PopMatters' 75 Best Albums of 2013

PopMatters' 75 Best Albums of 2013

Original Source

75. Oh Sees - Floating Coffin

Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
April 16, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
User Score
78
93 reviews

These songs take big bites, bites that take some chewing – for player and listener – to get through them, to find the good stuff in them we need.

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74. The Uncluded - Hokey Fright

The Uncluded - Hokey Fright
May 7, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
64
8 reviews
User Score
76
3 reviews

73. Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty

Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty
September 3, 2013
Darkwave
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
80
93 reviews

72. 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

It sounds like an extremely well-produced album that took about eight years of slow studio cooking to produce.

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71. Josh Ritter - The Beast In Its Tracks

Josh Ritter - The Beast In Its Tracks
March 5, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
73
7 reviews
User Score
75
10 reviews

Taken as a whole, however, the album stands as an impressive document of Ritter’s journey through an emotional storm.

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70. The Flaming Lips - The Terror

The Flaming Lips - The Terror
April 1, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
78
34 reviews
User Score
76
152 reviews

Here, Coyne transforms his persona, and the band follows suit, breaking down and punching holes in the explorations they’ve dug into over the past few years.

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69. Jagwar Ma - Howlin

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

68. 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

67. Washed Out - Paracosm

Washed Out - Paracosm
August 13, 2013
Chillwave
Critic Score
72
29 reviews
User Score
78
141 reviews

Though firmly in the dream pop niche, the record is not limited to electronic soundscapes or synthesizer-based melodies, striking a balancing act between those standbys and more organic components including myriad antique keyboards and strings.

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66. Superchunk - I Hate Music

Superchunk - I Hate Music
August 20, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
74
21 reviews

This album is undeniable proof that creating something with resounding beauty is the ultimate defiance of death.

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65. The Icarus Line - Slave Vows

The Icarus Line - Slave Vows
July 8, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
79
12 reviews
User Score
82
2 reviews

An eminently powerful work of rock ‘n’ roll from start to finish, Slave Vows hasn’t saved the soul of rock music, but it sure as hell has revitalized it.

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64. Studio Killers - Studio Killers

Studio Killers - Studio Killers
June 14, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
NR
User Score
83
7 reviews

63. Lorde - Pure Heroine

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

Pure Heroine remains a lush, engaging experience. Lorde’s sudden international success is most welcome in such an overcrowded, singles-oriented marketplace as we have today, and her songwriting alone may very well turn her into some sort of Leonard Cohen for the tween set.

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62. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation

The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
April 15, 2013
Drone
Critic Score
85
16 reviews
User Score
80
126 reviews

61. 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

Even with his boundary-pushing songs and numerous (and often fascinating) interludes, he is still only a somewhat decent songwriter, and it’s Timbaland who winds up picking a lot of JT’s slack

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60. Icona Pop - This Is... Icona Pop

Icona Pop - This Is... Icona Pop
September 24, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
68
22 reviews
User Score
68
53 reviews

59. In Solitude - Sister

In Solitude - Sister
September 30, 2013
Heavy Metal
Critic Score
73
4 reviews
User Score
76
3 reviews

58. Paramore - Paramore

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

Paramore is both the band’s most polished and messiest album, which somehow pays off.

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57. Suede - Bloodsports

Suede - Bloodsports
March 18, 2013
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
76
20 reviews
User Score
76
64 reviews

Even if there are only ten tracks to feast upon, it’s clear that Suede is back in force, and Brett and the boys sound cooler than ever.

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56. Popstrangers - Antipodes

Popstrangers - Antipodes
February 26, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
6 reviews
User Score
75
11 reviews

Popstrangers more than successfully take all of these elements from other groups you know and love, and stirs them together in an appeasable soup, a brilliant melange of styles that ultimately comes out of the wringer sort of sounding something like their own.

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55. London Grammar - If You Wait

London Grammar - If You Wait
September 9, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
73
18 reviews
User Score
80
138 reviews

54. Russian Circles - Memorial

Russian Circles - Memorial
October 29, 2013
Post-Rock
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
78
34 reviews

53. Baths - Obsidian

Baths - Obsidian
May 28, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
76
20 reviews
User Score
77
154 reviews

Obsidian is the dark record it was billed as because it starts to ask its own uncomfortable questions. Love becomes more illusory when it stops getting quoted.

