This Month's Best New Albums: March 2013

  • Publish Date: March 28, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

The best albums released this month...

Here are the best new studio albums released in March (minimum 7 reviews):

Same Trailer Different Park 90 (Mercury)
by Kacey Musgraves

"The finest lyricist to rise up out of conscious country since Miranda Lambert, if not Bobby Pinson himself."

— Expert Witness | More reviews...

The 24-year-old country music artist (and former Nashville Star contestant) follows a trio of self-released albums with her major label debut. There are plenty of Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert comparisons popping up in the reviews, but Musgraves' writing ability seems to set her apart.

Like a Rose 89 (Warner Bros. Nashville)
by Ashley Monroe

"If you've ever bemoaned the absence of traditional country sounds in an era of pop, rock and even hip-hop production, be still—Ashley Monroe is throwing you a country music lifeline."

— Country Weekly | More reviews...

Also a member of the group Pistol Annies (with, yes, Miranda Lambert), country singer Monroe returns with her second solo album. Blake Shelton guests on one track.

Also by this artist:
Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies 2011 84

Muchacho 85 (Dead Oceans)
by Phosphorescent

"Muchacho is a well balanced listen, one that finds Houck adding new hues to old canvases and striking gold at every turn."

— Consequence of Sound | More reviews...

Phosphorescent is a one-man operation—the man in question being the now Brooklyn-based indie singer-songwriter Matthew Houck—and Muchacho is his sixth LP to date.

Also by this artist:
Here's To Taking It Easy 2010 78
To Willie 2009 78

The Next Day 84 (Sony)
by David Bowie

"The Next Day offers many sides of a multifaceted artist and almost all of them mesmerizing, as the songs grow richer with each listen."

— Boston Globe | More reviews...

David Bowie's first album in a decade reunites the music legend (now 66) with his longtime producer Tony Visconti. While Bowie has long been at the stage where every new release is hailed as a comeback, return to form, or his best album since [insert your favorite Bowie album here], all of those descriptions actually seem to fit The Next Day, which intentionally points back to key moments from throughout his career (including on the album artwork itself, which is a redacted version of his iconic Heroes cover).

Also by this artist:
Bowie At The Beeb (Live) 2000 86
Reality 2003 74
Heathen 2002 68
A Reality Tour (Live) 2010 68

Impossible Truth 84 (Merge)
by William Tyler

"Tyler's command of his instrument is commendable, but his ability to use it for a compelling, lyrical collection of instro cuts is even more so."

— Magnet | More reviews...

Nashville-based musician Tyler worked with producer Mark Nevers (both are members of the band Lambchop) on this second solo album, a record of instrumental guitar tunes reminiscent of 1970s singer/songwriter classics.

Also by this artist:
Behold the Spirit 2011 79

Meir 82 (Roadrunner)
by Kvelertak

"Kvelertak prove that it's actually okay to play happy metal without appearing saccharine or contrived."

— Sputnikmusic | More reviews...

The Norwegian metal band signed to Roadrunner Records for this sophomore set, which follows after their acclaimed 2010 self-titled debut.

Cerulean Salt 82 (Don Giovanni)
by Waxahatchee

"It's that blazingly honest, hyper-personal quality that places Cerulean Salt in the tradition of Elliott Smith, early Cat Power, or Liz Phair's free-flowing Girlysound tapes--the work of a songwriter skilled enough to make introspection seem not self-centered, but generous."

— Pitchfork | More reviews...

Cerulean Salt is the second solo album (in as many years) for singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield, formerly of the band P.S. Eliot.

Bloodsports 81 (Ingrooves)
by Suede

"Calling Bloodsports a comeback album almost seems to belittle just how strong a record it really is; it's nearly as good as any they've put out before."

— Under the Radar | More reviews...

The Britpop band's first album in 11 years is produced by Ed Buller, who also worked with Suede on their memorable first three albums. The time off seems to have done the band some good; reviews find it surprisingly modern and complex, and superior to the work they were churning out before their hiatus.

Also by this artist:
A New Morning 2002 65

Exai 80 (Warp Records)
by Autechre

"A tangled and glorious mess of aggressive glitches and clipped synths and stuttering beats and hints, shadows, and fragments of tunefulness."

— BPM | More reviews...

Cryptic song titles like "jatevee C" and "YJY UX"? A Designers Republic cover? Aggressively glitchy, almost impenetrable music? For the veteran IDM duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown, that's business as usual, except that the double-album Exai is scoring some of their best reviews in over a decade.

Also by this artist:
Confield 2001 82
Oversteps 2010 76
Draft 7.30 2003 76
Quaristice 2008 71
Untilted 2005 69

The Invisible Way 80 (Sub Pop)
by Low

"It's as if Low has taken its tried-and-true songwriting formula--a slow buildup into a smoldering climax--and stretched it to the length of an entire album. And an entirely superb one."

— A.V. Club | More reviews...

The Minnesota slowcore trio are no strangers to great reviews, and their latest harmony-soaked album—produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, whom the band enlisted after hearing his work with Mavis Staples—is another good one.

Also by this artist:
Things We Lost In The Fire 2001 87
The Great Destroyer 2005 82
Drums And Guns 2007 81
C'mon 2011 80
A Lifetime Of Temporary Relief 2004 80
Trust 2002 76

Nostalchic 80 (Brainfeeder)
by Lapalux

"Whilst Nostalchic is Lapalux's most full-bodied work to date, it's also one of the finer examples of how the recent house-meets-r'n'b explosion can be executed with subtlety and finesse."

— FACT | More reviews...

Nostalchic is the debut full-length release for British electronic producer Stuart Howard, and it follows a series of EPs released from 2011-12.

More Well-Reviewed March Albums
Album Label Metascore
American Twilight by Crime & the City SolutionMute79
The Stand-In by Caitlin Rose ATO 79
Woman by Rhye Polydor 79
Head Down by Rival Sons Century Media 79
Child Ballads by Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer Wilderland 79
The Beast in Its Tracks by Josh RitterPytheas Recordings78
The Chronicles of Marnia by Marnie SternKill Rock Stars78
Dead & Born & Grown by The StavesAtlantic77
Change Becomes Us by Wire Pink Flag 77
Tales From Terra Firma by Stornoway4AD77
Love from London by Robyn HitchcockYep Roc77
Through the Window by PrurientBlackest Ever Black77
Understated by Edwyn CollinsAED Records76
Tooth & Nail by Billy Bragg Cooking Vinyl 76
The New Life by Girls NamesSlumberland76
The Big Other by FictionMoshi Moshi Records75
New Moon by The MenSacred Bones75
Chelsea Light Moving by Chelsea Light MovingMatador75
Miami by Brandt Brauer Frick!K775
Water on Mars by Purling HissDrag City75
Wondrous Bughouse by Youth LagoonFat Possum75
Recover [EP] by Chvrches Glassnote 75
Avoid these:
Exile by HurtsEpic 59
Hit the Waves by The Mary OnettesLabrador58
Girl Who Got Away by DidoRCA56
@Reverend_Makers by Reverend and the MakersThe End 55
I Am Not a Human Being II by Lil WayneCash Money / Universal 55
What About Now by Bon JoviIsland49

The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). All scores are from March 28, 2013

What do you think?

What new albums or songs are in heavy rotation on your MP3 player? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (1)

  • RickFlairbombed  

    Must have been a pretty weak month for music if two country albums take the 2 top spots. The Bowie album was okay, and the Strokes album is not nearly as bad as people are making it out to be.

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