Here at Northampton Gent, we like to believe we know a thing or two about music. So when we created our ‘Best Albums of 2013’ list, we wanted to ensure it was more than just your run of the mill, generic ‘top albums list.’ Instead, we are providing a fresh look at what albums were truly magnificent for the modern gentleman in 2013. So without further ado, here is our top 10 albums of released in 2013 that are most suited for the lifestyle that a gentleman leads; starting with 10 through to 6.

10. Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience (Part 1 of 2)

Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience
Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience. Source: justintimberlake.com

Justin Timberlake returns with producer and long term collaborator Timberland, after a seven year hiatus to inject some much needed fun back into the dull and uninspired R&B genre. 20/20 Experience builds upon Future Love Sex Sounds, with his sound and style maturing as he does. Far removed from Justified, Timberlake delivers music for a grown audience, providing sexy and soulful music in an even more artistic approach than its predecessor. Timberland had full creative control on this album and it triumphs because of it. You get the usually quirkiness from him such as sampling wildlife and jungle sounds but manages to surprise with impressive song structures that feature lush intros and outros extending the enjoyment of each song. Timberlake provides what we’ve come to expect with skilful song writing and his trademark high pitched vocals, making for an alluring album by a gentleman, for gentlemen.

9. Kanye West – Yeezus

Kanye West Yeezus Album Cover
Kanye West: Yeezus. Source: Billboard

Yeezus sees Kanye West at his most experimental while displaying a rebellious stance on the music industry. Yeezus delivers a metal inspired hip-hop album driven by its brash instrumentals and aided by some of the forerunners in electronic production like Daft Punk and Hudson Mohawke. Rick Rubin earns his executive producer title on this album by taken the final product and stripping it to its rawest form, allowing for Kanye’s artistic frustration to become more impactful. The unapologetic and egomaniac theme partnered with the science fiction feel makes this album the perfect listen for those ‘me against the world moments’ that all gentlemen go through.

8. Disclosure – Settle

Disclosure, Settle album artwork
Disclosure: Settle. Source: Pitchfork.com

The house producing duo known as Disclosure made a huge impact with their debut studio album, Settle, which presented a sound and feeling that has been missing since the early 2000’s with genres such as UK Garage and Funky House. Disclosure separates themselves from the competition in an ever-growing popular genre with unrivalled catchy melodies and clever use of synths, alongside traditional house drums but with a modern twist and groove. Settle is a non-stop party album that has been the soundtrack of many a gentleman’s nights out.

7. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Reflektor: Arcade Fire cover album
Reflektor: Arcade Fire: Source: www.spin.com

Returning rock to its once funky dance floor filled past, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor only has thirteen songs but exceeds seventy minutes in duration, with the majority of tracks surpassing five minutes long; demonstrating the journey this album leads you through. The mixing of electro elements gives the album a punk feel, with gloomy vocal performances and lyrics to match, whilst the reggae give some of the songs a British ska feel. With all these elements seamlessly intertwined, it creates a monster of an album that has something for everybody. An album made for the gentlemen to sit down and study from start to finish as if it was a movie; it is great work of art.

6. Phoenix – Bankrupt!

Phoenix: Bankrupt album cover
Phoenix: Bankrupt: Source: www.rollingstone.com

French Indie-Pop band Phoenix, deliver a laid back and stylish album in Bankrupt. With glistening sounds that paint images of Hollywood sunsets and horizons, this fashionable album sounds like what the cool kids would listen to despite ironically poking fun at subjects such as coolness and fame; with the end result being it’s okay to be yourself. The album features amazing song structures with building intensity and climatic endings worthy of movie scores. Despite the overall sleek feel of the album, it can provide edgy moments that balance out the albums floaty feel. This is a perfect album for the gentlemen to escape from life’s pressures and unwind too.

How does our list compare to yours so far? Anything you feel should be higher up? Any albums you feel shouldn’t be included at all? leave a comment and lets us know. Make sure to be on the look out for #5-1 to see what we crown as the gentlemen’s album of the year!