2013 music year in review

Justin San Diego

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Disappointing divas and ruling rappers occupied the charts

If music was a contest, the winner for 2013 would be Justin Timberlake. Timberlake produced the top-selling album of the year “The 20/20 Experience,” which sold 968,000 copies in its first week.

He also released “The 20/20 Experience Part 2,” which went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

San Jose City College students agreed Timberlake had the best album this year with 27 votes in the City College Times poll for favorite album of the year

Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” dominated as this year’s top female album with 23 votes from SJCC students.

“Bangerz” sold approximately 260,000 copies in its debut week. “We Can’t Stop” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard chart and the No. 1 “Wrecking Ball” hit became the most watched Vevo video with more than 400 million views.
Macklemore and Lorde all made significant breakthroughs in 2013.

Macklemore debuted with the funky club hit “Thrift Shop,” then made the unique and emotional track “Same Love” about homosexual acceptance, even though he is heterosexual.

Lorde, 16-year-old New Zealand native, had a unique debut hit with “Royals.” The song is a rebuttal against everything pop music represents, such as sex and materialism.

Lorde’s album “Pure Heroin” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and many critics gave the album positive reviews. Billboard critic Jason Lipshutz rated the album a 94 out of 100.

Rivaling divas Lady Gaga and Katy Perry both released No. 1 albums this year.

Perry’s “Prism” was voted more favorable by SJCC Students and also racked up more sales. Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” features hip-hop collaborations from R.Kelly, Twista, Too Short and T.I.

Lady Gaga’s new CD has creative lyrics and a fresh production, while Perry’s is more vocal and uplifting.

Both pop powerhouses were slightly disappointing this year because they did not have the top-sellers, which many fans and critics expected.

None were more disappointing than Britney Spears’ “Britney Jean,” which debuted at No. 4 on the charts and sold 115,000 copies.

Perry almost had this year’s best first week sales for female artists, if it had not been for Beyonce’s self-titled end-of-the-year release which shockingly sold over 600,000 copies within the first three days.

In the rap genre, Kanye West’s “Yeezus,” got one more vote than Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2,” with 19 and 18 votes respectively.

Both albums went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. With almost 800,000 copies sold, Eminem’s new CD had the second-highest behind Timberlake. West’s album sold 327,000 in its first week.

Luke Bryan got his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with “Crash My Party,” which sold 1.3 million copies.
His first three singles from the new album, “Crash My Party,” “That’s My Kind of Night,” and “Drink a Beer,” all peaked within the top two slots on the Country Billboard chart.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys and Avril Lavigne all received seven votes in the SJCC poll.

Arctic Monkeys, an English indie rock band, released new album “AM.” With this release, they became the first independent label band to debut at No. 1 in the U.K.

Lavigne created what may be the best album of her career with the self-titled album.
She returns to her punk princess roots with fun summery anthems “Here’s to Never Growing Up” and “Sippin’ on Sunshine.”

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs released “Mosquito,” the band’s fourth LP. The band retreats from their last album’s mainstream dance sound to more experimental, garage-band tracks such as “Sacrilege” and “Area 52.”

When people look back on music this past year, most likely a naked Miley Cyrus riding a “Wrecking Ball,” a “Suit and Tie” wearing Justin Timberlake, several top-selling rappers (Eminem, Kanye West, Drake, Lil’ Wayne and Macklemore) and Beyonce surprising 17 songs accompanied with music videos will all come to mind.

Overall, many big releases couldn’t pass 300,000 sold copies, thus not living up to expectations. However sales don’t always indicate an album’s real quality and the fans of those artists will probably still love those CDs.