The same caveats apply to every individual writer's year-end Top 10 list: This is one person's favorite albums of 2013, based on one highly individualized set of tastes, level of desire to reflect the culture at large, life circumstances and genre preferences, as well as mood swings and a capricious nature, complicated further by an intricately nested bundle of personality disorders.
For this particular writer, the best albums of 2013 stood as album-length statements rather than mere collections of good songs. Each captured a powerful songwriting voice and, just as important, a central philosophy: Moving and smart, the records below have clearly defined reasons to exist. They say something meaningful about the people who made them. And, more to the point, I simply love them — and have played them over and over again, even as deadlines loomed and other, newer material beckoned.