A.V. Club's 23 Best Albums of 2013

A.V. Club's 23 Best Albums of 2013

Original Source

18. Los Campesinos! - No Blues

Los Campesinos! - No Blues
October 29, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
User Score
77
66 reviews

Where Hello Sadness seemed like a more mature album, No Blues finds Los Campesinos! getting a better, more pragmatic handle on aging: Growing up doesn’t mean giving up on what you’ve loved.

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17. 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

Regardless of whether it’s an echo of the past or a bridge to the future, MBV stands as something potentially timeless—and immediately breathtaking.

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17. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

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

What’s most amazing about Acid Rap isn’t Chance’s talent, but how eagerly he employs it. There’s hardly a track where he isn’t pushing or testing himself, or somehow going out of his way to dazzle with torrential wordplay or euphoric, dopamine-pumped production.

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16. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

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

Major Arcana is a markedly assured debut, one that makes Speedy Ortiz an act to watch. Like its songs, the band’s detonation is inevitable.

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15. Paramore - Paramore

Paramore - Paramore
April 9, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
76
15 reviews
User Score
77
149 reviews

Paramore is the rare record on which a band clearly wants to assert itself as a serious artistic force and actually succeeds.

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15. Locrian - Return To Annihilation

Locrian - Return To Annihilation
June 25, 2013
Drone
Critic Score
76
7 reviews
User Score
71
6 reviews

15. Tim Hecker - Virgins

Tim Hecker - Virgins
October 14, 2013
Drone
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
82
161 reviews

14. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

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

The songs themselves are undeniably empowering without being especially overt or sloganeering about it; where Beyoncé claims that girls run the world, Monáe has gone ahead and created her own world, one with her own rules.

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13. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

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

Hutchison intended “Pedestrian Verse” to be a self-directed warning, but as a title for his band’s latest album, it reads as proudly defiant.

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12. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

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

Slow Focus displays an act from a niche genre deftly handling the necessities and opportunities that come with sudden, rapid ascendance

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11. 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

The album is nonetheless an entrancing and endlessly entertaining musical experience, a fun collection that can soundtrack a great party from start to finish, but also rewards the focused listener with a collage of fascinating quirks.

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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

The Next Day isn’t great simply because it’s the return of Bowie. It’s great because it’s the return of Bowie’s voice: rich, delicate, smoky, wise. And, yes, shaded with the first expectant blush of mortality.

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10. Fall Out Boy - Save Rock and Roll

Fall Out Boy - Save Rock and Roll
April 16, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
71
15 reviews
User Score
61
75 reviews

Save Rock And Roll is the band’s most personal album yet, a tribute to being passionate and young when time makes the former difficult and the latter impossible. It’s an arena album that longs for small punk clubs.

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9. Lorde - Pure Heroine

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

Pure Heroine is a scattered, but preternaturally gifted album, charting the rise of a new teen phenom with enough awareness to navigate crossover success with aplomb.

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8. 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

She’s settled into the safety of contemporary indie-folk, giving The Worse Things Get… the same kind of innocuous sound as radio-friendly groups like The Civil Wars and Of Monsters And Men.

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7. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

6. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

The trick to Silence Yourself’s overall success is that Savages temper their furious moments with more measured songs, which creates ominous tension.

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5. 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

Unlike its two predecessors, which burned hot but only in spots, Modern Vampires feels like a rare thought-through album in the iTunes age. 

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4. 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

Like the rest of the National catalog, Trouble Will Find Me is subtly insinuating; at first it seems almost free of hooks, then six listens later it’s difficult to get it unstuck. It burrows and then resides, first easy to forget then basically impossible.

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4. 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’ bread and butter remains highly melodic, synthesizer-based pop, but with just the right amount of darkness, thanks in part to Mayberry.

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3. Deafheaven - Sunbather

Deafheaven - Sunbather
June 11, 2013
Black Metal
Critic Score
90
18 reviews
User Score
84
423 reviews

What’s undeniable is that moments from Sunbather will resonate long after the pointless babble has died down, proving that sometimes the greatest beauty can only be found in the face of chaos.

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2. HAIM - Days Are Gone

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

Days Are Gone is remarkably solid and—forthcoming changes or not—with all the hype and talent behind the group, Haim is overwhelmingly likely to succeed.

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1. Kanye West - Yeezus

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

Despite its surface severity, it’s a lean, immediate record, its brevity a sharp contrast to 2010’s wandering My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.avclub.com/article/the-23-best-albums-of-2013-106233

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM A.V. CLUB:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.