Pitchfork Readers' Top 50 Albums of 2013

Pitchfork Readers' Top 50 Albums of 2013

Original Source

50. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
July 23, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
80
36 reviews
User Score
80
175 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.

Full Review →

49. Sigur Rós - Kveikur

Sigur Rós - Kveikur
June 17, 2013
Post-Rock
Critic Score
81
29 reviews
User Score
81
232 reviews

A collection that works as effectively as a spiritual experience and pop music, the essence of their overwhelming, widescreen grandeur conveyed with the immediacy of a 50-minute rock record.

Full Review →

48. Mikal Cronin - MCII

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

One of the most impressive things about MCII is how Cronin balances "power" and "pop".

Full Review →

47. King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
August 24, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
76
25 reviews
User Score
80
148 reviews

46. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
March 5, 2013
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
User Score
79
126 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.

Full Review →

45. Iceage - You're Nothing

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

Iceage write brilliant songs; on You're Nothing, they've found a way to clarify these compositional skills without stripping away their power.

Full Review →

44. Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
March 5, 2013
Dream Pop
Critic Score
75
23 reviews
User Score
79
247 reviews

This record broadens Powers' musical and lyrical scope into something universal in a literal and figurative sense, evoking the cosmos, heaven, and hell.

Full Review →

43. 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.

Full Review →

42. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
March 19, 2013
Pop
Critic Score
74
30 reviews
User Score
78
324 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.

Full Review →

41. 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. 

Full Review →

40. 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
140 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.

Full Review →

39. Atoms for Peace - AMOK

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

For all the rhythmic chicanery at play, AMOK feels strangely static and contained, giving a perpetual sense of jogging in place.

Full Review →

38. Bill Callahan - Dream River

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

Full Review →

37. Local Natives - Hummingbird

Local Natives - Hummingbird
January 29, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
20 reviews
User Score
79
232 reviews

This is a record of lateral growth, one that finds the band establishing their own place among their contemporaries.

Full Review →

36. Rhye - Woman

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

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

Full Review →

35. Volcano Choir - Repave

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

The sextet have created a grandiose record with arena-rock ambitions and ostentatious beauty that is mostly inscrutable on a lyrical level. 

Full Review →

34. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady
September 10, 2013
Soul
Critic Score
82
31 reviews
User Score
81
245 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.

Full Review →

33. 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.

Full Review →

32. Death Grips - Government Plates

Death Grips - Government Plates
November 13, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
78
14 reviews
User Score
77
229 reviews

Unlike the blunt, confrontational NO LOVE DEEP WEB, Government Plates lets you think for yourself and even if it doesn’t have an agenda, that doesn’t mean it’s nihilistic.  It’s music that doesn’t care about how you feel, just how you react to it.

Full Review →

31. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

Phosphorescent - Muchacho
March 19, 2013
Folk
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
80
189 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.

Full Review →

30. Lorde - Pure Heroine

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

More fully realized than her debut EP The Love Club, Pure Heroine is a fluid collection of throbbing, moody, menacingly anesthetized pop that sometimes sounds like St. Vincent’s "Champagne Year" mixed into whatever’s in the punch at Abel Tesfaye’s house.

Full Review →

29. 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

Where the Bad Seeds' mellow records usually find Cave in pensive, piano-man mode, Push the Sky Away presents an uncharacteristically weightless, eerily atmospheric sound

Full Review →

28. 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

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. 

Full Review →

27. 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. 

Full Review →

26. 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.

Full Review →

25. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

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

Full Review →

24. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
August 20, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
79
27 reviews
User Score
79
290 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.

Full Review →

23. 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

Having a great record collection and having some idea what to do with it are two different things, and on We Are The Ambassadors Foxygen have internalized enough of the music they love to start toying with it.

Full Review →

22. Deerhunter - Monomania

Deerhunter - Monomania
May 7, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
32 reviews
User Score
79
323 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.

Full Review →

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
405 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.

Full Review →

20. Drake - Nothing Was the Same

Drake - Nothing Was the Same
September 24, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
27 reviews
User Score
76
364 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.

Full Review →

19. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
April 8, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
User Score
79
381 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

Full Review →

18. David Bowie - The Next Day

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

On The Next Day, he hasn't only come to terms with his past-- he's making his old material work for his new material. 

Full Review →

17. 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
370 reviews

...Like Clockwork simply foregrounds an aspect that’s been lingering in the Queens’ music since the beginning: beneath all that volcanic riffage, Homme has always been a sucker for a pretty pop song.

Full Review →

16. Danny Brown - OLD

Danny Brown - OLD
October 8, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
81
309 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 →

15. HAIM - Days Are Gone

HAIM - Days Are Gone
September 30, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
30 reviews
User Score
78
406 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.

Full Review →

14. James Blake - Overgrown

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

Full Review →

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.

Full Review →

12. Darkside - Psychic

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

Full Review →

11. Deafheaven - Sunbather

Deafheaven - Sunbather
June 11, 2013
Black Metal
Critic Score
90
18 reviews
User Score
84
428 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 →

10. 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
430 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.

Full Review →

9. Arctic Monkeys - AM

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

As they've gone from spastic punk, to doomed stoner rock, to sparkling guitar pop, to this new album's skinny-jeaned funk, Arctic Monkeys have stayed close to the spirit of their debut's title while minimizing its excess at the same time.

Full Review →

8. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
April 30, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
82
15 reviews
User Score
83
419 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. 

Full Review →

7. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

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

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

Full Review →

6. Disclosure - Settle

Disclosure - Settle
June 3, 2013
Electronic
Critic Score
77
29 reviews
User Score
79
450 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 →

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
573 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.

Full Review →

4. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
May 21, 2013
Nu-Disco
Critic Score
83
37 reviews
User Score
80
725 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.

Full Review →

3. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
October 29, 2013
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
41 reviews
User Score
82
798 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.

Full Review →

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
870 reviews

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

Full Review →

1. Kanye West - Yeezus

Kanye West - Yeezus
June 18, 2013
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
38 reviews
User Score
81
1064 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 →
Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9295-2013-readers-poll-results/

MORE 2013 YEAR END LISTS:


Check out our 2013 Year End Summary.