Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Best Albums of 2013

I whipped up a little slideshow for Babble: My favorite albums for 2013. I'm amending it all the time in my mind. I still want to put together my favorite songs of 2013—There are a lot more good songs than good albums. It's hard to have a whole, listenable album. But these music posts take me so long. I enjoy it, but I go down lots of rabbit holes. I need to stay focused on shopping for Christmas with money I don't have—got to remember the reason for the season!

Babble editors changed my title from "The Best Albums of 2013—One Mom's Picks" to "The 10 Best Albums of 2013, Really" [They're so much more confident than I am, really.]

It’s almost irrelevant. Best albums? No one listens to whole albums anymore. But every year I can’t help it. Something compels me to select my favorite album of the year. Not just a single. Not just a band — a whole album.

Maybe it’s because one of my first jobs as a teenager in the late ’80s (DON’T JUDGE ME NEW YOUNG HIPSTERS — I’VE SEEN SOME THINGS) was working at Pegasus Records. It was a dream job. We did a lot more than vacuuming at night and alphabetizing the racks. We counseled our customers. They trusted us. They weren’t just spending $.99 online with the click of a button for a song they liked. They had to plop down cold hard cash for a record, tape, or CD. They wanted to know, “Is the whole album good?”

There are tons of great songs this year. But it takes a little culling to find an album that you can put on and listen to without having to skip a disappointing track. As a mom I prefer albums without a lot of obvious swears so Eminem and Kanye are out of my top 10, even though I think they have good albums this year. And Daft Punk gets an honorable mention, but NO ONE can listen to that whole album without skipping through to “Instant Crush.” Go ahead and try.

It’s an academic exercise, I know. It’s just so easy to pick songs a la carte. And I’m glad for that. But let’s give credit where it’s due to the artists who turn out whole, listenable albums.

Here are my top 10 picks with links to listen on Spotify or to buy on Amazon. Enjoy!


  1. Hey I just spent 20 bones on iTunes thanks to you! My favorite album of the year was Th Ash & the Clay by the Milk Carton Kids. New York is one of my favorite songs ever (older album, free to download tho.)

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