Pretty Much Amazing's 40 Best Albums of 2013

Pretty Much Amazing's 40 Best Albums of 2013

Original Source

40. James Blake - Overgrown

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

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39. Darkside - Psychic

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

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38. 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

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

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37. Baths - Obsidian

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

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36. Rhye - Woman

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

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35. 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

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

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34. Deafheaven - Sunbather

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

33. Charli XCX - True Romance

Charli XCX - True Romance
April 15, 2013
Synthpop
Critic Score
72
19 reviews
User Score
74
200 reviews

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

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32. Jai Paul - Jai Paul

Jai Paul - Jai Paul
April 1, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
NR
User Score
83
76 reviews

31. Iceage - You're Nothing

Iceage - You're Nothing
February 19, 2013
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
30 reviews
User Score
78
156 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.

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30. Deerhunter - Monomania

Deerhunter - Monomania
May 7, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
32 reviews
User Score
79
325 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.

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29. Tim Hecker - Virgins

Tim Hecker - Virgins
October 14, 2013
Drone
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
82
161 reviews

28. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

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

27. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

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

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26. 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

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. 

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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

24. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

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

23. Arctic Monkeys - AM

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

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22. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

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21. TORRES - Torres

TORRES - Torres
January 22, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
84
10 reviews
User Score
79
136 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. 

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20. 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

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. 

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

Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
January 22, 2013
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
78
18 reviews
User Score
80
338 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.

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18. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

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17. 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

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

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16. Danny Brown - OLD

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

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15. 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

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.

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14. 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 singular achievement: a haunting record, peopled with aural ghosts that come gradually crawling from out of the grooves.

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13. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

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

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

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12. 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

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

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11. Volcano Choir - Repave

Volcano Choir - Repave
September 3, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
78
22 reviews
User Score
79
138 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.

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10. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

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9. HAIM - Days Are Gone

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

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

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8. 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

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.

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7. 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 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.

Full Review →

6. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

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5. 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

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

Full Review →

4. Disclosure - Settle

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

Full Review →

3. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

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

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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

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

Full Review →

1. Kanye West - Yeezus

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

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

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