Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:19 am
These are the albums we loved the most this year. In what we've written about each one below, you can see what we felt should be rewarded, what shook us up and what sucked us in over the 12 months of 2013.
If the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, sometimes two apples will land on similar turf. Brian Blade has been Wayne Shorter's drummer for several years and leads his own project called The Fellowship Band. His older brother Brady Blade is perhaps best known for his drumming with Emmylou Harris and is an all-around music industry mover and shaker.
All it takes is two seconds of hearing "Round round get around / I get around" and you're there — in the sun, on the beach, in the '60s. The Beach Boys vaulted up the charts while branching out from surf music to psychedelia. This year the remaining band members released Made in California, a six-CD box set loaded with outtakes and other rarities. Critic Ed Ward examines the rise and long decline of a beloved group with a unique sound.
Next, we have one writer's picks for the season's best Christmas music.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHITE CHRISTMAS")
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
TAMMY WYNETTE: (Singing) I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.
INSKEEP: Wow. That's a classic by Tammy Wynette, part of a new compilation that's been released with George Jones. The song made a list put together by Marc Myers of the Wall Street Journal, who's on the line to talk about it.
This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Dott, a young quartet from Galway, Ireland. The music on the band's debut album, Swoon, calls upon the sounds of garage-pop, with chugging, jangly guitars out front and the vocals of Anna McCarthy on top.