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52. Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In

Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In
February 25, 2013
Alt-Country
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
78
15 reviews

51. Mount Moriah - Miracle Temple

Mount Moriah - Miracle Temple
February 26, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
User Score
74
11 reviews

This album takes the understate melodies of its predecessor and pushes them into any and every logical musical path they could go down.

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50. SubRosa - More Constant than the Gods

SubRosa - More Constant than the Gods
September 17, 2013
Doom Metal
Critic Score
84
3 reviews
User Score
80
10 reviews

49. Los Campesinos! - No Blues

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

48. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
November 5, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
69
25 reviews
User Score
67
182 reviews

In a year cluttered with high-profile hip-hop releases, The Marshall Mathers LP2 is undeniably the best of the best and it’s not close.

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47. 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

Now he’s just an old fellow who is fighting against the current, and The Next Day is a brutal drowning.

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46. 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

45. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

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

44. James Blake - Overgrown

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

Whatever Overgrown’s disappointments, it still bears the mark of a young songwriter of obscene talent. 

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43. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels
June 26, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
82
393 reviews

42. 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 an impressive record to listen to—the compositions are even more beautiful than Ekstasis, even though they’re often more fragmented—but it’s also a frightening depiction of what it feels like to have a whole population making you up in its head.

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41. Alice Smith - She

Alice Smith - She
March 19, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
80
1 review

40. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

Cerulean Salt is proof positive that Katie Crutchfield is well on her way to becoming all she can be, an emerging artist who definitely possesses the skills and a point-of-view that you’ve either got or don’t.

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39. Deafheaven - Sunbather

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

Deafheaven’s audacity and artistry are hard to deny, which is but one of many reasons why Sunbather is an essential listen, and one of 2013’s boldest works of art.

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38. Rhye - Woman

Rhye - Woman
March 5, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
81
237 reviews

Though Rhye’s music is intimate and vulnerable, Milosh seems in control – perhaps he’s one of those smooth operators Sade sang about. 

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37. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

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

Hopkins is working on large-scale art but also in miniature, focusing our ears in on small details while stretching everything out to an impressive degree.

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36. Mikal Cronin - MCII

Mikal Cronin - MCII
May 7, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
83
18 reviews
User Score
79
177 reviews

The scope of Cronin’s offerings impress as much as his performance of them, opening up the category he’s working in, not unlike what his better-known comrade Ty Segall has been doing over the past few years.

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35. The Head and The Heart - Let's Be Still

The Head and The Heart - Let's Be Still
October 15, 2013
Indie Folk
Critic Score
68
13 reviews
User Score
72
20 reviews

34. 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

33. The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow
January 22, 2013
Critic Score
76
4 reviews
User Score
NR

32. 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 a bold work that, in theory, shouldn’t work—a lengthy, near-concept album about emotional availability—but Marling makes it into one of the year’s essential releases.

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31. Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record

Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record
June 4, 2013
Indie Pop
Critic Score
77
13 reviews
User Score
75
33 reviews

The big take-away from Personal Record is how Friedberger seems more comfortable in her own skin as a songwriter now, even if that’s conveyed more in the smoother, natural sound of the music and less in the conventional sense of getting personal by baring your soul lyrically. 

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30. The Devil Makes Three - I'm a Stranger Here

The Devil Makes Three - I'm a Stranger Here
October 29, 2013
Bluegrass
Critic Score
75
4 reviews
User Score
86
3 reviews

29. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - English Electric

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - English Electric
April 9, 2013
New Wave
Critic Score
70
10 reviews
User Score
71
12 reviews

It is more focused and concise, and like the best OMD albums it maintains a consistent theme and feel, though the individual songs take on a variety of moods and approaches.

Full Review →

28. Arctic Monkeys - AM

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

Whether conceptual or not, Arctic Monkeys’ fifth LP is a wonderfully cohesive and diverse album that fits together incredibly well.

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27. 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
362 reviews

This is a record that feels more loose and laid-back, which is appropriate for a group that’s getting back together after a few years off.

Full Review →

26. Ashley Monroe - Like a Rose

Ashley Monroe - Like a Rose
March 5, 2013
Country
Critic Score
82
6 reviews
User Score
75
22 reviews
Next >

Original Source: http://www.popmatters.com/feature/177166-the-75-best-albums-of-2013/

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