Sunday, December 8, 2013

2013 The Albums - League of Their Own

This award started long before the site was even a thought, in one publication or radio show or another, since 2000 I have handed out the "League of Their Own" Award to an album that is made by an artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. In the past winners have included: 

2000- Radiohead - Kid A 
2001- The Strokes - Is This It? 
2002- NERD - In Search of... 
2003- The White Stripes - Elephant 
2004- The Killers - Hot Fuss 
2005- The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute 
2006- TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain 
2007- Kanye West Graduation 
2008- Santogold 
2009 - Mastodon - Crack the Skye 
2010 - Gorillaz - Plastic Beach 
2011 - Bjork - Biophilia 

2012 - Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes 

...and now to add to this growing list of alternative music revolutionaries is a band that has transformed the 21st century with their music, ingenuity, and own unique style. Hailing from Canada and taking CMJ 2004 by storm, this band gained early support from artists like U2, David Bowie, and eventually the Grammy community. For their fourth record, they transformed themselves into another band and released a double album that showcases dance music in 2013 does not have come from a DJ behind a few decks crafting a show. Ladies and gentlemen, the recipient of the 2013 League of Their Own Award is...

Arcade Fire - Reflektor

For Reflektor, the Canadian band was influenced by the street musicians of Haiti, African drummers, and clearly the 1980’s, instead of using their signature string section, the band dropped that in flavor of horns and synths for an apocalyptic dance party for the ages. Taking in clear influences fromTalking Heads, New Order, and 80’s era Bowie, who appears on the record, and backed by production from James Murphy of LCD SoundsystemReflector is a musical voyage that feels like something very positive and friendly, but what makes this stand out above just being a pop album done a la Arcade Fire, is that each song has a deep, personal, and often times very dark message and story. It is something you can dance to but it is something that will also bring out raw emotions in you as well, which is why this band is so special.