Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2013

Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. 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

Pusha’s released a fair amount of music since joining Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music army three years ago, but My Name Is My Name is really the first release that delivers on the excitement initially engendered by the pairing.

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49. 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 one of those records so full of un-jaded wonder and attuned to the secret music of ordinary things that the world looks a little bit different while it's playing. 

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48. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana

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

They’ve got reverence for their forebears, sure, but unlike a lot of recent bands exhuming the ghosts of indie rock past, Speedy Ortiz also have faith in the peculiar personality traits that set them apart from their heroes.

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47. The Range - Nonfiction

The Range - Nonfiction
October 14, 2013
IDM
Critic Score
79
2 reviews
User Score
79
36 reviews

46. M.I.A. - Matangi

M.I.A. - Matangi
November 5, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
75
33 reviews
User Score
78
221 reviews

Matangi is not without charms, but unlike her most potent releases it sounds less interested in pushing and prodding the culture forward and more content to soar safely above it. 

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45. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

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

Power and Hung have made either the year's most introverted party album or the most expansive loner's album; either way, there are few albums this year that offer this much space to get lost in.

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44. 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

Like Beyoncé, Timberlake is looking to put himself above the fray of those pushing boom-boom beats to quick, repetitive, and oftentimes-numbing hits.

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43. 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

While the National never lacked confidence or craft, Trouble is an easily accessible and self-assured work, largely because it focuses on the visceral power of Berninger’s vocals and Bryan Devendorf’s inventive drumming.

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42. Rhye - Woman

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

Even without a face to attach it to, Rhye's music itself feels deeply intimate.

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41. 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

40. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
August 18, 2012
Garage Rock
Critic Score
83
22 reviews
User Score
82
131 reviews

Light Up Gold finds Parquet Courts looking to breakout through any available means: intense reflection, resin hits, or rock'n'roll.

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39. A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP

A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP
January 15, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
72
27 reviews
User Score
77
268 reviews

The album is a triumph of craft and curation, preserving Rocky's immaculate taste while smartly upgrading his sound.

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38. 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

What we’re left with is Boards of Canada’s moodiest record, a full-length tinted with atmosphere that unfolds slowly and is happy to allow you to come to it. 

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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

It all adds up to a remarkably visceral, sensual, confident electronic record that stays absorbing from beginning to end, and should finally catapult Hopkins to stardom in his own story.

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36. 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

The Scottish trio's debut LP, The Bones of What You Believe, is a seamless fusion of emotive theatrics, hook-loaded songwriting, and some of the more forward-thinking sonics in electronic music right now.

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35. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

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

On Muchacho, Houck gathers together everything he's attempted-- beery, rollicking country-rock, haunted tribal hymnals, regret-soaked bar room heartbreak-- and fashions it into something close to a defining statement.

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34. Forest Swords - Engravings

Forest Swords - Engravings
August 26, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
81
159 reviews

Unrestricted by words or verse-chorus structures, Barnes’ songs reflect the way life can feel like an endless loop, growing and building without ever losing its cyclical nature.

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33. Burial - Truant / Rough Sleeper

Burial - Truant / Rough Sleeper
December 17, 2012
Dubstep
Critic Score
83
9 reviews
User Score
81
62 reviews

Truant/Rough Sleeper doesn't have the intensity of last year's Kindred EP, and it leans closer to the classic Burial sound, but its subtlety is its own reward.

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32. DJ Koze - Amygdala

DJ Koze - Amygdala
March 25, 2013
Deep House
Critic Score
81
10 reviews
User Score
81
95 reviews

While it’s not likely to set the world on fire, dig beneath the pastel sheen and Amygdala is uncommonly engrossing for a techno album.

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31. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

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

His glass-shattering falsetto runs and chesty bleats transform Anxiety from a great pop record into something powerfully therapeutic, more about casting off inhibitions than actually hitting those high notes.

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30. Deerhunter - Monomania

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

While Monomania as a whole is an unpredictable fulfillment of an unforeseen whim, it’s Deerhunter’s least revelatory and surprising album on a song-by-song basis.

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29. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation

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

Excavation gains power from gathering a little dust for a while, becoming a dark treat to occasionally sink into. It's not a place in which to seek refuge from life's ills, but rather one in which you can satisfy a perverse need to draw them in closer.

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28. 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

It's just a distilled take on everything that made last year's albums such an event, with all the chrome ripped off and upholstery pulled out so it'll run faster, louder, nastier.

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27. 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

Somehow, The Worse Things Get is Case’s tightest record and also her strangest. With its off-kilter arrangements and eccentric turns of phrase, it’s a world unto itself.

