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 Lists
12.09.14 My 64 Favorite Albums Of 2014 12.07.14 My Top EPs/Live Albums/Comps Of 2014
12.06.14 2014 Honorable Mentions10.04.14 Underappreciated Albums
12.07.13 My 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013 02.02.13 Concerts In 2012 (part 2)
12.09.12 My Favorites From 201209.29.12 Concerts In 2012 (part One)
12.14.11 Concerts In 201112.05.11 My Favorites From 2011
10.26.11 15 Albums I (Mistakenly) Overlooked The10.21.11 In Defense Of My Fives
08.20.11 Best Of Outside Lands06.22.11 13 Non-stop Albums
06.01.11 The 24 Most Influential Albums On My Li 02.26.11 My Top 15 Of 2010
12.11.10 Bands I've Seen Live In 201011.23.10 My Top 10 Eps
More »

My 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013

My 50 favorite albums from 2013. Not neccessarily the 'best' albums, just the ones I enjoyed rlistening to the most. Recs would be nice, especially in the genres that don't dominate this list.
50Tim Hecker
Virgins


I usually don't listen to drone music, but I saw Tim Hecker open for Sigur Ros and though had an intriguing enough performance to check out his album. There are a ton of really cool textures on it that thoroughly held my attention.
49Deap Vally
Sistrionix


The whole 'girl black keys' thing is a little gimmicky, but this album rocks hard. The self-imposed lack of instrumentation holds it back. I'm curious if they will be able to effectively follow this up or just fade away.
48Portugal. The Man
Evil Friends


Really spotty album that has a few stretches of great songs but ultimately just drags on for too long
47Foxygen
We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors...


Foxygen's psychedelic/retro pop album is full of strong songs but something's lacking in the overall flow.
46Major Lazer
Free the Universe


While not as mind-blowing or genre defining as Guns Don't Kill People... , this album contains a very strong selection of dance songs that are slightly off the beaten path.
45MGMT
MGMT


I wasn't a huge fan of this album the first time I heard it but under the right circumstances (coming down) it is absolutely perfect. Tons of hooks that are so hidden under layers of chords and noise that you have to devote you full attention to the music to hear them all.
44Volcano Choir
Repave


No its not Bon Iver, though it sounds awfully close at times. That kinda makes it tough to appreciate this album as a standalone work, but the exploration into sound is fantastic- especially in the second half of the album.
43Sigur Ros
Kveikur


Sigur Ros has been pretty consistently good for a while now, but this album takes it up to the next level. The first song is probably the best Sigur Ros song since Svefn-G-Englar.
42 Starlito and Don Trip
Step Brothers Two


A much stronger effort overall than the first tape, despite not having any true killer singles (Chase that Money, Pray for Me) or Step Brothers samples (Boats and Hoes). These guys have the by far the best 'punchline' rap verses of any recent album (my bullets are like jury duty/ in other words anyone can get it). They touch on a few deeper subjects than the last album which is always a plus.
41The Strokes
Comedown Machine


The trick to enjoying this one is to disassociate it from Is This It and Room on Fire. The Strokes have clearly been stuck in a creative rut lately and this album shows a lot of creativity that was lacking in the last 2 Strokes albums.
40Wavves
Afraid of Heights


So what will Wavves do without lo-fi to mask stoner lyrics and fast guitar riffs? If this album is any indication, he should be fine. This album isn't as good musically as King of the Beach, but shows a lot of growth lyrically (even if a lot of the lyrics are still about pot). He can also write a guitar hook that isn't layered under twenty pounds of distortion.
39Tyler the Creator
Wolf


While a little spotty toward the end, and certainly not his best work overall, Wolf displays Tyler starting to mature as a lyricist and producer. OFWGKTA certainly proved this year that they are not a one trick pony and deserve the attention they got early on.
38Local Natives
Hummingbird


Much more atmospheric and less pop than their debut, which works for the most of the album. They seem to run out of ideas for the last few songs.
37Savages
Silence Yourself


Really unique album that you really just to check out and judge for yourself.
36Youth Lagoon
Wondrous Bughouse


Incredibly atmospheric album that begs to be cranked on the most expensive over-ear headphones you own.
35 Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest


Amazingly well produced electronic music that seems to explore everywhere and everything. Epic might not be the right word, but there certainly is something majestic in these songs.
34 Iceage
You're Nothing


One of the most creative punk releases of the year. This album captures a rare energy.
33Yo La Tengo
Fade


Yo La Tengo stay in chill mode for most of this one and I can't think of a band where that would work quite as well as this album does
32Phoenix
Bankrupt!


