Pure Heroine, Lorde

A number of new albums came out in 2013, and no two of them are exactly alike. Here are some of our favorites, plucked from an array of genres.


Most intoxicating CD by a singer not old enough to imbibe: Pure Heroine, Lorde

Funkiest jazz disc inspired by body functions: Functional Arrhythmias, Steve ­Coleman and Five Elements

Best alt-country album with a maxilength title: The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case

Most soulful LP Otis Redding never made: Victim of Love, Charles Bradley

Best R&B album with annoying spoken-word interludes: The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe

Longest overdue reggae disc by a pied piper of sorts: Reincarnated, Snoop Lion

Most ironically titled debut by an all-female noise-punk band: Silence Yourself, Savages

Best psychedelic jazz album by a group of aging headbangers: 13, Black Sabbath

Most graceful return to Earth by a former space alien: The Next Day, David Bowie

Best EDM album for people who don’t know what EDM is: Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

Greatest proof the blues will never die: Get Up!, Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite

Best argument that Icelandic is the official language spoken in heaven: Kveikur, Sigur Rós

Best gospel album without fire or brimstone: One True Vine, Mavis Staples

Most cliché-free country record by a Nashville Star singer: Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey Musgraves

Best folk album that bears absolutely no resemblance to Mumford & Sons: American Kid, Patty Griffin

Most stripped-down album by an artist who used to dress up like Liberace: The Diving Board, Elton John