No Ripcord's Top 50 Albums of 2013

No Ripcord's Top 50 Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. Iceage - You're Nothing

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

But brooding in a deeper level of sonic misery and great hooks doesn’t necessarily make You’re Nothing the excellent punk album it manages to be, as it’s the growth the band displays throughout the album that really makes it worthwhile.

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49. Oh Sees - Floating Coffin

Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
April 16, 2013
Garage Rock
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
User Score
78
93 reviews

Enthusiastic and strange, a perfect good-time balance of the artfully absurd and the sonically robust. 

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48. The Field - Cupid's Head

The Field - Cupid's Head
September 30, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
79
53 reviews

47. Popstrangers - Antipodes

Popstrangers - Antipodes
February 26, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
6 reviews
User Score
75
11 reviews

Antipodes is that rare record that looks at the demise of grunge/post-hardcore as a popular medium while glorifying its dying days, an unfortunate fate brought upon them before big labels turned their attention towards pop rock earnestness.

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46. Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe

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

45. Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob

Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
January 29, 2013
Electropop
Critic Score
77
22 reviews
User Score
72
121 reviews

This was an interesting direction to go in and it definitely has a lot of potential. But the duo will need to do a better job balancing the synths and the songs to succeed.

Full Review →

44. Mikal Cronin - MCII

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

Cronin certainly does share some commonalities with his longtime collaborator Ty Segall, particularly a fondness for guitar solos, nasally vocals, and bombastic percussion. However, MCII sounds much more concise and meticulously assembled than any of Segall's efforts.

Full Review →

43. Forest Swords - Engravings

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

It’s like a walk in the woods on an autumn day – it might be vast, yet it’s also pleasingly intimate, and while there’s a definite chill in the air, it’s still a nourishing experience

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42. 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
105 reviews

41. Foals - Holy Fire

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

Through their first two releases, Foals were able to showcase their evolving sound, but with Holy Fire, their evolution stops dead in its tracks. 

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40. 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

With the exception of the single Mirrors, which seems best suited for a supermarket checkout line, The 20/20 Experience is an absolutely delicious guilty pleasure.

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39. TORRES - Torres

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

Exponentially mature lyrics for this young woman. Her words are cultured and grounded.

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38. 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

37. Atoms for Peace - AMOK

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

While questions may frequently come up over how much of a band project Amok really is, the music for the most part, makes up any misgivings people may have. 

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36. 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

35. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

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

There probably aren’t enough moments that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but after the initial struggle to get into, it’s a rewarding record to return to.

Full Review →

34. 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

It at least represents the culmination of all of The Flaming Lips’ oddball experiments and elongated, anti-sonorous jams into a single, abrasively beautiful cacophony. 

Full Review →

33. Yo La Tengo - Fade

Yo La Tengo - Fade
January 15, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
31 reviews
User Score
77
139 reviews

Fade is a sign of perseverance for the group, as the album perfectly details just what is so essential and appealing about the group, and why there will always be a place for these guys in the world of indie rock.

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32. Tim Hecker - Virgins

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

31. Disclosure - Settle

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

Disclosure have found an erratic blend of deep house and pop that, while not entirely original, has moments of greatness. 

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30. Deafheaven - Sunbather

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

Sunbather is an absolutely massive, all-encompassing experience, one that’s both frighteningly intense and indescribably beautiful – often simultaneously.

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29. 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

On this, her latest and most emotionally charged album, she's managed to create a painful outpouring of honesty, one that strikes that coveted balance of both melodic and lyrical expression; her message is equally powerful from each direction.

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28. Danny Brown - OLD

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

27. Deerhunter - Monomania

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

Monomania is arguably their most imposing, and by far their most courageous, proving that Deerhunter have a frontman who’s willing to open up his soul to fit the demands of the stage. 

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26. Jenny Hval - Innocence Is Kinky

Jenny Hval - Innocence Is Kinky
May 14, 2013
Experimental
Critic Score
84
11 reviews
User Score
80
104 reviews

This mind-expanding record will inspire a more inexpressible connection: you will carve your own niche within its deep and absorbing textures, and you will find new things upon every listen.

