Justin Swope

Reviews 87
Approval 98%

Album Ratings 1388
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Last Active 01-24-14 5:09 pm
Joined 10-02-12

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01.01.15 My Top 25 Albums Of 201411.09.14 My Top 20 Albums Of 2012
07.06.14 Summer Digs01.04.14 My Top 20 Albums Of 2013
12.16.13 The Flaming Lips Albums Ranked08.12.13 Albums I've Recently Returned To

My Top 20 Albums Of 2013

My 20 favorite albums of 2013. Plenty of great albums didn't make the cut, so don't be mad ;)
20Chance the Rapper
Acid Rap

A quirky, distinctive, and vibrant mixtape from an idiosyncratic MC with a style and persona entirely of his own. Favorite Track: Juice

A wonderfully noisy and chaotic rock/hardcore album from one of the most interesting noise rock bands in modern music. Favorite Track: The Hive
18 Iceage
You're Nothing

The Danish punk rock outfit improves upon an already robust sound from their first album with the same force that makes them so infectious. Favorite Track: In Haze
17Daft Punk
Random Access Memories

One of the most enjoyable and stimulating retrospective musical acts of the year abound with nostalgic pop gems performed through a modern lens. Favorite Track: Touch
16Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend delivers their best album so far, combining catchy indie pop tunes with contemplative, honest lyricism. Favorite Track: Hannah Hunt
15A Lot Like Birds
No Place

A nicely layered and potent take on post-hardcore with clever songwriting to complement its ambition. Favorite Track: No Nurture

A stellar ambient album that recalls Eno's prettiest work while conjuring up a series of compelling and engaging sonic pieces. Favorite Track: Sand
13Danny Brown

Danny proves himself yet again to be one of the most versatile rappers in the game, and though I prefer the more introspective first half, I always get a kick out of the volatility of his character. Favorite Track: Dope Fiend Rental
12Of Montreal
Lousy with Sylvianbriar

Kevin Barnes and the band strip down their sound to something focused and personal, allowing their songwriting ability to shine. Favorite Track: Obsidian Currents
11The National
Trouble Will Find Me

An album for lost souls seeking relief from the cold and mundane problems of everyday life. Favorite Track: Demons
10Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork

Josh Homme and company return with their best album since their Rated R/Songs for the Deaf peak. Favorite Track: My God Is the Sun
9The Dillinger Escape Plan
One of Us Is the Killer

A ferocious, aggressive, and rhythmically complex record that instills tension and paranoia while managing to be incredibly memorable. Favorite Track: Prancer
8Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels

Killer Mike and El-P prove themselves to be the perfect hip-hop duo with witty lyricism, slick production, and impressive flow. Favorite Track: Sea Legs
7 Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

The electronic virtuosos serve another vast soundscape with considerable detail and personality. Favorite Track: Nothing Is Real
6My Bloody Valentine
m b v

A long 22 years after the seminal Loveless, My Bloody Valentine return with plenty of momentum to make it worth the wait. Favorite Track: In Another Way
5The Haxan Cloak

The definition of darkness. Excavation is creepy to the point where every square inch of the music crawls under the listener's skin. Thus, the atmosphere it presents delves deep into the underground world. Yet despite the shadows it casts, there's a strange sense of hope at the end. It's some of the most unique electronic music you'll hear. Favorite Track: Miste
4Kurt Vile
Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Kurt delivers a solid and spacious rock album with a sweet tinge of haze and psychedelia. With longer song structures, he manages to make every second of the music incredibly interesting and enormously catchy. And it all seems so effortless. Favorite Track: Shame Chamber
3The Knife
Shaking the Habitual

Though it may not be the duo's magnum opus (see Silent Shout) this album is easily The Knife's most ambitious and iconoclastic album. It's a twisted ride that explores some of the most unsettling aspects of sound while never failing to stick in one's mind like a parasite. Favorite Track: Raging Lung

A gargantuan album that melds elements of black metal, post-rock, and shoegaze in a cathartic, intense musical experience about those who are constantly tantalized by their deepest desires. George Clarke's screams are far from sinister; in fact they are incredibly vulnerable. He just wants to dream. Though many black metal purists turn their noses to this album, it's hard to argue that moments like the last two minutes of the title track are some of the most uplifting sounds heard in modern metal. Favorite Track: Sunbather
1Typhoon (USA-OR)
White Lighter

Easily the most emotional piece of music I've heard all year. It feels like a lifetime captured in 45 minutes of beautiful indie folk from the pressures of growing up to finding one's place in the world. Additionally, the band contrasts reflective lyrics with grand-scale instrumentation that is colorful and riveting. Do yourself a favor and listen to this masterpiece. It amazes me that this has been so overlooked, but I guess this band truly is Portland's best kept secret. Favorite Track: Hunger and Thirst
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