Lists

musicOMH’s Top 100 Albums Of 2013: 50-6



Here it is; part two of our Top 100 Albums of 2013 rundown, as voted for by our writers, this time rounding up numbers 50-6.

The Top 5 follows on Monday morning, together with a full rundown, a playlist and a list of participating writers.

You can read part one, listing numbers 100-51, here.

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Keaton Henson - Birthdays50. Keaton Henson – Birthdays (Oak Ten)

What we said: “Birthdays is often a harrowing and troubling listen, relentless and redolent of its own agony. This makes it asphyxiating rather than cathartic – an often spectacular document of pain, no doubt, but it remains a record to admire rather than invest in, turning you away with its bleakness when it promises comfort. The real pity lies in the fact that Henson knows it, as he sings on Teach Me ‘How am I expected to behave when I’m alone with myself every day?'” – Matt Langham

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Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - Jama Ko49. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Jama Ko (Out Here)

What we said: “Kouyate has made a bold move with this album, but it never sounds in any way calculated. Instead, it feels like a natural development from a gifted and restless musician. Whether directly inspired by political events or not, it certainly feels like a confident statement – a brilliant triumph in the face of real adversity.” – Daniel Paton

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The Weeknd - Kiss Land48. The Weeknd – Kiss Land (Republic/XO)

What we said: “Kiss Land’s many flaws aside, there are a few reminders that Tesfaye is a remarkable talent. His voice is a glorious instrument throughout as it drifts across the soft focus beats, a ghostly, icy presence. You just wish he would let himself go slightly and have fun. By far the best track here is Wanderlust, which features a satisfying Michael Jackson like disco groove. This piece of upbeat pop is an anomaly though, as Tesfaye prefers to wallow in the forgettable emoting of dull closer Tears In The Rain.” – Martyn Young

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Wayne Shorter - Without A Net47. Wayne Shorter Quartet – Without A Net (Blue Note)

What we said: “It begins with a plaintive whisper from Perez, before moving through lushly orchestrated, meticulously organised terrain. Eventually, the music takes on a more percussive hue, driven on by the entrance of Brian Blade’s drums and some staccato accompanying figures from the wind ensemble. It’s all intelligently arranged, but also in thrall to the energy and swing of jazz tradition – there is plenty of rhythm and blues during the improvising. This applies to much of the music here – it’s intuitive rather than instinctive – born from both a wild, radical spirit of adventure and a deep understanding of the music’s core language.” – Daniel Paton

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Kwes - Ilp46. Kwes – ilp (Warp)

What we said: “A full length album from Kwes might be a sign that his focus is shifting from producing and remixing other musicians to creating his own music. Where an artist as eclectic and unpredictable as this might go next is anybody’s guess, but on the basis of this quietly spectacular album, it’s likely that listeners will be more than happy to follow him into the unknown.” – Alan Ashton-Smith

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Haiku Salut - Tricolore45. Haiku Salut – Tricolore (How Does It Feel To Be Loved)

What we said: “Like anything involving accordion and inspired by (Yann) Tiersen and Múm, the album can occasionally be accused of being too twee and mawkish. However, this is why album closer No, You Say is so satisfying – a left-field, entirely unpredictable conclusion of Dan Deacon proportions. This shouldn’t have been entirely surprising – in promotional images Gemma is seen wearing a Dan Deacon t-shirt – but it shows there’s some necessary ballast there. These aren’t your stereotypical twee indie lot – it’ll be interesting if they end up showing this side more.” – Helen Clarke

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Jonathan Wilson - Fanfare44. Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare (Bella Union)

What we said: “Fanfare is a joyous album and a rousing celebration. Wilson describes the influence of the previous musical generation of Harper, Crosby, and Browne et al as being a key factor in the creation of this album. Fanfare is his own personal take and celebration of that music. Wilson describes these musicians as wizards and there is a certainly a wondrous quality to the music here. It’s all but impossible not to be enraptured by the glorious harmonies of the chugging rocker Love To Love or the spellbinding folk of Cecil Taylor. Fanfare is the sort of album Jonathan Wilson was bound to make, immaculately crafted and perfectly defined. So much music is easily disposable and transient. Wilson’s Fanfare, much like his idols’ music that influences it, is completely timeless.” – Martyn Young

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Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob43. Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob (Warner)

