Why I Put a Band Called Chumped Ahead of Yeezus for the Best Album of 2013
Vampire Weekend's third record is their best work yet. Contra and their self-titled album are similar enough to blend together, but Modern Vampires of the City shows the band's growth through songs that have a bit more depth. The afrobeat influences are still there, but there is more substance than previous works like "Horchata."
My Bloody Valentine deserves the comeback nod of the year, as most of us assumed MBV was never going to happen. Remarkably, the band's third full-length album is the perfect follow up to the acclaimed Loveless.
Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Kanye West is talented. Yeezus was a bit of a leap after the magnificent My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but repeated listens showed that 'Ye still triumphs with a stripped down production -- just don't make him wait for his damn croissants. Yeezus was a grower; if you think you didn't like it, I encourage you to give "Black Skinhead" another listen.
Between The New Pornographers and her solo work, I'm convinced that Neko Case can do no wrong. The Worse Things Get is full of emotion, from a Nico cover to a stunning a capella song about verbal abuse she overheard in Honolulu.
Arctic Monkeys relied on a big production for the fantastic AM, which balances out the band's garage rock influences with soul and R&B. While Alex Turner excels as a rocker who thinks you'd look pretty good on the dance floor, his longing shines through on tracks like "I Wanna Be Yours," an answer to the opening track about potential unrequited love. AM is a well-constructed narrative.