Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2013

Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. Dr. Dog - B-Room

Dr. Dog - B-Room
October 1, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
63
9 reviews
User Score
74
14 reviews

49. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
July 9, 2013
Grunge
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
78
97 reviews

48. Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart

Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart
April 22, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
74
10 reviews
User Score
79
12 reviews

The trouble isn’t with Turner’s songwriting overall—Tape Deck Heart has more than its fair share of strong songs. The trouble is the absence of the sort of fist-pumping anthem that earned Turner so many fans to begin with.

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47. The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow
January 22, 2013
Critic Score
76
4 reviews
User Score
NR

46. Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record

Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record
June 4, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
77
13 reviews
User Score
75
33 reviews

Personal Record is a breath of fresh air. It’s a light, breezy summer album with a surplus of hooks and pop-minded melodies.

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45. Cayucas - Bigfoot

Cayucas - Bigfoot
April 30, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
62
8 reviews
User Score
71
9 reviews

44. Charles Bradley - Victim of Love

Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
April 2, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
77
13 reviews
User Score
74
18 reviews

If you were a fan of No Time For Dreaming you’re going to be a fan of Victim of Love, and you shouldn’t really need to know anything about it other than it’s an album full of Charles Bradley songs. The Screamin’ Eagle of Soul is never going to let you down.

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43. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
August 20, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
79
27 reviews
User Score
79
281 reviews

42. Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others

Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others
October 15, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
70
17 reviews
User Score
76
12 reviews

Spanning 22 tracks and the great sprawl of a nation, Big Wheel and Others compiles more of these vital impressions than any of McCombs’ previous releases, documenting something so damned beautifully alive—so restless and sensual and swinging and true—the album accrues power by virtue of its breadth. 

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41. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
February 5, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
19 reviews
User Score
76
72 reviews

While Pedestrian Verse feels like the most comprehensive Frightened Rabbit LP in the band’s nearly 10-year career, it also forgoes some of the band’s restless charm in the process.

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40. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation

The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
April 15, 2013
Drone
Critic Score
85
16 reviews
User Score
80
126 reviews

39. of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar

of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar
October 8, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
21 reviews
User Score
77
61 reviews

Lousy with Sylvianbriar is steeped ankle-deep with Barnes’ academic non sequiturs, which swirl like psychotropic babble into and around a brook of warm, nostalgic rock tunes in perhaps the most organic recording of Barnes’ career.

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38. Danny Brown - OLD

Danny Brown - OLD
October 8, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
81
306 reviews

More than ever, Old allows even passive listeners to care about what Brown is saying, to form a bond with him and to trust there is more of interest to him than women and drugs.

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37. Typhoon - White Lighter

Typhoon - White Lighter
August 20, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
82
14 reviews

36. Lorde - Pure Heroine

Lorde - Pure Heroine
September 30, 2013
Pop
Critic Score
77
29 reviews
User Score
80
455 reviews

To know so much, to feel so little and to embrace what is, she illuminates being young, gifted and bored with a luminescence that suggests life beyond Louis Vuitton.

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35. Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
March 5, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
75
23 reviews
User Score
80
245 reviews

Powers has turned “bedroom pop” into a visceral and emotional experience. While Wondrous Bughouse may not be for everyone, it certainly pushes new barriers.

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34. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name

Pusha T - My Name Is My Name
October 8, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
78
21 reviews
User Score
77
138 reviews

Pusha T proves his worth in the shrines of the Rap Game Hall of Fame on My Name Is My Name, with slick wordplay and surreal depictions of his drug-dealing past.

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33. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

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

Anxiety stilettos gut-wrenched entrenched psycho-sexual seductive destructive obsessive push and pull over accreting and ascendant deep soul jams

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32. Rhye - Woman

Rhye - Woman
March 5, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
81
237 reviews

31. King Khan and the Shrines - Idle No More

King Khan and the Shrines - Idle No More
September 3, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
74
14 reviews
User Score
74
5 reviews

Ultimately Idle holds a handful of jewels in its bag of parking lot gravel. It’s far from terrible, but it’s equidistant from that and “worth a dozen more spins.” 

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30. Local Natives - Hummingbird

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

From the first sung note of Hummingbird, Local Natives are frank in their presentation of a serious album, challenging listeners to heal along with them; cognizant that investment is proportional to remuneration.

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29. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
June 4, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
82
32 reviews
User Score
83
362 reviews

It’s the one of the best QOTSA records to date. It also might be the first rock release of the dystopian blog-eat-blog era capable of recapturing the idea of music as a shared experience—that is, there are a lot of people waiting to get their ears in it.

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28. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get ...

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get ...
September 3, 2013
Alt-Country
Critic Score
80
24 reviews
User Score
79
60 reviews

It’s a record that often elevates the listener through its integrity and intensity, and sometimes grates through its failure to find the right music to express its complex lyrical sentiments.