What we said: “A cursory listen to Heartthrob, identical twin sisters Tegan & Sara Quin’s seventh album, may initially curl the upper lips of those who find pop a dirty word, along with many of those who had justifiably high expectations following 2009’s mini-classic Sainthood. Gone is that LP’s scratchy and taut take on power pop, its idiosyncratic lyricism sanded down. Instead, in come kaleidoscopic ’80s influences – burbling synths now the glue holding more conventional songs together. The title’s a dead giveaway; Heartthrob is a more mainstream attempt to capture the febrile concerns of saccharine teenage infatuation.” – Matt Langham

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Everything Everything - Arc42. Everything Everything – Arc (RCA Victor)

What we said: “Musically, it’s a far more confident and consistent affair than their debut, which dragged somewhat after a strong start. The songs, driven by glitchy processed beats and thunderous percussion that recalls These New Puritans, get to the point quickly and have lost the previous tendency to ramble on a little to long. Opening salvo Cough Cough and Kemosabe are packed full of catchy little vocal runs and stutters, and each boast a soaring falsetto chorus.” – Martin Headon

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Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In41. Caitlin Rose – The Stand In (Names)

What we said: “Album closer Old Numbers fully signifies how far Rose has come since her debut: with its drum-roll intro and cabaret-style swagger thanks to its cornet trumpet and talk of old boyfriends’ numbers in her little black book, it’s full of verve and playfulness. In many ways, it’s just as emphatic and confident as the opener. Those who were endeared by Rose’s debut may be surprised, hopefully pleasantly, by the change in tone and attitude shown on The Stand-In. Nevertheless, it is a delightful record – one that could well see her high-kicking herself into major success. It would be well deserved.” – David Meller

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Willis Earl Beal - Nobody Knows40. Willis Earl Beal – Nobody Knows (Hot Charity/XL)

What we said: “The listener is rewarded amply for making it through Nobody Knows’ middle third by the excellent trio of songs that round off the album. Blue Escape is a beautiful, piano-led lament pulled attractively out of shape by its discordant string section. The finger-clicking title track positively drips with menace. Then, right at the end, is The Flow, which boasts the album’s most compelling melody and something approaching fulfilment on the part of the singer: ‘I accept my own demise… Just go with the flow’.” – Christopher Monk

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The Icarus Line - Slave Vows39. The Icarus Line – Slave Vows (Agitated)

What we said: “There are times when it doesn’t quite hang together, when any sense of a unique, contemporary identity is crushed beneath the cuban heels of a hundred rock legends, from the Stooges and the Stones to Primal Scream and Nick Cave… But it hardly matters. There’s too much spirit in this cocktail for the mixer to spoil it. And in Dead Body, there lies a riff of such gargantuan greatness that it not only encapsulates what’s great about this album, but what’s great about rock music full stop. Proper rock music, too.” – Martin Headon

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Hookworms - Pearl Mystic38. Hookworms – Pearl Mystic (Gringo)

What we said: “There’s a feeling throughout the album’s not overly long 45 minutes that everything feels longer and more sprawling than it actually is. You easily become utterly immersed in the sound with its cumulative effect of blissful inertia; this is certainly the case on the psychedelic reveries that provide the album’s highlights… Pearl Mystic really is a staggering debut. Hookworms are a band quite unlike anything the UK has produced for years. It’s to their huge credit that they have made such an assured and immersive album on their own terms.” – Martyn Young

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Tim Hecker - Virgins37. Tim Hecker – Virgins (Kranky)

What we said: “With his new record Virgins, Hecker soundtracks an emotional journey from bleak hopelessness to hope, all in the span of what seems like a very short 50 minutes. While Ravedeath, 1972 was at times downright scary, Virgins is hauntingly gorgeous.” – Jordan Mainzer

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Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus36. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus (ATP)

What we said: “Slow Focus takes a step back from that imaginary world. It unveils its magic over multiple listens, proving to be exemplary of the concept of delayed gratification. It’s hard to tell whether Slow Focus will have the staying power of Tarot Sport, but what’s sure is that listeners will look back years from now, listen to the three album trajectory we’ve witnessed so far, and realize that Slow Focus is unmistakably Fuck Buttons, the logical continuation of the music produced by a duo who never strive to do something expected.” – Jordan Mainzer

