The 2013 Dean's List

Every year at this time, Robert Christgau looks back on the past twelve months in pop music to compile the Dean's List, his own authoritative and personal ranking of the best listening of the prior year. Don't miss his companion essay to this year's list, "The Consensus Has Consequences."

1. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City (XL)
2. The Uncluded: Hokey Fright (Rhymesayers)
3. The Julie Ruin: Run Fast (TJR)
4. Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel: Hey Hey It's...the Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band (self-released)
5. Live from Festival au Desert Timbuktu (Clermont Music)
6. Lady Gaga: Artpop (Streamline/Interscope)
7. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Deluxe Edition) (Aftermath)
8. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba: Jama Ko (Out Here)
9. Gogol Bordello: Pura Vida Conspiracy (ATO)
10. The Knife: Shaking the Habitual (Mute)
11. Parkay Quarts: Tally All the Things That You Broke (What's Your Rupture?)
12. Rilo Kiley: RKives (Little Record Company)
13. Rachid Taha: Zoom (Wrasse)
14. Deerhunter: Monomania (4AD)
15. Kate Nash: Girl Talk (Have 10P)
16. Kool A.D.: Not O.K. (self-released)
17. Brandy Clark: 12 Stories (Mercury)
18. Beyoncé: Beyoncé (Columbia)
19. Latyrx: The Second Album (Solesides)
20. Martha Redbone Roots Project: The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake (Blackfeet Productions '12)
21. Kassa Overall: Stargate Mixtape (free Greedhead mixtape '12)
22. Kitty: D.A.I.S.Y. Rage (self-released)
23. Angola Soundtrack 2 (Analog Africa)
24. Ezra Furman: The Year of No Returning (Bar/None)
25. Four Tet: Pink (Text '12)
26. The Road to Jajouka (Howe)
27. Jonny Fritz: Dad Country (ATO)
28. The Dismemberment Plan: Uncanney Valley (Partisan)
29. Ray Wylie Hubbard: The Grifter's Hymnal (Bordello '12)
30. Sam Baker: Say Grace (self-released)
31. Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (What's Your Rupture?)
32. Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Take Me to the Land of Hell (Chimera Music)
33. M.I.A.: Matangi (Interscope)
34. Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap (free download)
35. Wussy: Duo (Shake It)
36. Sky Ferreira: Night Time, My Time (Capitol)
37. David Greenberger/Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound: They Like Me Around Here (Pel Pel)
38. No Age: An Object (Sub Pop)
39. Ezra Furman: Day of the Dog (Bar/None)
40. Tom Zé: Tropicàlia Lixo Lógico (self-released '12)
41. Jon Hopkins: Immunity (Domino)
42. Danny Brown: Old (Fool's Gold)
43. Le Grande Kalle: His Life, His Music (Sterns Africa)
44. Tamikrest: Chatma (Glitter Beat)
45. Fat Tony: Smart Ass Black Boy (Young One)
46. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Mature Themes (4AD '12)
47. Clay Harper: Airport Road (Terminus)
48. Robert Sarazin Blake with Jefferson Hamer and the Powderkegs: Put It All Down in a Letter (Same Room '11)
49. Ceramic Dog: Your Turn (Northern Spy)
50. Kool & Kass: Peaceful Solutions (free download)
51. The Handsome Family: Wilderness (Carrot Top)
52. Sleigh Bells: Bitter Rivals (Mom + Pop)
53. Mariem Hassan: El Aaiún Egdat (Nubenegra '12)
54. Yo Ma Ma: Symptomology/Stephen Kalinich & Jon Tiven: Shortcuts to Infinity (MsMusic '12)
55. Those Darlins: Blur the Line (Oh Wow Dang)
56. Neko Case: The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You (Anti-)
57. Sidi Touré: Alafia (Thrill Jockey)
58. Superchunk: I Hate Music (Merge)
59. Omar Souleyman: Wenu Wenu (Ribbon)
60. J Cole: Truly Yours (free download)
61. Ashley Monroe: Like a Rose (Warner Bros.)
62. The Rough Guide to the Music of Hungary (World Music Network '12)
63. Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park (Mercury)
64. Skrillex: Leaving (Owsla download)
65. Lil Wayne: I Am Not a Human Being II (Cash Money/Republic)
66. Serengeti: The Kenny Dennis LP (Anticon)

67. Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s & '80s (Soundway)
68. White Mandingos: The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me (Fatbeats)
69. ZZK Sound Vol. 3 (ZZK/Waxpolitation)

70. The Rough Guide to Acoustic Africa (World Music Network)
71. Young Fathers: Tape Two (Anticon)
72. Pistol Annies: Annie Up (RCA)
73. Diablos Del Ritmo: Colombian Melting Pot 1960-85 (Analog Africa '12)
74. Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanay (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
75. Pusha T: My Name Is My Name (Def Jam)
76. Tal National: Kaani (Fatcat)
77. Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Merge)
78. Yo La Tengo: Fade (Matador)
79. Burial: Truant/Rough Sleeper (Hyperdub '12)
80. Waxahatchee: Cerulean Salt (Don Giovanni)
81. Bombino: Nomad (Nonesuch)
82. Batida: Batida (Soundway '12)

83. The Rough Guide to African Disco (World Music Network)

84. Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle (Nonesuch)
85. Chicha Libre: Quatro Tigres (Barbès)

 

Editor's Note: A previously published version of this list mistakenly omitted four titles, which have been restored to this corrected version.

About the Columnist
Robert Christgau is a critic at All Things Considered, writes for the National Arts Journalism Program's ARTicles blog, teaches in NYU's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, and has published five books. His highly searchable website is robertchristgau.com.

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