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Good and Great Albums of 2013
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2014-01-12
music, best of

Welcome to my Good and Great Albums of 2013 list! Please peruse the list and drop me a line on Twitter if you found anything that piqued your interest. And please share your lists as well if you’ve got them. I love finding and hearing new music.

Note: I like to do these lists in alphabetical order by artist. All of these albums are great, and it’s hard to pick favorites.

Good Albums

Amber London - Tru 2 tha Phonk

[![Album art for Tru 2 tha Phonk by Amber London](./Amber London - Tru 2 tha Phonk.jpg)](./full/Amber London - Tru 2 tha Phonk.jpg)

Grimy, dirty, Southern phonk.


Bonobo - The North Borders

[![Album art for The North Borders by Bonobo](./Bonobo - The North Borders.jpg)](./full/Bonobo - The North Borders.jpg)

Strange and atmospheric rhythms.


Ceephax Acid Crew - World Dissolver EP

[![Album art for World Dissolver EP by Ceephax Acid Crew](./Ceephax Acid Crew - World Dissolver EP.jpg)](./full/Ceephax Acid Crew - World Dissolver EP.jpg)

Random acid. Mad acidic bro. (Also, watch the amazing music video for Probey's Poker)


Childish Gambino - Because the Internet

[![Album art for Because the Internet by Childish Gambino](./Childish Gambino - Because the Internet.jpg)](./full/Childish Gambino - Because the Internet.jpg)

Most of the songs are good, but a few of them are great. Can't wait to see what Gambino does next.


Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

[![Album art for Random Access Memories by Daft Punk](./Daft Punk - Random Access Memories.jpg)](./full/Daft Punk - Random Access Memories.jpg)

You know you love it.


Death Grips - Government Plates

[![Album art for Government Plates by Death Grips](./Death Grips - Government Plates.jpg)](./full/Death Grips - Government Plates.jpg)

Makes Yeezus look like adult contemporary R&B. Yeezy wishes he was this good.


DMX Krew - Broken SD140 Part II

[![Album art for Broken SD140 Part II by DMX Krew](./DMX Krew - Broken SD140 Part II.jpg)](./full/DMX Krew - Broken SD140 Part II.jpg)

Melodic acid.


DMX Krew - Cities in Flight

[![Album art for Cities in Flight by DMX Krew](./DMX Krew - Cities in Flight.jpg)](./full/DMX Krew - Cities in Flight.jpg)

Computer acid.


DMX Krew - Reith Trax

[![Album art for Reith Trax by DMX Krew](./DMX Krew - Reith Trax.jpg)](./full/DMX Krew - Reith Trax.jpg)

Atmospheric acid (acidspheric?)


Emptyset - Recur

[![Album art for Recur by Emptyset](./Emptyset - Recur.jpg)](./full/Emptyset - Recur.jpg)

I think the most surprising thing about this record is that I like it. More “sound” than actual music, but still rhythmic. Pulsing. Gyrating even. The sound is alive.


The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

[![Album art for Shaking the Habitual by The Knife](./The Knife - Shaking the Habitual.jpg)](./full/The Knife - Shaking the Habitual.jpg)

Good: Completely not subtle production. Bad: Too many “noise” tracks, not enough music.


Mikal Cronin - MCII

[![Album art for MCII by Mikal Cronin](./Mikal Cronin - MCII.jpg)](./full/Mikal Cronin - MCII.jpg)

Good, simple, pleasing, rock 'n' roll.


Paul Keeley - Fragmented

[![Album art for Fragmented by Paul Keeley](./Paul Keeley - Fragmented.png)](./full/Paul Keeley - Fragmented.png)

The soundtrack to that deep and dark 80s science fiction crime drama that you never saw and was never made.


Recondite - Hinterland

[![Album art for Hinterland by Recondite](./Recondite - Hinterland.jpg)](./full/Recondite - Hinterland.jpg)

The frozen North in a record. Gobs of atmosphere.


Shigeto - No Better Time than Now

[![Album art for No Better Time than Now by Shigeto](./Shigeto - No Better Time than Now.jpg)](./full/Shigeto - No Better Time than Now.jpg)

Organic jazzy grooves and keys, layered over semi-post-dubstep (sort of) rhythms / electronic bleeps and bloops. The antithesis of the previously mentioned Emptyset record. Also choice for “Best Album Cover of 2013”.


