Drowned in Sound's Favorite Albums of 2013

Drowned in Sound's Favorite Albums of 2013

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50. The Veils - Time Stays, We Go

The Veils - Time Stays, We Go
April 23, 2013
Critic Score
67
5 reviews

It's a record that drives through suburban hells and dead-end towns leaving nothing but flames in its wake - that's not to say it's indulgent, it just isn't a record compromised for entertainment purposes. 

48. Yo La Tengo - Fade

January 15, 2013
Critic Score
80
31 reviews

There’s nothing showy here, nothing flashy, just an understated, immaculately put together collection of happy and sad, yearning and sweet songs.

47. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

February 26, 2013
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

46. Pet Shop Boys - Electric

July 15, 2013
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

It’s absurdly furious dance music, sounding more like Squarepusher than any sane person could ever have expected. 

45. Sky Larkin - Motto

September 16, 2013
Critic Score
78
7 reviews

The songs are simple and concise, but have myriad twists on simple guitar motifs, making matters seem fresh and explorative.

44. James Holden - The Inheritors

June 17, 2013
Critic Score
83
16 reviews

It is beautiful, ethereal and organic, breathing with life and is as far removed from the clean overly produced dance music which he holds in such distain. 

43. Bill Callahan - Dream River

September 17, 2013
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

It is a great record, at times. But when the elements don’t quite chime it suffers. You’re left with the feeling of treading water, waiting for the whirlpool, waiting for the storm.

40. Livity Sound - Livity Sound

October 21, 2013
Critic Score
83
3 reviews

39. Julia Holter - Loud City Song

August 19, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

It’s a jaw-dropping accomplishment, one of those records that’s almost pointless to listen to as a series of individual songs – tracks are mini symphonies in themselves, and to break Loud City Song down into tracks would be missing the point.

37. Eels - Wonderful, Glorious

Eels - Wonderful, Glorious
February 5, 2013
Critic Score
75
20 reviews

Not all of the tracks hit their mark, and this is a far cry from the standard of much of E's earlier material.

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

April 30, 2013
Critic Score
81
16 reviews

For its abrasiveness, brute force, and determination to push the instrument to its limits, Stetson’s New History Warfare 3 should delight anyone bored with noise, power electronics, industrial, and post-rock

35. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

February 3, 2013
Critic Score
88
34 reviews

The album’s major problem, more than anything, is that such a flabbergastingly brilliant end stretch hints at a better record that might have been

34. Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On

October 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

And it’s a triumph. I’d be the last to complain if Krug continued his trend of re-enacting the career of Brian Eno but this is the true departure: an album so intimate and romantic that few in recent memory compare.

33. Daughter - If You Leave

March 18, 2013
Critic Score
76
17 reviews

An album as beautifully conceived as If You Leave is one you follow from start to finish, riveted by the story it weaves and the emotion it bleeds.

32. Manic Street Preachers - Rewind The Film

September 16, 2013
Critic Score
74
15 reviews

In the context of the present, it's the sound of a band growing old gracefully in reminiscent mood yet firmly at ease with their lot.

30. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

February 5, 2013
Critic Score
77
19 reviews

If there’s one word for the album, it’s focused. Yes, it’s a step forward – but just the one, and some of the omissions feel like a sacrifice.

29. Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums

Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums
September 24, 2013
Critic Score
76
13 reviews

It’s an invisible force that sneaks up on you, casting you in its shadow; and slowly, with each pulse and every temperature shift, it becomes your whole world.

28. Pissed Jeans - Honeys

February 12, 2013
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

Honeys is a savvy, all-inclusive slab of disenchanted rage that doesn't hold back at any juncture.

27. Mogwai - Les Revenants

February 25, 2013
Critic Score
74
11 reviews

The result is Mogwai’s most vital release in years; a collection of fully realized pieces that could be the closest they’ll ever come to an unplugged greatest hits.

26. Factory Floor - Factory Floor

September 9, 2013
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Given the gestation period and polish, the humanity that manages to shine through this tight, crafted record is a triumph; the sound of a band having a whole lot of fun in the hope that ultimately you will do too.

24. Girls Names - The New Life

February 26, 2013
Critic Score
73
15 reviews

While the reverb-laden guitars, heavily distorted vocals and occasional Eighties reference points remain in part, there's something altogether more illuminating about The New Life than its predecessor even remotely hinted at.

23. Jagwar Ma - Howlin

June 10, 2013
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

The accomplished sonic collages of Howlin' finely balance Jagwar Ma's influences and in doing so transcends into something singularly thrilling and cohesive.

22. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

June 11, 2013
Critic Score
82
37 reviews

Like a few moments on Tomorrow’s Harvest it’ll take many more listens to decode, but the bulk of the album is immediately dark and succulent, conjuring a beautiful air of malice.

21. Moderat - II

August 6, 2013
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

More considered than the debut, more quietly patient and yet somehow more addictive.

20. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

April 30, 2013
Critic Score
82
15 reviews

Acid Rap succeeds for all the right reasons a mixtape should, finely balancing an idiosyncratic style, taught rhymes, emotional sincerity and rich production.

19. 65daysofstatic - Wild Light

September 16, 2013
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

65daysofstatic don’t need to prove themselves when it comes to providing suitably sky-scraping climaxes but the closing arguments that populate Wild Light carry significant weight thanks to the restraint that precedes them.

18. Nils Frahm - Spaces

November 18, 2013
Critic Score
84
13 reviews

17. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

March 19, 2013
Critic Score
74
30 reviews

It’s a little too self-indulgent – the 'serious' work of a man who’s starred in an Oscar-winning film, rather than the energetic pop of a successful boyband escapee, but there’s no doubt he’s still got it.

16. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

May 21, 2013
Critic Score
82
36 reviews

Such albums always reward persistence, and it may be that the consensus will eventually find favour with Trouble Will Find Me. For now though, as an album, as a piece of art, it’s beautifully painted but the colour palette needs to expand substantially.

15. Foals - Holy Fire

February 11, 2013
Critic Score
77
29 reviews

Not only is Holy Fire utterly sublime, it’s a record that’s been six years in the making. A record where Foals have focussed their many triumphs and missteps into one cohesive statement. 

14. Los Campesinos! - No Blues

October 29, 2013
Critic Score
79
17 reviews

Their fifth album continues the work done on their last, 2011’s Hello Sadness, the emotional context and sentiments much sharper, painfully so in some cases, with big, lovely pop hooks on even their starkest tracks.

13. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

July 23, 2013
Critic Score
80
36 reviews

Slow Focus isn’t alienating, it’s other, and it’s a pleasure to take a wander around its unfamiliar landscapes.

12. Local Natives - Hummingbird

January 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
20 reviews

If Gorilla Manor was immediately satisfying with its youthful scuffle, the denser, layered instrumentation and songwriter here provides a more substantial reward rooted in repeated listens, rather than a quick fling.

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

October 21, 2013
Critic Score
85
12 reviews

How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident is arguably the band's finest hour. Freed from label interference and buoyed by public support, the four let rip as if it's their first - or indeed last - ever record.

9. John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

March 11, 2013
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

There's the occasional dud, and occasional dull moment, but Pale Green Ghosts mostly succeeds in expanding Grant's musical palette, and his wry, knowing observations and lyricism remain as sharp as ever.

8. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

June 10, 2013
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

It’s a thing of few choruses and much abstraction, structures meandering and alpine, a confusion of sustained brass notes and drawn-out intros. At times there is breath-snatching pomp. Others it’s like watching The Thin Red Line in slow-motion.

7. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

June 3, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

Immunity is an album which puts a well-placed confidence in rewarding the patience of the listener, melding together current club trends with a vulnerable humanity to create an hour-long arc of total immersion.

6. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

May 14, 2013
Critic Score
83
36 reviews

Modern Vampires Of The City (bloomin’ marvelous title, FYI) overshadows such petty concerns by simply being immaculate, beautifully balanced and enthralling pop music.

5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

October 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
41 reviews

That whilst Reflektor isn’t without its merits, the flaws are too ingrained, the cuts in the hide too deep, to be overcome by multiple listens.

4. Paramore - Paramore

April 9, 2013
Critic Score
76
15 reviews

Paramore is an assured and confident record. For every contemplative minute of the LP, there's three more minutes spiralling in the eye of a rock storm.

3. Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe

August 20, 2013
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

This is the exquisite album we were promised, and perhaps an important one.

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

February 18, 2013
Critic Score
83
33 reviews

Cave’s schtick these days is less demonic preacher, more old guy railing self-mockingly against the dying of the light; but he feels a way away from perfecting that shtick without Grinderman to hide behind. 

1. Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

March 4, 2013
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

Pearl Mystic has a revolution quality about it. Rather than re-inventing wheels it begs the listener to loosen the axles and throw them away.

Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4147268-drowned-in-sounds-favourite-albums-of-2013--top-20
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2013 YEAR END SUMMARY