The 2013 Album of the Year

Paramore, Paramore Back in 2006 I volunteered to review that year’s Warped Tour compilation for PopMatters. Compilations like that were always fun, with loads of variety it was easy to put together 700+ words. Of all 51 tracks on the two disc comp was a song featuring a then-17 year-old mopped with red hair called “Emergency”, […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #2

Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe Glasgow trio Chvrches was the one band that got in my head, burrowed in and didn’t leave, for the entirety of 2013. I first learned about them when the BBC announced their Sound of 2013 nominees late last year, and starting with “The Mother We Share” right before […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #3

In Solitude, Sister As strong as In Solitude’s critically acclaimed 2011 album The World. The Flesh. The Devil was, one thing people had to remember was this Swedish band is still a work in progress. Their devotion to classic heavy metal aesthetic was endearing on their first two records, but there was still plenty of […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #4

The Knife, Shaking the Habitual Every year it seems there’s one album so dark, weird, and impenetrable that it sticks with me throughout the entire year, where I might not even yet have a grasp on the music yet, but the way it reveals more of itself with every listen compels me to place it […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #5

Carcass, Surgical Steel I listened to somewhere between 500 and 600 metal albums in 2013, and for someone who hungers for diversity in a music collection, listening to nothing but extreme metal can get very monotonous, especially when the genre hasn’t experienced a decided sea change in the last 15 years or so. You start […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #6

Shining, One One One For an extreme band so wildly creative that the possibilities for invention seem limitless, sometimes the most extreme thing they can do is to set limits for themselves. I have never seen nor heard a more mind-blowingly creative metal band in the last decade as Norwegian band Shining, who blend metal, […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #7

Goldfrapp, Tales of Us Following the career of the duo of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a music fan. Here’s a project that has so consistently surprised listeners time and again with a sound so amorphous, but for all the variety the vision […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #8

SubRosa, More Constant Than the Gods When I first heard Salt Lake City band SubRosa a couple years ago when they put out their second album No Help For the Mighty Ones, I loved its original approach to doom metal. After all, how many bands put not one, but two violinists front and centre where […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #9

Sky Ferreira, Night Time, My Time The smartest thing Sky Ferreira ever did, or Sky Ferreira’s people rather, was to get cozy with the Pitchfork crowd. After embracing pop music midway through the 2000s the tastemaker has developed a knack for championing top-notch pop that flies under the mainstream radar, and because of the website’s […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #10

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Mind Control When I first heard Uncle Acid’s Blood Lust in 2011, I wasn’t quite sold on it. The tone felt too DIY for the style of music, the vocals too weird, almost contrived in their pitchy Lennon worship. It wasn’t until nearly a year later, when the long-delayed official […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #11

Oranssi Pazuzu, Velonielu Not long after I started listening to Can nearly a decade ago, I started wondering why, for all the hybridization in metal music, nobody had combined heavy, extreme sounds with the krautrock sounds of the 1970s. After all, there are aspects of metal that make fitting bedfellows for krautrock, namely black metal, […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #12

Savages, Silence Yourself Opening with a sample of dialogue from John Cassavetes’ Opening Night, featuring bitter actress Myrtle Gordon, the shattering debut album by British foursome Savages makes an immediate and indelible impression. It’s easy to be tempted to brush this band off as yet another bunch of kids trying to do the same post-punk […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #13

My Bloody Valentine, m b v Personally I was perfectly happy with the idea that there would not be another My Bloody Valentine album after Loveless. Why even bother following up one of the few truly perfect albums of the last quarter century? Kevin Shields managed to create an otherworldly masterpiece that to this day […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #14

Potty Mouth, Hell Bent Liz Phair. Helium. Fuzzy. Juliana Hatfield. That Dog. Velocity Girl. Bratmobile. Heavens to Betsy. The Spinanes. SF Seals. I absolutely loved American indie rock circa 1991 to 1995, especially the music that featured women singers, but especially ones who sang in a detached, flat sort of way. That style seemed to […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #15

Chelsea Wolfe, Pain is Beauty As much as I have admired Chelsea Wolfe’s music over the past three years, it wasn’t until I had a chance to see her live that I started to get a grasp on just what this singer-songwriter is capable off. Granted, it was a fleeting glimpse, as I had to […]

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