Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists: Top 10 Underappreciated Albums

Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists: Top 10 Underappreciated Albums
Whether obscure, criticized or just plain underrated, these are the albums 2013 forgot… almost.

To see more of our coverage of the year in music, head over to our 2013 in Lists section.

Top 10 Underappreciated Albums of 2013:

Autre Ne Veut
Anxiety
(Software)



Arthur Ashin's voice, all raw, flailing falsetto and strained wails, is an acquired taste, but gosh, is it worth acquiring. At a time when too many singers are donning a cool, detached air, Ashin imbues the grandiose R&B of Anxiety with enough anguish and sincerity that you don't just hear him; you feel him. (Stephen Carlick)

Mayer Hawthorne
Where Does This Door Go
(Universal Republic)



Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake may have dominated our collective conscience, but it was Mayer Hawthorne who had the best alabaster R&B offering this year. With a poppy '80s yacht rock and Steely Dan vibe, Where Does This Door Go is strong and consistent from beginning to bonus tracks. But why only one single? (Michael Warren)

Valerie June
Pushin' Against A Stone
(Concord)



On this proper full-length debut, the Memphis native's fluency in country, blues, gospel and soul is simply stunning. With a voice that, at times, sounds almost ancient, and collaborations with Dan Auerbach on several tracks adding some current garage rock flavor, it seems June is capable of making any genre her own. (Jason Schneider)

Ka
The Night's Gambit
(Iron Works)



Brooklyn, NY's Ka released his debut last year at the age of 40. Now, he's making up for lost time with his sophomore. Self-produced, defiantly sparse and insular in the ADHD era, The Night's Gambit demands your attention with thoughtful, unglamorous tales of the street. This is perfect winter headphone music. (Aaron Matthews)

Tony Molina
Dissed and Dismissed
(Melters)



What do you do when you cut your teeth on hardcore but your heart is aching to write power pop tunes? You compromise. Milbrae, California's Tony Molina channeled his hardcore past (he fronted Caged Animal) and a fondness for '90s alt-pop hooks on his whirlwind debut album, which clocks 12 songs in as many minutes. Obvious reference points are Blue Album-era Weezer and Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque, but Molina can't resist chunky riffs that border on power metal. With seven-inches cut for Matador and Slumberland, he'll get the appreciation he deserves in no time. (Cam Lindsay)