Full Review →

25. Charli XCX - True Romance

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

On True Romance, Charli XCX manages that rarest of things – a straight-up pop record that’s inventive and rewards repeated listening.

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24. 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

We know better than to call Push The Sky Away Nick Cave’s best album, but if you want a portrait of the artist, as an artist, the album qualifies as “essential” even by the strictest definition.

Full Review →

23. 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

Tomorrow’s Harvest’s greatest strength is how it brings the classic Boards of Canada sound into the modern age and makes it feel totally fresh and alive again – a rare feat for almost any electronic artist.

Full Review →

22. 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

Grant’s work here aims at something much more rare than perfect – to be entirely necessary, serving to not only function as an essential outpouring for the artist, but as a well-intentioned fount of advice to the listener

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21. 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

20. 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 Bones of What You Believe is a huge, disappointing bummer.

Full Review →

19. 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

Lopatin ultimately leaves us with a marvelous instance of artistic clarity. A moment where concept and execution synchronize perfectly and allow us the unique opportunity to experience sound as a purely emotive device.

Full Review →

18. Rhye - Woman

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

What’s particularly striking about its ten romantic sketches is how ‘mature’ they are. And mature in the traditional sense of the term, rather than as a euphemism for the cheap and tawdry.

Full Review →

17. Lorde - Pure Heroine

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

16. 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 one of the year’s best albums, and a genuinely great work of unashamed pop music that finds a way to be adventurous.

Full Review →

15. 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

It’s difficult to complain when it sounds so good, and it’s easy to say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but eventually you have to play the game on “Hard,” even if that means falling short once or twice before you come through.

Full Review →

14. 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

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 strikes with a gust of pent up emotions, a trailblazing record that openly affirms a personal accountability for self without slipping into heavy-handedness.

Full Review →

12. Savages - Silence Yourself

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

It could be the closest post-punk has come to full-bodied artistry since Interpol took their own post-punk influences and gave us Turn On The Bright Lights all those years ago.

Full Review →

11. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

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

Of course, no-one genuinely expects something so monstrously obtuse to make much of a difference at all, but at least The Knife are still daring to believe that it could, and there is every chance that Shaking The Habitual could be at the cutting edge of a resurgent wave of socially-conscious electro-pop

Full Review →

10. Arctic Monkeys - AM

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

Ultimately, AM is the latest jewel in a crown that will continue to increase in value for a long time to come. It is flawless, and a true ascendance from boys to men.

Full Review →

9. James Blake - Overgrown

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

The bottom line is, Overgrown is an unforgettable album by a limitlessly talented songwriter who, at 24 years old, may just be beginning to approach his prime.

Full Review →

8. 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

All the personalities put themselves in the background to let the songs shine and the moods are laid out in such a manner with the music that the flow is nearly perfect. ...Like Clockwork is easily the best release from the band since Songs for the Deaf.

Full Review →

7. 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

There are two primary things that make Once I Was An Eagle take flight: Lyrics and progression, which together make the album intelligent, confident, and, perhaps most importantly, recursive. 

Full Review →

6. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

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

Reflektor hits too many high points to entirely consider it a failure, and despite its convoluted lyrical content and overreaching scope it still crosses the double album finish line with satisfactory results. 

Full Review →

5. 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

What Daft Punk have done on Random Access Memories could be seen as a methodically curated, musical museum of the future, rather than a conservatory for experimental collaboration.

Full Review →

4. 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

Modern Vampires of the City is nothing short of a pop music achievement, a standout album in a year full of standout albums. 

Full Review →

3. Kanye West - Yeezus

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

It’s a dense, difficult listen, nigh impossible to compare to the rest of Kanye West’s work, and its rewards come slowly.

Full Review →

2. 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 has not simply lived up to our expectations here; she has shattered them, delivering a confident, creative, and enormously entertaining record that marginally betters her sublime debut.

Full Review →

1. 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

mbv follows its predecessor without aggrandizing its past resources, and as such, delivers a wallop of sweet, sweet distortion in a way that comes naturally to them.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.noripcord.com/features/top-50-albums-2013-part-two

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM NO RIPCORD:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.