The Line of Best Fit's 50 Albums of 2013

The Line of Best Fit's 50 Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. Swim Deep - Where the Heaven Are We

Swim Deep - Where the Heaven Are We
August 5, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
67
13 reviews
User Score
68
19 reviews

Where The Heaven Are We ably showcases their innate knack for massive hooks – it’s a rock-solid debut with something for everyone.

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49. Matthew E. White - Big Inner

Matthew E. White - Big Inner
August 21, 2012
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
83
11 reviews
User Score
79
35 reviews

48. Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe

Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe
August 20, 2013
Ambient
Critic Score
81
20 reviews
User Score
81
118 reviews

The cohesion of the overall experience is intrinsic to its arresting impact and over the course of these ten modest tracks Nepenthe makes the world seem a much more serene and beautiful place.

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47. Darkside - Psychic

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

Field recordings, earthly elements, human murmurs and heavy breathing mix seamlessly with synthesizers, drums and keyboards to produce a meditative enlightenment, with Jaar and Harrington creating an album based on opposites, successfully uniting the natural with the unnatural.

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46. Mariam the Believer - Blood Donation

Mariam the Believer - Blood Donation
November 4, 2013
Art Pop
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
80
10 reviews

45. AlunaGeorge - Body Music

AlunaGeorge - Body Music
July 29, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
72
26 reviews
User Score
75
102 reviews

It’s a record certainly fine enough to ensure the pairing will have no issues sprinting to the upper echelons of pop aristocracy.

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44. Danny Brown - OLD

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

The popular perception of Danny Brown as a particularly lewd-yet-talented harlequin, one who banters about absurd rap tropes indicative of a healthy respect for the hoary even as he transcends it, fails to take into account his most important asset, the one Old makes abundantly clear; his acute understanding of the environment such bromides are born from.

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43. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
June 11, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
82
37 reviews
User Score
79
210 reviews

Neither a huge leap forward nor a step back for the pair, it sounds decidedly humble for an album heralded with such fanfare; it’s as if they’re aware that when the dust settles, it’ll just be another BoC album – and another very good one at that.

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42. Seams - Quarters

Seams - Quarters
September 16, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
66
10 reviews
User Score
NR

41. James Blake - Overgrown

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

With a work of such stark emotional beauty, Blake has picked up the torch once again with Overgrown.  In the end, you judge a musical journey by your own emotional response, and mine was blown wide open.

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40. Flume - Flume

Flume - Flume
November 10, 2012
Wonky
Critic Score
73
9 reviews
User Score
77
60 reviews

39. Factory Floor - Factory Floor

Factory Floor - Factory Floor
September 9, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
81
26 reviews
User Score
75
56 reviews

Factory Floor’s music is distilled down into three elements. Rhythm. Synths. Vocals. That they make something so evocatively alienated, so compulsively unknowable and so bleakly irresistible from simply this is a sharp, uncompromising, emphatic victory.

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38. Bill Callahan - Dream River

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

37. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
February 5, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
19 reviews
User Score
76
73 reviews

36. 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

35. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
June 10, 2013
Post-Rock
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
User Score
78
104 reviews

While it isn’t pretty, cute, comfortable or enlightening music, Field of Reeds is important, resonant, serious and very very clever.

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34. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

My Bloody Valentine - m b v
February 3, 2013
Shoegaze
Critic Score
88
34 reviews
User Score
81
451 reviews

It triumphs not as a continuation of a musical conversation that Isn’t Anything and Loveless began, but by forging its own distinct modern dialogue, one that at once sounds rooted in its own imaginative time and place, perhaps even dimension, with any telling outside influences dissipating as soon as the songs truly take their pleasurable hold.

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33. Gold Panda - Half of Where You Live

Gold Panda - Half of Where You Live
June 11, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
75
21 reviews
User Score
74
28 reviews

Somehow, Half of Where You Live goes beyond beats, samples, loops and waveforms. On this particular journey, Gold Panda is part storyteller and part electronic folk hero.

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32. Outfit - Performance

Outfit - Performance
August 12, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
76
10 reviews
User Score
78
13 reviews

The most impressive achievement of this record is its ability to take the unexpected and make it sound entirely natural. The result is an album that’s intricate enough for the die-hards to get lost in, but immediate enough to bend some ears on Xfm’s clogged airwaves.

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31. 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

30. 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

29. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
April 30, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
82
15 reviews
User Score
83
418 reviews

28. James Holden - The Inheritors

James Holden - The Inheritors
June 17, 2013
Minimal
Critic Score
83
16 reviews
User Score
78
49 reviews

The deception, though, lies not in juxtaposition, but in slight-of-hand – the slow build of Holden’s production is at times so subtle that he can bend reality to his will.

