|Justin's 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 ;)
The Raven That Refused to Sing
Wilson's third solo project reads like a nice love letter to '70s progressive rock.
Favorite Track: The Holy Drinker
|19||Chance the Rapper|
A quirky, distinctive, and vibrant mixtape from an idiosyncratic MC with a style and persona entirely of his own.
Favorite Track: Juice
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
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
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
|15||A Lot Like Birds|
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
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
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
Trouble Will Find Me
An album for lost souls seeking relief from the cold and mundane problems of
Favorite Track: Demons
|10||Queens of the Stone Age|
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
|9||The 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
|8||Run 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|
The electronic virtuosos serve another vast soundscape with considerable detail
Favorite Track: Nothing Is Real
|6||My 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
|5||The 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
Favorite Track: Miste
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
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
Favorite Track: Sunbather
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