Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2013

Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. The So So Glos - Blowout

The So So Glos - Blowout
April 23, 2013
Punk Rock
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
User Score
70
1 review

Blowout is one big party. But it’s a worthwhile, insightful, and productive event—everyone’s invited.

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49. Sky Ferreira - Night Time, My Time

Sky Ferreira - Night Time, My Time
October 29, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
75
24 reviews
User Score
78
241 reviews

48. Mutual Benefit - Love's Crushing Diamond

Mutual Benefit - Love's Crushing Diamond
October 25, 2013
Indie Folk
Critic Score
83
16 reviews
User Score
82
108 reviews

47. Lorde - Pure Heroine

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

Lorde’s clearly a gifted songwriter for her age, but don’t let the novelty affect your perception of Pure Heroine. It’s a very grown-up album despite its teenage topics, and if you give a damn about good pop songs, then you owe it a listen. 

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46. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation

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

Listening to Excavation is a profoundly visceral experience. 

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45. Arctic Monkeys - AM

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

Their music is suddenly sexier, no doubt a credit to Turner’s vision for AM, and continues to mature. 

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44. 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

While not the defining statement it could’ve been, My Name Is My Name shows different sides of Pusha T as he becomes a more multidimensional rapper.

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43. Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty

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

Her newest release, Pain is Beauty, takes listeners to the highest of highs, all thanks to Wolfe’s willingness to get low and descend even further into the gloom-hole.

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42. Mark Mulcahy - Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You

Mark Mulcahy - Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You
June 18, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
75
8 reviews
User Score
77
24 reviews

Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You plays like a love note to fans, blending Mulcahy’s singular solo sound with that sugarcoated Polaris vibe in 35 minutes of irresistible pop bursts.

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41. Mountains - Centralia

Mountains - Centralia
January 22, 2013
Ambient
Critic Score
79
14 reviews
User Score
74
32 reviews

The emotional through-line hits more directly, particularly because the songs are more thoughtfully composed than any of Mountains’ previous.

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40. 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

It’s a challenging album, and not just because its tracks are a puzzle box — the mix is dense. Perhaps more than any of Bowie’s prior 23 records, this one is an art record. 

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39. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

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

It’s a work as notable for its technical achievements as its nuanced themes, and that’s almost as impressive considering that so many artists lack in one or both of those fields.

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38. 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

Random Access Memories proves that Daft Punk remain masters of their domain, who defend their array of superlatives because of, rather than in spite of, unconventional sound choices.

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37. James Blake - Overgrown

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

James Blake may lose some fans with the tamer, more sultry sounds of Overgrown. But he’s going to gain a lot more. Without the cut-and-paste dubstep, his music suddenly becomes quite radio friendly

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36. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

By being unrelenting with her angst, Crutchfield continues to make herself a most alluring figure.

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35. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

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

It’s a very large world, but one stocked with charming character, tasty pop, and enlightening lyricism that shines like an electric heart through the android framework.

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34. The Men - New Moon

The Men - New Moon
March 5, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
28 reviews
User Score
76
85 reviews

Sacrificing recklessness is different from sacrificing passion, and New Moon cements The Men as one of the most exciting rock acts today, no matter who they’re listening to or, most importantly, who they’re redefining.

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33. Majical Cloudz - Impersonator

Majical Cloudz - Impersonator
May 21, 2013
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
75
20 reviews
User Score
80
134 reviews

By paring pop music to its core human elements, Majical Cloudz has written a record that’s bare enough to breathe inside. Feeling thrives in the blankness: that’s Impersonator’s paradox.

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32. Pissed Jeans - Honeys

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

Honeys is 36 minutes of an excellent band doing what it does best, approachability be damned.

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31. 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

Vol 3: To See More Light is his strongest and most cohesive collection in his career, aided in large part by the head-turning vocals of Justin Vernon, who appears on four of the 11 tracks on the album.

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30. 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

 …Like Clockwork is one of the year’s finer rock albums — an exercise in songwriting, production, and musicianship.

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29. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

Savages champion essential qualities of music that are too often washed away by the Internet’s slipstream: presence, performance, togetherness, transcendence.

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28. Action Bronson / Party Supplies - Blue Chips 2

Action Bronson / Party Supplies - Blue Chips 2
November 1, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
74
9 reviews
User Score
74
22 reviews

27. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

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

Think of this as the espresso method: a strong, punchy musical concentrate.

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26. Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium

Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium
September 3, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
77
24 reviews

I’m not sure if I’d call it a completely happy album, as there’s still darkness creeping around the edges, and also because it defies simplification. And yet maybe that’s the point. Okkervil River wanted to create something that was accessible. They wanted to create something that had warmth.

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25. 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

Run the Jewels ... is the very synthesis of El-P and Mike’s shared admiration and cohesive worldviews, an effort of the purest collaboration and mutual understanding.

