Poll — December 16, 2013 at 10:17 am

Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of 2013: Vote for your 10 favorite albums of the year

Best of 2013 albums

While voting remains ongoing in our mammoth, year-ending Best of the 1980s poll, we do need to quickly interject a key annual tradition, and open up balloting for the best of this current year. This go-around, we’re going to divvy things up into two main polls: Best albums of the year, and a second ballot that includes reissues, box sets, compilations and live albums.

VOTING: Below you’ll find the ballot for the best albums of 2013, a list of about 80 records released this year by ’80s alternative artists — including a few EPs by the likes of the Pixies and The Replacements, since there didn’t seem to be enough released this year to justify running a separate EP poll.

You may vote for up to 10 albums.

As always, you’re free to write in anything else you want, and if you need any more help jogging your memory this year, feel free to consult our weekly new release round-ups.

DEADLINE: Voting ends 5 p.m. EDT Friday, Dec. 27, and results will be posted before New Year’s.

Sound good? Then vote away.

Feel free to discuss/list/explain/lobby for your picks in the comments section below.

And be sure to vote in our separate poll for best reissues, box sets, compilations and live albums of 2013.



NOTE: If this app isn’t letting you vote, you also may vote directly via Polldaddy: poll.fm/4jxye.






  1. ‘Ultramarine’ by THE OCEAN BLUE is solid from start to finish. My favorite for 2013. Enjoyed seeing them live this year as well.

  2. 1. Beastmilk – Climax
    2. Beastmilk – Climax
    3. Beastmilk – Climax
    4. Beastmilk – Climax
    5. Beastmilk – Climax

    And then a few more runners up.

  3. Agreed with The Ocean Blue … the quality is up to par with their 2nd & 3rd releases. The Johnny Marr is the best of this bunch in my ledger, my skepticism was completely unwarranted.

  4. 2013 wasn’t the best of years for new music. I have to hand it to Bowie, I think his new album was the best of 2013 with an honorable mention going to Johnny Marr.

  5. I love that album Electric!

  6. Pet Shop Boys released the genius album again! Fantastic melodies and atmosphere. Thursday and last to die are incredible!!!

  7. Should be top 20 :)

  8. New Order, Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Marr for me.


  10. The Ocean Blue “Ultramarine” this album goes back to their roots

  11. Alison Moyet with ‘the minutes’ and O.M.D.’s ‘English Electric’ were superb albums this year. Go check them out…

  12. My favorite of 2013 remains Indochine’s mesmerizing album “Black City Parade”. Not sure why it’s not here as they were very active in the 80s.

  13. Simon Crowley

    Great comeback albums from both unexpected too.Adam Ant is back with a bang & Bowie can do no wrong in my opinion

  14. I have to say, I absolutely LOVED TV Mania’s “Bored With Prozac And The Internet”. That album gets heavy rotation on my iPod. Damn good remixes too.

  15. I was surprised at how good the Johnny Marr album was. The Bowie and Pet Shop Boys albums have also been constant on my CD player.

    • That was exactly my reaction to the Marr record: Wow, this is really good! I’m not a particularly big Smiths fan (I have most of their records, but rarely listen to one all the way through), so I bought the Marr record more out of curiosity. Turns out it might be my favorite record of the year.

  16. Oh that Ocean Blue album just keeps getting better and better.

  17. I only voted for one album: mbv. Unless there’s a Morphine box set that’s all I care about on this list.

  18. I’m surprised at the number of good albums that came out this year….Depeche Mode Delta Machine and Queens of the Stone Age …Like Clockwork should be added to the list!

  19. Nick Cave should be #1 – “Push the Sky Away” is my favorite…

  20. junkie.rock.star

    anyone else think this 2013 list looked very much like one of the 80’s lists we’ve just completed?

  21. Excelent album…

  22. Johnny Marr’s “The Messenger”
    Ocean Blue’s “Ultramarine”
    OMD’s “English Electric”
    Adam Ant’s “Blue Hussar”
    PSB’s “Electric”

    and others… some really great stuff rolled out this year; SAW Johnny Marr in Dallas; BRILLIANT. sorry to see the OMD tour was derailed due to drummer health issues; They had a lot of momentum coming off of “History of Modern” and now “English Electric”…

  23. OH and I forgot… POLTERGEIST!!!!

    that is some really really great stuff!!!!!!!

  24. No representation of some of the newer indie rock acts? No Wavves, Best Coast, Speedy Ortiz or FIDLAR?

  25. David Bowie the best album 2013

  26. Two big omissions: Graham Parker and the Rumor and Garland Jeffreys!
    My personal 2 faves were the amazing OMD “English Electric” and the strongest Meat Puppets album in years, “Rat Farm”–can’t stop listening to either!

