Who listens to albums any more?  It’s a valid question, as full album listens have been on a steady (and sometimes drastic) decline ever since the “skip track” and “shuffle” buttons were introduced to stereos and Walkmen (probably – I have no evidence, but I’m pretty confident about that one).  And now that I’ve told you that listening to albums isn’t cool any more, let me recommend some albums for you to listen to!

My writing skills are in a constant state of remission and my music descriptions mostly consist of vocabulary I learned from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and claims that things make me feel like I’m in outer space.  So, I’ll try to make this as painless as possible.

What I look for in an album is a complete experience – something that has great individual songs but also flows together.  It’s difficult to weigh albums against each other when some are consistent and have good songs (The Lone Bellow – solid all the way through, but only a couple standout songs) while others are inconsistent but have some phenomenal songs  (Arcade Fire – half awesome, half total garbage…what happened to the violin, guys??).

In the end, I picked out the albums that I made the strongest connections with, whether that’s from the entire album or just parts of it.  Much like my top songs of 2013 list, there was a clear-cut number one here.  It’s one of the most enjoyable and accessible albums I’ve ever heard, and its songs aren’t going away any time soon.  The top three albums, for me, have been set for a while, but the rest of the list jumbled around until the very last second.  So to put my indecisiveness on display, I found a way to add most of the other albums that were in consideration. I’m crafty like that.

Here’s how this plays out. I’m going to run down my list from 10 to 1.  With each album I’ll provide some recommendations for other 2013 albums you might like.  I know no one is going to listen to all ten of these, and you’re likely just skimming through to see where the music you like stacks up.  I’m also going to rank the songs on each album, in case you’re scum and don’t want to listen to the whole album.   Good? Great. Lezzgo.

10. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
Deerhunter – Monomania

Tracks, best to worst
It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)
You Already Know
Normal Person
We Exist
Here Comes the Night Time
Joan of Arc
Flashbulb Eyes
Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)
Here Comes the Night Time II

9. Parenthetical Girls – Privilege

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
Rhye – Woman

Tracks, best to worst
The Pornographer
Evelyne McHale
A Note to Self
Careful Who You Dance With
For All the Final Girls
Sympathy for Spastics
The Common Touch
Young Throats
On Death & Endearments
The Privilege

8. Ha Ha Tonka – Lessons

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Camper Van Beethoven – La Costa Perdida
Christopher Paul Stelling – False Cities

Tracks, best to worst
Colorful Kids
Rewrite Our Lives
Staring at the End of Our Lives
Dead to the World
Prove the World Wrong
Pied Pipers
Terrible Tomorrow
The Past Has Arms
Synthetic Hearts
American Ambition
Cold Forgiver
Synthetic Love

7. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II
Of Montreal – lousy with sylvianbriar

Tracks, best to worst
San Francisco
In the Darkness
No Destruction
Oh Yeah
On Blue Mountain
Bowling Trophies
We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Oh No

6. Stereo Telescope – On and Running

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady
Atlas Genius – When It Was Now

Tracks, best to worst
Draw Me a Sky
Ah! Dance!
Again and Again
I’m Not Finished With You Yet

5. Kanye West – Yeezus

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety
Childish Gambino – because the internet

Tracks, best to worst
Bound 2
Black Skinhead
Blood on the Leaves
On Sight
New Slaves
Send It Up
I Am a God
Guilt Trip
Holy My Liquor
I’m In It

4. Kavinsky – OutRun

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
RJD2 – More Is Than Isn’t
Jagwar Ma – Howlin

Tracks, best to worst
First Blood
Odd Look
Testarossa Autodrive
Grand Canyon

3. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Charli XCX – True Romance
Mitzi – Truly Alive

Tracks, best to worst
The Mother We Share
By the Throat
We Sink
Under the Tide
Night Sky
You Caught the Light

2. Villagers – {Awayland}

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
The Lone Bellow – The Lone Bellow
Matt Costa – Matt Costa

Tracks, best to worst
Earthy Pleasure
Grateful Song
Nothing Arrived
Passing A Message
The Bell
My Lighthouse
In a New Found Land You Are Free
The Waves
Judgement Call
Rhythm Composer

1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
!!! – Thr!!!er
Jamie Lidell – Jamie Lidell

Tracks, best to worst
Giorgio by Moroder
Instant Crush
Get Lucky
Lose Yourself to Dance
Give Life Back to Music
Doin’ It Right
The Game of Love
Fragments of Time