|StaffReviews 594Soundoffs 101News Articles 90Band Edits + Tags 243Album Edits 1,411Album Ratings 2600Objectivity 73%Last Active 01-28-22 11:10 amJoined 07-07-08Forum Posts 4,643Review Comments 40,054
I deleted all 125 of my lists and am now archiving my favorite albums from each year of the previous decade. Just my way of trimming my profile and making it a bit leaner/meaner. List is straightforward; these are my 20 favorite releases from 2013.
For my money this is the catchiest thing they've ever done. Obviously in terms of artistry it's no Illuminate, but this is my second favorite Lydia record and probably marks the last time I truly enjoyed the band.
This album was a bit too rhythmically homogeneous for me, with the beats all sort of blending together. With that said, it has some absolute diamonds, like "Royals" and "400 Lux". This was a gateway to her much better record to come, Melodrama.
The Bones of What You Believe
I could virtually say the same thing about this as I did for Pure Heroine. Some massive hits ("The Mother We Share" in particular), but very inconsistent. Those hits keep me coming back, but Chvrches' sophomore outing was far more consistent and arguably better.
|17||The World Is a Beautiful Place...|
Whenever, If Ever
 to the above. I prefer Harmlessness to the band's debut, but this got my foot in the door and also opened my eyes to more modern emo/post-rock music.
My introduction to Foals, who I have a love/hate relationship with. I will never quite understand the hype for Total Life Forever, which to me is overrated. I prefer Holy Fire's heavier edge, although they'd do even better than this in 2019 in terms of achieving a rock sound.
Alter Bridge's heaviest album. It doesn't have the hooks that Blackbird did (which is the album that got me into them in the first place), but it's their most technically impressive. I rarely feel the need to revisit this, but every time I do, I wonder why I don't make it more of a priority.
The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2
Clearly inferior to the first installment, The 20/20 Experience Part 2 is still better than it gets credit for. "True Blood", "TKO", and "Murder" are absolute bangers, and he achieves gorgeous atmospheres on "Amnesia" and "Not a Bad Thing". When I'm in the moot for JT, this still has plenty of tunes to bring back into rotation.
|13||There Will Be Fireworks|
The Dark, Dark Bright
This would be some people's #1 for 2013, and I understand why. This is gorgeous and sweepingly poignant. I just think it lulls a bit towards the middle/end. There's no feeling like when "River" bursts onto the scene, though. A great album that is just shy of being something even more.
Modern Vampires of the City
Some publications overrate the hell out of this to the tune of ranking it near the top of the decade. This has a very nice flow and is a little bit creative in parts, but I just enjoy it because it's catchy indie-rock/pop.
Laugh at this inclusion all you want, but this was an excellent mainstream pop record. Atmospheric and fun at the same time, it was a great blend of tunes you could sing along to and ones you could get lost in. The radio ruined a lot of otherwise superb songs here, but even beyond the singles there are gems waiting to be found. Possibly my most listened to album of 2013.
Another emo/post-rock discovery, this is probably the first album from this 2013 list that I'd consider truly essential. Foxing is a band everyone should at least know about and give a chance. This record is raw and beautifully intense, and they'd go on to explore different styles of music with their ensuing releases over the course of the decade, with their pinnacle-to-date arriving with 2018's Nearer My God.
Another astounding effort in what is an almost flawless discography. The penultimate Frightened Rabbit album, it combines everything I love about the band from depressing personal accounts to anthemic choruses. Of the 5 LPs this band released, this is only my 4th favorite and it still ranks this high - a testament both to the band's talent as well as what I perceived to be a relatively weak year.
Tape Deck Heart
After the unbelievably good England Keep My Bones, which is a classic, I was all over Tape Deck Heart. It's nearly as good. Frank broadens his scope here, and while there aren't quite as many individual peaks, "Recovery" definitely got me through some rough months. This is his second best album in my book.
The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)
The only real criticism that could be levied against this is that it's derivative of 70s prog, but most Steven Wilson stuff is. Otherwise, this is a damn-near flawless progressive rock album that is thematically creative and musically expansive without being overly complex. Wilson's talents feel wildly untamed on tracks like "Luminol" - a bass-driven track replete with guitar solos, pan flutes, synth flourishes, and lush piano reprieves. This is just sheer prog wizardry.
Other than Funeral, this is the best thing Arcade Fire has ever done. The 80s influences are perfectly executed, and the songs are catchier than ever. The title track sounds like peak Bowie. "Joan of Arc" is the easiest thing to get lodged in your mind for days. "Awful Sound" feels like Arcade Fire's "Hey Jude". This is a magnum opus; it's only flaw that it is perhaps too over-the-top for its own good.
The 20/20 Experience
Albums that revolutionize pop music are rare, but this is one of them. The expansive song structures, the integrated intros/outros, and the complexity of the instruments/electronics/production all make this a masterpiece. "Mirrors" is one of the defining pop songs of the entire decade, and it's probably the most straightforward radio-ready tune here besides "Suit & Tie". The remainder of the album is just something to behold as a listener. It transcends mere accessibility to become art.
I was late to the Laura Stevenson hype, but once I listened to this album in 2017, I realized what I was missing. This is Stevenson's best album by far - it's more instrumentally impressive than Sit, Resist and The Big Freeze and catchier than Cocksure. The indisputable pinnacle for one of the best indie-rock songwriters to come out of the 2010s.
