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Vampire Weekend: After a titanic battle the New Yorkers come out on top. Of a building.

The ultimate, definitive Best Albums Of 2013

It's the annual ADM Poll of Polls, our roundup of the critics' end-of-year best albums lists - the ultimate, definitive Best Of The Best Ofs, 2013

The final scores are in. Everything's been added up and double checked. The abacus has been put away for another year. We can finally reveal what are the most critically-acclaimed albums of 2013.

We've compiled the rankings from more than 30 magazines, newspapers and websites from our sources to provide a comprehensive reflection of the critical favourites of the year. It's the ultimate "Best of the Best Albums of 2013" chart.

It has been one of the closest races for years at the very top of the listings, with Vampire Weekend eventually just clinching it over Kanye West.

So here's the rundown of the top 50 albums of the year as seen by music reviewers in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. Below we give our appraisal of what it all means.

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  1. 682 Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires Of The City
  2. 590 Kanye West Yeezus
  3. 443 Arctic Monkeys AM
  4. 435 Daft Punk Random Access Memories
  5. 419 Arcade Fire Reflektor
  6. 418 The National Trouble Will Find Me
  7. 408 David Bowie The Next Day
  8. 402 My Bloody Valentine m b v
  9. 349 Jon Hopkins Immunity
  10. 342 Disclosure Settle

  11. 338 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Push The Sky Away
  12. 328 Savages Silence Yourself
  13. 302 Haim Days Are Gone
  14. 284 Kurt Vile Wakin On A Pretty Daze
  15. 283 Janelle Monae The Electric Lady
  16. 261 The Knife Shaking The Habitual
  17. 258 Chvrches The Bones of What You Believe
  18. 246 Queens Of The Stone Age . . . Like Clockwork
  19. 243 John Grant Pale Green Ghosts
  20. 237 Lorde Pure Heroine

  21. 232 Chance The Rapper Acid Rap
  22. 202 Laura Marling Once I Was An Eagle
  23. 175 James Blake Overgrown
  24. 161 Julia Holter Loud City Song
  25. 153 Foals Holy Fire
  26. 151 Parquet Courts Light Up Gold
  27. 150 Deafheaven Sunbather
  28. 148 Hookworms Pearl Mystic
  29. 144 King Krule 6 Feet Beneath The Moon
  30. 130 Darkside Psychic

  31. 130 Factory Floor Factory Floor
  32. 129 These New Puritans Field OF Reeds
  33. 127 Boards Of Canada Tomorrow's Harvest
  34. 126 Danny Brown Old
  35. 125 Bill Callahan Dream River
  36. 122 El-P and Killer Mike Run the Jewels
  37. 114 Neko Case The Worse Things Get...
  38. 107 Matthew E White Big Inner
  39. 106 Fuck Buttons Slow Focus
  40. 103 Deerhunter Monomania

  41. 102 Foxygen 21st Century Ambassadors
  42. 100 Earl Sweatshirt Doris
  43. 99 Jagwar Ma Howlin'
  44. 89 Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park
  45. 89 Waxahatchee Cerulean Salt
  46. 88 Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
  47. 84 Kelela Cut 4 Me
  48. 83 Paramore Paramore
  49. 82 Atoms For Peace Amok
  50. 82 Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

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SOURCES: Q, Mojo, Uncut, Paste, Spin, Rolling Stone, The Quietus, NME, AV Club, The Skinny, Faster Louder, music OMH, Pop Matter, Time Out, Drowned In Sound, The Music Fix, The 405, Slant, Consequence Of Sound, Pretty Much Amazing, Fact, Clash, Evening Standard, Loud & Quiet, The Line Of Best Fit, The Fly, Pitchfork, Bowlegs, Sputnik, State, The Guardian, The Observer, No Ripcord, God Is In The TV, Under The Radar
(30pts are awarded to the album named No.1, 29pts to the No.2 and so on)

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If 2012 was the year of R&B (Frank Ocean, Kenrick Lamar) and 2011 was the year of experimental and alternative (PJ Harvey, St Vincent, Tune-Yards), is 2013 the year of mainstream?

With the possible exception of Yeezus - you could never describe Kanye West's abrasive melding of electro and rap as easy-listening - and My Bloody Valentine's comeback album, there is little in the top 10 of 2013's most critically-acclaimed releases that would fall into the category of "challenging".