True Widow - Circumambulation

[![Album art for Circumambulation by True Widow](./True Widow - Circumambulation.jpg)](./full/True Widow - Circumambulation.jpg)

Gloomy, doomy, boomy, and slow.


Ty Segall - Sleeper

[![Album art for Sleeper by Ty Segall](./Ty Segall - Sleeper.jpg)](./full/Ty Segall - Sleeper)

Not your average Ty Segall. Quiet, reserved. Also quite good at times. Each song sounds like the intro section to one of the more "standard" Ty Segall jams.

  • Listen: Songlink
  • Highlight: Sleeper (This really sets the tone for the whole album.)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

[![Album art for II by Unknown Mortal Orchestra](./Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II.jpg)](./full/Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II.jpg)

Music made for AM radios. The 1970s are alive. They even artificially removed all the highs from the mix (about the only thing I don't like about the record to be honest).

Great Albums

A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord

[![Album art for Trap Lord by A$AP Ferg](./A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord.jpg)](./full/A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord.jpg)

I can never decide while listening to this record if Ferg is an idiot backed by smart people, or a smart guy playing to a dumb crowd. Either way, this is psychedelia disguised as rap disguised as culture. And those beats tho!


A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP

[![Album art for Long.Live.A$AP by A$AP Rocky](./A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP.jpg)](./full/A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP.jpg)

You can hate him all you want, but you can't deny Rocky's got style. His flow is unique, the beats are exceptional, and the whole record just oozes A$AP.

  • Listen: Songlink
  • Highlight: Long Live A$AP (too many highlights to pick just one, so I just went with the title track)

Ariel Pink feat. Jorge Elbrecht - Hang on to Life / No Real Friend

[![Album art for Hang on to Life / No Real Friend by Ariel Pink feat. Jorge Elbrecht](./Ariel Pink feat. Jorge Elbrecht - Hang on to Life - No Real Friend.jpg)](./full/Ariel Pink feat. Jorge Elbrecht - Hang on to Life - No Real Friend.jpg)

I listened to these tracks while lonely and alone in another town in another state. Exceptionally sad and beautiful. Sometimes brings tears to my eyes.


Ceephax - Cro Magnox

[![Album art for Cro Magnox by Ceephax](./Ceephax - Cro Magnox.jpg)](./full/Ceephax - Cro Magnox.jpg)

This could be a soundtrack to a science fiction movie based off a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System set on another planet where there is no sunlight. It could be, but it’s not. What it is is otherworldly and frequently brilliant.


Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving

[![Album art for Chelsea Light Moving by Chelsea Light Moving](./Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving.jpg)](./full/Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving.jpg)

Thurston Moore realizes the dream that we thought we’d lost when Sonic Youth broke up.


Dawes - Stories Don’t End

[![Album art for Stories Don't End by Dawes](./Dawes - Stories Don't End.jpg)](./full/Dawes - Stories Don't End.jpg)

I really can’t say enough about this record. Beautiful and true songwriting. Pure. Harmonic. Dawes is consistently wonderful.


Frankie Teardrop - Tough Guy

[![Album art for Tough Guy by Frankie Teardrop](./Frankie Teardrop - Tough Guy.jpg)](./full/Frankie Teardrop - Tough Guy.jpg)

Frankie Teardrop is a friend of mine. He is a friend to us all. Tough Guy is an ode to young midwestern frustration. I can’t wait to see what Frankie does in 2014.


Fuzz - Fuzz

[![Album art for Fuzz by Fuzz](./Fuzz - Fuzz.jpg)](./full/Fuzz - Fuzz.jpg)

This is what rock means in 2013. It's as if Black Sabbath tripped into a time machine, emerged in 2013, hung out with a bunch of 20-somethings for a few months, and then made this record. (Don’t believe me? Listen to Raise.)


Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze

[![Album art for Wakin on a Pretty Daze by Kurt Vile](./Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze.jpg)](./full/Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze.jpg)

Calling this country would not be fair at all. Rock doesn’t work either. Indie: no. It is all of those, and yet none at the same time. I see this as a perfect counterpart to Fuzz’s record actually, what 2013 sounds like with guitars. Two sides of the same coin. If I had to choose one record on this list to listen to forever, it would probably be this one. There is a remarkable amount of depth here.