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Digital Spy's top albums of 2013 (15 - 1)

By and Lewis Corner
As 2013 draws to a close, it's time to start looking back on the records which have shaped the year - from relative newcomers such as Ariana Grande, Bastille, John Newman, Rudimental and Lorde to established superstars like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys and Kanye West.

Find out which albums made positions 30-16 here - and, without further ado, here are Digital Spy's top 15 albums of 2013...

Vampire Weekend: 'Modern Vampires Of The City' artwork
15. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of The City
Released: May 14
Chart peak: No. 3

We said: "Vampire Weekend haven't just reached the Next Level; they've conquered the art of songwriting, created their own city and filled it with heart and intrigue. Never have they been this serious, this fun, this good."



Eminem 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' artwork
14. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Released: November 5
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is just as offensive, funny, bleak as its forebear, but - aside from the questionable guest stars and those derogatory comments - Eminem is brooding, in form and the rest should start taking notes again."



Janelle Monae 'The Electric Lady' artwork
13. Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady
Released: September 9
Chart peak: No. 14

We said: "The result is a brilliant album executed with the poise and self-assurance of someone who deserves to have had a helluva lot more success than they have achieved by this point. Fingers crossed all that changes with The Electric Lady - an album that clearly demonstrates she's ready to join the big league."



Rebecca Ferguson 'Freedom' artwork
12. Rebecca Ferguson: Freedom
Released: December 2
Chart peak: No. 6

We said: "While Freedom is proof that the critical applause for Ferguson's debut wasn't down to a fluke, it also cements the idea that talent show contestants don't have to be a flash in the pan. We all knew Rebecca had an incredible voice from her very first audition, but since then she has developed into an artist who can produce incredibly good albums - and now we're left wondering once again, 'How the bloody hell is she going to top this?'"



Chvrches 'The Bones Of What You Believe' album artwork.
11. Chvrches: The Bones of What You Believe
Released: September 23
Chart peak: No. 9

We said: "It's very rare that an album can hold firm consistency throughout, but it's even rarer that it happens on a debut record. Let it be known that 2013 is a golden year for new music, and Chvrches are far and away leading the pack."



David Bowie: 'The Next Day' album artwork
10. David Bowie: The Next Day
Released: March 11
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "The Next Day is an undeniable triumph, and while that might seem obvious now, it was far from a given. Who really knew for sure that Bowie could produce a great album again? Tonight and Never Let Me Down proved that he's perfectly capable of making a right stinker."



Beyoncé
9. Beyoncé: Beyoncé
Released: December 13
Chart peak: No. 5

We said: "Beyoncé - a "visual album" - sounds and looks as refreshingly bold and modern as the statement it makes about current music industry trends. The result is a smart, defiant and emotionally stripped-back album that thankfully lives up to its superstar billing."

Rhye 'Woman' artwork
8. Rhye: Woman
Released: March 4
Chart peak: -

We said: "'Open' begins with a confident string section that eventually unearths an intimate and hauntingly coy vocal with a Sade-esque timbre, while the gliding orchestrals and hangover house of single 'The Fall' is smoky and sensual chamber pop at its very finest."



Katy Perry 'Prism' artwork.
7. Katy Perry: Prism
Released: October 21
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "Staying true to its namesake, Prism displays the full spectrum of Perry's emotions, but the star leaves the hardest hit until last. 'By The Grace Of God' is led by light piano as she confesses overcoming suicidal thoughts following the breakdown of her marriage. "I looked in the mirror and decided to stay," she admits with stark honesty - and thank the heavens she did, because Katy Perry is a popstar the music world needs right now."



The artwork for Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories'
6. Daft Punk: Random Access Memories
Released: October 21
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "It's exhausting, but given the gems that offset them elsewhere, you can't help but feel they know exactly what they're doing - even if you're not entirely sure why they're doing it. Random Access Memories is a truly bold and daring record that is thrilling, mind-blowing and, at times, a touch frustrating. But then again, changing the face of music wasn't going to come without its challenges."



Arctic Monkeys 'AM' album artwork.
5. Arctic Monkeys: AM
Released: September 9
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "This is their most mature album, yet also their most gutsy; the high two-way choruses which make it so distinct would never have happened a few records ago. There's little bounce but the songs feel super sturdy, armed with Turner and his diverting reflections. AM, not that there was much doubt, simply reaffirms Arctic Monkeys as the most exciting band around."



Little Mix 'Salute' album artwork.
4. Little Mix: Salute
Released: November 11
Chart peak: No. 4

We said: "It sets Little Mix's new direction up nicely - not only in terms of razor-sharp R&B production, but giving the group their own lane in music. It's clear they haven't just been handed a list of songs, but rather they have offered up a list of ideas that parade their tastes, talent and personalities."



Bastille 'Bad Blood' album artwork.
3. Bastille: Bad Blood
Released: March 4
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "Some might criticise the collection for being too polished for a debut set, but with addictive melodies, humble lyrics and a cohesive sound, Bastille are a band where the buzz words couldn't be truer."



Ariana Grande 'Yours Truly' album artwork.
2. Ariana Grande: Yours Truly
Released: September 2
Chart peak: No. 7

We said: "The tone and pace of the album rarely changes, but the songs feel accomplished, polished and vibrant. Obviously Ariana has a long way to go to get to the whistle-note peaks of Mariah's career, but as far as pop introductions go, Yours Truly is little less than a triumph."



Rudimental 'Home' artwork

© Atlantic Records

1. Rudimental: Home
Released: April 29
Chart peak: No. 1

We said: "In a recent interview with Rudimental's Amir Amor, he revealed that his Hackney-based quintet were just as surprised as everyone else when 'Feel The Love' topped the charts and went on to become last summer's anthem.

"Fortunately, the song's soul-drenched drum 'n' bass sound has since become the norm rather than the exception on the charts, not least on their own follow-up efforts 'Not Giving In' and recent chart-topper 'Waiting All Night', the latter of which features an inimitable vocal from rising star Ella Eyre.

"But don't be fooled, for Rudimental are much more than a group of producers and writers with the ability to turn out trendy club bangers. Their debut album Home veers into rap on the Angel Haze-assisted 'Hell Could Freeze' and '90s-inspired ambience on 'Spoons', which comes with the aid of trendy up 'n' comer MNEK's rich and timeless vocal.

Foxes' instantly addictive chanting on 'Right Here' is only matched by the track's steel drum production, while Emeli Sandé - who makes two appearances here - gives a typically stunning performance on the gospel house closer 'Free'. And while on first glance it would seem Rudimental are largely anonymous on the set, after multiple listens of Home there's no mistaking who's in charge."



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