NME's 50 Best Albums of 2013

NME's 50 Best Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. James Blake - Overgrown

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

It’s not an easy listen, but it may just be one of the most nuanced, soothing and adventurous of 2013. 

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49. Daughter - If You Leave

Daughter - If You Leave
March 18, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
76
17 reviews
User Score
78
152 reviews

There’s beauty here in heaps, and by leaning a bit less hard on the heartbreak pedal, turning down the reverb and letting that wild youth out a bit more, they can become a Daughter we’re truly proud to call our own.

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48. 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

47. King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
August 24, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
76
25 reviews
User Score
80
138 reviews

46. Primal Scream - More Light

Primal Scream - More Light
May 6, 2013
Neo-Psychedelia
Critic Score
74
26 reviews
User Score
76
44 reviews

As inventive and relevant as they’ve ever been, it’s an alarm call for a comatose nation being slowly drained of lifeblood. It’s exactly what 2013 needs: more fight.

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45. Future of the Left - How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident

Future of the Left - How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident
October 21, 2013
Post-Hardcore
Critic Score
85
12 reviews
User Score
75
33 reviews

It is a serious album for serious rock fans, even though taking anything seriously isn’t exactly Andy Falkous, Jack Egglestone, Jimmy Watkins and Julia Ruzicka’s strong point.

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44. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

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

One of the reasons ‘Major Arcana’ works so well is because it’s addictive and fun, which could explain how these characters got into such a mess in the first place.

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43. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

'Shaking The Habitual' is a radical gesture from an enigmatic group. As such, it will not be for everyone. Newcomers will likely be baffled. Hardcore Knife fans will hail it a masterpiece, while privately making fairly regular use of the skip button.

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42. Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum

Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum
November 12, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
73
18 reviews
User Score
77
15 reviews

‘Mug Museum’, her third full-length, is as wonderfully weird as any of its predecessors. And there’s now sparseness in her music, plus a cool, controlled confidence that showcases her knack for the surreal more than ever.

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41. The Strokes - Comedown Machine

The Strokes - Comedown Machine
March 26, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
65
33 reviews
User Score
68
201 reviews

It’s flawed, it’s imperfect and it’s downright odd at points, but it is packed with belting tunes. Most of all, it’s fun – a great achievement considering it hasn’t looked like fun being in The Strokes for years. 

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40. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
July 23, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
80
36 reviews
User Score
80
173 reviews

It is all-consuming and consistently impressive from the off

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39. The Julie Ruin - Run Fast

The Julie Ruin - Run Fast
September 3, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
10 reviews
User Score
77
9 reviews

38. Courtney Barnett - The Double EP: The Sea of Split Peas

Courtney Barnett - The Double EP: The Sea of Split Peas
October 14, 2013
Indie Folk
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
User Score
81
51 reviews

37. 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
323 reviews

Mostly, ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’ shows Kurt Vile’s determination to make something of that slice of genius he got for free.

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36. Deap Vally - Sistrionix

Deap Vally - Sistrionix
June 28, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
69
13 reviews
User Score
79
19 reviews

Deap Vally certainly aren’t afraid to say what needs to be said, and they do it with style and wit.

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35. Bill Callahan - Dream River

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

Callahan’s early work as Smog painted him as a lo-fi sex case, but of late he’s adopted a sweeter, eddying Americana, and ‘Dream River’ takes a turn to lush country-soul.

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34. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

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

33. Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob

Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
January 29, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
77
22 reviews
User Score
72
121 reviews

Out goes the usual folk-meets-new wave stuff, in comes Lily Allen’s producer Greg Kurstin and big, spangly electro hits. The results could have been messy, but ‘Heartthrob’ is a triumph.

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32. Palma Violets - 180

Palma Violets - 180
February 25, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
67
19 reviews
User Score
68
46 reviews

You’re struck by the strength of the songs, and the roguish, self-assured charm with which they’re delivered.

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31. Merchandise - Totale Nite

Merchandise - Totale Nite
March 18, 2013
Post-Punk
Critic Score
69
8 reviews
User Score
74
28 reviews

This is a band who think nothing of giving over the album’s title track to a stern nine-minute churn that sets growling guitars against dirty squalls of brass. 

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30. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

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

A confusing, intriguing record, then. Not their strongest, but there's a transition underway.

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29. 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

‘m b v’ needs to be digested like chewing gum, left to swirl around in your system for months or years, before anyone will really be able to gauge how it measures up to ‘Isn’t Anything’ or ‘Loveless’.

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28. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
June 10, 2013
Post-Rock
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
User Score
78
105 reviews

Devoid of easy access points, it’s sparser and stranger, filled with eerie lulls and sudden, discombobulating rushes of noise. Anyone hankering for a visceral body-and-mind-fuck á la ‘Hidden: Part 2’ is going to feel alienated.