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27. Foals - Holy Fire

Foals - Holy Fire
February 11, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
29 reviews
User Score
76
251 reviews

26. Atoms for Peace - AMOK

Atoms for Peace - AMOK
February 26, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
74
36 reviews
User Score
76
197 reviews

25. Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

Hookworms - Pearl Mystic
March 4, 2013
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
82
8 reviews
User Score
78
95 reviews

24. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

23. Forest Swords - Engravings

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

It’s a sonic exploration that, not unlike graphic design, takes physical elements and visualises them in another manner. And it sounds incredible.

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22. 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
403 reviews

Run the Jewels not only surmounts Charybdis, but does so head held high, able to be considered – and enjoyed – upon its own merits.

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21. Kanye West - Yeezus

Kanye West - Yeezus
June 18, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
38 reviews
User Score
81
1054 reviews

While it might not be his most enjoyable album, I think time will show it to be his most important.

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20. 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

19. MONEY - The Shadow of Heaven

MONEY - The Shadow of Heaven
August 26, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
84
14 reviews
User Score
77
39 reviews

The Shadow of Heaven is an incredible persuasive push for thoughtful guitar music, in an often vacuous mainstream.

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18. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

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

17. John Wizards - John Wizards

John Wizards - John Wizards
September 2, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
78
13 reviews
User Score
80
12 reviews

Its stylistic diversity can be off-putting at first. But the more you listen, the more it all comes together. And it’s worth listening enough to get to that point, because the band has created one of the more unique and refreshing debuts in recent memory.

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16. Samaris - Samaris

Samaris - Samaris
July 29, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
76
5 reviews
User Score
77
12 reviews

Samaris’s songs are just so cleverly composed and gracefully balanced, that it’s sometimes hard to pick them apart.

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15. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

As bonkers as it is brave, this sprawling vessel represents as big a sonic reinvigoration as could be expected at the level occupied by the biggest bands in the world – and only possible for a group still too hungry to conform, and tightly wound to settle down.

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14. 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
429 reviews

Many of the tracks available here could be chart-bothering Top Ten flirters, and Chvrches gutsy, crucial sonic smoothie never ceases to be utterly charming.

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13. Lorde - Pure Heroine

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

O’Connor’s coup d’état on Pure Heroine is ultimately the subversion of sentiment and expectations she achieves as Lorde: an often incongruous mix of the small-town study-hard goth-geek and a vampishm, leftfield pop star in the making.

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12. Drake - Nothing Was the Same

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

Nothing Was the Same is a tougher, more grown up album than he’s made before and, if it never quite reaches the emotional depth of Take Care’s ‘Marvin’s Room’ or ‘Take Care’, it surpasses the previous album in consistency and unity of vision.

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11. Braids - Flourish // Perish

Braids - Flourish // Perish
August 20, 2013
Art Pop
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
75
37 reviews

Braids have summoned a record that’s capable of drowning you. It’s incredibly immersive, and at times it can be emotionally overwhelming. 

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10. 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
571 reviews

While Berninger and co. may not have the party lit up like “a birthday candle in a circle of black girls” as they once did, there will always be people who’d rather throw off the corny dancing and talk intelligently for an hour or two.

Full Review →

9. David Bowie - The Next Day

David Bowie - The Next Day
March 12, 2013
Art Rock
Critic Score
81
35 reviews
User Score
78
256 reviews

8. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

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

At times, it will have you lurching for the nearest patch of danceable floor; at others, your head will be thrust back, eyes closed in bliss

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7. London Grammar - If You Wait

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

Although it is Reid’s voice that is always dominating proceedings, it is in fact the shy guitars and subtle production that make London Grammar interesting; strip them away and they have nothing but a big voice.

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6. Nils Frahm - Spaces

Nils Frahm - Spaces
November 18, 2013
Ambient
Critic Score
84
13 reviews
User Score
84
97 reviews

5. Daughter - If You Leave

Daughter - If You Leave
March 18, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
76
17 reviews
User Score
78
153 reviews

This isn’t a difficult album at all: If You Leave is staggeringly beautiful from beginning to close, a catharsis that’s both bracing and woozily amniotic.

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4. 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
194 reviews

Experimental yet built on superb songwriting, fresh and surprising but still somehow recognisably a Bad Seeds record, the amount of innovation and inspiration found on Push The Sky Away proves that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds must still care an awful lot about this rock ‘n’ roll stuff.

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3. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

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

All in all, it is one of the most exceptionally realised albums to enter the world since her last release, and confirms that both as an artist and a role-model Monáe really ought to be celebrated as Electric Lady number one.

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2. 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 the explorations of sound and bold yet gentle orchestrations that makes Loud City Song a perfect example of Holter honing in on her talents by evoking mystery but retaining enough openness to keep her sound in constant flux.

Full Review →

1. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

It’s an admirable pool of ideas, thrilling noises, rare, unpredictable melodies and a huge amount of imagination but to be brutally frank, it doesn’t encourage repeat listens.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://thelineofbestfit.com/features/lists/best-fit-fifty-albums-of-2013-143059

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


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Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.