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Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer - Child Ballads35. Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer – Child Ballads (Wilderland)

What we said: “With just seven tracks all clocking in at under seven minutes, Mitchell and Hamer’s Child Ballads is unusually concise for this form of music and does not outstay its welcome. Within the acoustic, stripped back setting, there is also a satisfying amount of depth and variety in pacing and delivery. Willie’s Lady is dense and crowded, whilst the opening interpretation of Willie of Winsbury seems lusher and more expressive. Perhaps best of all is the marvellous, clinging refrain of Clyde Waters. There is little doubt that Mitchell and Harmer have studied this material carefully – and their own take on it is insightful and frequently majestic.” – Daniel Paton

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Julia Holter - Love City Song34. Julia Holter – Loud City Song (Domino)

What we said: “What’s most impressive about Loud City Song is the way that Holter sounds equally at home on the more avant-garde numbers, such as Maxim’s II, and the more straight-ahead offerings such as the heart-wrenching He’s Running Through My Eyes, a gorgeous ballad that seems to convey more emotion in its two minutes than most other songs this year will, or the delightful bounce of In The Green Wild. It’s certainly Holter’s most accomplished and imaginative album – indeed, there hasn’t been an album this packed with ideas since tUnE-yArDs‘ w h o k i l l a couple of years ago. Loud City Song could – and should – well be the album to propel Julia Holter, if not quite into the mainstream, then certainly to wider attention.” – John Murphy

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These New Puritans - Field Of Reeds33. These New Puritans – Field Of Reeds (Infectious)

What we said: “This is a different album for These New Puritans. Hidden succeeded in forging new sonic ground, concerned as it was with the way sounds relate, and was informed by electronic sounds and using hip-hop production techniques just as much as it was coloured by ornate classical inflections. Instead, Field Of Reeds is wondrously organic. Every instrument is played. There are no samples or loops. There’s a palpable feeling of being close to the music; you can feel everything. The heightened effect suits these strange pieces. (This is) a significant artistic statement by These New Puritans.” – Martyn Young

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Boards Of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest32. Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp)

What we said: “Tomorrow’s Harvest is an impossible record to get your head around on first listen – each song on the album is incredibly intricate and instrumentally-dense. You can tell that this album will require a good deal of your time if you are to appreciate it fully. It is full of complex electronic compositions, which will mess with your head if you let them. At times, it is a little overwhelming over the 17 tracks, but there are plenty of beautiful moments here, the sort of moments which continue to propel BOC well ahead of many of their IDM contemporaries.” – Jack Dutton

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Foals - Holy Fire31. Foals – Holy Fire (Transgressive)

What we said: “Holy Fire is, only one month into the year, comfortably a contender for one of the best albums of 2013 – a thrilling mesh of everything that’s made Foals such an exciting, yet till now, frustrating prospect: at times comfortably, confidently poppy, coolly reflective and intimate at others, and presided over by those doyens of stadium rock Flood & Alan Moulder who frame Yannis Philippakis’ songs in a sound so huge and expansive that it almost takes the breath away. There will always be the hardcore fan who’ll resent Foals for not producing Antidotes Part 2, and there may be some who could be put off by a blatant grab for the hearts of Arena audiences. Those people will be missing out though as Holy Fire is the sound of a band utterly on form and completely on top of their game.” – John Murphy

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Rokia Traoré - Beautiful Africa30. Rokia Traoré – Beautiful Africa (Nonesuch)

What we said: “What is perhaps most impressive about Beautiful Africa is its sheer number of thrilling twists and turns. The extraordinary Sikey begins with an engaging, brilliantly executed syncopated groove with energy and defiance, before suddenly transforming into something slower and more menacing, before lurching back to the original theme. It’s just one of many moments that surprise and delight in equal measure. ‘More intense than ever,’ she sings on the wild, tempestuous and defiant title track. This could serve as an accurate description of much of the album as a whole, although there is nuance, colour and detail here in abundance too.” – Daniel Paton

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Sigur Rós - Kveikur29. Sigur Rós – Kveikur (XL)

What we said: “On Kveikur, even the tracks that start off poppy end up dark, a trait that comes across as honest and dynamic rather than relentlessly morbid… Perhaps Kveikur’s battle is not outward, but inward: as the bitter cold takes over Iceland and the days darken, the real war rages inside one’s own head. Sigur Rós have created music to soundtrack their own emotional states. Perhaps they’ve unintentionally created a world in which the rest of humanity, too, can seek solace.” – Jordan Mainzer