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27. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

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

26. Factory Floor - Factory Floor

Factory Floor - Factory Floor
September 9, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
81
26 reviews
User Score
75
55 reviews

Crucially, Factory Floor innovate rather than imitate

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25. HAIM - Days Are Gone

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

Haim have been working towards this since they were barely strong enough to hold a guitar, and over time they've written more good tunes than most bands manage in a whole career.

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24. 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

The entire record is as premeditated and grounded in US alt.rock history as you can get.

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23. 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
424 reviews

Chvrches have stuck to the bones of their beliefs, and you're going to want to suck the marrow right out of them.

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22. Deerhunter - Monomania

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

For all their experimental tangents, they've always been able to write a decent hook. So maybe Bradford Cox's monomania is just that – an ongoing obsession to carve Deerhunter's future place as one of the great American rock'n'roll bands.

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21. Iceage - You're Nothing

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

In the end, ‘You’re Nothing’ is a sort of toast: to loud music, hard drinking and the energy of the unbroken.

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20. 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
569 reviews

‘Trouble…’ is a collection of anthems, full of rich orchestral fanfares, bolstered by the cast and crew of New York’s finest.

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19. Disclosure - Settle

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

Throughout, ‘Settle’ will blind you with so much sheen you’ll want to tile your bathroom in it.

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18. Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

Hookworms - Pearl Mystic
March 4, 2013
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
82
8 reviews
User Score
78
96 reviews

This record is not the sunburnt wooze of Tame Impala: it’s angrier, colder.

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17. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

... she’s still brutally picking at old scabs to expose the muck festering underneath. The truth has seldom sounded so good. 

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16. Jagwar Ma - Howlin

Jagwar Ma - Howlin
June 10, 2013
Neo-Psychedelia
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
79
102 reviews

The best – and simplest – trick Jagwar Ma have pulled off is delivering an album with no rubbish on it.

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15. Peace - In Love

Peace - In Love
March 25, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
11 reviews
User Score
73
49 reviews

If ‘In Love’ lacks depth it’s because it’s too busy being wide-eyed with marvellous wonder, thrilled by its own discoveries. Even the hi-hats are epic. Peace are intoxicated by their own youth, and all that matters is that they’re happening NOW.

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14. 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
857 reviews

This is a gorgeous album, but sacrifices had to be made. They’ve undeniably lost something that made them special in the first place.

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13. Drenge - Drenge

Drenge - Drenge
August 19, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
81
13 reviews
User Score
81
38 reviews

Drenge are true to their phonics, subjecting listeners to a gnarly, ultra-funky – and that’s in the stinky sense, not the Nile Rodgers sense – aural pummelling.

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12. M.I.A. - Matangi

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

She’s reminded us exactly why she’s important: she’s a hyper-intuitive artist with a mongrel sensibility who bows to no one. 

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11. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Jon Hopkins - Immunity
June 3, 2013
Microhouse
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
84
324 reviews

‘Immunity’ is expertly paced, and as good for coming down as it is for coming up.

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10. David Bowie - The Next Day

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

This album is, foremost, about songcraft. Rather than reinventing Bowie, it absorbs his past and moves it on, hungry for more.

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9. 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
188 reviews

'Once I Was An Eagle' is an intense, internal record with a clear emotional arc. The portrait it paints of the author is not always flattering, but the truth rarely is.

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8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
February 18, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
83
33 reviews
User Score
80
196 reviews

What Cave and co have managed here is no mean feat: a masterpiece that merges the experimentation and freedom of their side projects with Cave’s most tender songcraft.

Full Review →

7. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

‘Reflektor’ is cleaner, sharper and dancier than anything the band have done before.

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6. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

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

By assembling a cast of their favourite musicians and delving into their adolescent memories, Daft Punk have created something as emotionally honest as any singer-songwriter confessional – and a lot more fun to dance to. 

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5. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

As with some modern art, you may find ‘Silence Yourself’ leaves you whispering, “I appreciated it, but I didn’t love it.” 

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4. Foals - Holy Fire

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

At times it feels as if there is no arena, stadium or field big enough to contain the songs on ‘Holy Fire’ - although you get the feeling plenty of them will be filled with these songs over the next 12 months.

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3. 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
363 reviews

The crap filter has been whacked up to 11 and the groove-o-tron set to interstellar for the band’s slickest offering to date.

Full Review →

2. Kanye West - Yeezus

Kanye West - Yeezus
June 18, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
38 reviews
User Score
81
1038 reviews

‘Yeezus’ is so tight, so bold, that with a few tweaks Kanye could’ve made his rock for the ages. As it is, he’ll have to settle for one of the best records of the year.

Full Review →

1. Arctic Monkeys - AM

Arctic Monkeys - AM
September 9, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
33 reviews
User Score
78
617 reviews

Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.nme.com/photos/nme-s-50-best-albums-of-2013/326689/1/1?recache=1&t=1231316

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM NME:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.