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Kyle McGovern’s 25 Best Albums of 2013

vampire weekend, modern vampires of the city

To finish out the year, we’ll be offering the top 25 albums from various SPIN staffers. Today, Writer Kyle McGovern.

And so ends my first full year as a staff writer at SPIN. The past 12 months have been a marathon, keeping pace with album leaks, performance videos, festival lineup reveals, fresh SoundCloud streams, scandals, court hearings, and Drake.

Soundtracking my 2013 most often fell to the 25 albums listed below. Phoenix’s effervescent Bankrupt! proved reliably refreshing, while Superchunk’s mid-life declaration of I Hate Music continues to feel cathartic. The Arctic Monkeys finally charmed me with the 41-minute, drunk-dial voicemail that is their fifth album; Janelle Monáe sold me on her sci-fi fantasy with the time-traveling jukebox that is her second. I drifted off with Kurt Vile on the prettier daze and worshipped A$AP Ferg’s Trap Lord on others.

The two constants, though, were Kanye West’s Yeezus and Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City. The former finds an artist indulging his ugliest impulses and plunging into the void, the latter catches a still-young band beginning to age gracefully as they open themselves up to the world at large. Cheers:

1. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
2. Kanye West, Yeezus
3. Drake, Nothing Was the Same
4. Arctic Monkeys, AM
5. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap
6. Kurt Vile, Wakin On a Pretty Daze
7. Phoenix, Bankrupt!
8. Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady
9. Deerhunter, Monomania
10. Danny Brown, Old
11. Earl Sweatshirt, Doris
12. Superchunk, I Hate Music
13. M.I.A., Matangi
14. A$AP Ferg, Trap Lord
15. Mikal Cronin, MCII
17. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
18. My Bloody Valentine, m b v
19. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
20. Death Grips, Government Plates
21. Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks
22. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
23. Ty Segall, Sleeper
24. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2
25. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories