2013’s Best Albums: Idolator Editors Pick Their Favorite 10
7. Tegan And Sara, Heartthrob Released: January 29
Tegan And Sara’s partnering-up with pop producer Greg Kurstin, on paper, may have caused several head scratches, but the musical result turned out to be sublime. Make no mistake, the Quin sisters have always had a knack for beautiful harmonies and insanely addictive hooks. But with Heartthrob, it was as if the pair hopped into a time machine and embarked on a course to pluck the lushest of melodies straight from the 1980s (think Cyndi Lauper‘s She’s So Unusal, Madonna‘s self-titled debut or Culture Club‘s Colour By Numbers).
If you’ve yet to discover this gem of a set, do yourself a favor and get to listening. Otherwise, you’ll never forgive yourself for missing out on the sweet longing in shiny tracks like “I Was A Fool,” “Now I’m All Messed Up” and “How Come You Don’t Want Me,” or the giddy high of jams “Closer” and “Drive Me Wild.” — ROBBIE DAW
6. Charli XCX, True RomanceReleased: April 16
Welcome to the new school of pop. Charli XCX proved herself to be one of the most thrilling faces of the new generation of indie-pop stars born of the Internet. Her kaleidoscopic debut, True Romance, is a fuzzy collection of bloodstained odes (“Black Roses”), ’80’s-tinged pop (“Take My Hand”), experimental hip-hop fusions (“Cloud Aura” with Internet sensation Brooke Candy) and bone-chilling ballads (“Stay Away”). Her influences are as colorful and varied as a well-curated Tumblr, spanning from everything from Siouxsie and the Banshees to Gwen Stefani to Britney Spears. But its her own penchant for crafting stadium-sized hooks (you might have heard a little ditty she wrote for Icona Pop called “I Love It”) that she’s got more than enough talent to fill those platform Buffalo boots. — BRADLEY STERN
5. Pet Shop Boys, ElectricReleased: July 16
There was a legendary electronic duo from Europe who truly delivered in 2013, but we’re not talking about Daft Punk. In fact, it’s a rare feat when a band 28 years into their career can put forth an album as full of exciting pop and energetic thumping as Electric, yet that’s exactly what Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe — better known as the Pet Shop Boys — did.
The PSBs themselves seemed caught off guard when their nine-track disco ride garnered the best reviews of their career over the summer. It’s really no mystery why that was the case, though. Cuts like “Inside A Dream,” “Thursday,” “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” and “Vocal” signaled Tennant and Lowe’s return to their handclap-laden, bell-chiming, dancefloor roots, and in turn their efforts were rewarded with accolades and chart success not seen since their 1993 masterpiece Very. Welcome back to the club, Boys. — ROBBIE DAW