Year's Best: Okayplayer's Top 13 albums of 2013

The big day is almost here, children. The 12 days of Christmas are almost to the Lorde’s-a-leaping part and you got about 6 days of shopping left until that blessed event we’ve all been waiting for: a day off. That also means the outlets that’ve been talking about “albums-of-the-year” since July are about talked out and even the latest of fashionably late albums have been turned in (looking at you Beyoncé…but we are still leaving a stocking our for D’Angelo! At this point, I would not be at all surprised if D physically comes down Questlove‘s chimney to turn this thing in on Christmas Eve.) And all that means it’s time for grown folks to have a real conversation about the Best Albums Of The 2013. Without further ado we present Okayplayer’s Top 13 LPs of 2013: an appropriately 13-ish last supper of Electric Ladies, Acid Rappers and Cartoon Cyborgs. We got reigning champs (Janelle, JT, M.I.A.) rising stars and fresh imports (Chance, Blood Orange, Disclosure) and prodigal prodigies (Omar, Amel Larrieux)–in fact the only thing they all have in common is that they brought the noise (and the melody) in 2013. Of course, as with last year there are some inclusions and omissions that will be controversial and doubtless some shade will be thrown. But, hey..you wanna make nog, you gotta break a few eggs. Let the debate begin and remember to enjoy the music, these are the year’s best (and remember CDs and LPs make even more charming holiday gifts now that they’re totally outmoded antiques! give the gift of physical objects).

>>>Click through for OKP’s Top 13 LPs of 2013



  • GMoney

    Really??? No “Love In Flying Colors”???

    • Pat

      It was chosen as a “Staff Pick” as seen in the last slide.

    • GMoney

      I get that, but it should have been in the top 13!

    • ianism

      i love shad, but no. RTJ is way better than Flying Colours.

    • ONMY88SHiT

      ‘Love in Flying Colors’ by The Foreign Exchange not ‘Flying Colors’ by Shad..

  • Justus

    Oddisee killed this year with “The Beauty In All” and “Tangible Dream”

    • ianism

      aye he did

  • Brian Valentine

    Run The Jewels = Fire

  • Julius Wrek

    James Blake’s “Overgrown” didn’t make the list?

    …How DARE you…

  • ACM

    But really when is D’s album getting here….

    • Ron Oneil

      That’s been the question for over a decade player!!!!!

  • Boone

    Two words:


  • Bee

    “Avalanche” by Quadron!

  • jfl

    Only album I would have included is Vampire Weekend.

  • BlackSails

    RUN THE JEWELZ!!! jewelz … jewelz .. jewelz …. that album is straight fire

  • Kurtis

    Thank you for recognizing Amel’s album – every other top albums of 2013 ignored her and that was criminal. Such an excellent album.

  • PhilipClark

    Good list.

  • matt

    James Blake Overgrown, and what about Laura Mvula, no honerable mention at least?

  • thx.5280

    Rhye’s album is called “Woman”.

  • 13Years

    Hang on… you have forgotten to wait for 2013’s most anticipated release. The album that Questlove himself stated would be released before the end of the year. The album that has been only 1-2% away from release for… well… a year or two now… drumroll please… oh, sorry, what was that… okay, this just in… D’Angelo to now release his album next month… okay in the first quarter of 2014… well, the first half for sure… hmmm…. okay, by the end of 2014 without fail.

    Well, at least we have Maxwell’s new album to look forward to. That should be released any minute now.

    • too long


  • ThomasDaBombas

    I love you OKP, but this list is awful.

    • Fleabis

      You must be joking, Run The Jewels is a killer album.

  • Dominic Aragon

    Oddisee put out the best music this year. Hands down.

  • The album for the year for me was, without a doubt, Bilal’s A Love Surreal. No one can write his own lyrics like he can and deliver them so sensationally;) I was surprised to find it wasn’t in OKP’s top 11 or honorable mentions or staff picks.

    • Derrick

      Yes!!! Such a great album!

    • Chico91

      Me too! I’m glad I saw Bilal sing songs from “A Love Surreal” live in Brooklyn this summer. Brilliant!

  • sheityeahboye

    Snoopzilla n Dam Funk – prolly at least one on the top 13 songs list. This list missed a lot.

  • Derrick

    So glad to see Omar’s album selected. It’s so good!

    I truly believe we should ALL give Bilal’s “A Love Surreal” another spin. It’s an impeccable album. No doubt. It’s like a beautifully drowned love poem.

    I slept on Major Lazar’s album. Y’all listed it. I’ll check it out.

    Overall, good list.

  • Chico91

    Thanks for recognizing Amel Larrieux’s “Ice Cream Everyday” – it is truly one of her best albums – “Moment to Reflect.” But Bilal’s “A Love Surreal” should also be on this list, if just for “Butterfly” and “Never Be the Same.” How could you all forget the genius Bilal? Both Amel and Bilal’s albums deserved Grammy nominations.

  • Charles Gaylord

    Black Milk No Poison No Paradise has to be mentioned. His best album since Popular Demand.