Classixx’s seamless blend of disco, house, R&B, funk and pop styles that mixes infectious pop singles with breezy dancefloor grooves, all with an impeccable 80s-influenced touch and a talented roster of diverse guest vocalists. The album also stands out with its flawless sequencing and pacing, undoubtedly the result […]

2012 Music Supervisors Top 40 Albums (the final 20!)

We round out the month of January with the final 20 artists from our top 40 Albums of 2012 Music Supervision team. Stay tuned through 2013 to more great music coming our way! 

An added bonus for you audiophiles: we’ve built an exclusive channel on our web radio player featuring all of artists on our Top 40 list. Click the image below to enjoy!

2012 Top Music Supervisors Top 40 Albums (30-21)

Our 2012 Music Supervisor Top 40 Album countdown continues with 30-21. In these you’ll find a good mix of flavors…hip-hop, rock, pop, electronica, with a solid international flair. Check out the videos for each artist.

Tanlines: All of Me

Frankie Rose: Know Me

Django Django: Default

Frank Ocean: Sweet Life

Niki & The Dove: The Fox

Twin Shadow: Five Seconds (NSFW)

THEE Satisfaction: QueenS

Yuna: Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)

Kindness: Swinging Party

Kendrick Lamar: Swimming Pools

The Official PlayNetwork Music Supervisor (personal) Top 40 Albums of 2012

Happy New Year folks! As we close the door on 2012, we look back on the year in music. Every year our music supervisors spend countless hours ingesting thousands of artists, albums, and songs that wrap around their cerebellum and become the basis of the branded sounds we create for our clients. But, their own tastes are sometimes left out of the mix (so to speak).

This year, our diverse team of Music Supervisors all voted on their personal favorite albums of 2012, the music that caught their ear and stood out from the pack. We tabulated all the votes, ranking them in order, and this Music Supervisor Top 40 Albums of 2012 list captures some of the passion for new music and the individual tastes of our group.

Over the next several days, we’ll start at 40 and unveil ten at a time until we hit number one!

For a sneak peak into the list that we’re playing live at this very moment in our Redmond offices, scan this […]