Uncle Zeke's Top 20 o' 2013: #11....or #21....or..............

#11 has found me in somewhat of a conundrum. First, I should probably explain that I compiled this list nearly a year ago. My life situation has been one that I have otherwise been occupied and not very motivated to write blog posts. As 2014 is quickly drawing to a close, I felt that I needed to give a nod to my favorite albums of 2013, and the opportunity has presented itself, where I have a little more time to write posts... and, as you are probably already aware, I have reformatted the way I DO my Top 20 lists, as I now count down, rather than doing a complete list in one several hour sitting.  That said, with the past 11 months having...well... passed, I have realized that there are a trio of albums that are seemingly "seasonal" for me. And, when I say "seasonal", I really just mean that the impact they have on me is completely dependent on how I'm feeling... what mood I'm in.  #11 on the list is precisely one of those albums.

Before I list that album, I also want to include two other albums that originally didn't make the list. Truth be told, I am sure there a few people that would question the absence of those albums, as they browsed over the completed list of albums counted down.  Over the past few days, I have once again revisited these albums, to see if my opinion of them has been altered at all. And, from what I can tell, it has. #11 seems more #21ish... maybe even more 22ish, but if I were to find myself in a somber mood tomorrow, it may even end up being a solid #11 or maybe even #10, although that would be unlikely... #10 is a solid effort that has pretty much been firmly established.

So.... what exactly IS #11, you ask? Well... I don't know. It WAS "Trouble Will Find Me", by THE NATIONAL. The National is an American band, formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1999. They have released six albums, with "Trouble..." being the most recent... one that was also nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. The lyrics, written by singer, Matt Berninger, have been described as "Dark, melancholy and difficult to interpret", which serve as evidence as to why they really impact me, when I'm in such a state.  Truth be told, my life has very few melancholy moments, which would lead me to believe that HAD I just formulated this list, it wouldn't be anywhere near as high as #11. So... what would be?

The two albums that escaped my original list are:

"Kveiker", by Icelandic band, SIGUR ROS...


"Reflektor", by ARCADE FIRE.

While I wholeheartedly appreciate the groundbreaking sounds to be found on the Sigur Ros release, I find myself ALWAYS drawn to earlier albums. It deserves to be on the list, based off of the fresh, experimental sounds that can be found on the album, but it lacks the beauty of other Sigur Ros releases. I credit the band for keeping things "fresh", but am a little disappointed at the lack of melody and peaceful beauty on this album.  Arcade Fire's "Reflektor", on the other hand, has become a little more solid a listen, over time. In many cases... if not 80% of the album... it's quite catchy and engaging. 

So... simply put... all three albums deserve to be on the list... some of the time. 

So, sit back... enjoy a sample of each band, and decide for YOURSELF what YOU like most. Heck... let me know... I'd love to hear your feedback. Almost as much as the feedback I love to hear from Jonsi's guitar.

THE NATIONAL: "Graceless"

SIGUR ROS: "Brennisteinn"

ARCADE FIRE:  "Reflektor"

That said... if this list were based on appearance, THE NATIONAL would have won. hands down.  They are, after all, one of the best dressed bands in popular music.