Pretty Much Amazing's 40 Best Albums of 2013 (So Far)

Pretty Much Amazing's 40 Best Albums of 2013 (So Far)

Original Source

40. Young Galaxy - Ultramarine

Young Galaxy - Ultramarine
April 23, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
76
10 reviews
User Score
74
43 reviews

What truly makes Ultramarine penetrate beyond the passé realm of feel-good electropop, are the subliminal hints of evanescent existence scattered amidst the stardust.

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39. Phoenix - Bankrupt!

Phoenix - Bankrupt!
April 22, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
74
31 reviews
User Score
75
223 reviews

Bankrupt! doesn’t inspire the covetousness of their early material, but rather it takes its natural place as an album to be consumed en masse by Phoenix’s hefty fan base. 

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38. Mount Kimbie - Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

Mount Kimbie - Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
May 28, 2013
Future Garage
Critic Score
75
23 reviews
User Score
76
75 reviews

Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is a fascinating record, a series of varied and elaborate soundscapes that find the right balance of mood and melody. 

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37. Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons To Die

Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons To Die
April 16, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
19 reviews
User Score
76
59 reviews

While the LP rarely rarely transcends its concept album world, I can’t point to a bad song on the record. 

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36. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
February 5, 2013
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
User Score
78
205 reviews

With II, UMO remains humble in composition and production, creating an honest album that comforts in the strangest ways.

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35. A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP

A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP
January 15, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
72
27 reviews
User Score
77
271 reviews

It builds on the promise of his mixtape, extends itself into new territory, and in the process reveals some of the shortcomings of Rocky’s craft.

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34. Majical Cloudz - Impersonator

Majical Cloudz - Impersonator
May 21, 2013
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
75
20 reviews
User Score
80
135 reviews

Impersonator is heavy stuff as Welsh leaves few stones unturned in exposing his personal pains and failures. Impersonator tells a supremely honest story from the mouth of a self-proclaimed liar. 

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33. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
April 16, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
72
34 reviews
User Score
69
120 reviews

They have crafted a sound that is new for them and unique in its context, but that falls neatly into what we have come to expect from a trio whose power and creativity runs consistently unchecked.

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32. Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia

Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia
March 19, 2013
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
76
24 reviews
User Score
76
29 reviews

Fans of Marnie’s music are fully aware of what an album of hers going to bring, and on The Chronicles of Marnia, she brings it.

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31. James Blake - Overgrown

James Blake - Overgrown
April 8, 2013
Art Pop
Critic Score
83
33 reviews
User Score
82
536 reviews

Overgrown is not the enigma that was his debut, but rather it is a first-rate album from a musician that isn’t all that interested in being enigmatic.  

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30. Foals - Holy Fire

Foals - Holy Fire
February 11, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
29 reviews
User Score
76
251 reviews

At the same time that Foals’ Holy Fire takes its time to develop giant-slaying hooks, the album rewards repeated listens.

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29. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light

Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
April 30, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
81
16 reviews
User Score
79
68 reviews

28. Charli XCX - True Romance

Charli XCX - True Romance
April 15, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
72
19 reviews
User Score
75
203 reviews

Charlotte Aitchinson has an outstanding talent for melody and a durable vocal delivery. For now her ability seems to end there.

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27. Widowspeak - Almanac

Widowspeak - Almanac
January 22, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
User Score
74
32 reviews

What’s most compelling about this listening experience are the webs of melancholy spun by Hamilton’s haunting voice, especially striking when paired with sunny reverb and acoustic hooks.

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26. Mikal Cronin - MCII

Mikal Cronin - MCII
May 7, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
83
18 reviews
User Score
79
178 reviews

MCII, ironically, is inventive in its constant recreation of a single trope: the use of simple progressions with several different dressings. As an album set out to reappropriate pop rock, MCII succeeds.

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25. Local Natives - Hummingbird

Local Natives - Hummingbird
January 29, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
20 reviews
User Score
79
232 reviews

At first, the eleven songs melt together into an indie rock haze, punctuated by riffs of guitar and howling harmonies, but with time, patience, and a second listen, the album reveals itself to be something much more complex.

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24. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
April 9, 2013
Folk Rock
Critic Score
82
32 reviews
User Score
81
322 reviews

With Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Vile has added another seemingly effortless 70 minutes’ worth of straightforward, easygoing golden tones to his consistent discography.

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23. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
June 11, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
82
37 reviews
User Score
79
210 reviews

These songs, painstakingly constructed using demanding equipment, succeed at creating a cohesive sense of paranoia, fear, and awe. And that, if nothing else, is worth obsessing over.

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22. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
April 30, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
82
15 reviews
User Score
83
418 reviews

Acid Rap is the summer action blockbuster of mixtapes, where the audience need not dig much deeper than the surface to enjoy the best of what the production has to offer.

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21. Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
January 22, 2013
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
78
18 reviews
User Score
80
338 reviews

With We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic, Foxygen is a breath of fresh air, reviving a vintage style of songwriting in a new and creative fashion.

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20. Various Artists - After Dark 2

Various Artists - After Dark 2
May 17, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
82
9 reviews
User Score
80
33 reviews

The balance of synth-driven buoyancy and emotional distance, in adherence with Jewel’s meticulous attention to detail, allows the compilation to evade the fate of becoming a requiem.