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Six.by Seven - Love And Peace And Sympathy28. Six.by Seven – Love And Peace And Sympathy (Borrowed Tune Motion Pictures)

What we said: “Never a band to jettison melody in favour of naval-gazing or relentless pummeling, they’ve always had the ability to craft wonderful melodies too. Sitting towards the end of the album is Crying, a diversion into swirling psychedelia infused with blissful pop sensibilities and lashings of doubt. It serves as a reminder of Six. By Seven’s often overlooked nuances and proves that they are far from a one trick band. Ultimately, Sympathy is a welcome return, and goes some way to suggesting that reports of the death of Six. By Seven have been premature.” – Sam Shepherd

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Manic Street Preachers - Rewind The Film27. Manic Street Preachers – Rewind The Film (Columbia)

What we said: “Rewind The Film deals with the nature of growing older, unavoidable change and death, yet on the surface, this is the most accessible album the Manics have ever released. There’s barely an electric guitar on the album, the band favouring acoustic guitars, smart string arrangements and brass accompaniment. This might sound safe but the weight of this album is within the lyrics… This is an album that finds the Manics in fine form. They might not be able to live over again, but if they keep on like this, their story is far from concluded.” – Sam Shepherd

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Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady26. Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady (Atlantic)

What we said: “The album is admirably steeped in pop music history without seeming derivative and where The Electric Lady triumphs is in its ability to connect with the listener. There is certainly calculation here but it’s permeated by deeply personal themes which enable these songs to hit home where previously Monáe has floundered. There’s plenty of time for genius to come but if Monáe can’t quite hide the perspiration that has gone into this fascinating and fun album, she manages the not-easy task of making that seem like no bad thing.” – Philip Matusavage

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Summer Camp - Summer Camp25. Summer Camp – Summer Camp (Moshi Moshi)

What we said: “This is a record with so much swagger, poise and confidence it could have been recorded by a band twice their age… an album which celebrates life, love and all the complexities and insecurities both bring, and it does so magnificently well.” – John Murphy

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Lorde - Pure Heroine24. Lorde – Pure Heroine (Virgin EMI)

What we said: “This is a remarkable debut that fairly sizzles with confidence and attitude. As Lorde herself says in the final line of the last song A World Alone (and in a neat nod to that opening line of Tennis Court), ‘people are talking, people are talking…let them talk’. It’s a good mindset to have, for people won’t be able to stop talking about Pure Heroine for some time to come. Where she goes from here is an intriguing thing to ponder.” – John Murphy

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Chvrches - The Best Of What You Believe23. Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe (Virgin/Goodbye)

What we said: “The Bones Of What You Believe is, on the surface at least, an album full of dynamic, dance fuelled synth-pop, and the hype is justified. Dig a little deeper however and there’s catharsis, pain and emotional turmoil lurking just below the surface. This juxtaposition of euphoric dance hooks and intense personal reflection is of course not particularly new – Zola Jesus is quite a dab hand at injecting turmoil into danceable tunes and Gary Numan‘s disconnected vibe was often married to some serious floor fillers. The trick is to find a perfect balance, and Chvrches frequently achieve this on their debut.” – Sam Shepherd

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Low - The Invisible Way22. Low – The Invisible Way (Sub Pop)

What we said: “Using mostly acoustic instruments, there’s an inherent nakedness in this music – it is as if (producer Jeff) Tweedy has captured the band at their most unadorned and unmediated. This makes the music even more powerful and communicative – but also places it within a wider lineage beyond what might crudely have been termed slocore. There’s a majestic soulfulness here too that makes The Invisible Way one of their strongest, most coherent works.” – Daniel Paton

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Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You21. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (ANTI-)

What we said: “Case certainly had a lot to deal with: in between Middle Cyclone and The Worse Things Get, she saw the death of her grandmother and both of her parents, which understandably resulted in a deep depression. But much like recent releases by Superchunk or collaborators The Dodos, Case uses music to give herself purpose: whether autobiographical or a telling of somebody else’s story, writing lets Case overcome… If she’s talking about her next album, it’s hard to believe that one will top The Worse Things Get.” – Jordan Mainzer

