Your Week in Music: Looking back at 2013 - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Your Week in Music: Looking back at 2013, a Gnarls Barkley reunion in 2014

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Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' was one of the best-selling albums of 2013. (Source: Travis Rigel Lukas Hornung/Wikimedia Commons) Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' was one of the best-selling albums of 2013. (Source: Travis Rigel Lukas Hornung/Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) - Some unforgettable music history was made in 2013.

In a year of reunions, TLC released their first single as a duo, 10 years after the death of member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, called Meant To Be. Daft Punk, that awesome '80s electronic band that everyone hoped wasn't gone forever, re-emerged in a killer way - and their album Random Access Memories is one of the best-selling albums of 2013.

In two very brief but epically awesome reunions, N'Sync performed together at the VMAs and Destiny's Child made a surprise appearance during Beyonce's killer Super Bowl halftime performance.

And how could we not mention Beyonce ... because what didn't Beyonce do? She came out with an exceptional Pepsi ad, rocked the Super Bowl, dropped a surprise video album, Beyonce, overnight that went on to break social media records and sales records, and then played Santa when she surprised Walmart customers by handing out $50 gift cards. Queen Bey truly was the queen of 2013.

But she wasn't the only one ruling this year; newcomer Lorde blasted onto the music scene with her hit song Royals. The single, which spoke out against lavish American pop culture, quickly became a hit and ironically now has Lorde living like a regular royal herself. The track sold 4 million copies and Rolling Stone is calling it the second-best single of the year, behind Daft Punk's Get Lucky.

Robin Thicke created the song of the summer with Blurred Lines, but Thicke's luck also became a bit blurred when the song sparked a complex and lengthy legal battle with Marvin Gaye's family over copyright laws - a battle which has yet to cease fire.

Jay-Z had a pretty nice year himself. Thanks to Samsung purchasing 1 million copies of his album Magna Carta Holy Grail and a change in copyright laws, the album automatically went platinum after its July 9 release. And if anyone doubted the album's merit after Samsung's initial bulk purchase, those doubts were put to rest a few months later when the album went double platinum.

However, not all was bright and beautiful in the 2013 music world. This year also saw the breakup of the Jonas Brothers and the indefinite hiatus of the Civil Wars, as well as the ongoing and "considerable amount of time off" taken by Mumford and Sons.

And thanks to the artist previously known as Hannah Montana, we all heard the word "twerking" a little too much. The word and dance move became inescapable - after the crazy antics of Miley Cyrus. Cyrus, once an innocent Disney star, repetitively twerked her way into bad girl status with racy award show performances and even racier music videos.

On a more serious note, 2013 also saw the passing of beloved music industry legends George Jones, Lou Reed and Ray Price.

So after surprises from old friends, fantastic new releases from superstars, and heart-wrenching losses, 2013 delivered a year that touched all emotions.

But while this year was one to remember, we have a feeling the new year will bring some very rockin' news - like an out-of-this-world Garth Brooks tour. Bring it on 2014, bring it on.

Which brings us to ...

A Gnarls Barkley reunion? Not crazy

If your Christmas wish was for a Gnarls Barkley reunion (and whose isn't?) ... it's a Christmas wish come true just for you.

The Voice judge Cee-Lo Green, one-half of Gnarls, told TMZ the group is getting back together "like, next year."

Green didn't offer any more details on when new material would be out, but it would be the first new Gnarls release in six years.

The duo is best remembered for the platinum hit Crazy.

Creativity Crisis?

Is country music suffering from a creativity crisis? Music critic Grady Smith thinks one of music's best-selling genres is selling its fans - and itself - short, relying on subject matter crutches and cliches - trucks driving down dirt roads, pretty girl in the front seat ... heading down to the river bank, of course.

He compiled clips from 2013 releases to prove his point in a YouTube video that has gone viral. 

"I hope country fans will stop settling for this derivative junk. I love a dumb party song every once in a while (including some of these!), but when they're the only flavor available, they get old very, very fast," he wrote on his YouTube page. 

