Monday, 23 December 2013

Top 10 albums of 2013

2013 was a great year for music. Artist's such as DJ Cutman produced single tracks almost once a week while halc produced 6 unique albums while also submitting work to OCReMix for its various album projects. Then there is MegaRan who not only performed over in Japan for 10 days in the month of June while also making 3 EP's based on suggestions from people as well as collaborating with Mister Wilson to make a Sonic/Megaman crossover album to coincide with the Archie Comics Megaman/Sonic Crossover.

Then finally there was one of the bigger albums of the year from OCReMix; Of Balance and Ruin. After a brief hiccup, OCReMix released their Final Fantasy VI album to thunderous praise.

Also, 2013 marked the year that Smooth McGroove captured audiophiles attention with his weekly acapella tracks. He was one of biggest breakout stars this past year.

However, 2013 also marked the year that Zelda Re-orchestrated disbanded and shut down the site. After 10 years of performing together and covering nearly all of the OST's from the series, the group behind ZREO decided to call it quits.


10: Kirby's Dream Band ~ Kirby's Dream band

Kirby's Dream Band was a decent album when it came out and I still enjoy the music, but the issue of it not being a strictly Kirby album still sticks with me. I do enjoy the album and their covers of many classic Kirby songs are great, but some of the more memorable songs such as Marx's Battle and 02 Battle are missing. Instead we have music from Cave Story, Sonic and Chrono Trigger on the album, which I feel is out of place.

Don't get me wrong, their renditions of the songs are great, I just feel that they could have added more songs from the Kirby franchise. I still enjoy this album despite that one glaring flaw.

9: Sonic CD: Temporal Duality ~ OCReMix

Sonic CD was the final album from OCReMix this year. Before this year, I rarely touched upon Sega franchises as I did not have any of the Sega consoles growing up so I wasn't exposed to the Sega franchise. That being said, I did enjoy the album a lot. As a bonus, being as I never played Sonic CD, I was not aware of the schism between the fans regarding the North American and Japanese Music.

Seeing as OCReMix covered both versions of the music, there are a lot of duplicate tracks here, and normally I would decry, but given the differences in the music, I let it slide. In allowing the duplication, it allows two artists to interperet a song their own way, so I applaud OCReMix here.

8: The Blast Processors ~ The Blast Processors

Back at Con Bravo this year I had the chance to discover a new band who focussed solely on the Sega side of things. Unlike most bands, The Blast Processors are more then a group of musicians. They are characters who deliver a story, much like the titular Protomen. To me, that is what makes The Blast Processors unique.

This is a group you have to catch live as they are fantastic. As I said before, lead singer Master System has the potential to be as good if not better then the Protomen's lead singer Raul Panther. You have to support these guys.

7 The Eevee EP ~ OC ReMix

I am a bit of a Pokemon fan. I grew up with the original Pokemon Red/Blue and watched the original anime up to the first movie bit afterwards I fell off the bandwagon. As I said before, with Gen IV, I started to get interested in the series again, but it wasn't until Gen VI that I once again became a Pokemaniac. While I was a bit disheartened that there was no Pokemon related album released by anyone this year, The Eevee EP scratched that proverbial itch.

The EP was only 9 songs long and covered only a handful of tracks from the series, each song in associating itself with Eevee or one of its Eeveelutions. It was a cool little gimmick that worked well with the album. As a fan, aside from the Pokemon X/Y OST, this was the only real Pokemon related project released this year and I admit I was disappointed. With Gen VI rebuilding the franchise, this would have been a great year for a Pokemon fan album of any sort.

6 World 1-2~ Koopa Soundworks

World 1-2 by Koopa Soundworks was and still is a great album to listen to. While some artists covered the usual Zelda, Mario, Final Fantasy Music, there were also different music covered. Not only that, some of the bigger names in the industry covered tracks for this album including Austin Wintory, the Emmy Nominated composer for Journey to renowned Japanese composer Keiji Yamagishi. The amount of talent on this album is amazing.

5 Milky Way Wishes ~ OCReMix

Kirby is one of the better franchises that Nintendo has. In one minute, you are a pink ball of unknown origins with the ability to copy his enemies fighting a penguin with an ego, the next minute, you are fighting along side an fairy against the embodiment of nothing who has decided to rip its eye out and bleed on you as an attack.

The Kirby games can be hardcore.

This album was an absolute blast to listen to as it took me back to an era when my brother and I would play multi-player Kirby Super Star with my kid brother. Together we would end DeDeDe's reign of mild terror in Spring Breeze, stop DynaBlade from wrecking havoc in Dreamland, prevent Meta Knight from enslaving the world, collect all the treasure in the Great Cave and finally end the feud between the sun and the moon. That game was a real blast and this album was a real nostalgia trip.

4 The Image of Cool ~ nickelPUNK

When I reviewed The Image of Cool, I found it to be a breath of fresh air inbetween all the dubstep and nerdcore I was reviewing at the time. It was a fun and funky electronica/chiptune album.

The Image of Cool, save for a couple of songs, is a party album. This is the disk you play when you feel like dancing, be it in a club or at a house party. It gets you moving and makes you want to dance all night and damn the consequences.

3 When Late Becomes Early ~ halc and Miearth

Of all the albums halc released this year, I always come back to When Late Becomes Early. Of all of the albums that halc produced this year, this one album is so unique, so perfect that it draws you into its world. As I wrote before, this is the album for the everyman of a cyberpunk world. Not the angst ridden hero, or the corrupt business man.

As silly as it sounds, When Late Becomes Early is a track I find myself listening to when travelling on a train during a rainstorm. It allows my mind to wander and I often find myself imagining I am that everyman in halc and Miearth's cyberpunk world.

2 Twilight Symphony ~ Zelda Re-orchestrated

As I said earlier, this was the year that Zelda Re-orchestrated called it quits and disbanded. However, instead of fading away silently into history, they released their final album Twilight Symphony, an orchestrated tribute to Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

This album was nothing short of fantastic and listening to it still gives me goosebumps. The ZREO team took an already great album and gave it their own unique spin. I still love their version of Ilia's Theme. While it is not as emotional as the original, it still manages to get to me.

God speed to you Zelda Re-Orchestrated.

1 FF6: Of Balance and Ruin ~ OCReMix

Is it any surprise that Of Balance and Ruin would take the number 1 spot this year. Of all the albums released this year, FF6: Of Balance and Ruin was the one I was looking forward to the most. This album was a fantastic treat and easily one of the best albums put out by OCReMix to date. There are so many great songs on the list that I find it impossible to list them all, but my top three from the album would have to be A Fistful of Nickels by zircon, XPRTNovice and Jillian Aversa and The Impresario by Tommy Pridini and Jake Kaufman and The Endless Stair by Argle.

The three songs listed are merely a sampler of what the album has to offer and despite some minor hiccups, this is still a solid album and easily the best album from 2013


This indeed has been a great year for music and here's to 2014 being even better. To my fans have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I will be back January 2nd.

This is Daimo mac and I am lost in the music.

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