Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2013

Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2013

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50. Dr. Dog - B-Room

October 1, 2013
Critic Score
63
9 reviews

48. Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart

April 22, 2013
Critic Score
74
10 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.

46. Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record

June 4, 2013
Critic Score
77
13 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.

45. Cayucas - Bigfoot

Cayucas - Bigfoot
April 30, 2013
Critic Score
62
8 reviews

44. Charles Bradley - Victim of Love

April 2, 2013
Critic Score
77
13 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.

43. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

August 20, 2013
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

42. Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others

October 15, 2013
Critic Score
70
17 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. 

41. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

February 5, 2013
Critic Score
77
19 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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39. of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar

October 8, 2013
Critic Score
75
21 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.

38. Danny Brown - OLD

October 8, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 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.

36. Lorde - Pure Heroine

September 30, 2013
Critic Score
77
29 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.

35. Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

March 5, 2013
Critic Score
75
23 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.

34. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name

October 8, 2013
Critic Score
78
21 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.

33. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

February 26, 2013
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

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

32. Rhye - Woman

March 5, 2013
Critic Score
77
21 reviews

31. King Khan and the Shrines - Idle No More

King Khan and the Shrines - Idle No More
September 3, 2013
Critic Score
74
14 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.” 

30. Local Natives - Hummingbird

January 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
20 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.

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

June 4, 2013
Critic Score
82
32 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.

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

September 3, 2013
Critic Score
80
24 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.

27. Bill Callahan - Dream River

September 17, 2013
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

26. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

February 3, 2013
Critic Score
88
34 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.

25. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

February 5, 2013
Critic Score
79
22 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.

24. M.I.A. - Matangi

November 5, 2013
Critic Score
75
33 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.

22. Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium

September 3, 2013
Critic Score
77
21 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. 

21. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

April 8, 2013
Critic Score
84
33 reviews

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

19. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

March 5, 2013
Critic Score
76
22 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.

18. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

October 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
41 reviews

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

17. Volcano Choir - Repave

September 3, 2013
Critic Score
78
22 reviews

16. Kanye West - Yeezus

June 18, 2013
Critic Score
85
38 reviews

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

15. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

May 21, 2013
Critic Score
83
37 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.

14. Savages - Silence Yourself

May 6, 2013
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

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

13. Lucius - Wildewoman

October 15, 2013
Critic Score
67
11 reviews

12. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

May 21, 2013
Critic Score
82
36 reviews

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

11. Jason Isbell - Southeastern

June 11, 2013
Critic Score
83
10 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.

10. HAIM - Days Are Gone

September 30, 2013
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

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

9. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

June 26, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 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. 

8. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

September 24, 2013
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

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

7. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

May 14, 2013
Critic Score
83
36 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.

6. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze

April 9, 2013
Critic Score
82
32 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. 

5. Deerhunter - Monomania

May 7, 2013
Critic Score
79
32 reviews

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

4. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

September 10, 2013
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

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

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

January 22, 2013
Critic Score
78
18 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. 

2. Mikal Cronin - MCII

May 7, 2013
Critic Score
83
18 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.

1. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

March 19, 2013
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

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

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