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24. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

Phosphorescent - Muchacho
March 19, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
80
190 reviews

Muchacho is a well balanced listen, one that finds Houck adding new hues to old canvases and striking gold at every turn.

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23. 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

The energy poured into The Terror, however, reveals a band that doesn’t mind sacrificing all they’ve earned for a fresh thought.

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22. Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat

Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat
February 5, 2013
Ambient
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
User Score
79
125 reviews

This is an album that follows the drifting of a boat at sea, and discovers that even the most pleasant journeys can end in nothingness.

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21. Darkside - Psychic

Darkside - Psychic
October 8, 2013
Art Pop
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
User Score
83
339 reviews

It’s an effort that not only highlights both Jaar and Harrington’s individual talents, but also how, together, Darkside can create a work of genius.

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20. Deafheaven - Sunbather

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

Sunbather is a developed, mature, and, above all, an original statement that truly lives up to the unbelievable amount of hype it has earned.

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19. Drake - Nothing Was the Same

Drake - Nothing Was the Same
September 24, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
27 reviews
User Score
76
354 reviews

Nothing Was the Same wrestles Drake’s successes with his ever-lingering insecurities, and like some of the best music, we can see ourselves in these songs. It’s an exhilarating change of pace for the genre.

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18. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripely Pine

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripely Pine
February 19, 2013
Indie Folk
Critic Score
81
4 reviews
User Score
78
31 reviews

Spaltro’s two biggest assets are her fearsome pipes and intricate lyrics, and Ripely Pine displays both with rich flavor. 

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17. Mikal Cronin - MCII

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

His fleshed out followup and Merge debut, MCII, feels like something substantial, anthemic, and, to crib from Burt Reynolds, “out of this world.”

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16. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
October 1, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
80
25 reviews
User Score
80
168 reviews

The album focuses on discrete melodic moments composed from scratch, a new process for Lopatin that he melds perfectly with old strategies. Tensions rise from textural contrasts, but there’s also raw beauty in R Plus Seven‘s melodies and progressions.

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15. Local Natives - Hummingbird

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

Hummingbird proves that these guys are maturing into a sound that’s both singular and wrenching with severity.

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14. Danny Brown - OLD

Danny Brown - OLD
October 8, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
81
306 reviews

Old is so successful because it reflects Danny Brown the person, Danny Brown the persona, and Danny Brown the artist.

Full Review →

13. 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

Richly arranged, masterfully sequenced, and full of brooding, Push the Sky Away combines the stately beauty of The Boatman’s Call and No More Shall We Part with the intensity of Grinderman/Lazarus-era Cave while managing to sound like neither.

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12. 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

Loud City Song is a sightseeing trip with a person fully able to portray the objective beauty of the sights, as well as her own take on them.

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11. HAIM - Days Are Gone

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

What separates the coven of sisters from their UK contemporaries, however, is that their debut doesn’t define them explicitly. It balances expectations with mystery, aligning their identity with a roulette of vantage points.

Full Review →

10. 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

Where the harsh, cold production of drill echoes the harsh, cold sentiments, Chance’s voice and the multi-faceted production are all about change, examining any little moment that might provide some fun and relief.

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9. 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

The end result is a new kind of National album — still dark and neurotic, obsessed with modern-day paranoia, but also bursting with an unlikely optimism and a very 2013 zest for life.

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8. Disclosure - Settle

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

Slinky enough for the club, down-tempo enough for a rooftop soiree, Settle traverses boundaries and expectations. 

Full Review →

7. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

At this point, Win Butler is rock ‘n’ roll’s Christopher Nolan, a hyper-literate artist who crafts reliable, intelligent, and challenging blockbuster events that sweep our minds away.

Full Review →

6. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

The album, rather than play to easy desires, trains us to sit down and listen again. It makes us wait for our rewards, luring us into extended trances only to snap us back out of them with honey-tipped uppercuts. 

Full Review →

5. 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
322 reviews

Its ambrosial melodies and austere instrumentation edify his canon of work, which has long been rewarding for its risky sensibilities and perseverance.

Full Review →

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

By corralling everything in vogue with today’s soundscape — ethereal atmospherics, pulsing synths, ’80s throwbacks — with infectious hooks and the emphatic vocals of Lauren Mayberry, CHVRCHES has created 12 pop songs that are as accessible as they are layered. 

Full Review →

3. 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 creates a new timeline for My Bloody Valentine, and one that recalls the past in a broader and bolder light.

Full Review →

2. 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

It’s content to expound upon the Vampire Weekend aesthetic in inventive, imaginative, and undeniably successful ways.

Full Review →

1. Kanye West - Yeezus

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

It’s an album for the books, one that indicates West’s hunger for exploration while always sounding like it could become extraordinarily popular, even for him. This is the level that things could be at.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/12/albums-of-the-year-2013/

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.