SPIN already dubbed “dance/pop” — not dance-pop — the Trend of the Year, but now it’s time we look at another major theme that hung over 2013: the comeback album.
The last 12 months saw an alarmingly large number of long-dormant artists end their hibernation. Trent Reznor revived Nine Inch Nails with the Essential Hesitation Marks; My Bloody Valentine finally unveiled the follow-up to 1991’s Loveless; Justin Timberlake took a breather from his acting career to issue his two-volume epic, The 20/20 Experience; Queens of the Stone Age waited six years to succeed 2007’s Era Vulgaris with the winkingly titled …Like Clockwork; David Bowie broke a decade-long silence with The Next Day; Daft Punk, after reminding us in 2005 that they’re Human After All, decided to reassemble their Random Access Memories; and Boards of Canada emerged from the deep web bearing Tomorrow’s Harvest.
But how did all of these overdue sequels (and several others not mentioned above) shake out? Were they worth the wait, or just a bunch of long-gestating disappointments? Consult SPIN’s visual graph ranking some of 2013’s most prominent comeback records to find out. (Scroll down and hit the enlarge button for a close-up look.) And be sure to check out SPIN’s in-depth year-end coverage, including our 50 Best Albums of 2013 and 50 Best Songs of 2013 lists.