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Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 20 Albums Of 2013: 4-3

4. Natalia Kills - Trouble

Going in to the new year, Natalia Kills was not on my radar. Like the other uninitiated, I think I stupidly considered her a pale imitation of Gaga. Shame on me. In September, she put me right by releasing an album of personal, melodic pop with a definite edge. It eclipses her debut by leaps and bounds and feels like a real statement, carving her own place in the pop landscape. On first listen, I knew that it was good, but it kept pulling me back over a period of weeks, revealing new highlights each time. This is the hallmark of an album with staying power, and it’s going to be hard for her to top.

3. Shinee - 2013 Studio Albums

Let’s see…. In the past twelve months, these guys have released nine singles, three albums and one EP. Hardest working band on the planet? I wouldn’t doubt it. The most impressive thing about this feat is that every release has remained remarkably consistent. So much so, that I didn’t feel it was right to separate their 2013 oeuvre. If I were to, I’d be sure to highlight their first album of the year, Dream Girl, a collection of fizzy, neon future pop with one foot firmly in the past. But then came Why So Serious, and later the lamely titled Boys Meet U, with its awesome psychedelic opener and summery title track.

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