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26. James Blake - Overgrown

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

Overgrown is not as wall-to-wall great as his debut, but fans of the first LP will still find much to admire. The most promising development is his indulged fondness for various permutations of R&B and gospel styles

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25. 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

As Drake albums go, this is the Drakiest: Except for Jay Z, who shows up at the end of the album, Nothing Was the Same is an entirely solo affair, and all of Drake's tendencies are dialed up.

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24. 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 doesn’t have quite the disembodied weirdness of Replica, but it’s no less accomplished, another intriguing chapter from an artist whose work remains alive with possibility. 

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23. DJ Rashad - Double Cup

DJ Rashad - Double Cup
October 22, 2013
Footwork
Critic Score
78
15 reviews
User Score
80
60 reviews

22. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

It’s that blazingly honest, hyper-personal quality that places Cerulean Salt in the tradition of Elliott Smith, early Cat Power, or Liz Phair's free-flowing Girlysound tapes-- the work of a songwriter skilled enough to make introspection seem not self-centered, but generous.

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21. Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe

Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe
November 18, 2013
R&B
Critic Score
76
25 reviews
User Score
79
200 reviews

With Cupid Deluxe, he channels those vagabond emotions into something universal and inviting—an album that tenderly details various heartaches through the language of longing. 

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20. Jai Paul - Jai Paul

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

19. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

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

Doris is full on its author’s prodigious abilities as a formidable young voice in L.A.’s resurgent hip-hop scene, but it’s not as concerned with the wider significance of the moment as it is with disbelief it’s actually happening.

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18. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

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

Taken as a whole, The Electric Lady is a convincing argument for the virtues of micromanagement, but some of the most powerful, tender moments come from acknowledging  limits.

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17. HAIM - Days Are Gone

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

When you hear about the influences and consider just how slick the record can be, you might imagine Haim coming over as faceless. But the band's most unusual quality on Days Are Gone is their ability to absorb inputs and continue to sound distinct.

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16. Bill Callahan - Dream River

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

At its core, this is a record about accepting and even embracing the smallness of human life, and how difficult that can be, given our damnably innate sense of adventure, ambition, and restlessness.

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15. 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

It’s both a relief and a bit of a shock that Night Time, My Time is not only here, but that it’s one of the most pleasing pieces of pop-rock to come along this year.

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14. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

Shaking the Habitual is, inarguably, an achievement. It is the Knife's most political, ambitious, accomplished album, but in a strange way it also feels like its most personal

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13. 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

Wakin on a Pretty Daze breezes past like a Klonopin dream, and radiates an easy confidence that is as rewarding to return to as a melody.

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12. 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

Chance’s Acid Rap is a triumph of meditative moments, open-ended quests, and brass flares. The hooks are more jabs than uppercuts. None will probably bang in a club, but most will make sense live, as chanted back by a thousand fans. 

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11. Darkside - Psychic

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

Though Psychic is the kind of immense and immersive experience typically described as “monolithic”, Jaar and Harrington ensure it’s more like the bubble gracing its cover—translucent and dense, electrified and organic, holding a form while constantly being prodded into new shapes.

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10. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

They've given us something in the present tense that, these days, feels depressingly unfashionable: An Event—an album that dares to be great, and remarkably succeeds.

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9. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

It's one of rock’s most commanding and ferociously poised debuts in recent years, the work of a band whose outsized confidence and sharp clarity of vision doesn’t correlate with the short amount of time it’s been together.

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8. Majical Cloudz - Impersonator

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

Impersonator is a gorgeous record-- extraordinarily sung, hypnotically focused-- but it is Welsh's sense of emotional urgency that makes it special.

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7. 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

.. something that channels the past but sounds like little else right now, an album about rediscovery that's situated in the constantly-shifting present.

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6. Deafheaven - Sunbather

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

It has the ability to capture the attention of people who don't normally listen to heavy music. It's also one of the most successful examples of a band using black metal as a starting point and ending up somewhere else entirely. 

Full Review →

5. Danny Brown - OLD

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

In his berserk originality, writerly flair, emotional impact, and old-fashioned craft, Danny Brown belongs in any conversation about the best rappers working, and he's at the top of his game here. 

Full Review →

4. 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

Where Loveless felt effortless, mbv strains, pushing at its boundaries with a sense of pensive gloom. 

Full Review →

3. Disclosure - Settle

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

The Surrey duo have not only made 2013's best dance record so far-- they've also concocted one of the most assured, confident debuts from any genre in recent memory. 

Full Review →

2. Kanye West - Yeezus

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

On Yeezus, he trades out smooth soul and anthemic choruses for jarring electro, acid house, and industrial grind while delivering some of his most lewd and heart-crushing tales yet.

Full Review →

1. 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

After years of engaging with anything and everything in reach, Vampire Weekend are now a primary source in their own right.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9293-the-top-50-albums-of-2013/

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