Best Albums Of 2013 So Far

30. Ben Jamin – R a d i o W a v e s


“I’ve never had the fortune to make it out to NZ, but I have friends down there, and based on what they’ve told me the pieces gathered here slot neatly into my preconceived notions of the place. From top to bottom, R a d i o W a v e s is resolutely low-key, evoking nothing so much as serene sun-kissed landscapes and mild intoxication. It also comes across as determinedly effortless; some of the drums might stumble and stagger like a Fly-Lo track or a DOOM loop, but things are never allowed to get too awkward.” – Michael Russam

29. Kool A.D. – 19 & 63


“The freedom of this type of mixtape has allowed Kool A.D. to chase his increasing eccentric muse, and that, as much as Heems’ self-confessional bend on Wild Water Kingdom, is an argument for the positives of the Das Racist divorce. It’s hard to lament the demise of the group when tapes as beguiling and weird as 19 and 63 exist.” – Andrew Winistorfer

28. The White Mandingos – The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me


“[F]or the most part, Murs’ flow, combined with Jenkins and Jenifer’s guitars, sound really powerful. Listening to this album is an education. It may incite you to delve deeper into music you were’t interested in before, it will also get you leaping to your local library to look up the many references peppered throughout. In the end, it’s only Murs’ voice that’s left, a cappella, and a message of love.” – Jonathan Tranter

27. Bilal – A Love Surreal


A Love Surreal offers another quality set of songs from one of soul music’s most reliable craftsmen and talents. These songs are honest, vulnerable, and exhibit Bilal’s constantly modified personal truths. You can bop your head to these songs, grab your lover by the waist and two-step to them, or sip some ‘gnac by a window and reminisce. One can only respect Bilal’s artistic integrity that moves through moods, tones, and topics with insular mastery seldom practiced within much of contemporary R&B.” – Francisco McCurry

26. Young Fathers – Tape Two


“If Young Fathers can maintain this inventive sonic blend alongside such real feeling, they could really be on to something. In fact, judging from the straight quality of Tape Two, it seems like they already are.” – Michael Russam

25. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Kismet

exquire kismet

Kismet represents a big change for Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire, a change from a half-a-gallon-of-Georgi-pounding kind of rapper, to more of a conscious indie rapper, and it works for him. He thrives on solo tracks like “Noble Drew Ali” and “Paper Hearts”, with really solid instrumentals and epic, booming verses that characterize the man of Passion. eXquire has aptly brought together a slew of different experimental sounds to create a fluid, well engineered mixtape.” – Will Salzer

33 thoughts on “Best Albums Of 2013 So Far

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  1. I really wish Qualia by Evil Needle was on here. It definitely deserves to be up there with the DJ Koze and Boards of Canada albums

  2. Yeezus should have been lower, still too high up.

  3. King VitaMN|

    He mentioned molly within a verse about experimenting with new drugs. Not sure why that would throw you off.

  4. glad to see denitia and sene’s album on the list, i loved that shit. But even more glad to see Run the Jewels in that number one spot. Well fuckin’ deserved.

  5. Patiently awaiting albums from:

    Danny Brown
    Earl Sweatshirt
    The Step Brothers (Alchemist and Evidence) – Lord Steppington
    MidaZ the Beast
    Roc Marciano – Marci Beacoup

  6. Tyler’s album was a disappointment. So was Statik Selektah’s Extended Play, but all of his albums kinda stink to me. Best album, that I’ve heard this year, SO FAR, is Apollo Brown’s version of Ghostface Killah (and Adrian Younge)’s Twelve Reasons To Die.

  7. Vinnie Babs|

    I’m pretty pleased to see someone give Overgrown some credit. It was a great record yet it was severely underated among critica

  8. Vinnie Babs|

    Run The Jewels was a victory lap. But its El-P and Killer Mike’s victory lap. They just did there thing and had some fun doing it and coincidently the project is one of the best albums of year.

  9. Miller Highlife|

    Your right. But being placed in third is what I don’t agree with.

  10. senorwoohoo|

    Pretty sure you misunderstood the Yeezus blurb and review. All good.

  11. senorwoohoo|

    Bah, I forgot Jose James.

  12. senorwoohoo|

    Yup, it’s in order.

    And you’re not missing anything. You don’t have to like Chance.

  13. Miller Highlife|

    Acid Rap was the first time I’ve heard of Chance but I can’t really understand how people like this dude. Is this list in an order by the way? He has unorthadox flow patterns which I like but the tone of his voice makes me wanna call Sean Price to slap this dude. I can’t take em serious or bump this around my homies without fearing they’ll look at me weird. I did like Cocoa Butter Kisses, Favorite Song,and Nana though. Am I missing something here?

