Boxx couldn’t let the year end without taking a look back at music’s high notes. From our favorite albums and music videos to the breakthroughs and comebacks we didn’t see coming, our critics have assembled a yearbook of Top 10 lists. Today, we list our favorite 10 Male Boxxes of 2013 (in no particular order). Although we love women in music, we would be remiss to not cover our favorite guys who released some of our favorite albums, too. Stay tuned in the days ahead for more coverage, culminating in our 2014 preview.
His Good Go Bad album was a tasty twist on alt-country and psychedelia.
The cute Beatle might be 71, but his New album was as cutting-edge as anything the whippersnappers released in 2013.
Just when we thought this rock pioneer didn’t have any more tricks up his sleeve, he dropped the magnificent The Next Day, his first album in nearly a decade.
Win Butler of Arcade Fire
The king of orchestral pop seized the dance floor with the stunning double album Reflektor, with help from another Male Boxx favorite, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy.
The former Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate frontman shed his pop punk tendencies for a glistening electronic rock EP, The Pop Underground.
Jón “Jonsi” Þór Birgisson of Sigur Ros
The Icelander with the angelic voice steered his band into heavier territory on the experimental Kveikur.
Max Bloom of Yuck
The British shoegaze band’s guitarist stepped out of former lead singer Daniel Blumberg’s shadow on Glow & Behold, proving to be an excellent, emotive vocalist himself.
Ken Casey of Dropkick Murphys
Casey’s clan of merry punks put out the kickass Signed and Sealed in Blood in 2013. Also, he might be partially responsible for the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series—the Dropkicks performed at the sports club’s clinching game in October.
Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Woozy, wondrous and trippy, II was the album that fully unleashed Nielson’s genius to the world. Madness never sounded so sumptuous.
Christian Zucconi of Grouplove
No sophomore slump here— Zucconi’s second helping of pop pastiche, Spreading Rumours, was even more raucous than Grouplove’s debut. His eccentricity—Black Francis meets Kurt Cobain meets Muppet—is divine.
Don’t forget to check out all of our Male Boxx coverage, too!