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19. Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle

Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
May 27, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
85
32 reviews
User Score
82
186 reviews

Once I Was an Eagle is a singular achievement: a haunting record, peopled with aural ghosts that come gradually crawling from out of the grooves.

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18. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
April 8, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
User Score
79
380 reviews

Judicious use of the skip button to find the tracks on which Andersson’s transfixing voice is front and center, results in a much more rewarding, immediate experience. The nihilistic messages and political warnings will still be there, and so will your sanity.

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17. Rhye - Woman

Rhye - Woman
March 5, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
80
239 reviews

In ten songs, the spectrum of emotions triggered by love, ranging from infinite highs to crushing lows, is explored with a sense of discretion that is often absent in today’s music.

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16. David Bowie - The Next Day

David Bowie - The Next Day
March 12, 2013
Art Rock
Critic Score
81
35 reviews
User Score
78
256 reviews

This is no “comeback” for David Bowie. Rather, it is a magnificent continuation: an ellipsis connects his nine earlier masterpieces to his tenth, The Next Day.

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15. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

Phosphorescent - Muchacho
March 19, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
80
189 reviews

14. Iceage - You're Nothing

Iceage - You're Nothing
February 19, 2013
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
30 reviews
User Score
78
158 reviews

These songs are high on energy, heavy on noise, and sloppy on rhythm – together, it’s an exhilarating rush of in-your-face songs.

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13. Deerhunter - Monomania

Deerhunter - Monomania
May 7, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
32 reviews
User Score
79
324 reviews

Monomania is an example of focus and self-exploration; a treatise to the possibility of uncovering newness and value in what appears to be a bleak, postmodern junkyard where there’s nothing left to change.

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12. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
March 5, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
User Score
79
124 reviews

Crutchfield isn’t necessarily aiming to delineate any universal truths about love or loss, but what makes Cerulean Salt so enjoyable and so endlessly relistenable is that some of her snapshots likely resemble ones from your own lost photo albums.

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11. Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
March 5, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
75
23 reviews
User Score
79
247 reviews

The contrast between the maturity of song-craft and production on the album and Powers’ continuing embrace of the fearless creativity of youth make for a sound that directly confronts notions of coming of age without ignoring what came before.

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10. Disclosure - Settle

Disclosure - Settle
June 3, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
77
29 reviews
User Score
79
448 reviews

Settle is the aural fruits of Disclosure’s mission to reinvigorate dance and pop by annexing and consolidating their favourite sounds from the sonic side-streets of house music’s sprawling musical past.

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9. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

My Bloody Valentine - m b v
February 3, 2013
Shoegaze
Critic Score
88
34 reviews
User Score
81
451 reviews

Just as Loveless refined and expanded on the elements of early My Bloody Valentine, mbv draws on the past without forgoing the fierce originality that has defined the band from the outset. 

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8. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
May 21, 2013
Nu-Disco
Critic Score
83
37 reviews
User Score
80
723 reviews

It took exuberance, painstaking detail, and wide-eyed nostalgia for Daft Punk to create Random Access Memories, their best.

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7. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety
February 26, 2013
R&B
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
User Score
80
221 reviews

No track has a clear meaning, and Anxiety truly does take on the form of a Rorschach test, becoming whatever the listener views it as.

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6. TORRES - Torres

TORRES - Torres
January 22, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
84
10 reviews
User Score
79
139 reviews

TORRES is an album that is pulsating with life.  All the emotion that went into its making bursts through in the final product, complete with the exhales and floor creaks that a different artist might have felt the need to omit. 

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5. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
March 19, 2013
Pop
Critic Score
74
30 reviews
User Score
77
322 reviews

The 20/20 Experience is confused, sloppy, frustrating, too safe, a let-down. Timberlake’s lyrics are laughable. The album begs to be edited. While these observations hold true – at least part of the time – there remains another, incontrovertible, truth: 20/20 is a total blast.

Full Review →

4. Savages - Silence Yourself

Savages - Silence Yourself
May 6, 2013
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
31 reviews
User Score
80
299 reviews

Savages’ smart reorganization and shuffling of punk, post-punk, krautrock, and noise music into something brutal, jarringly confrontational, and completely singular is a breath of fresh air and an unignorable statement of power and resistance.

Full Review →

3. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
May 21, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
36 reviews
User Score
82
571 reviews

A collection of remarkable songs by a group of musicians that compliment one another as well as any group over the last decade.

Full Review →

2. Kanye West - Yeezus

Kanye West - Yeezus
June 18, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
38 reviews
User Score
81
1054 reviews

Kanye West doesn’t give the listener a second to realize the album is more a masterly response to a masterpiece than a masterpiece itself. With one sweep of the hand, West brushes away expectations. And then he sticks you squarely across the face. 

Full Review →

1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
May 14, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
83
36 reviews
User Score
85
868 reviews

At this point, if you’re still hating on this band, you’re either trolling or just not listening. So listen. Don’t wait. 

Full Review →
Original Source: http://prettymuchamazing.com/feature/best-albums-2013

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.