  14. invernessfalls|

    mike & molly, obv

  15. Felix Reichert|

    This list is definitely missing Eric Lau as well as R.A.

    I’d also add Rashaan Ahmad’s new LP, that one was pretty dope. Definitely one of my favs so far.

    P-Money also did a much, much better producer LP than Statik.

    The just released Wrekonize & Endemic LPs seem to be pretty great as well. Haven’t listened to them often enough for a final verdict though.

    Other than rap: Valerie June, Sapient, Jose James.

  16. TruthSerum|

    Maybe he likes to do drugs and referenced something he does, I mean he’s a grown man and free to make his own life choices lol I’m sure all his weed references and EL-P’s comments about drinking didnt bother you tho right?? I love hip hop double standards when it comes to drugs.

  17. TruthSerum|

    LOL @ Getting mad at somebody elses opinion, get over yourself dude, showing a “Lack of Integrity” would be if they gave it a high placement just because everyone else did. People are allowed to dislike a record even if the popular crowd says its great, freedom of choice is a beutiful thing

  18. Andrew Pike|

    acid rap is awesome, all the way thru.

  19. who is Molly? who cares.

  20. titterfloogen|

    el-p just blesses everything he touches. He doesn’t follow bullshit trends. He could give a fuck about hairstyles or image. He could give a fuck about anything else but the music. Dude is in his thirty’s and he shits on everyone just being himself. Him and killer mike make a perfect team. He’s raw as fuck. I agree with the winner…completely.

  21. The lists and the tools seem to come out the box at the same time.


  23. Bliss n Eso – Circus in the Sky

  24. invernessfalls|

    i am not at all convinced by the argument that RAM is “out of step” or a tribute to a “forgotten medium” considering there’s been a pretty big disco/boogie revival in california for at least the last 5 years. but whatever.

  25. Ian Shepard|

    “Run The Jewels” is pretty awesome, but it’s hard to see it as anything more than a victory lap. “Random Access Memories” was more deserving of the top honor since it’s basically MOR’s answer to “Hugo:” a grandiose homage to a forgotten medium. Timberlake’s album made a great first impression, but once the initial shock wore off there wasn’t anything worth latching onto. It’s just a bland approximation of experimental music (“I am a serious artist and I am making the kind of music serious artists make. Be awed, damn you!”). Ditto for “Yeezus.” And honestly, I keep waiting for “Acid Rap” to become the profound masterpiece that everybody seems to think it is. So far though nothing. All in all though, I agreed with or at least respected most of your choices. My own list goes:

    1.) Deafheaven – Sunbather
    2.) Eluvium – Nightmare Ending
    3.) Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
    4.) Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
    5.) Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer
    6.) Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
    7.) Iceage – You’re Nothing
    8.) Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge – Twelve Reasons to Die
    9.) James Blake – Overgrown
    10.) Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

  26. DavidReyneke|

    Scores reflect the opinion of the individual writer, not Potholes as a whole. Thanks for reading.

  27. rap noob|

    Why is mentioning molly frowned upon?

  28. The Brown Tape as a remix project is better than Adrian Younge’s original beats. Apollo Brown’s beats really emphasized the mood and made all the features sound like parts of the story while Younge’s beats just emphasis how little Ghost was on the album to me. Something About April is still one of my favorite albums of all time and the original beats are still cool, but Apollo Brown really knocked it out the park.

  29. acid rap had a few nice tracks, honestly hard to listen to without skipping most of it. only about half the album is even memorable. mac miller is mac miller, regardless of all his vine friends. daft punk attempted to do what kanye did, making the exact opposite of what their fans wanted, and it was almost just a throwback to disco and something everyone had already heard, hardly anyone i know even enjoyed it. you really cant be serious in saying that yeezus isnt even in the top 10, and then follow that decision with a write up basically saying he should have just returned to a previous formula when clearly every respectable magazine has given it an almost perfect rating, just like you. at least complex has the balls to be controversial even if most of their lists are a joke, really disappointed at a lack of integrity you showed when yeezus is one of the most fascinating albums ive ever heard and when you had the same opinion a week ago.

  30. nigelPOW|

    I enjoyed Watching Movies more than Yeezus on first listen.

  31. Geoffrey Kenneth|

    i don’t understand your Yeezus rating, especially now since you have it listed lower than albums that you gave lower scores.
    plus you included that “better versions of themselves” line that almost made me puke the first time I read it.

    still love you guys though.

  32. Acid Rap and 12 Reasons to Die are my favourite rap albums this year so far , Yeezus too. Run the Jewels still needs a few listens I guess , Loved their albums last year

  33. nigelPOW|

    Loved Run The Jewels but couldn’t help but facepalm when i heard Killer Mike mention Molly a couple times in a song. Just wasn’t expecting him to fall for that this late in the game.

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