New Christmas Classics

While you open gifts, spend time with family, and listen to the Christmas classics - we invite you to investigate some of the new Christmas albums of 2013. Whether you want some new music for next year or are a year-round Christmas music lover, you can't go wrong with these albums.

Wrapped in Red - Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson's first Christmas album includes five originals and 11 covers. From the upbeat  Wrapped in Red and Underneath the Tree to the slower Winter Dreams, Clarkson emits her own upbeat pop-style into pleasing tunes for fans. The 11 covers, excluding one cover of Imogen Heap's Just for Now, are Christmas classics - including Baby It's Cold Outside ft. Ronnie Dunn and Silent Night ft. Reba McIntire and Trisha Yearwood.

Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas - The Robertsons

In their quirky country Christmas album, The Duck Dynasty family joins together to sing each track, with different members of the family taking the lead in each song. George Strait joins them during their cover of Christmas Cookies (his original song) and Alison Krauss joins for Away in a Manger. Being a bit of a novelty album hasn't stopped this one from climbing the charts - even landing at No. 1 in November.

A Mary Christmas - Mary J. Blige

If you're a fan of R&B Christmas music, Mary J. Blige recorded a gift of an album for you. The album presents soulful interpretations of classic holiday tunes, and Blige is joined by Barbara Streisand, Jessie J, The Clark Sisters and Marc Anthony in various songs.

Home For Christmas - Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle made history with Home For Christmas - becoming the first British artist ever to have a posthumous duet with the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley. The album also features Miracle Hymn - an original song featured in her movie debut The Christmas Candle.

PTXmas - Pentatonix

Who doesn't dig a cappella Christmas music? Creative and clever arrangements of traditional holiday songs make this album one of a kind. It'll leave you wondering how each song is created with only five voices.

Ringing in 2014

If you're spending New Year's in – and we couldn't blame you – you'll have plenty of music to help you kick off 2014.

Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve goes on, even without its namesake. Ryan Seacrest officially took over as host in 2012 after Clark's death but has been a co-host on the show since 2006.  

Billy Joel, Blondie, Daughtry, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Miley Cyrus will be among the acts hyping up fans on the ABC New Year's staple.  

Other appearances include Jason Derulo, Capital Cities, Fall Out Boy, Florida Georgia Line, Jennifer Hudson, Icona Pop, Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, Robin Thicke and The Fray.

New Years Rockin' Eve starts at 8 p.m. ET.

NBC'S New Year's Eve with Carson Daly promises "some of the best musical performances from 2013," but offers no mention of names.

Daly currently rivals Seacrest for the most jobs held by one personality with his stint on Today, Last Call with Carson Daly, The Voice and as New Year's emcee.

Like New Years Rockin' Eve, New Year's Eve with Carson Daly will be live in Times Square.

The fun starts at 10 p.m. ET, then continues at 11:35 p.m. after a break for local news.

FOX takes their New Year's celebration to Vegas, where Mario Lopez hosts from the heart of the Vegas Strip.

Musical acts include J. Cole, Krewella, New Politics and Panic! At The Disco.

The celebration begins at 11 p.m. ET with a tape delay for West Coast viewers.

Upcoming Releases

Jennifer Nettles: That Girl - Jan. 14

Switchfoot: Fading West - Jan. 14

Candice Glover: Music Speaks - Feb. 8

The Fray: Helios - Feb. 25

And Finally ...

What better way to end our last column of 2013 than with Daniel Kim's Pop Danthology.

If you're a newcomer to Kim's name, let us introduce you to the talented young man who, for the past three years, has created memorable music mashups of the year's most popular songs and their videos.

After 180 hours of work, Kim's 2013 video is a mashup of 68 songs that spans less than six minutes (say what?).

He details his amazing making of the video here.

Welcome to Pop Danthology ... and having your mind blown.

What we're listening to

Sleigh Bells & Reindeer - Act As If ft. Lucy Schwartz and Brian Fennell

Have a music tip? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Twitter @AScottRNN and @ReporterJennRNN.

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