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Omar Souleyman - Wenu Wenu20. Omar Souleyman – Wenu Wenu (Ribbon)

What we said: “With lyrics in the languages of Turkey, Kurdistan and Iraq all included, with the express aim of engaging listeners throughout the region, Souleyman’s mission to bring a more positive view of his country, and its thrilling musical forms, to a wider audience continues unabated. At a time when so little that is warm, life-enhancing or joyous seems to be emanating from Syria, this – surely – can only make the wonderful music that he provides even more of a wonderful thing.” – Jude Clarke

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65daysofstatic - Wild Light19. 65daysofstatic – Wild Light (Superball)

What we said: “Unmake The Wild Light is quite possibly the finest thing 65daysofstatic have yet recorded. It’s so meticulously crafted and performed, slowly unfurling, dropping in a crushing bass break, and then allowing the guitars to soar onwards to a spellbinding conclusion. It could be classed as post-rock, but it is in essence a compositional masterclass, as is the entirety of Wild Light. In the days of MP3 tracks, 65daysofstatic have made what might be classed as an old-school album. It’s a story (almost cinematic), a journey, and far and away the greatest album they’ve done so far.” – Sam Shepherd

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Matthew E White18. Matthew E White – The Big Inner (Domino)

What we said: “When you create an album as impressive as Big Inner, it is crucial to leave the listener wanting more and that is exactly what closer Brazos achieves. The house band are in full force throughout the song, which builds with atmospheric strings and a stumbling drum beat as the brass section repeatedly threaten to reach a crescendo. Then at half-way, the song virtually comes to a stop, before White’s vocal comes in over a rumbling bassline to sing: ‘Jesus Christ is our Lord/ Jesus Christ he is our friend.’ As album closers go, it’s pretty special. Then again, as albums go, Big Inner is pretty special. Overall, Matthew E White and his Spacebomb house band have created a brilliant debut, one that will undoubtedly have artists queueing up to be a part of this newly established project.” – Andy Baber

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Atoms For Peace - Amok17. Atoms For Peace – Amok (XL)

What we said: “While Atoms For Peace inevitably doesn’t display that unique chemistry which is evident in spades when Mssrs Selway, Greenwood et al join the party, it remains an intriguing, if at times uneasy listen. And, of course, it makes for a fine cure for withdrawal symptons for all those Radiohead fans awaiting the follow-up to The King Of Limbs.” – John Murphy

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My Bloody Valentine - m b v16. My Bloody Valentine – m b v (MBV)

What we said: “m b v begins where Loveless left off, before moving into its own – in turn, it represents Shields and the band’s own fractious, turbulent journey from the creative hangover of Loveless into producing something entirely new, in turn leaving you thrilled and rather moved indeed. The legend behind m b v, as well as its songs, have created something many will talk about for much longer than it’s taken to arrive.” – David Meller

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Pet Shop Boys - Electric15. Pet Shop Boys – Electric (x2)

What we said: “Electric finds Pet Shop Boys more daring and accomplished than most pop stars half their age. ‘Back to basics’ albums can be a risky affair, invoking past glories which it’s difficult not to be in the shadow of, yet as Kylie Minogue found when she ‘found a new direction – and it leads back to me’ on Light Years, playing to your strengths can also provide unexpected artistic rebirth. This is the most essential album Pet Shop Boys have made in 20 years and if we were to pick any of its lyrics as a future epitaph then ‘what a feeling – shouting in the evening’ serves the purpose well. Here are two middle-aged men who are most assuredly raging against the dying of the light.” – Philip Matusavage

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James Blake - Overgrown14. James Blake – Overgrown (Polydor)

What we said: “The final three tracks on this album are simply stunning… It’s a genuinely moving conclusion to an album that contains precious little mis-steps… All in, Overgrown is a triumph. It is evidence of James Blake forging his own singular musical path, free from hype and expectation, and blossoming into both a producer of real compositional skill and a songwriter of great depth.” – Martyn Young

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Daughter - If You Leave13. Daughter – If You Leave (4AD)

What we said: “This is an album that perfectly recreates a state of mind that isn’t particularly healthy, so when she sings during Amsterdam “I was thinking that I should see someone, just to find out that I’m alright” it’s hard not to disagree. What is certain however that is If You Leave is one of the most stunning, and emotionally captivating records you’ll ever hear. It’s made all the more powerful by Tonra’s willingness to be unflinching in exploring her grief. As an act of catharsis, it can only be hoped that it is successful.” – Sam Shepherd