Again, I was late to come around to this. I didn't even start getting into non country-pop country (aka real country/folk) until 2016-17, and I'm pretty certain Atari screamed into my shoutbox for years before I finally caved and gave this a proper listen. Now, it's among my favorite country albums that I've ever heard. There's nothing boundary-pushing or complicated, it's just a batch of consistently excellent songs that make me feel wonderful and terrifying things about life and death. His lyrics are pure poetry and his voice the ideal vessel of delivery. Simply put, this is a damn beautiful record.
Trouble Will Find Me
Ranking just behind High Violet and Sleep Well Beast in my personal ranking, this is another National album that is a classic or very close to becoming one. It's more melodically accessible than the forlorn, buzzing depths of its predecessor High Violet; the choruses swell to greater heights and Berninger's vocals climb to a slightly higher register in moments like "I Should Live in Salt". "Demons" is one of their best singles ever, point-blank. "Pink Rabbits" is on par with "Mr. November" as the best song they've ever written, and it practically reduces me to tears even to this day. It's not as consistent as HV or SWB, but man, some moments here just blow everything else out of the water. I'll always come back to this as a staple of the year 2013.
|1||Queens of the Stone Age|
This isn't the sort of album I'd normally slap a 5 on and call an AOTY - it's not some artsy indie-folk album with lots of synths and strings. Nope, this is good old rock n' roll - which in spite of rumors that the genre is long dead - thrives here. I truly believe this is one of the greatest "rock" albums of all-time. Every song is excellent, with no exceptions, and then some of them are just jaw-dropping - like "I Appear Missing". I listened to this all summer during 2013, and it defined a very busy year (and my only year as a sputnik emeritus) in which I didn't get to listen to much music. That doesn't seem to matter though, because even after 7 additional years, I still haven't found anything from 2013 that tops this.
|I spent all of 2013 and half of 2014 as an Emeritus of sputnikmusic.com, so of all my years here, this is probably where I missed out the most. I've tried to do some catching up on 2013, but I'm sure I'm still missing some key albums. Regardless, here's a combination of what stuck from that year as well as what I've discovered in later years.|
|do you feel meaner yet|
|what do you mean?|
|ah so there was no point|
|Oh just got it. Sorry, it's morning here and I'm only on my third coffee out of many. Things are leaner and certainly meaner, absolutely ;-)|
|the 20/20 experience is so fucking good. who'd have thought timberlake had such an ambitious project in him|
|Not me. I remember when he was still in 'n sync lmao. Then the first album of his solo career didn't hint at anything other than him being another commercial pop artist. Futuresex/Lovesounds was the first time he blew me away, but even then, I assumed that was the peak of his artistic ability and he proved me wrong.|
|yeah, i honestly think his discog is surprisingly solid (bar his last album, which we won't talk about). but 20/20 is legit artistic class|
edit: i can't deny n' sync's singles either lol, catchy as hell
|Man of the Woods was an embarrassment|
|20/20 pt. 1 is one of those records that blew everyone away and helped significantly shape pop music in the last few years, but it's definitely still slept on. Like, people forgot about it.|
it's been 7 years, of course it's not in public consciousness still
|fuck yes. stoked to see Isbell so high here. glad to see all the harassing shouts finally paid off ;)|
|1 is my decade 1.|
|@Relinquished - very true. I guess I mean for all the adoration it received on release, it doesn't seem to have much staying power for folks. |
|tbf not many people commit a WHOLE pop album to memory since the 90s|
I have aunts who still youtube Suit & Tie, so there was some impact
|Atari you're solely responsible for my love for Jason Isbell. I'm terrible at following up on recs but your persistence told me that it must be actually good for you to keep reminding me. First listen was a 4 but it's grown over the last several months and continues to get better. It's not out of the question that it joins Sailor's Guide to the Earth as my only country 5.|
gotta give a shout to Boney as well.. I'm pretty sure he's the only reason I know about Jason Isbell in the first place, haha. I was really digging Drive-By Truckers older stuff and he convinced me to check his solo material which just blew me away. glad I could pass it on to someone who really appreciates it (even if it did take you a couple years to come around)!
|I love everything that I've heard on here...I think I need to go through the rest of these|
|Top 4 is so perfect. Throw in 13 and that'd almost be my exact top 5 (I'd put My Epic's Behold in the top 3 and slide Like Clockwork to 6), in a slightly different order.|
This list makes me realize 2013 is probably my least favourite year overall. 20 - 17 are all merely ok to me. 12 and 11 I don't really care for. 10 is solid but if that landed in my top ten that would be a massive disappointment.
|Thanks Lucman! 2013 was my least favorite year for music but mostly because I was neck deep in wedding planning while also teaching at a behavioral school for violent offenders in the city. I maybe listened to one album per month that year. I've caught up a bit as you can see, but looking back is a totally different feeling. You just don't develop those connections/memories.|
|On the contrary, 2013 was a top year for me but that's a very personal thing |
In addition to liking a lot of these I also rate 2013 releases from London Grammar, Captain, We're Sinking, Nick Cave, Wonder Years and Sky Ferreira highly
I think Wheel and Dark Dark Bright are my most recent 5's too