#BestOf 2013 Top 50 Albums Of The Year


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If we look at the events shaping the last twelve months in music it’s easy to claim that 2013 has been the year of the comeback. If over the last years a growing number of retired artists have been finding the way back into business, partly due to the healthy demands of the live circuit and partly because a new generation of bands has yet to be solid enough to replace them in the minds of the fans. This year some of the most recalcitrant retirees have been tempted to return.

It all began with My Bloody Valentine overnight announcement of the two-decades in the making follow-up to ‘Loveless’ was ready for download; the excitement generated by ‘MBV’ and the fact that it didn’t fail to transport you twenty years back in time hasn’t been rivalled during the rest of the year. Coming close and soon afterwards Bowie put an end to a decade long hiatus; Daft Punk conquered the springtime with their first studio album in nearly the same amount of time, where they rescued the sounds of the golden era of US FM radio –the 70’s- and repacked them for the EDM generation; Boards Of Canada also left their mysterious retirement and delivered another excellent album and so on… Through the months Prefab Sprout; Suede; Mazzy Star; Yo La Tengo; Polvo; Throwing Muses and many other former alternative stars, mostly from the 90s, have shaken off the cobwebs with notable results. Even the Pixies ventured to controversially release their first EP of new material; the fact that they did after Kim Deal left the band was received with rejection and terrible reviews.

Against this omnipresence of veiled nostalgia, very few newer artists could compete. And even those who dared aiming at greatness didn’t quite manage to match the scope of their ambitions. Kanye went all minimal electronica and offered a fascinating and disturbing gaze into his chaotic mind in ‘Yeezus’, a boundary pushing effort in parts brilliant, in parts nearly unlistenable; The Knife revealed themselves against Today all-conquering vulgarity with the year’s bravest art statement, or perhaps the biggest piss-take; Arcade Fire flirted with electro pop joining forces with James Murphy and John Grant aided by Gus Gus and Sinead O’Connor released his best collection to date.

Follow-ups by younger acts such as Janelle Monáe; James Blake or Julia Holter managed to keep up with previous achievements, rather than reaching any new heights. Most alarmingly, very few new acts appear among the year’s best records. Savages; Chvrches: Danny Brown; Parquet Courts and Factory Floor are noble exceptions; all of which led to the unquestionable conclusion that Today’s pop is sorely lacking of fresh ideas.

Despite the the industry’s safe playing, the following works were the ones standing up from the crowd and helping to shape this challenging period in popular music.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE 1-MY BLOODY VALENTINE
m b v
(Self-Released)


JOHN GRANT 2-JOHN GRANT
Pale Green Ghosts
(Bella Union)


julia holter 3-JULIA HOLTER
Loud City Song
(Domino)


kanye west 4-KANYE WEST
Yeezus
(Def Jam)


ARCADE FIRE 5-ARCADE FIRE
Reflektor
(Merge)


prefab sprout 6-PREFAB SPROUT
Crimson/Red
(Icebreaker)


janelle monae 7-JANELLE MONÁE
The Electric Lady
(Bad Boy)


phosphorescent 8-PHOSPHORESCENT
Muchacho
(Dead Oceans)


danny brown 9-DANNY BROWN
Old
(Fools Gold)


james blake 10-JAMES BLAKE
Overgrown
(Polydor)


pusha t 11-PUSHA T
My Name Is My Name
(Def Jam)


savages 12-SAVAGES
Silence Yourself
(Matador)


fuck buttons 13-FUCK BUTTONS
Slow Focus
(ATP)


yo la tengo 14-YO LA TENGO
Fade
(Matador)


parquet courts 15-PARQUET COURTS
Light Up Gold
(What's Your Rupture)


chvrches 16-CHVRCHES
The Bones Of What You Believe
(Chvrches)


vampire weekend 17-VAMPIRE WEEKEND
Modern Vampires Of The City
(XL)


thundercat 18-THUNDERCAT
Apocalypse
(Brainfeeder)


neko case 19-NEKO CASE
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
(Anti)

deafheaven 20-DEAFHEAVEN
Sunbather
(Deathwish)


daft punk 21-DAFT PUNK
Random Access Memories
(Sony Music)


NICK CAVE 22-NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
Push The Sky Away
(Bad Seed)


david bowie 23-DAVID BOWIE
The Next Day
(ISO)


DEERHUNTER 24-DEERHUNTER
Monomania
(4AD)


FACTORY FLOOR 25-FACTORY FLOOR
Factory Floor
(DFA)


BOARDS OF CANADA 26-BOARDS OF CANADA
Tomorrow's Harvest
(Warp)


DISCLOSURE 27-DISCLOSURE
Settle
(Universal)


ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER 28-ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER
Personal Record
(Merge)


AsAP ROCKY 29-A$AP ROCKY
LONG.LIVE.A$AP
(Def Jam)


JULIANNA BARWICK 30-JULIANNA BARWICK
Nepenthe
(Dead Oceans)


excavation 31-THE HAXAN CLOAK
Excavation
(Tri Angle)


earl sweatshirt 32-EARL SWEATSHIRT
Doris
(Odd Future)


THE NATIONAL 33-THE NATIONAL
Trouble Will Find Me
(4AD)


HAIM 34-HAIM
Days Are Gone
(Haim Productions)


BILL CALLAHAN 35-BILL CALLAHAN
Dream River
(Drag City)


oneohtrix point never 36-ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER
R Plus Seven
(Warp)


PATTY GRIFFIN 37-PATTY GRIFFIN
American Kid
(Patty Griffin)


mikal cronin 38-MIKAL CRONIN
MCII
(Merge)


the knife 39-THE KNIFE
Shaking The Habitual
(Brille)


these new puritans 40-THESE NEW PURITANS
Field Of Reeds
(Infectious)


TIM HECKER 41-TIM HECKER
Virgins
(Kranky)


kurt vile 42-KURT VILE
Wakin On A Pretty Daze
(Matador)


LOW 43-LOW
The Invisible Way
(Sub Pop)


RUN THE JEWELS 44-RUN THE JEWELS
Run The Jewels
(Fools Gold)


forest swords 45-FOREST SWORDS
Engravings
(Tri Angle)


dirty beaches 46-DIRTY BEACHES
Drifters/Love Is The Devil
(Zoo Music)


LAURA MARLING 47-LAURA MARLING
Once I Was An Eagle
(Virgin)


thee oh sees 48-THEE OH SEES
Floating Coffin
(Castle Face)


queens of the stone age 49-QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
...Like Clockwork
(Matador)


unknown magic orchestra 50-UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
II
(Jagjaguwar)


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