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Queens Of The Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork12. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Matador)

What we said: “It’s I Appear Missing that provides the most incredible moment on the album, if not the band’s career. A slow burning monument to messed up love, it’s a masterclass of cascading guitar, evocative vocals, and perfect pacing. The screaming solo that heads into the final build up is shot through with genuine feeling, supporting Homme as he croons “I never loved anything until I loved you”. It’s an encapsulation of an album that sees Queens Of The Stone Age at their most vulnerable. That they’ve not sounded this good in years suggests they’ve found strength in adversity.” – Sam Shepherd

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Arcade Fire - Reflektor11. Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Virgin EMI)

What we said: “With a bit of editing, a more cohesive LP would have been found, certainly – yet it’s the extravagance, self-indulgence and eclecticism that sets up repeat listens. With that in mind, Reflektor is an artistic gamble from Arcade Fire; a bold statement from a band less intent on competing with their contemporaries and who, instead, focus on doing what they want to do, which this time round seems to be to dance. Reflektor is not the vintage record the hype would have us believe. But it will, if nothing else, get your feet moving.” – Max Raymond

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Kanye West - Yeezus10. Kanye West – Yeezus (Virgin EMI)

What we said: “Hate him or love him, and however you classify his artistic integrity and deeply delusional personality, there’s no denying that Kanye West is one of the most brilliant artists of this generation. Yeezus is a divisive album, one that contains some of West’s most inspired samples, collaborations, and racial observations to date while at times being insufferably misogynistic and confoundingly lyrically lazy. Whether West intends to expose his vulnerabilities and imperfections as an artist and as a person is irrelevant: West always goes for the top. Yeezus is no different – and it’s brilliantly flawed for doing so.” – Jordan Mainzer

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Jon Hopkins - Immunity9. Jon Hopkins – Immunity (Domino)

What we said: “Much has been made recently of Daft Punk‘s injection of ‘warmth’ and ‘emotion’ into dance music. Their disco-aping seems like children’s doodles compared to Hopkins’ masterpiece. Sure, the album’s conceit lends itself to easy critical acclaim, but there’s no denying that it works and does so magnificently. This is an intelligent and deeply human album and it would be no exaggeration to say that it’s already a modern classic. Jon Hopkins’ days of relative obscurity may be coming to an end.” – Philip Matusavage

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Savages - Silence Yourself8. Savages – Silence Yourself (Pop Noire/Matador)

What we said: “In the end though, the thing which makes Silence Yourself really stand out is the harmony between the members. From the squalling, intricate riffs which Gemma Thompson crafts, by turns surfy, industrial and punky, to the battles which rage between Hassan and drummer Fay Milton, both instruments fighting for prominence in the tight, regimented spaces of the songs, to the maniacal edge of Jehnny Beth’s clipped yelps and cries, the balance is incredible.” – Tim Lee

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Daft Punk - Random Access Memories7. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Columbia)

What we said: “Daft Punk’s attempt to climb above mere retrofetishism and make something new out of the remnants of the ‘70s might end up being the failure that launches a thousand successes. There’s enough promise in the better moments here to suggest they might be on to something. Pharrell Williams claims that he was working on something Nile Rodgers-esque when Daft Punk flew him to Paris and by coincidence asked him to write a part to go with a Nile Rodgers riff. There might well be something in the air, a reaction to David Guetta-style Electronic Dunce Music. A band as big as Daft Punk are well placed to start a movement, but this album doesn’t seem destined to become one of its classics, as admirable an attempt as it (mostly) is.” – Aaron Payne

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Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City6. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City (XL)

What we said: “So, Vampire Weekend don’t sound like they could back Paul Simon on a revival tour of Graceland anymore. They also don’t sound like preppy white people with preppy white people problems anymore. In place of all this, there’s a maturity and longing underpinning Modern Vampires Of The City that hints at the sorts of problems plaguing a broader swathe of humanity. And amid all this existential and transcendental pondering, there’s the sense that Vampire Weekend have re-imagined themselves as the sort of band who could be doing this well into their 30s.” – Andrew Burgess


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