Here are my twenty favourite albums of 2013. Initially I thought 2013 was ‘a bit shit’ on the album front. But I was wrong. There have been some amazing albums this year (12-01 are all somewhere between 7-10/10). The others probably either weren’t as good as they should have been (in particular the Demi Lovato album that should have been Breakaway for this decade – there are some ‘tunes’ on it though). The best albums are also mostly the ones that came out of nowhere. I’d guess that a few albums will be ‘chucked out’ next year, but they probably won’t recreate the event that Beyonce (for example) did. Anyway:
20. London Grammar – If You Wait
19. Paramore – Paramore
18. Bastille – Bad Blood
17. Demi Lovato – Demi
16. Diana Vickers – Music To Make Boys Cry
15. Stooshe – London With The Lights On
14. AlunaGeorge – Body Music
13. Lady Gaga – ARTPOP
12. Kanye West – Yeezus
11. Lorde – Pure Heroine
10. Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park
Something that I hadn’t heard until recently because country isn’t my favourite genre (Timber is my favourite country song), but what an album it is nonetheless. It sounds a bit like what the third Lily Allen album would have sounded like if she convinced herself Not Fair was her best song (basically country + humour). It also sounds a bit like Lily Allen in the sense that it’s brilliant. Which is probably why she’s nominated at the Grammys. Just a hunch.
9. Icona Pop – This Is…
Shy and retiring Icona Pop are really good. Yes about half the album is quite shouty and I Love It – esque, but if you have to pick a song to use as a blueprint for an album it may as well be a banger.The other half the album is really good too. In particular, Just Another Night is the anthem for drunk newly-singles that never was. There’s nice use of kazoo on Then We Kiss as well, which sounds like the missing song from the Clueless soundtrack.
8. Katy Perry – Prism
Katy Perry ‘let the light in’ (got told to record some hits) and released a good album in the process. Walking On Air is the best thing on the album, but then is it really possible to go wrong with a 90s-esque dance song produced by the man behind most of Robyns best and Piece of Me? The answer is no. The other highlight is Spiritual which sounds like Ray of Light 2013, so what we all wanted and were expecting from Britney Jean. The album cover is fantastic too (it’s not very Q4 though is it?)
7. Charli XCX – True Romance
One of only three albums on in my Top 10 released before Q4, Charli XCX owned everyone in Spring with her debut. Before going ‘poptastic’ with SuperLove, Charli XCX chucked out an album of weird but brilliant music. Nuclear Seasons remains her best (it does sound like a musical nuclear explosion – ok so it probably doesn’t but in my mind it does). My other favourites are Take My Hand, which sounds like BANGERZ Miley Cyrus meets The Spice Girls, and Set Me Free.
The latter sounds like an X Factor winners song if Simon Cowell gave up and let Robyn take charge.
6. Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time
Sky Ferreira released her album this year (I have to write it to believe it) and the album is brilliant. Apart from You’re Not The One which is the one, I Blame Myself kind of feels iconic post arrest despite not being in mainstream consciousness at all. Anyway, the most important point is: SKY FERREIRA GOT HER FUCKING ALBUM OUT!!!!!!!!
5. Miley Cyrus – BANGERZ
I’ll be the first to admit that I laughed when Miley Cyrus called her album BANGERZ. The album does exactly what it says on the cover though, full of BANGERZ. My favourite BANGER is opener and next single Adore You, which isn’t really a BANGER at all but it is an amazing ballad. Aside from the other singles, SMS (BANGERZ) and FU are particularly barmy, and #GETITRIGHT is next summers smash waiting to happen.
4. Beyonce – Beyonce
Beyonce surprised everyone almost two weeks ago by putting down the advert jingles and actually releasing something. Jokes aside, Beyonce is one of the most forward-thinking albums of recent times. Not only because of all the videos (Mine is particularly aesthetically pleasing), but because the music is unlike anything she’s released before. There’s a lot of sex on the album (Partition is particularly sexual but somehow remains classy), but the album peaks with Heaven, which is about her miscarriage. The other peak comes in the form of love song XO, which must be her encore next year.
3. Ciara – Ciara
If the Charli XCX album was springs finest moment, then Ciara’s fifth opus is the summers. This album is superb, and caters to everyone whilst maintaining cohesion. I wrote about how much I love Body Party and Overdose on my singles list (first and fourth, respectively), but all of the other eight songs are very good. Particularly Read My Lips, which somehow manages to top Body Party on the sultry scale. Equally, Livin’ It Up should have been the summer smash before Overdose smashed in the autumn. Alas, the only chart these have smashed in is my 25 Most Played on iTunes :(.
2. Haim – Days Are Gone
Purveyors of incredible bassface Haim made an album as good as their facial expressions. Aside from the albums trailer singles (Forever still sounds as good today), Days Are Gone and If I Could Change Your Mind are perfect for wistful walks around Chelsea (I can’t be the only one that does this). There’s the perfect amount of odd hear too, with My Song 5 matching WTF with a genuinely good choon. Their live show is good too if you like a) using maracas as drumsticks or b) ‘chat’ about Percy Pigs.
1. Ariana Grande – Yours Truly
Flavorwire did some ‘content’ earlier in the month about stereotyping people by their album of the year. This album wasn’t there, which must mean the stereotype is ‘fan of good music’. Yes, fan of changing hairstyles Ariana Grande released my favourite album of 2013. Unlike the other nineteen albums on the list, this is the only one that hasn’t moved in the two weeks this post has sat in my drafts. This is because I can’t pick a favourite song on it. Every time I try to, I name the whole album (well except Better Left Unsaid but I’m convinced that’s only there to remind us of how shit this was going to be before she bought a Mariah Carey album). Anyway, this album is so good. If you’re not convinced, listen to the first minute of Lovin’ It. Or Piano. Or the whole thing.