Really solid pop rock album that follows up Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix despite not being quite as good. The release of a 71 'idea' bonus track gives me a little doubt as to Phoenix's staying power, but for now they have a place in the indie pop universe.
31Arctic Monkeys
AM


The album of two sides. Side one is good but a little too repetitive. Side two is where the magic happens.
30Disclosure
Settle


Great electronic album that has few skippable songs, but suffers by being difficult to listen to in a single sitting.
29Starfucker
Miracle Mile


Miracle Mile doesn't have the energy found on the first two albums but the songwriting, vocals, and layering has greatly improved
28Icona Pop
This Is...Icona Pop


Probably the best straight up pop album of the year. While nothing tops the lead single in terms of marketability, other songs are catchier and have bigger hooks. This album is relentless dance pop.
27ASAP Rocky
LongLiveA$AP


ASAP begins his major label tenure on a high note. Even songs such as PMW that could be deemed as silly even by rap standards sound good enough for you to ignore the lyrics. 1 Train is sure to be deemed a classic in at most 5 years due to its ridiculous line up.
26Best Coast
Fade Away


I think Best Coast might have found her perfect mix between her lo-fi early releases and the way overdone The Only Place. Some of her best songs are here and (for the most part) her lyrics are starting to be about more than missing boys and her cat.
25Eleanor Friedberger
Personal Record


Really unique compositions and guitar lines make this album a strong listen.
24Drake
Nothing Was the Same


A bit too much filler keeps this from being amazing, but it is still Drake's best album and has great production and an interesting mix of vocals.
23The Flaming Lips
The Terror


You really have to be in the right mood for this one, but if you are its fantastic. Amazing layering and really interesting lyrics. Almost like they took the best parts of the 24 hour song and compressed it into a normal length album.
22Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels


El-P and Killer Mike take it to the next level on this one. Its the perfect third piece of their two solo albums released last year.
21Touche Amore
Is Survived By


Really thoughtful and in depth lyrics combined with great production value (for a post- hardcore album) make this one of the releases in this genre for the year.
20Sky Ferreira
Night Time, My Time


Pretty different as far as pop albums go. Really great production and singing and unique enough lyrics to make this a very fun listen.
19Defeater
Letters Home


Incredibly heavy and much more melodic than their earlier work. The music goes perfectly with the dark lyrics that fit really well with the story of the first two albums.
18Deerhunter
Monomania


Monomania gets off to a slow start, but quickly turns into one of Deerhunter's best albums with stretches of songs flowing endlessly into each other.
17Streetlight Manifesto
The Hands That Thieve


Sure its the weakest Streetlight album, but its still great. Between the full band version and acoustic Toh Kay version each song is able to find its place in the Streetlight discography.
16James Blake
Overgrown


James Blake gives listeners a ride that few can. He may have lost the 'what is dubstep' battle, but when it comes to mixing bass music with pop sensibilities few can do it better.
15My Bloody Valentine
m b v


20 year wait? Probably a bit too much, but this album is incredibly cohesive sonically and while not as good as Isn't Anything or Loveless, it certainly has its place in My Bloody Valentine's near perfect discography.
14The Men
New Moon


New Moon contains the perfect amount of punk, guitar pop, and noise for an energized and fun listen the whole way through.
13Daft Punk
Random Access Memories


No, it wasn't worth all the hype but Random Access Memories is a great album and probably Daft Punk's best. Plus who doesn't like Get Lucky.
12Chance the Rapper
Acid Rap


Probably the most unique rap album of the year. I'm really curious how Chance develops on his next album.
11FIDLAR
FIDLAR


Super fun skate punk album. Sure, most of the songs are about drugs and/or skating/surfing, but that's kinda the point.
10Danny Brown
Old


Between Side A's innovative hip hop and Side B's turnt up party sound, Danny Brown covers a lot of ground musically. But that's just the beginning. The lyrics on this album cover just about as much ground as the sound.
9Deafheaven
Sunbather


If metal was this good and innovative when I was in high school I probably would never have stop listening to metal music. Reminds me strangely of Explosions in the Sky.
8Chvrches
The Bones of What You Believe


After releasing a string of incredibly catchy singles, Chvrches prove that they are worth the hype with this album. Synthpop with much more emphasis on the pop
7The National
Trouble Will Find Me


The National continue what might be the hottest streak in music with yet another amazing album.
6Earl Sweatshirt
Doris


By now almost everyone knows the story of Earl. He casually dismisses the themes of his first album early on while continuing to rap in his unique and immediately recognizable style. The beats and improved as well and the guest spots fit perfectly into the flow of the album instead of making you forgot whose album you were listening to.
5Mikal Cronin
MCII


A perfect blend of garage rock and guitar oriented pop. Great use of guitar and piano melodies that perfectly complement the compositions and vocals.
4Haim
Days Are Gone


They get compared to Fleetwood Mac, but I don't see it. There is no other band with a sound like this. On the surface they are a simple pop band, but the harmonies and chord progressions show much more.
3Arcade Fire
Reflektor


After a disappointing release, Arcade Fire return with the second best album they've written. James Murphy is all over this album, but it is still clearly an Arcade Fire album. Its a long album, but it never drags and is a very rewarding listen.
2Kanye West
Yeezus


Successfully following up one of the most acclaimed and ambitious hip hop albums with one this abrasive is a feat that only Kanye could do. In the endless shift between ego driven Kanye and artistic genius Kanye, this one finds a perfect middle ground.
1Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City


Vampire Weekend continue their growth both musically and lyrically and release by far their best albums and one of the best indie rock/pop albums in a few years. The lyrics, focused on death and the endless passage of time, are written with a wit and story telling capability that few bands can pull off. The music and production from Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid are the best from either artist. Touches such as a ticking clock heard on a few songs (most prominantly on Don't Lie) are perfect nuances to a near perfect album
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