Best of 2013: Best albums of 2013

Our Music team rounds up the year's choicest releases, including LPs from breakout pop stars, resurgent metal titans, country songbirds and, oh yeah, some guy named Kanye West.

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Hank Shteamer's top 10 albums of 2013

  • 10. Gorguts, Colored Sands

    Veteran Quebecois metal visionary Luc Lemay rebooted his signature project with the help of three hungry young all-stars, setting a new bar for feverish invention and ethereal moodcraft.

  • 9. The Men, New Moon

    An intrepid Brooklyn crew traversed a wide stylistic expanse—from strummy back-porch roots fare to squalling downtown punk—finding truth and beauty in the ragged sprawl.

  • 8. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

    The year’s suavest single shared airspace with brilliantly droll cameos, audiophile retro-geekery and neodisco groove worship on the space-helmeted duo’s blockbuster comeback.

  • 7. Black Sabbath, 13

    Drummer drama and harrowing illness threatened to sink the year’s highest-profile reunion, but Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler recaptured their legendary blues-metal mojo with help from esteemed pop whisperer Rick Rubin.

  • 6. Suffocation, Pinnacle of Bedlam

    Bouncing back from a split with core member Mike Smith, the Long Island death-metal enforcers dropped the strongest LP of their quarter-century career, balancing beastly intensity with crafty compositional smarts.

  • 5. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork

    Josh Homme, alt rock’s reigning eccentric, returned with a stunning set of otherworldly pop—part stylish bombast, part torchy vulnerability.

  • 4. Diarrhea Planet, I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

    Six Nashville bros baited haters with garish artwork, a goofy posture and that stomach-turning name, then turned the tables with the year’s hookiest, hardest-driving and most emotionally resonant rock record.

  • 3. Carcass, Surgical Steel

    What could have been an exercise in by-the-numbers nostalgia turned into a gripping extreme-metal insta-classic thanks to the blackly comic venom of frontman Jeff Walker and the hard-rock-gone-grindcore savvy of guitarist Bill Steer.

  • 2. Haim, Days Are Gone

    Virtuoso chops? Dizzying vocal arrangements? Club-ready production values? Done, done and done. But it was the strength of the songs—nearly every track felt like an anthem we’d loved for years—that made this L.A. sister act’s debut the pop triumph of 2013.

  • 1. RVIVR, The Beauty Between

    Guitarist-singers Erica Freas and Mattie Canino bundled together pro-queer battle cries and dispatches from the front lines of almost-adulthood on this Roman candle of a punk LP—the embodiment of DIY rock’s scruffy utopian ideal.

10. Gorguts, Colored Sands

Veteran Quebecois metal visionary Luc Lemay rebooted his signature project with the help of three hungry young all-stars, setting a new bar for feverish invention and ethereal moodcraft.

Listen to the top tracks from Hank Shteamer's best albums of 2013 on Spotify



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Listen to tracks from 2013's best albums on Spotify

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