  27. It was an absolutely interesting music year!
    Many of my faves are missing in that list:
    IAMX,Savages,La Femme,Arcade Fire,Fuel Fandango,Fuck Buttons,John Grant,Atoms for Peace,The Knife,Suede,White Lies,Placebo,Editors,Kosheen….
    Wondering between Bowie and DM for the 1st place…

  28. Alberto Ballesteros

    1. Depeche Mode
    2. Lloyd Cole
    3. Johnny Marr

  29. Definitely Alison Moyet and then Pet Shop Boys & New Order. Depeche Mode album is awful.

  30. Don’t forget ‘Visage’ album. This is big surprise for me. Great album.

  31. Fantastico album de pet shop boys (electric)

  32. Pet shop boys ELECTRIC

  33. Alison Moyet got it right. She has my vote for #1.

  34. Pet Shop Boys’ Electric is one of the most thrilling albums the duo have ever produced. I enjoy listening to it as much as their classic mid-’80s albums, and Behavior. Solid, fresh, and exciting.

  35. Mazzy Star, Seasons of Your Day
    The Ocean Blue, Ultramarine
    The Suburbs, Si Sauvage
    …Done and done!

  36. I’m confounded by the lack of Chvrches (or did I miss it?) – other than that, lots of nice ones.

  37. Big Countrys’ the Journey was really great

  38. 1. Johnny Marr
    2. Pet Shop Boys
    3. Depeche Mode

    Did I mention Johnny Marr?

  39. 1- Johnny Marr
    2- Lloyd Cole
    3- The Idyllists (not on the list, I know)

  40. Arcade Fire

  41. Stellar year for PSP, Depeche Mode and the The Fall, however Skinny Puppy takes the top prize for me. Such an amazing release.

  42. True artistry
    True soulful lads
    and killer harmonizing

  43. Lots of sweet sounds on the MARR release…absolute brilliance!

  44. Black Swan Lane “The Last Time In Your Light” really needs to be added!

  45. Delta Machine! ‘Nuff said!

  46. Nick Cave, Pet Shop Boys, Bowie, Flaming Lips, Skinny Puppy… strong year for old folks music.

  47. Pet Shop Boys’s Eletric is my number one in this poll. Prefab Sprout’s Crimson/Red is great too.

    I know it’s not an 80’s artist but I have to point out that Bloodsports by Suede is the best album of the year.

  48. Alison Moyet’s “The Minutes” is my album of the year, her best album, even better than Yazoo.
    And Nick Cave, Pet Shop Boys, MBV, David Bowie, Visage & Mazzy Star are all excellent.
    Not sure why Boy George’s “This Is What I Do” didn’t get a mention, it is also his best album to date.
    Very nice reggae/dub album with a little bit of glam rock in there.

  49. Surprised not much mention of new Bowie in the comments. It was an incredible album. Nick Cave’s was the best of the year though.

  50. Skinny Puppy- Weapon
    Front Line Assembly- Echogenetic

  51. The two most welcome comebacks of the year were definitely The Ocean Blue and KOD. Both were highly underrated in their time, hopefully this will be a rebirth for them.

  52. Should be a toss up for Ocean Blues, Pet Shop Boys, Johnny Marr and OMD.

    Depeche Mode Delta M. is one of the worse CD I have ever heard and I was a hard core DM fan in the day. I wept when I realized how bad DM has gotten, makes it hard to listen to their great classics from the 80-90s.

    • it’s the best record they’ve made in at least 15 years.

      • The dump I took this morning did not smell as bad as that from the day before. Does that make it better? Better than one I took 15 years ago? DM, like the Cure are now a touring concern that should stick to making money on the road. I give all these guys props for still putting out albums, but that doesn’t mean it is worth buying.

        • Richard Evans

          Thank you James in total agreement, if you cannot make a good CD just tour. Beside most bands make their paycheck from touring thesedays, an the Cure and Depeche Mode could see all their classics and we would be there for the show. Notice on the DVD of the Cure and DM that fan get the most excited over their older stuff.

      • If ‘one & only’ qotita said that, that’s probably true. But I must admit that I have to agree with Richard. Delta Machine is probably worst album in entire history of DM. Qotita as usual have another opinion and his opinion is only matters. Qotita says for himself that he is the best musicologist in the world.

    • Also, I’m agree with James. Another album and predictable tour for Depeche Mode will be in 2017. (1993-1997-2001-2005-2009-2013-2017 ????)

  53. I’ve been wondering if anyone actually bought the Dean Wareham record and can comment on it. I was a fanatical Luna/G500 fan, saw them many times, but I just can’t connect with his recent releases for some reason. Should I bother with this one?

  54. People, if you have not yet heard the Steve Kilbey / Martin Kennedy album, “You Are Everything”, please do yourselves a favor and buy/download it. I bought many of the albums listed in 2013. None hold a candle. This is the best album I’ve heard probably in the last 2 to 3 years, and beat in their current trilogy. EPIC!!

