2013: Mark's Top 10

by Mark Millan


10. Alison Moyet - The Minutes

A fantastic blend of electro-pop and soulful vocals.

Highlights: “Apple Kisses,” “Changeling,” “Filigree,” “Remind Yourself.”


9. Donna Summer - Love To Love You Donna

The first posthumous release for the late disco queen is all killer and no filler.  Essentially it is a remix album, but these songs have been more reinvented than simply remixed, such is the quality of work carried out here. Giorgio Moroder came out of semi-retirement to join the fun and all of the selected DJs/producers have far exceeded my humble expectations, so much so that it sounds like a whole new album. 

Highlights: “Love To Love You Baby,” “Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger),” “Sunset People,” “Working The Midnight Shift.”


8. Wendy Matthews - The Welcome Fire

Australian singer-songwriter Wendy Matthews is one of those rare artists that are incapable of making bad music, period. Her brand new album is no exception, as it is equal to her finest work. This is a beautifully melodic and touching album of songs filled with raw emotion and in some places, restrained joy. Matthew’s unique voice has never sounded better and her ability to convey every emotion so purely through her singing remains a delight to hear.

Highlights: “Follow You Down,” “Amelia,” “Little Boy,” “Wilson Street.”

7. Cher - Closer To The Truth

Age-defying pop icon Cher released her first album of new material in 12 years, and it was most definitely worth the wait.

Highlights: “Woman’s World,” “Dressed To Kill,” “Sirens,” “I Hope You Find It.”


6. Motorhead - Aftershock

Lemmy and Co. dropped their 21st studio album this year and I think it ranks with their best ever. Their previous two releases have been very solid, but this one is truly great. Shredding riffs, relentless energy, stinging lyrics and a rare ballad of sorts all help to make it their most potent album in a couple of decades. Lemmy is every bit deserving of his legendary status, and long may he go on.

Highlights: “Coup de Grace,” “Lost Woman Blues,” “Dust And Glass,” “Death Machine.”


5. Renee Geyer - Swing

Australia’s greatest ever soul singer lived out a dream this year by recording an album of covers, which included some old classics as well as later tracks that were all recorded with a big band. And there is not one dud track here; everything worked a treat in this environment, and Geyer absolutely killed, just plain killed it. Her incredible voice is as powerful as ever and the tour to support this album was phenomenal, big band and all.

Highlights: “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” “Say I Love You,” “Alfie.”


4. Janelle Monae -
The Electric Lady

Monae’s second album is a tour-de-force of soul, pop, funk, hip-hop and rock. Following up her massively successful and critically acclaimed debut was apparently no issue for Monae, who seemed to take where the first one left off and run with it. There is a rather complex and mind-bending concept at work here, though, centering around a mythical android travelling through time – but whether you buy into that or not, there is so much here to get excited about it anyway. Guests include Prince, Erykah Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding, who all contribute quality work and help to lift this album into greatness.  I for one can’t wait to see and hear where this remarkably talented lass goes next.

Highlights: “Givin’ ‘Em What They Love,” “Q.U.E.E.N.,” “Sally Ride,” “Dorothy Dandridge Eyes.”


3. David Bowie -
The Next Day

“Here I am, not quite dying.”  And so with the first line of the chorus in the opening title track, Bowie gave a sly nod (albeit drenched in sarcasm) to the tabloids, which had reported solidly over the last few years that the Thin White Duke was gravely ill. This album was made in a veil of secrecy so closely guarded by Bowie that even those working on the record were only given information on a need-to-know basis to help prevent any leaks. The safety measures worked wonderfully well due to the fact that when Bowie released the first single on his birthday, it came as a shock to fans and industry alike. All the potent rock and caustic lyrics here help to make this one of Bowie’s best ever albums, and his best release since Scary Monsters.

Highlights: “The Next Day,” “Dirty Boys,” “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” “Love Is Lost.”


2. Pet Shop Boys -

Tennant and Lowe’s 12th studio album is a knockout.  These amazing electro-pop dance tracks crafted with clinical precision and presented with Stuart Price’s flawless production could not have been any better at all. This is without a doubt one of the boy’s very best albums; if you love pop music and you still haven’t heard this, then what are you waiting for?

Highlights: “Axis,” “Bolshy,” “Fluorescent,” “Shouting In The Evening.”


 1. Boz Scaggs - Memphis

This is without a doubt the best album I have heard all year and is easily the best album Scaggs has released in a very long time.

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