The Best Songs of 2013


In 2013, a handful of great albums proved that it wasn't all about singles. Despite our shrinking attention spans and the world of illegal downloading and free streaming forever changing the way we consume music, there's still something special about an album. As cliché as it sounds, there's still something magical about (metaphorically) ripping through the plastic wrap and diving into a new record or CD collection of MP3s.

But we've realized something else over the past years, and more than ever in 2013: there's something just as special about the way we're adapting to the single-oriented market. It's not just about selling a song. It's about hearing that first single from your favorite band's new album; sitting around waiting for the live stream of a radio show so you can get a first taste and listen at the same time as the rest of the world; finding yourself on the Soundcloud page of some random artist from across the globe and falling in love with a song that's completely unfamiliar to you. We've seen new artists make it big off the strength of one single, and we've seen how playing one song in the right way at the right time can shake the whole music community.

So yeah, it isn't all about the singles, but in 2013 the single had more power than ever, and no matter how that gets twisted up to make us seem like depraved consumers looking for a quick fix, it's becoming clear that maybe it's not all that bad.

Here are our favorite songs of 2013.

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Related: The Best Songs of 2014 (So Far)
Related: The Best Albums of 2014 (So Far)

  • C

    Retrograde is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time. Great list.

  • G14

    Juicy J album better than all this

  • boboy


  • Khody Teslà Nikolà Morgan

    I discovered a ton of great new music on this list. I can’t even be mad at that James Blake doe…

  • musicliberation

    couldn’t agree with you more. James Blake makes magic. awesome list

  • GeorgeWhittiker

    ugh, Danny Brown…he’s so nasty.

  • Jeff

    I discovered a lot of new music too, but a lot of these songs sound the same

  • tajemei

    Im sorry…but I think get lucky…is the best song…and should be

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  • Confusion

    “Get Lucky” is a great song. Definitely not mad at that being your No. 1.

  • Confusion

    Which ones?

  • Foh

    Power Trip? Nah? Whatever Complex Jr.

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  • John Smith

    Great List!

  • Ryan Kailath

    How you gonna leave out Sam Cooke “Trouble Blues,” when discussing “Retrograde?” Blake cited it himself.

  • Michael Di Gennaro

    still get goosebumps when i hear Blake hum at the beginning of Retrograde. it’s magical

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