Yeezus is among a host of the best-rated albums which also feature prominently among 2013's biggest-selling albums: Arctic Monkeys, Daft Punk, David Bowie and Disclosure have been as successful at shifting units as they have in attracting critical plaudits.

Given that MBV's first new material in two decades was an event of such magnitude that it was almost guaranteed to be a major success, you could argue that Jon Hopkins' Immunity represents the only left-field presence in the upper echelons of the rankings.

Does this mean that critical tastes have shifted towards pop and mainstream indie and away from alternative and experimental? Or has what could be termed as "pop music" become so accomplished and intelligent that any dividing lines between commercial and critical success are no longer evident? (We should add here that had Beyonce's album been released a couple of weeks earlier, there's little doubt that it would also have figured very strongly.)

Further down the list, there's an intriguing combination of middle of the road and extreme - The Knife and Lorde; Savages and Janelle Monae, Nick Cave and Haim.

That's not to say there isn't anything of interest for those seeking new names. There are debuts from Hookworms, Factory Floor, Parquet Courts, King Krule and - most notably - Chvrches which point to interesting futures. However there are no debut artist eye-openers anywhere near the top 10 of the likes of Sleigh Bells or Japandroids or Tune-Yards.

And the "compromise effect" which comes with music review publications amalgamating ratings from all their staff is especially marked this year. Among the LPs most acclaimed on their release in 2013 are albums from Deafheaven, Patty Griffin, Future Of The Left, Nils Frahm, Jenny Hval and Matthew E.White, all of whom which made little or no impact in the year-end assessment.

The ratings are however a personal triumph for Vampire Weekend, with most critics agreeing that their 3rd album proves beyond dispute that Ezra Koenig and co are much more than a fleeting two-album indie success story; they've matured into artists of stature, importance and longevity - alongside, you could probably add, The National, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys and several other names among this year's chart.


Top 5 from each publication / site:

Q: 1 AM, Arctic Monkeys. 2 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 3 The Next Day, David Bowie. 4 Random Access Memories, Daft Punk. 5 Immunity Jon Hopkins

Mojo: 1 Dream River, Bill Callahan. 2 Random Access Memories, Daft Punk. 3 The Next Day, David Bowie. 4 AM, Arctic Monkeys. 5 Pale Green Ghosts, John Grant

Uncut: 1 m b v, My Bloody Valentine. 2 The Next Day, David Bowie. 3 Push The Sky Away, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. 4 Pale Green Ghosts, John Grant. 5 Once I Was An Eagle, Laura Marling

Paste: 1 Muchacho, Phosphorescent. 2 MCII, Mikal Cronin. 3 We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, Foxygen. 4 The Electric Lady, Janelle Monae. 5 Monomania, Deerhunter

Spin: 1 Yeezus, Kanye West. 2 Acid Rap, Chance the Rapper. 3 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 4 Days Are Gone, Haim. 5 Settle, Disclosure

Rolling Stone: 1 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 2 Yeezus, Kanye West. 3 Random Access Memories, Daft Punk. 4 New, Paul McCartney. 5 Reflektor, Arcade Fire

The Quietus: 1 Glynnaestra, Grumbling Fur. 2 Field Of Reeds, These New Puritans. 3 The Next Day, David Bowie. 4 Factory Floor, Factory Floor. 5. Champagne Holocaust, Fat White Family

NME: 1 AM, Arctic Monkeys. 2 Yeezus, Kanye West. 3 Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age. 4 Holy Fire, Foals. 5 Silence Yourself, Savages

AV Club: 1 Yeezus, Kanye West. 2 Days Are Gone, Haim. 3 Sunbather, Deafheaven. 4= Trouble Will Find Me, The National. 4= The Bones Of What You Believe, Chvrches

The Skinny: 1 Slow Focus, Fuck Buttons. 2 Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time, Steve Mason. 3 Factory Floor, Factory Floor. 4 Trouble Will Find Me, The National. 5 The Bones Of What You Believe, Chvrches

Faster Louder: 1 Pure Heroine, Lorde. 2 ...Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age. 3 Yeezus, Kanye West. 4 Hungry Ghost, Violent Soho. 5 Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

music OMH: 1 Ghosts, John Grant. 2 Push The Sky Away, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. 3 Trouble Will Find Me, The National. 4 Next Day, David Bowie. 5 AM, Arctic Monkeys

