Drowned in Sound's Favorite Albums of 2013

Drowned in Sound's Favorite Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. The Veils - Time Stays, We Go

The Veils - Time Stays, We Go
April 23, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
67
5 reviews
User Score
69
8 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. 

Full Review →

49. Jenny Hval - Innocence Is Kinky

Jenny Hval - Innocence Is Kinky
May 14, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
84
11 reviews
User Score
80
104 reviews

48. Yo La Tengo - Fade

Yo La Tengo - Fade
January 15, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
31 reviews
User Score
77
139 reviews

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

Full Review →

47. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

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

46. Pet Shop Boys - Electric

Pet Shop Boys - Electric
July 15, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
80
23 reviews
User Score
75
58 reviews

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

Full Review →

45. Sky Larkin - Motto

Sky Larkin - Motto
September 16, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
7 reviews
User Score
82
7 reviews

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

Full Review →

44. James Holden - The Inheritors

James Holden - The Inheritors
June 17, 2013
Minimal
Critic Score
83
16 reviews
User Score
78
48 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. 

Full Review →

43. Bill Callahan - Dream River

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

Full Review →

42. MONEY - The Shadow of Heaven

MONEY - The Shadow of Heaven
August 26, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
84
14 reviews
User Score
77
39 reviews

41. 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

40. Livity Sound - Livity Sound

Livity Sound - Livity Sound
October 21, 2013
Techno
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
70
2 reviews

39. Julia Holter - Loud City Song

Julia Holter - Loud City Song
August 19, 2013
Art Pop
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
83
282 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.

Full Review →

38. Lanterns on the Lake - Until The Colours Run

Lanterns on the Lake - Until The Colours Run
September 9, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
70
13 reviews
User Score
76
7 reviews

37. Eels - Wonderful, Glorious

Eels - Wonderful, Glorious
February 5, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
20 reviews
User Score
71
42 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.

Full Review →

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

Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
April 30, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
81
16 reviews
User Score
79
69 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

Full Review →

35. 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

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

Full Review →

34. Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On

Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On
October 29, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
80
24 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.

Full Review →

33. Daughter - If You Leave

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

Full Review →

32. Manic Street Preachers - Rewind The Film

Manic Street Preachers - Rewind The Film
September 16, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
74
15 reviews
User Score
72
14 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.

Full Review →

31. Deafheaven - Sunbather

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

30. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

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

Full Review →

29. Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums

Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums
September 24, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
76
13 reviews
User Score
73
16 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.

Full Review →

28. Pissed Jeans - Honeys

Pissed Jeans - Honeys
February 12, 2013
Noise Rock
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
User Score
72
41 reviews

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

Full Review →

27. Mogwai - Les Revenants

Mogwai - Les Revenants
February 25, 2013
Post-Rock
Critic Score
74
11 reviews
User Score
73
28 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.

Full Review →

26. Factory Floor - Factory Floor

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

Full Review →

25. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks

Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
September 3, 2013
Industrial Rock
Critic Score
79
28 reviews
User Score
74
88 reviews

24. Girls Names - The New Life

Girls Names - The New Life
February 26, 2013
New Wave
Critic Score
73
15 reviews
User Score
74
31 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.

Full Review →

23. Jagwar Ma - Howlin

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

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

Full Review →

22. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
June 11, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
82
37 reviews
User Score
79
209 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.

Full Review →

21. Moderat - II

Moderat - II
August 6, 2013
IDM
Critic Score
75
22 reviews
User Score
80
94 reviews

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

Full Review →

20. 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

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

Full Review →

19. 65daysofstatic - Wild Light

65daysofstatic - Wild Light
September 16, 2013
Post-Rock
Critic Score
83
11 reviews
User Score
80
65 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.

Full Review →

18. Nils Frahm - Spaces

Nils Frahm - Spaces
November 18, 2013
Ambient
Critic Score
84
13 reviews
User Score
84
97 reviews

17. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
March 19, 2013
Pop
Critic Score
74
30 reviews
User Score
78
320 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.

Full Review →

16. 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

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.

Full Review →

15. Foals - Holy Fire

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

Full Review →

14. Los Campesinos! - No Blues

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

Full Review →

13. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

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

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

Full Review →

12. Local Natives - Hummingbird

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

Full Review →

11. KA - The Night's Gambit

KA - The Night's Gambit
July 13, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
82
7 reviews
User Score
76
47 reviews

10. 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

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.

Full Review →

9. John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
March 11, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
81
19 reviews
User Score
77
101 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.

Full Review →

8. 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

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.

Full Review →

7. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

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

Full Review →

6. 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

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

Full Review →

5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

Full Review →

4. Paramore - Paramore

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

Full Review →

3. Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe

Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe
August 20, 2013
Ambient
Critic Score
81
20 reviews
User Score
81
118 reviews

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

Full Review →

2. 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
195 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. 

Full Review →

1. Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

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

Full Review →
Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4147268-drowned-in-sounds-favourite-albums-of-2013--top-20

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM DROWNED IN SOUND:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.