  55. None of the above.

  56. A year when PSB put out an album of new material before last year’s is even cooled off, Kitchens Of Distinction release new music almost 2 decades after the last and no one saw Prefab Sprout releasing an album of new material that is as amazing as some of its greatest from the 80’s.

  57. Midlake? Camera Obscura? Neko Case? Josh Ritter? The White Buffalo? Dent May? Guided By Voices? Surely these should be here but I don’t see them.

  58. Arcade Fire, Suede, Chelsea Wolfe, Thee Oh Sees, Grouper?

  59. Wire went absolute Killer in 2013, end of discussion!

  60. wow. whole lotta wanker paycheck albums this year. i didn’t even realize some of these geezers are still walking, let alone still recording.

    the few that stand out this year for myself are – camper van beethoven, chelsea light moving,and melvins. oh, and that bad religion xmas album. “OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT! OH COME YE OH COME YE TO BETHLEHEM!

  61. i think it’s safe to say The Mary Onettes – Hit The Waves is the most 80’s sounding record of the year ;-)

  62. The Ocean Blue is simply amazing
    OMD – English Electric – mind blowing

  63. This might actually be one list the The Cure is not at the top!

  64. Atlas Genius ‘When it was Now’
    Blue Hawaii ‘Untogether’
    Chrome Sparks ‘Sparks’
    Delta Rae ‘Chasing Twisters’
    Jake Bugg ‘Shangri La’
    Kasey Musgraves ‘Same Trailer Different Park’
    Kitten ‘Like a Stranger’
    Local Natives ‘Hummingbird’
    Lori McKenna ‘Massachusetts’
    The Neighbourhood ‘I Love You’

  65. Where Is?
    “Loud City Song” – JULIA HOLTER
    “Tomorrow’s Harvest”- Boards Of Canada
    “Trouble Will Find Me” – THe National “Bloodsports” – Suede
    “Kveikur” – Sigur Rós
    “False Idols” – Tricky
    “Monomania” – Deerhunter

  66. I’d also say VNV Nation belongs on this list, and they’ll get my write in for sure! THYX should be here, too.

  67. Ocean Blue is fantastic. I also enjoyed “Miracle Mile” from STRFCKR.

  68. *More bangin, more lazers *Pet Shop Boys- Electric is an amazing album. It is seriously one of the very few albums that i was excited about this year. Went to see them live to hear some 80’s classics and got way more than I thought I was going to get- a full on electronic assault complete with brilliant visuals and lasers to the hilt. This was the first time i even heard anything off of Electric. They started out with a bang with “Axis”. Phenomenal bucket list worthy show. Went straight home and downloaded it. <3

  69. Where is Yo La Tengo Fade ??? They started in the 80’s!
    Anyway, no great records from these alternative bands excepting Flaming lips, Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock. But not as good as Bill Callahan, Neko Case, Autre ne Veut or Kanye West excellent Yeezus.

  70. Depeche Mode and Nick Cave.


  72. Pet Shop Boys Electric is definitely number 1!

  73. Editors and The National???


  74. Yo La Tengo? Dinosaur Jr? Pretty huge misses. C’mon Matt!

  75. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Push the Sky Away No.1 for sure, Electric by Pet Shop Boys was also good, I love Johnny Marr but The Messenger is shit

  76. requiemofnoise

    So many albums not on this list, I realize there are constraints, but there are a lot of things missing:
    Editors, Daft Punk, Kitchens of Distinction, The National, Sigur Ros, Duologue, Cults, Chvrches, Foals, Atoms for Peace to name a few. . . .

  77. Need some Amplifier (Echo Street) best album of the century. Out of the list Bowie’s The Next Day deserves a worthy mention and Camper Van Beethoven’s La Costa Pedida has me rocking.

  78. The Johnny Marr release is legendary!

  79. I can’t believe how much love that Pet Shop Boys record is getting, and how little anyone is talking about the new Gary Numan album.

  80. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
    The Editors – The Weight Of Your Love
    Lloyd Cole – Standards
    Tricky – False Idols
    Suede – Bloodsports
    Blue October – Sway

  81. Matt Thurston

    The House of Love album was great!!! Welcome back.

    So was the latest Lloyd Cole record — he sounds feisty again.

    And Lost Sirens from New Order… great to hear them again.

    Primal Scream’s latest was their best in over a decade.

  82. Matt Thurston

    was not a big fan of Johnny Marr’s record.

    Has anyone heard the Wire album? Any good?

  83. Depeche Mode
    Crime and the City Solutions
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    Mick Harvey
    They were perfect for me this year.

  84. Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

    This poll should be void because it did not include the MGMT album.


  85. Numan – Splinter: Songs From A Broken Mind
    NIN – Hesitation Marks
    deserve some mention
    OMD – EE
    PSB – E
    Johnny Marr – The Messenger

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