Pop Matters: 1 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 2 The Worse Things Get..., Neko Case. 3 Shaking The Habitual, The Knife. 4 Settle, Disclosure. 5 Southeastern, Jason Isbell

Time Out: 1 Settle, Disclosure. 2 AM, Arctic Monkeys, 3 Next Day, David Bowie. 4 m b v, My Bloody Valentine. 5 Cut 4 Me, Kelela

Drowned In Sound: 1 Pearl Mystic, Hookworms. 2 Push The Sky Away, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. 3 Nepenthe, Julianna Barwick. 4 Paramore, Paramore. 5 Reflektor, Arcade Fire

The 405 1 Acid Rap, Chance The Rapper. 2 Psychic, Darkside. 3 Yeezus, Kanye West. 4 The Man Who Died In His Boat, Grouper. 5 Immunity, Jon Hopkins

Slant 1 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 2 Reflektor, Arcade Fire. 3 Pure Heroine, Lorde. 4 Yeezus, Kanye West. 5 Settle, Disclosure

Consequence Of Sound 1 Yeezus, Kanye West. 2 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 3 m b v, My Bloody Valentine. 4 The Bones of What You Believe, Chvrches. 5 Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Kurt Vile

Pretty Much Amazing 1 Yeezus, Kanye West. 2 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 3 Anxiety, Autre Ne Veut. 5 Settle, Disclosure, 5 Trouble Will Find Me, The National

Fact 1 The Redeemer, Dean Blunt. 2 Night Time, My Time, Sky Ferreira. 3 Yeezus, Kanye West. 4 100% Galcher, Galcher Lustwerk. 5 Cut 4 Me, Kelela

Clash 1 Doris, Earl Sweatshirt. 2 Overgrown, James Blake. 3 Yeezus, Kanye West. 4 Amok, Atoms For Peace. 5 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, King Krule

Evening Standard 1 Immunity, John Hopkins. 2 Pure Heroine, Lorde. 3 Settle, Disclosure. 4 Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Kurt Vile. 5 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend

Loud & Quiet 1 Pearl Mystic, Hookwoms. 2 The Inheritors, James Holden. 3 AM, Arctic Monkeys. 4 Caramel, Conan Mockasin. 5 Field Of Reeds, These New Puritans

The Line Of Best Fit 1 Shaking The Habitual, The Knife. 2 Loud City Song, Julia Holter. 3 The Electric Lady, Janelle Monae. 4 Push The Sky Away, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. 5 If You Leave, Daughter

The Fly 1 Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts. 2 Big Wheel And Others…, Cass McCombs. 3 AM, Arctic Monkeys. 4 Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Kurt Vile. 5 Silence Yourself, Savages

Pitchfork 1 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 2 Yeezus, Kanye West. 3 Settle, Disclosure. 4 m b v, My Bloody Valentine. 5 Old, Danny Brown

Bowlegs 1 Field of Reeds, These New Puritans. 2 Images Du Future, Suuns. 3 Caramel, Connan Mockasin. 4 Loud City Song, Julia Holter. 5 The Drop, Pinkunoizu

Sputnik 1. Loud City Song, Julia Holter. 2 The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake. 3 Sunbather, Deafheaven. 4 Hubardo, Kayo Dot. 5 Colored Sands, Gorguts

State 1 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 2 Awayland, Villagers. 3 Reflektor, Arcade Fire. 4 Days Are Gone, Haim. 5 Settle, Disclosure

The Guardian 1 Yeezus, Kanye West. 2. Pale Green Ghosts, John Grant. 3 Random Access Memories, Daft Punk. 4 Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend. 5 Overgrown, James Blake

God Is In The TV 1 Push Away The Sky, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. 2 Trouble Will Find Me, The National. 3 Immunity, Jon Hopkins. 4 AM Arctic Monkeys. 5 Holy Fire, Foals

No Ripcord 1 m b v, My Bloody Valentine, 2 The Electric Lady, Janelle Monae. 3 Yeezus, Kanye West. 4 Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend. 5 Randon Access Memories, Daft Punk

Under The Radar 1 Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend. 2 The Next Day, David Bowie. 3 We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, Foxygen. 4 Pale Green Ghosts, John Grant. 5 Reflektor, Arcade Fire

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