|20||Mumford & Sons||Babel||Sales|
|19||Bruno Mars||Unorthodox Jukebox||Sales|
|17||One Direction||Take Me Home||Sales|
|16||Boards of Canada||Tomorrow's Harvest||Fans|
The Mumford & Sons is pleasant enough - it's nice to hear a big selling album that is at least a bit organic and without a totally compressed and cluttered production style.
I didn't have high hopes for Unorthodox Jukebox but was quite pleasantly surprised by the range of stylistic influences.
I couldn't say the same thing about Take Me Home. It was pretty much what I expected - expertly crafted pop music. Guilty pleasure when it pops up on the radio - but nothing that makes me want to listen to an album of it.
The fan selections in this bracket are pretty interesting - and divergent. Colored Sands is intense death metal - not a genre that I listen to much. I have a particular aversion to Cookie Monster vocals (AKA screamo) - although I can appreciate a certain artistry therein. Notwithstanding, Colored Sands is worth checking out for fans of the genre, or newbies wanting to know what it's about.
Tomorrow's Harvest is one of my personal favourites of 2013. "Downtempo" is the emergent label encompassing many subgenres that have sprung up in the wake of Massive Attack and Portishead. Tomorrow's Harvest is an excellent example - there are elements of trip hop, ambient, IDM (intelligent dance music). I have listened to a lot of new music. The majority only get one or two listens - but I have kept coming back to Tomorrow's Harvest.