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27. Bill Callahan - Dream River

Bill Callahan - Dream River
September 17, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
User Score
80
92 reviews

26. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

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

My Bloody Valentine successfully followed up a decades-old classic with m b v, an album that stands as confidently, beautifully and masterfully composed as its predecessor.

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25. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

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

Unlike the Frankenstein approach Nielson employed on the debut—which sounded like a depository for all of the music and pop culture he absorbed as a kid—there’s more consistent musical plasma coursing through the veins of II.

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24. M.I.A. - Matangi

M.I.A. - Matangi
November 5, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
75
33 reviews
User Score
78
221 reviews

Those naysayers will declare this a fine return to form. From this desk, it is the only step forward for someone whose has proven herself so far ahead of the curve that everyone from Madge to Versace have come knocking on her door.

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23. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
August 18, 2012
Garage Rock
Critic Score
83
22 reviews
User Score
82
131 reviews

22. Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium

Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium
September 3, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
77
24 reviews

Sheff has succeeded in capturing a specific time and place. It puts you in his world and lets you feel a time when things felt new, with all of the potential and promise that life held before it reared its ugly head. 

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21. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

There’s so much to hear, all foreboding. It shouldn’t work—they went all or nothing. They got all.

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20. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park

Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
March 19, 2013
Country
Critic Score
85
8 reviews
User Score
82
74 reviews

19. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

Crutchfield’s inexhaustible desire to make short, emotional rock records at an impressive clip and get every overshare on is a rare thing in tuneful bandleaders these days.

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18. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
October 29, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
41 reviews
User Score
82
785 reviews

Yes, Reflektor is very well an intellectual triumph, but—in a first for this band—it’s almost never an emotional one.

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17. Volcano Choir - Repave

Volcano Choir - Repave
September 3, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
78
22 reviews
User Score
79
138 reviews

16. Kanye West - Yeezus

Kanye West - Yeezus
June 18, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
38 reviews
User Score
81
1037 reviews

Ultimately, Yeezus is the least likable album Kanye’s ever made.

Full Review →

15. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

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

There’s plenty of disco with both soul and a brain. Random Access Memories has both, but it really makes too big a fuss of how long it took to arrive at that realization.

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14. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

Silence Yourself evokes very real sensory and emotional connections, leaving it up to you to get something out of it.

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13. Lucius - Wildewoman

Lucius - Wildewoman
October 15, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
67
11 reviews
User Score
72
12 reviews

12. 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
568 reviews

The result evokes a tensile disaffection, something suppressed and never spoken. A deeply internalized album, it’s The National at their Nationalest.

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11. Jason Isbell - Southeastern

Jason Isbell - Southeastern
June 11, 2013
Alt-Country
Critic Score
83
10 reviews
User Score
81
50 reviews

It’s the most potent expression to date of Isbell’s talent (including his DBT output) and, hopefully, a harbinger of great things to come.

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10. HAIM - Days Are Gone

HAIM - Days Are Gone
September 30, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
30 reviews
User Score
78
395 reviews

For a first foray into the pop universe, Days Are Gone is a hell of an opening salvo.

Full Review →

9. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels
June 26, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
82
393 reviews

It’s powerful in both delivery and in effect, without being heavy-handed or sacrificing form. Both rappers take the opportunity to show their longtime supporters that they were right all these years, that they bet on the right horses. 

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8. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe
September 24, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
80
33 reviews
User Score
80
425 reviews

CHVRCHES’ main talent lies in making a record which makes the climb more worthwhile than the summit.

Full Review →

7. 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
856 reviews

It may not meet the high standards of Contra, but these new songs come pretty close, which is no small feat. And they may even convert a few non-believers along the way.

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6. 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

On Daze, Vile’s amorphous, ambient drones continue to solidify into sharp shapes with defined edges. While he was always a contemplative songwriter, Vile’s lyrics are now more ponderous and worldly rather than navel-gazing. 

Full Review →

5. Deerhunter - Monomania

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

Monomania’s some heavy shit, wracked with longing and ultimatums and passive-aggression and aggressive-aggression and a monumentally shredding heartbreak.

Full Review →

4. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady
September 10, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
82
31 reviews
User Score
81
239 reviews

What could be unwieldy becomes a vast patchwork of influences buoying empowerment.

Full Review →

3. 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

What’s most impressive about 21st Century is that there’s nary a dud in the bunch, a difficult feat when it comes to making modern pop music that lives mostly in the past. 

Full Review →

2. Mikal Cronin - MCII

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

There remains just the right amount of depth to these summery sounds. Cronin’s lyrics, too, contain just the right amount of open-endedness.

Full Review →

1. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

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

Muchacho recapitulates that moment of love’s collapse and catapults out into the companionable lonesome that waits. 

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2013/12/the-50-best-albums-of-the-year.html

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