💽 2023: Top Ten Albums

23 January 2024 list top ten music albums rankings

A little late yet again, so I’ll get right into it and not waste any time on preamble.

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Honorable Mentions

in no order, limited to fifteen, also on Album Whale

Blondshell by Blondshell, The Gutter by ALEXSUCKS, MICHAEL by Killer Mike, Life Under The Gun by Militarie Gun, Minari by Bokoya, Doom Singer by Chris Farren, The Window by Ratboys, We Buy Diabetic Test Strips by Armand Hammer, Again by Oneohtrix Point Never, The Silver Cord by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Lucky for You by Bully, Sunburn by Dominic Fike, USA by Petey, Glorious Game by El Michels Affair & Black Thought, The Cannonballers by Colony House.

Top Ten

also on Album Whale

10. Maps by billy woods and Kenny Segal

One way or another, billy woods was going to find his way on this list. I went back and forth whether to include this or the Armand Hammer record. This one is less polished, imo, but brings a more unique approach to this realm of rap that I’ve really been getting into.

9. Chronicles of a Diamond by Black Pumas

Blues. Hip-hop. Soul. Rock. Funk. All come together in this easy flowing record. Light some candles, turn off the lights, and vibe out for a night.

8. Solar Music by Butcher Brown

A true sonic fusion of beautiful music. You’ll see further down the list I’ve been getting back into jazz a bit and I think this is a great album to dip your toes in if you have some interest, but like me, tend to stay in the alternative” lane for the most part.

7. Sonic Tonic by SWMRS

Just a fun, quick, and loud record that makes me so happy even if some of the songs have a bit odd subject matters.

6. Sundial by Noname

Noname is just an incredible poet. She represents Chicago in a way I wish some of the previous rappers from the city could/should.

5. A Fistful of Peaches by Black Honey

Their previous effort, Written & Directed was enjoyable, but with A Fistful of Peaches they go to 11 and pumped out some of the most fun alternative indie rock that I’ve heard in a long time.

4. Say I Won’t by Bass Drum of Death

This record feels timeless to me. It could’ve come out in any year and felt of the time” somehow. It’s in the alternative rock sphere, but I’d define it as punk-adjacent surfer rock with a tinge of Queens of the Stone Age and The Black Keys. While I don’t know that there is any singular hit”, it’s a wholly, complete record you can listen to from front to back with no skips.

3. Clash of the Substance by Hope D

More pop-punk that I need in my veins. Hope D just brings some super fun poppy songs with an edge. I think Olivia Rodrigo has taken the Paramore blueprint and taken over the pop side of that, but there is a burgeoning movement in female-led pop-punk bands who are leaning into the punk side, and Hope D is nailing it alongside Beach Bunny, The Beths, Soccer Mommy, Pacifica and more!

2. Black Classical Music by Yussef Dayes

As I mentioned, more Jazz! And this one is truly special. Yussef Dayes is a god behind the kit. So many cool rhythms and collaborations that go in so many fun directions. If it weren’t for the next album hitting me in the sweet spot, this would easily be the best album of the year.

1. HELLMODE by Jeff Rosenstock

This was easily my album of the year. It’s the pop-punk sound of my youth, but matured in a way that makes sense (I’m looking at you blink-182). There really isn’t a bad song on this record.


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