Pretty Much Amazing's 40 Best Albums of 2013

Pretty Much Amazing's 40 Best Albums of 2013

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40. James Blake - Overgrown

April 8, 2013
Critic Score
83
33 reviews

Overgrown is not the enigma that was his debut, but rather it is a first-rate album from a musician that isn’t all that interested in being enigmatic.  

39. Darkside - Psychic

October 8, 2013
Critic Score
79
22 reviews

Behind the darkness, Psychic is a relatively light-hearted exercise: Two exceedingly talented craftsmen going for a joyride in their spaceship and inviting you to tag along in the back seat.

38. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

October 1, 2013
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

R Plus Seven delves into sound with a precision and clarity that pays tribute to the technical genius that birthed the synthesizer.

37. Baths - Obsidian

May 28, 2013
Critic Score
76
20 reviews

Ultimately, your mood as a listener – and perhaps the weather – will dictate how often you’ll return to Obsidian‘s bleak and beautiful world.

36. Rhye - Woman

March 5, 2013
Critic Score
77
21 reviews

In ten songs, the spectrum of emotions triggered by love, ranging from infinite highs to crushing lows, is explored with a sense of discretion that is often absent in today’s music.

35. London Grammar - If You Wait

September 9, 2013
Critic Score
73
18 reviews

This is an enthralling, stunning, deeply emotive album that perfectly marries understated electronica to sublime vocals and melodies.

33. Charli XCX - True Romance

April 15, 2013
Critic Score
72
19 reviews

Charlotte Aitchinson has an outstanding talent for melody and a durable vocal delivery. For now her ability seems to end there.

31. Iceage - You're Nothing

February 19, 2013
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

These songs are high on energy, heavy on noise, and sloppy on rhythm – together, it’s an exhilarating rush of in-your-face songs.

30. Deerhunter - Monomania

May 7, 2013
Critic Score
79
32 reviews

Monomania is an example of focus and self-exploration; a treatise to the possibility of uncovering newness and value in what appears to be a bleak, postmodern junkyard where there’s nothing left to change.

29. Tim Hecker - Virgins

October 14, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

27. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

August 20, 2013
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

Earl is still negotiating his capricious tendencies with a more consistent, reliable style. Doris displays some of those growing pains, but it also delivers a uniquely impressive collection of vicious beats and lyrics that make Magna Carta…Holy Grail sound like Marky Mark.

26. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get ...

September 3, 2013
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

Wwhile the subsequent inconsistency may hold The Worse Things Get back from greatness, it does make it honest, and when it comes to art I’ll take honesty over consistency any day. 

24. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

March 19, 2013
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

23. Arctic Monkeys - AM

September 9, 2013
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

They’ve evolved certain factors of their sound and ventured into new territory, but AM is not so much a change of direction as it is an affirmation of all the musical elements that made the band exhilarating to begin with – inspired lyrics, screeching riffs and great melodies. 

22. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

March 5, 2013
Critic Score
76
22 reviews

Crutchfield isn’t necessarily aiming to delineate any universal truths about love or loss, but what makes Cerulean Salt so enjoyable and so endlessly relistenable is that some of her snapshots likely resemble ones from your own lost photo albums.

21. TORRES - Torres

January 22, 2013
Critic Score
84
10 reviews

TORRES is an album that is pulsating with life.  All the emotion that went into its making bursts through in the final product, complete with the exhales and floor creaks that a different artist might have felt the need to omit. 

20. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

February 3, 2013
Critic Score
88
34 reviews

Just as Loveless refined and expanded on the elements of early My Bloody Valentine, mbv draws on the past without forgoing the fierce originality that has defined the band from the outset. 

19. Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

January 22, 2013
Critic Score
78
18 reviews

With We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic, Foxygen is a breath of fresh air, reviving a vintage style of songwriting in a new and creative fashion.

18. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

April 8, 2013
Critic Score
84
33 reviews

Judicious use of the skip button to find the tracks on which Andersson’s transfixing voice is front and center, results in a much more rewarding, immediate experience. The nihilistic messages and political warnings will still be there, and so will your sanity.

17. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze

April 9, 2013
Critic Score
82
32 reviews

With Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Vile has added another seemingly effortless 70 minutes’ worth of straightforward, easygoing golden tones to his consistent discography.

16. Danny Brown - OLD

October 8, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

What makes Old great is its refusal to be one coherent statement. The album is as messy and wild as Danny Brown’s life.

15. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

March 19, 2013
Critic Score
74
30 reviews

The 20/20 Experience is confused, sloppy, frustrating, too safe, a let-down. Timberlake’s lyrics are laughable. The album begs to be edited. While these observations hold true – at least part of the time – there remains another, incontrovertible, truth: 20/20 is a total blast.

14. Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle

May 27, 2013
Critic Score
85
32 reviews

Once I Was an Eagle is a singular achievement: a haunting record, peopled with aural ghosts that come gradually crawling from out of the grooves.

13. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

September 10, 2013
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

Janelle Monáe thankfully narrows her sonic scope on The Electric Lady, her equally epic and frequently wonderful second album.

12. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

May 21, 2013
Critic Score
83
37 reviews

It took exuberance, painstaking detail, and wide-eyed nostalgia for Daft Punk to create Random Access Memories, their best.

11. Volcano Choir - Repave

September 3, 2013
Critic Score
78
22 reviews

Where Unmap is concerned with abstract possibilities, Repave demonstrates Volcano Choir as a fully formed band driven by thrilling experimental vigor but with tighter, more traditionally structured songs.

10. Savages - Silence Yourself

May 6, 2013
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

Savages’ smart reorganization and shuffling of punk, post-punk, krautrock, and noise music into something brutal, jarringly confrontational, and completely singular is a breath of fresh air and an unignorable statement of power and resistance.

9. HAIM - Days Are Gone

September 30, 2013
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

It is an album that crosses genres without fuss or fanfare, transitioning seamlessly from pop-rock to wonky synth-funk, and back again.

8. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

September 24, 2013
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

CHVRCHES have constructed a debut record that will not lose its luster with each successive spin, and proven that they have the substance to remain aloft as their cosmic kin come crashing down to Earth.

7. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

April 30, 2013
Critic Score
82
15 reviews

Acid Rap is the summer action blockbuster of mixtapes, where the audience need not dig much deeper than the surface to enjoy the best of what the production has to offer.

6. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

October 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
41 reviews

Stretched across 85+ minutes, its riches can be overwhelming and, given Reflektor’s deceptive complexity, hidden in plain view.  But one thing is clear – the album is a product of sheer musical virtuosity, as each subsequent play makes ever apparent.

5. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

May 21, 2013
Critic Score
82
36 reviews

A collection of remarkable songs by a group of musicians that compliment one another as well as any group over the last decade.

4. Disclosure - Settle

June 3, 2013
Critic Score
77
29 reviews

Settle is the aural fruits of Disclosure’s mission to reinvigorate dance and pop by annexing and consolidating their favourite sounds from the sonic side-streets of house music’s sprawling musical past.

3. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

February 26, 2013
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

No track has a clear meaning, and Anxiety truly does take on the form of a Rorschach test, becoming whatever the listener views it as.

2. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

May 14, 2013
Critic Score
83
36 reviews

At this point, if you’re still hating on this band, you’re either trolling or just not listening. So listen. Don’t wait. 

1. Kanye West - Yeezus

June 18, 2013
Critic Score
85
38 reviews

Kanye West doesn’t give the listener a second to realize the album is more a masterly response to a masterpiece than a masterpiece itself. With one sweep of the hand, West brushes away expectations. And then he sticks you squarely across the face. 

Original Source: http://prettymuchamazing.com/feature/best-albums-2013/
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