PopMatters Picks:

The Best Music of 2013

By PopMatters Staff

2 December 2013

The Year of the Overnight Release: How Much Time Should a Critic Get?

Given the anticipation level and lack of pre-release availability, Yeezus offered a perfect test case for the nagging question: How has the model of digital media changed the amount of time music critics spend with the records they’re assessing?

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The Best Hopes to Break Out in 2014

This year is already looking like it'll be filled with great music releases and new artists destined to push the boundaries of their respective genres.

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The 75 Best Albums of 2013

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs for the polygot that is "Americana"... from R&B to metal... from hip-hop to rockin' and poppin' indie... 2013 was a great year for new music.

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The 75 Best Songs of 2013

From the electro-dance of Daft Punk, Disclosure and Rudimental and the boundary-pushing R&B of Janelle Monae and John Newman to the warm sounds of Americana blossoming into the hippest sounds in American music and the always-compelling Kanye West, PopMatters counts down 2013's 75 best songs.

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2 Jan 2014 // 3:14 AM

The Best World Music of 2013

This year's best world music offers up evidence of the artist's confidence in the audience. Do they trust you to be interested in two discs of avant-garde Korean zither or vast archives of live Syrian party music? They do and they should.

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The Best Noise Rock of 2013

From unforeseen comebacks to heretofore unknown new acts, much of 2013's best noise-rock often came out of nowhere.

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The Artists Pick the Best of 2013, Part 3

PopMatters lets the artists become the critics, giving them a chance to offer their picks from music and pop culture in 2013. Part 3 features PopMatters favorites the Pastels, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Windhand.

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The Artists Pick the Best of 2013, Part 2

PopMatters lets the artists become the critics, giving them a chance to offer their picks from music and pop culture in 2013. Part 2 features PopMatters favorites Ha Ha Tonka, Medicine, and the Notwist.

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The Best Mixtapes of 2013

In the four years since mixtapes became anything but a mix on tape, rap listeners have grown accustomed to the idea that not only should they feel like a brand new album, but also that they should probably be better than the product you pay for.

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The Artists Pick the Best of 2013, Part 1

PopMatters lets the artists become the critics, giving them a chance to offer their picks from music and pop culture in 2013. Part 1 features PopMatters favorites Zachary Cale, Dum Dum Girls, and Robbie Fulks.

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The Artists of the Year: 2013 Edition

It was a year of thrilling comebacks from legends like My Bloody Valentine and David Bowie as well the launch of major new talents like Lorde and Kacey Musgraves. These artists had the biggest impact on the shape of music in 2013.

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The Best Metal Albums of 2013

Bands across metal's subgenres reached their full potential, be they acts coming into their own, making crowd-pleasing comebacks, or even bowing out at the top of their game.

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The Best Dance Singles of 2013

Spanning genres from electro/synth-pop, indie-dance, nu-disco, to house music territories, what's on the list of 2013's best dance singles isn't just a popularity contest.

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The Best Bluegrass of 2013

In bluegrass circles, 2013 was a year that welcomed the rise of talented upstarts, the return to form of masters, and collaborations among the best in the business.

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The Top 10 Pleasant Surprise Albums of 2013

To counterbalance the set of disappointing albums, there are those that you probably barely noticed at first, or ones that you thought nothing of upon release that slowly but surely knocked your socks off.

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The Most Disappointing Albums of 2013

This year's list of the most disappointing albums of 2013 reads like the "best of" list from four or five years ago. It shouldn't be surprising how these tides turn, but it always is.

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20 Dec 2013 // 3:14 AM

The Best Canadian Albums of 2013

There's a thrilling breadth of styles and approaches explored by the best albums hailing from Canada in 2013, ranging from good ol' garage rock to East-West "noh-wave", from traditionalist country to First Nations' EDM.

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K-pop’s Generation

If 2013 has proved anything, it's that K-pop's worldwide appeal is much more than a passing fad like "Gangnam Style".

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19 Dec 2013 // 3:10 AM

The Best Jazz of 2013

Jazz is all over the place, and that's the glorious point of it. When you add up all its little corners and areas of enjoyment in 2013, the music remains huge.

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The Best New / Emerging Artists of 2013

This was an incredibly fruitful year for new and emerging artists pointing their respective genre towards new directions and possibilities. From dance to R&B and country to indie, 2013 was a year for pushing boundaries.

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Towards a (Redneck) Pleasure Principle: Or Why Luke Bryan Might Be This Year’s Best Artist

The idea of pleasure, of the loose swing and the obsessive grinding, becomes the central way that we talk about Luke Bryan, and often the central way that Bryan talks about himself, especially in 2013.

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Ragnarök: 2013 Gloomy Awards: The Most Interesting Metal Albums of 2013

Every year a slew of great albums from the louder spheres are missed, misplaced, or overlooked on those end of year lists. Ragnarök's Gloomy Awards seeks to redress that imbalance.

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17 Dec 2013 // 3:14 AM

The Best Music Videos of 2013

When everything's said and done, 2013 will likely stand as a watershed moment for the resurgence of the music video as an art form, one that's worthy of discussion and debate.

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The 25 Best Album Re-Issues of 2013

From '90s-era defining musical heroes and legendary singer-songwriters to the great soul and jazz artists of the '60s and glorious '70s rock, 2013 was a great year for new re-issues and compilations.

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Edging Toward the Mainstream: Extreme Music in 2013

By breaking previous genre constraints, Deafheaven and its peers have created a new template, with strangeness no longer the selling the point for extreme music.

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The Best Electronic Music of 2013

Above all, 2013 was a year when electronic music's cream of the crop did what they do best and left no one wanting for more.

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The Top 10 Overlooked Albums of 2013

So now we go back and look at the records we maybe missed when we sped through the year, back to great dream-pop records from January, or great rock records from the spring, or great rap records we're still figuring out.

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12 Dec 2013 // 3:14 AM

The Best R&B of 2013

The best R&B albums of 2013 feature long-time stalwarts and compelling new voices.

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11 Dec 2013 // 3:30 AM

The Best Film Scores of 2013

This year saw no shortage of innovative, exciting film scores. Notes on Celluloid counts down the ten soundtracks that lingered the longest in our minds.

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11 Dec 2013 // 3:14 AM

The Best Americana of 2013

Our list for 2013 is predictably diverse, ranging from progressive newgrass to tradition-minded country to old-time acoustic to California canyon rock to psych folk to singer-songwriter and all points between.

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10 Dec 2013 // 8:25 AM

The Best Country Music of 2013

What's going to be most often said or written about the year in country music, 2013? That it was the "year of the woman" in a Nashville that's still a man's world after all.

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10 Dec 2013 // 3:14 AM

The Best Hip-Hop of 2013

Jewel running, megalomania, acid rap, and sasquatches -- hip-hop continues to surprise in 2013.

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The Best Indie-Pop of 2013

In 2013, the best indie-pop felt like "secret music" meant for our ears only and, at the same time, like we're being pulled into a community.

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The Best Progressive Rock (and Metal) of 2013

This year saw the release of some of the best modern progressive music from a wide array of subgenres and idiosyncratic approaches.

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The Best Indie Rock of 2013

It's a generalization, but the year in indie rock saw a turn away from harmony-focused, gentle rock and back toward something a bit noisier, a bit more idiosyncratic, a little harder to ignore.

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//Mixed media
//Blogs

Ubisoft Understands the Art of the Climb

// Moving Pixels

"Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and Grow Home epitomize the art of the climb.

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