This was a great year for music, so it’s only right that we count down the best albums of 2013. These 11 albums were not only praised by critics and fans alike, these albums were also musical evolutions for the artists. 2013 was the year to reinvent your sound and persona to create new listening experiences. Here are the best albums of 2013 that we absolutely love.
Whether or not you are a fan of Kanye West himself, there is no denying that Yeezus is one of the best albums of 2013. West experiments with a much darker sound for his sixth studio release, which caused mixed reviews from the public, however it garnered praise from music critics. The album debuted at the top of the charts and was certified gold two months after its release. While not everyone is a fan of the brashness of the record, I believe it to be West’s most compelling album to date.
For Vampire Weekend’s third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City, they were looking to change the sound they had become heavily associated with for their previous albums. The result is an experimental album that doesn’t disappoint. Modern Vampires debuted at number one and has received critical acclaim. Many artists miss the mark when it comes to changing their sound, but Vampire Weekend show that it is possible to experiment and be successful. .
ARTPOP is Lady Gaga’s third studio album, and in my opinion, her best yet. Lady Gaga experiments with many different sounds throughout the album, but most tracks have an EDM vibe. ARTPOP topped the charts in 8 countries and debuted at the number one spot in the US. The critics had mixed reviews of the album with most of them being on the positive side. Lady Gaga aims to put art at the forefront of pop music with her latest musical endeavor. Gaga’s album artwork is the perfect example of this. ARTPOP is Lady Gaga’s best vocal demonstration to date.
With fans clamoring for Justin Timberlake to return to the music scene, JT had a lot of pressure to live up to. Luckily, The 20/20 Experience did not disappoint. The album debuted at number one in the first week of sales, selling just under one million copies. Music critics had mostly positive things to say about the album and praised his musical diversity. The 20/20 Experience shows just how far JT has come since his days in N*Sync.
Music legend David Bowie released his twenty-fourth studio album in March of 2013. Bowie went to great lengths to keep the album a secret while he was recording and it wasn’t until a couple days before the album was released that the media began to find out about it. Once The Next Day was released, critics everywhere praised Bowie for the album. The Next Day debuted at number one in the UK and reached number two in the US. In my opinion, David Bowie can do no wrong and The Next Day is no exception.
No matter how you feel about her, there is no denying that 2013 was the year of Miley Cyrus. Bangerz was Cyrus’s attempt to reinvent herself both personally and musically. Critics greeted the album wit mixed reviews with most of them being positive. Bangerz entered the charts at number one and has been certified gold. Bangerz is one of the best albums of 2013 for Cyrus’s experimental sound and the public attention it garnered.
French duo Daft Punk is arguably the most successful electronic music group of all time. Their fourth studio album, Random Access Memories is their most successful, debuting at number one in twenty countries. One of the aspects that makes this album different than their previous three is the use of musicians as opposed to solely relying on electronic instruments. Random Access Memories was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2013 for mind-blowing, redefined dance music.
Magna Carta… Holy Grail became Jay Z’s thirteenth consecutive studio album to claim the top spot on the Billboard Music charts. The day the album was released to the public, it became certified platinum. While the critic’s may not have been quite as excited about the album as the public, the album still received mostly positive reviews. Jay-Z made Magna Carta… Holy Grail a solid hip hop album and avoided overly poppy influences, making this one of the best rap albums of 2013.
MBV is the third album by My Bloody Valentine. The band hadn’t released a full album of original material since 1991. Needless to say, fans were ecstatic for their return to music. The fans had a lot to be happy about as MBV quickly earned universal acclaim from the critics. The band was able to create a nice follow up to their ’91 album, Loveless as they didn’t stray too far from their original sound. The album is smooth and timeless, making it one of the best albums of 2013.
Fans of Eminem were excited to hear Eminem was going back to his roots when he announced the album title: Marshall Mathers LP 2. The album reached the top of the charts its first week and became Eminem’s seventh number one album. MMLP2 received positive reviews from the critics and became Eminem’s highest rated album since The Eminem Show. Eminem shows off his most technical raps to date in The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
Drake has come a long was since his start on Degrassi. His third studio album, Nothing Was the Same showcases his evolution as an artist. The album debuted at number one and had commercial success in countries around the world. The critics gave the album favorable reviews, as did the fans. Nothing Was the Same is an evolution for Drake both lyrically and sonically.
These 11 albums are some of the most defining moments of music in 2013. Each of these artists pushed themselves in the creation of these albums and upped the ante for music releases in years to come. Which albums from 2013 would you have liked to see on this list? Sound off in the comments.