It wasn’t even half way through the year that it became evident that the Album Of The Year was going to be a race for second place. But enough of that for now, this is the process that was used to select the best 25 albums.
The Ironbath has painstakingly searched through the 106 albums in his collection that were released in 2013. This is where the first omissions were spotted. Unexplainable oversights have left Ethan Jones, Stephen Kellogg & Lindi Ortega off of the Ironbath’s iTunes to date. Some albums failed to meet the criteria due to a technicality. For example The Staves ‘Dead, Born & Grown’ was a 2012 release in the UK, but 2013 in the US, so featured on the Ironbath’s (as yet unpublished) 2012 list.
It was a year that delivered so many stunning albums, many from new artists, although with some legendary exceptions too. It is getting to the point where it is becoming impossible to digest all of the great music that is released. A couple of years back it was estimated that it would take several years, non-stop, night & day to listen to every English language cd released in that year. It must be double that by now, and it shocking how low the play count is for some of the albums considered by the Ironbath to be the best.
These are some of the albums that failed to make the list, not because they aren’t any good – they are all fine – but perhaps they just didn’t lodge on the Ironbath’s radar during the year. AMA nominated Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis didn’t make the cut, Holly Williams missed out as the Ironbath thought her previous album ‘Here With Me’ was better than ‘The Highway’ despite the critical praise it has received in other camps. The Black Lillies may well have made it on a different day.
Richard Thompson’s ‘Electric’ isn’t on the list – not least because most of the songs sound better when he performs them acoustic. Billy Bragg’s ‘Tooth & Nail’ isn’t there as there wasn’t anything new on the album.
The Ironbath just hasn’t had enough exposure to Griffin House, Hey Marseilles, Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Last Bison, Seth Glier, Local Natives and a dozen more. Each of which may deserve a place on this list. Ruth Moody, Aoife O’Donovan, Court Yard Hounds, Alela Diane, Samantha Crain & Nora Jane Struthers released wonderful albums this year and the Ironbath has no excuse for not including them.
Brits: Lucy Ward, Heidi Talbot, Hannah James & Sam Sweeney, Ahab, Gabriella Aplin, Lisa Knapp have all been left out. They are all fine albums but in all honesty it hasn’t been the strongest year for British music – despite the continued invasion in to the US pop charts. The Ironbath nearly included Birdy’s ‘Fire Within’, but just felt it didn’t find it’s direction despite some exquisite songs. There are some great British albums included on the list, though.
Enough with the what could have been, let the Ironbath show you his 25 favourite albums of the year. They are presented in 2 sections. The Top 5, and the next best 20. They aren’t in any particular order, other than that, as it is hard enough to define which album is better than another.
And still the Ironbath thinks he has left one out.
Btw If you arrived at this blog by googling “Golden Bath” then you may well be most disappointed. Sorry!