Best Albums

The 20 Best Albums of 2013

It’s hard to accuse 2013 of being boring. Kanye released the most adventurous album of his career, Miley Cyrus found an exciting new use for foam fingers, a previously unknown sixteen-year-old girl from New Zealand had one of the biggest songs of the year (read that sentence again), Jay-Z invented #newrules that made Samsung relevant for a couple minutes, streaming services like Spotify changed the way we listen to music, Chance The Rapper took a giant step in his inevitable journey to replace Kanye as the King of Chicago/The Universe when ‘Ye eventually quits rap for a career in medieval architecture and water bottle design, and just last week Beyoncé reminded everyone why she’s the queen by releasing a secret “visual album” without any nerdy bloggers like us finding out first. (Whew).

It wasn’t just about the story-lines, though. Not to get overly dramatic or anything, but this might’ve been the best year for pop music since my parents were getting stoned in their friend’s San Francisco basement listening to new Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones records. Seriously. This was the year we’ve been waiting for — the year your favorite blogger’s favorite artists actually broke out and saw mainstream exposure. Can you imagine rookies like Chance and Lorde seeing the success they saw in 2013 even just a few years ago? Independent artists like Macklemore have been waiting their entire careers for the industry to break open like it finally has. When you turned on your local pop radio station this year, you started to hear what was actually popular, not what fancy record label executives thought would sell. Those executives are outdated. People who keep up-to-date with music blogs and tell all their friends about talented new artists are who matter now. You get to decide what’s popular. Finally.

On that note, we’ve put together a list of our 20 favorite albums of 2013. The list is a compilation of each of our writers’ individual rankings (using some crazy sophisticated mad-scientist metric that Lydia came up with), which should give a pretty balanced perspective of the year’s best releases. Cheers!

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12 Must-Listen Albums of 2011

Happy 4th of July, everybody! Today’s a day to celebrate America. Freedom! Prosperity! Happiness! Woo! I’m all about that, but I’m also going to spend some time thinking about some great things that have happened this year that I haven’t yet celebrated. Because I’m a total music geek, this means I’ll be paying more attention to critically acclaimed album releases that I haven’t yet listened to closely enough. I’m already planning out my Best Albums of 2011 list, and there are some incredible albums on there, but here are some that I need to buy and listen carefully to. Let me know what you’ve been loving this year! There’s a high chance I’ve already fallen in love with it, but in case I haven’t, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

The Antlers, Burst Apart
May 10, 2011 (Frenchkiss)
MP3: “I Don’t Want Love” – The Antlers
Buy: Burst Apart (Deluxe Version) - The Antlers


TV on the RadioNine Types of Light
April 12, 2011 (Interscope)
MP3: “Will Do” – TV on the Radio
Buy:Nine Types of Light - TV On the Radio


The Mountain GoatsAll Eternal’s Deck
March 29, 2011 (Merge)
MP3: “Never Quite Free” – The Mountain Goats
Buy: All Eternals Deck - The Mountain Goats


Starfucker, Reptilians
March 8, 2011 (Polyvinyl)
MP3: “Death As A Fetish” – Starfucker
Buy: Reptilians (Deluxe Edition) - Starfucker


Junior BoysIt’s All True
June 15, 2011 (Domino)
MP3: “Banana Ripple” – Junior Boys
Buy: It's All True - Junior Boys


Iron & WineKiss Each Other Clean
January 25, 2011 (Warner Bros)
MP3: “Walking Far From Home” – Iron & Wine
Buy: Kiss Each Other Clean (Deluxe Version) - Iron & Wine


Toro Y Moi, Underneath the Pine
February 11, 2011 (Carpark)
MP3: “Still Sound” – Toro Y Moi
Buy: Underneath the Pine - Toro y Moi


February 15, 2011 (Fat Possum)
MP3: “Shook Down” – Yuck
Buy: Yuck (Bonus Track Version) - Yuck


The Rural Alberta AdvantageDeparting
March 1, 2011 (Saddle Creek)
MP3: “Stamp” – The Rural Alberta Advantage
Buy: Departing - The Rural Alberta Advantage


June 24, 2011 (Young Turks)
MP3: “Hold On” – SBTRKT


Action BronsonDr. Lecter
March 14, 2011 (Fine Fabric Delegates)
MP3: “Barry Horowitz” – Action Bronson
Buy: Dr. Lecter - Action Bronson


Shabazz Palaces, Black Up
June 28, 2011 (Sub Pop)
MP3: “Swerve…the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir notwithstanding)” – Shabazz Palaces
Buy: Black Up (Bonus Track Version) - Shabazz Palaces

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