AOTY 2017
Pitchfork Readers' Top 50 Albums of 2013

Pitchfork Readers' Top 50 Albums of 2013

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50. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
July 23, 2013
Critic Score
80
36 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.

49. Sigur Rós - Kveikur

Sigur Rós - Kveikur
June 17, 2013
Critic Score
81
29 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.

48. Mikal Cronin - MCII

Mikal Cronin - MCII
May 7, 2013
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

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

46. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
March 5, 2013
Critic Score
76
22 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.

45. Iceage - You're Nothing

Iceage - You're Nothing
February 19, 2013
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

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

44. Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
March 5, 2013
Critic Score
75
23 reviews

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

43. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety
February 26, 2013
Critic Score
79
20 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.

42. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
March 19, 2013
Critic Score
74
30 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.

41. Julia Holter - Loud City Song

Julia Holter - Loud City Song
August 19, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 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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40. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name

Pusha T - My Name Is My Name
October 8, 2013
Critic Score
78
21 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.

39. Atoms for Peace - AMOK

Atoms for Peace - AMOK
February 26, 2013
Critic Score
74
36 reviews

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

38. Bill Callahan - Dream River

Bill Callahan - Dream River
September 17, 2013
Critic Score
79
23 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.

37. Local Natives - Hummingbird

Local Natives - Hummingbird
January 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
20 reviews

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

36. Rhye - Woman

Rhye - Woman
March 5, 2013
Critic Score
77
21 reviews

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

35. Volcano Choir - Repave

Volcano Choir - Repave
September 3, 2013
Critic Score
78
22 reviews

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

34. Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady
September 10, 2013
Critic Score
82
31 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.

33. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
August 18, 2012
Critic Score
83
22 reviews

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

32. Death Grips - Government Plates

Death Grips - Government Plates
November 13, 2013
Critic Score
78
14 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.

31. Phosphorescent - Muchacho

Phosphorescent - Muchacho
March 19, 2013
Critic Score
79
18 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.

30. Lorde - Pure Heroine

Lorde - Pure Heroine
September 30, 2013
Critic Score
77
29 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.

29. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
February 18, 2013
Critic Score
83
33 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

28. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
June 11, 2013
Critic Score
82
37 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. 

27. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
October 1, 2013
Critic Score
80
25 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. 

26. Savages - Silence Yourself

Savages - Silence Yourself
May 6, 2013
Critic Score
82
31 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.

25. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Jon Hopkins - Immunity
June 3, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 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.

24. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
August 20, 2013
Critic Score
79
27 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.

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

Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
January 22, 2013
Critic Score
78
18 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.

22. Deerhunter - Monomania

Deerhunter - Monomania
May 7, 2013
Critic Score
79
32 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.

21. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels
June 26, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 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.

20. Drake - Nothing Was the Same

Drake - Nothing Was the Same
September 24, 2013
Critic Score
76
27 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.

19. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
April 8, 2013
Critic Score
84
33 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

18. David Bowie - The Next Day

David Bowie - The Next Day
March 12, 2013
Critic Score
81
35 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. 

17. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
June 4, 2013
Critic Score
82
32 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.

16. Danny Brown - OLD

Danny Brown - OLD
October 8, 2013
Critic Score
84
24 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. 

15. HAIM - Days Are Gone

HAIM - Days Are Gone
September 30, 2013
Critic Score
77
30 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.

14. James Blake - Overgrown

James Blake - Overgrown
April 8, 2013
Critic Score
83
33 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

13. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
April 9, 2013
Critic Score
82
32 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.

12. Darkside - Psychic

Darkside - Psychic
October 8, 2013
Critic Score
79
22 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.

11. Deafheaven - Sunbather

Deafheaven - Sunbather
June 11, 2013
Critic Score
90
18 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. 

10. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe
September 24, 2013
Critic Score
80
33 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.

9. Arctic Monkeys - AM

Arctic Monkeys - AM
September 9, 2013
Critic Score
80
33 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.

8. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
April 30, 2013
Critic Score
82
15 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. 

7. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

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

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

6. Disclosure - Settle

Disclosure - Settle
June 3, 2013
Critic Score
77
29 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. 

5. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
May 21, 2013
Critic Score
82
36 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.

4. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
May 21, 2013
Critic Score
83
37 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.

3. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
October 29, 2013
Critic Score
78
41 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.

2. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
May 14, 2013
Critic Score
83
36 reviews

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

1. Kanye West - Yeezus

Kanye West - Yeezus
June 18, 2013
Critic Score
85
39 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.

Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9295-2013-readers-poll-results/
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