Beyoncé's stealth midnight release — a self-titled collection of new music and videos — may have arrived in near silence earlier this month, but it now rules the charts and The Times' Consensus Top Albums of 2013.
The list, which stretches to a dozen albums this year because of voting ties, pools the Top 10 lists from pop music critic Randall Roberts and seven other pop music staff writers, assigning 10 points for a No. 1 album, 9 points for a No. 2, 8 points for No. 3 and so on.
Beyoncé's "visual album" was named album of the year by two Times writers — August Brown and Gerrick Kennedy — and picked up additional points with its fifth place finish on Times pop music editor Lorraine Ali's list.
The results point to the continuing diaspora in the pop music world, with a relatively modest degree of commonality among the eight lists.
With 80 spots available, only 17 albums appeared on more than one list. Just three received more than two votes: "Beyoncé" and Kanye West's "Yeezus," with three votes apiece, and Savages' "Silence Yourself," named by four Times writers as one of the year's 10 best albums.
Choices run across a broad stylistic range, from the mainstream pop and R&B of Beyoncé and edgy hip-hop of Chance the Rapper to the indie folk-pop of Haim, the British jazz-pop-soul of Laura Mvula and the classic country twang of Brandy Clark.
Indie releases fared equally with from major labels, with indies constituting half of the 12 albums, and Chance the Rapper's self-released "Acid Rap" album finishing impressively at No. 3 behind pop world heavyweights Beyoncé and Kanye West.
Here are the No. 1 albums from each writer's list: Goldspot's "Aerogramme" (Lorraine Ali), Neko Case, "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" (Chris Barton), Beyoncé's "Beyoncé" (Brown, Kennedy), The Mavericks' "In Time" (Randy Lewis), "Chance the Rapper's "Acid Rap" (Roberts, Todd Martens) and Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City" (Mikael Wood).
Los Angeles Times 2013 Consensus Top Albums:
1.Beyoncé, "Beyoncé " (Parkwood/Columbia) (26 points, three ballots)
2.Kanye West, "Yeezus" (Def Jam) (23, three ballots)
3.Chance the Rapper, "Acid Rap" (self-released) (20 points, two ballots)
4.Haim, "Days Are Gone" (Columbia) (17 points, two ballots)
5.Disclosure, "Settle" (PMR/Cherrytree/Interscope) (15 points, two ballots)
6.(tie) Parquet Courts, "Light Up Gold" (What's Your Rupture) (14 points, two ballots)
Savages, "Silence Yourself" (Matador) (14 points, four ballots)
8. (tie) Kelela, "Cut 4 Me" (Fade To Mind) (13 points, two ballots)
Laura Mvula, "Sing To the Moon" (Columbia) (13 points, two ballots)
10. (tie) Neko Case, "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" (Anti-) (12 points, two ballots)
Brandy Clark, "12 Stories" (Slate Creek) (12 points, two ballots)
Laura Marling, "Once I Was An Eagle" (Ribbon) (12 points, two ballots)