Out with the old, no matter how good it is! Here's our comprehensive list of Top Albums of the Year 2013, schizophrenic as always to reflect the diverse tastes of our staff, though there is some overlap. It's highly recommended you check out every release here, as each has its own creative strengths.
Matthew Carter - electronic, experimental, metal, pop, rock Vivian Hua - dance, indie, pop, psychedelic, soul Troy Micheau - classical, electronic, experimental, instrumental Judy Nelson - dance, electronic, indie, pop, psychedelic, soul Elizabeth Perry - indie, mainstream, pop, rock Peter Woodburn - classical, instrumental, metal XUA - electronic hip-hop, mainstream, pop Albums of the Year 2013

A staff-compiled list of some of our favorite songs from the year 2011, in no particular order or with allegiance to any particular style....

"This new Russian Circles album is their best one yet," I said last month for the fourth time in my life to the clerk at Sonic Boom Records. She stared back at me blankly as I gleefully clutched my new copy of Empros and ran home for its first spin....

While I tend to harp on this fact, it is incredibly rare to find a label that is a true tastemaker for a specific genre and consistently delivers. For this reason, Hello Sir Records out of Athens, GA stands out and has been an absolute gem of a label since...

The instrumental, post-rock landscape is a bit crowded as of late. But in just three albums, the Chicago/Seattle trio Russian Circles have cemented themselves at the top, and this fact is readily apparent in their fantastic new album, Geneva. Russian Circles have always bounced between the moments that recall sunshine and the moments that recall audio armageddon. The issue up to this point has been how to balance the serene with the surrounding apocalyptic, sludgy tones that tear it all down. Geneva sludges across with "Fathom," and right from the get-go, the now cemented new bassist Brian Cook makes his presence known. Cook is no stranger to the mastery of the low-end, as his previous work with Botch and These Arms Are Snakes would suggest. But "Fathom" chugs along largely to his own beat. Guitarist Mike Sullivan peppers eerie riffs over it all and drummer Dave Turncrantz pounds away majestically. But seemingly, it is Cook who is finally brings it all together.

"I want people to pick up Enter or our new record, and say, 'What the hell are they going to do next?" -- Dave Turncrantz...