Best of 2013 Various Awards

In this post I will announce several miscellaneous awards for the year including best video game score, best TV score, best song, and best animated film score. (In numerical order with number one being the greatest.)

Best Television Score of 2013
There were several amazing TV scores to choose from this year including Africa by Sarah Class and two by the amazing Frederik Wiedmann. However it came down to these two amazing scores:

2. Dr Who: Series 7 by Murray Gold
Market Day by Murray Gold on Grooveshark  
I came close to choosing another score by Gold, the Christmas Specials from Series 7, but this score from all of Series 7 takes the cake. The music is classic Dr Who with his bond-esq/jazzy theme and iconic action music. It isn't quite as good as the first four scores (Dr Who Series 1-4), but remains up to par with Gold's standards. Honestly, you can't find any other television music this good unless it's.....
1. The Bible by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
Rise Up in Faith by Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe on Grooveshark
(You can read my original review here.)
I can just hear some people steaming over my choice! I understand this score is not Zimmer and Balfes most original score. I understand, that Lisa Gerrard's vocals are nothing different, but I enjoyed this score immensely. I couldn't help it. The music is epic, big, and bold. I was disappointed with the score in that the music wasn't quite as epic as it should be for a biblical epic, but it grew on me, and now I love this score to death. I'm sorry haters, you're simply missing out.

Best Video Game Scores of 2013
There weren't many outstanding video game scores to choose from this year, but the two chosen for this award, are solid. 
2. Puppeteer by Patrick Doyle
"Since when does Doyle compose scores for video games?" you may ask. Since 2013 and since this game came out. I was surprised and quite happy to find this little gem, the score itself is quite eclectic and entertaining. The music is mixed with comedy, western, heroic, and action material. The cues styles at times range from broadway-esq to Renaissance flavored, to militaristic. Doyle even gives the listener a little bit of swashbuckling and spaghetti western styled cues!  Overall this is a hard album to listen to and not smile and if anything, it's definitely the most entertaining score of the year!

1. Beyond Two Souls by Loren Balfe
Hands down. Best Video Game score. Of the year. In this score Balfe really focused on the emotional aspect of the game and created an evocative vocal/orchestral atmosphere. The highlight of the score is at the beginning of the album with the two first cues, Jodie's Suite and Dawkin's Suite. The album becomes a little uninspired and dull near the end with Balfe's classic action material, but honestly, this is video game music at it's best! Hopefully this score will get an expanded commercial release.

Best Animated Scores of 2013
3. Turbo by Henry Jackman
(You can read my original review here.)
Yes, there are very few cues in included in the album from Jackman but, the few that are there are inspirational cues. Using classic orchestra and a little dubstep, Jackman creates a really unique racing movie score, and who can forget that amazing main theme?! This is an animation film score that stands out.

2. Frozen by Christophe Beck
Vuelie [feat. Cantus] by Frode Fjellheim on Grooveshark
(You can read my original review here.)
This score is original. The musical feels like a wintry blast of fresh air. The score is a good balance of action, drama, and song material. Becke avoids mickey mousing for the most part and focuses on the emotional aspect of the film using vocals singing acapella in old Norse. The songs are fun, inspirational, comedic, and also quite original. Here's to hoping that Becke will get to score another big film like this in 2014!

 1. Planes by Mark Mancina
Leg 2 / Bulldog Thanks Dusty by Mark Mancina on Grooveshark
(You can read my original review here.)
Mancina makes a triumphant return with his stellar 90's styled action music, powerful themes, brilliant drama, and his heart-pounding paced racing music. He even utilizes acapella vocals for a side character's theme and it's powerful to the core. The uniqueness of this album lies within Mancina's ability to transition from one genre of music to another so quickly, but smoothly. The score includes a wide variety of music ranging from western to Indian to Americana to Mexican flavored cues. This is probably the best animated score with the largest amount of thematic material that I have heard from in a while!

Top 6 Songs of 2013
6. Monster’s University- Monster’s University performed by Various Cast Members
Monsters University by Randy Newman on Grooveshark
The score for this Pixar animated film was composed by veteran Randy Newman. Instead of a jazz flavored song that he used in the first Monsters Inc film, he uses a traditional acapella method used by most modern college campuses for their anthem. The lyrics are creative and clever, while the performance remains a bit droll, but fun to listen to regardless.

5. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters- To Feel Alive performed by Lameve
To Feel Alive by Iameve by Andrew Lockington - on Grooveshark
While composer Andrew Lockington's score for this film was disappointing (given how Lockington raised the bar super high last year for himself with his score for Journey 2: The Mysterious Islands), this score ends with a beautiful song. The vocals are haunting but perfect for the song and the harmonies are quite chilling.

4. Jobs-Scarborough Fair performed by Dylan McDonald & Cassidy Cooper
06. Scarborough Fair - www.CdsParaBaixar.Org by John Debney | www.CdsParaBaixar.Org on Grooveshark
This song isn't the most original nor was John Debney's score for this film, but it's the harmonies that make this song, amazing. Granted, I have a soft spot for any version of this particular song, but this performance is really stellar by Dylan McDonald and Cassidy Cooper. The song is a tad bit repetitive and the acoustics simple, but it's the simple instrumentation that makes the vocals soar wonderfully.

3. Oblivion-Oblivion performed by M83 and Susanne Sundfør
Oblivion (feat. Susanne Sundfør) by M83 on Grooveshark 
This is a classic retro 80's styled song, but so beautifully orchestrated that it stands out, especially the powerful chorus. I don't normally enjoy this type of song, but honestly, it grew on me. M83, having scored the entire film finally get to do what they do best, create a song with words, and Susanne Sundfør's haunting vocals is topping on the cake.

2. Winnie Mandela-Bleed For Love performed by Jennifer Hudson
This gospel/R&B styled song is a powerful representation of true love. The lyrics are powerful and bring to mind the Bible verse, "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay his life down for his friends." -John 15:13. The song is inspirational and the instrumentation, evocative. Jennifer Hudson, an American Idol finalist, tenderly performs this song.

1. Despicable Me 2-I Swear performed by the Minions
(Not a band called "The Minions, but characters from the film known as "the Minions")
I Swear by Minions on Grooveshark
Yeah, I'm not quite sure how this song got up there to the top of the list. I just kinda played the song so much that it had to be there. No excuses here, I actually enjoyed it that much. This song is absolutely beautiful and hilarious! What is not to like? The vocals are completely nonsensical but still harmonious and the song is based off of a popular love ballad from the ninety's. The song is cute, outstanding, and just beautiful! Now, where are the Golden Globe Award Nominee's for this performance?    


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