As 2023 rapidly approaches its conclusion, it’s astounding to reflect on how swiftly the year has passed. It’s been a period marked by an array of events and emotions, punctuated by the universal language of music. This year, we’ve been treated to an incredible selection of albums that not only provided a soundtrack to our lives but also showcased the immense talent and diversity in the music industry. Here are some of the standout albums of 2023, each unique in its own right, offering a glimpse into the artists’ creative worlds.

Good Riddance – Gracie Abrams

The Grammy-nominated Abrams’ third album is a heartfelt exploration of growth and letting go. Her lyrical vulnerability combined with melodic soundscapes creates a poignant and introspective experience. Some of my favorites include ‘I know it won’t work’, ‘Block me out’, and ‘405’.

Halo – Bakar

Bakar’s third project “Halo” stands out with its unique blend of indie rock and hip-hop. The album is a testament to his versatility and growth, offering a fresh and energetic perspective on contemporary music. Some of the standouts include ‘I’m Done’, ‘Right Here, For Now’, and ‘Hat The Sun’.

NEVER ENOUGH – Daniel Caesar

Caesar’s first album in 4 long years doesn’t disappoint. In “Never Enough,” Caesar delves deeper into his soulful roots. The album is an intimate journey, filled with lush vocals and introspective lyrics, highlighting his evolution as an artist. My favorites include ‘Let Me Go’, ‘Disillusioned’, and ‘Homiesexual’.

Petals to Thorns – d4vd

The rising star’s debut album proves that he is not just another “TikTok artist.” The album marks a significant shift for d4vd, showcasing a darker, more complex side. The fusion of electronic and indie elements underlines the thematic contrast of beauty and pain. Standouts include ‘This Is How It Feels’, ‘Romantic Homicide’, and ‘The Bridge’.

For All The Dogs Scary Hours Edition – Drake

Drake returns with his signature blend of rap and R&B, infused with introspective lyrics and catchy beats. This edition adds a new layer of depth to his already impressive discography. Scary hours 4 targets doubters beliefs about lyrical focused tracks and passes with flying colors. Must-listens include ‘8am in Charlotte’, ‘Drew a Picasso’, and ‘Stories About My Brother’ (off of Scary Hours 4).

Sunburn – Dominic Fike

Fike’s third album “Sunburn” is a vibrant mix of alternative rock and pop. His experimental approach results in a dynamic and engaging album that pushes the boundaries of genre. Some of my favorites include ‘How Much Is Weed?’, ‘Think Fast’, and ‘Frisky”.

Give Or Take – GIVĒON

GIVĒON’s baritone voice takes center stage in this emotionally charged album. It’s a deep dive into the complexities of relationships and personal growth, wrapped in soulful melodies. Standouts include ‘Let Me Go’, ‘Tryna Be’, and ‘Lost Me’.

Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) – Noah Kahan

The Gramm-Nominated Kahan’s folk-inspired “Stick Season” is a soothing and reflective album. It’s an homage to his hometown New England and a melancholic collection of stories, each song painting a vivid picture of life’s simple yet profound moments. With no misses in the 21 track project, it deserves to be the reason Kahan is nominated for Best New Artist. Favorites include ‘Strawberry Wine’, ‘Call Your Mom’, and ‘The View Between Villages (Extended)’.


The Australian’s sophomore album showcases his journey from a rising star to a household name. It’s a perfect amalgamation of the journey young adults go through navigating growing up and experimenting with different things. Even with a mix of genres showcased on the project, it remains cohesive and is a testament that the artist is not just a rapper. My favorites include ‘Bleed’, ‘Nights Like This’, and ‘Deserve You’.

Bewitched – Laufey

The Icelandic jazz singer’s sophomore album brings jazz music to the foreground of the industry. Laufey’s “Bewitched” is an enchanting blend of jazz and pop, filled with whimsical melodies and captivating vocals. It’s a timeless collection that feels both nostalgic and fresh. Standouts include ‘While You Were Sleeping’, ‘Letter To My 13 Year Old Self’, and ‘Bewitched’.

GUTS – Olivia Rodrigo

The superstar’s sophomore album launches her into even more stardom than we even thought possible. Rodrigo’s “Guts” builds on her debut success with more raw emotion and relatable themes. The album showcases her growth as a songwriter, with tracks that resonate with a wide audience. Her ballad’s continue to be some of my favorite music in general, with my favorites being ‘making the bed’, ‘logical’, and ‘pretty isn’t pretty’.

Just Because – Claire Rosinkranz

The rising star’s debut album is a delightful mix of indie pop and relatable lyrics. It’s light, fun, and embodies the spirit of youthful exploration and self-discovery. Favorites include ‘Dreamer’, ‘Swinging at the Stars’, and ‘Banksy’.

UTOPIA – Travis Scott

Scott’s long awaited “Utopia” is a visionary project, blending his trademark trap sound with futuristic elements. It’s an immersive experience that pushes the boundaries of hip-hop. Standouts include ‘MY EYES’, ‘I KNOW ?’, and ‘TELEKINESIS’. 

1989 (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift

Swift’s reimagining of her iconic album “1989” is a nostalgic journey with a fresh twist. Her voice and storytelling are as compelling as ever, breathing new life into beloved classics. Love or hate her, you cannot deny her impact on the industry and what she’s doing deserves at the minimum, respect, if not inspiration. Favorites continue to be ‘Wildest Dreams’ and ‘New Romantics’, with the vault track ‘Is It Over Now?’ becoming a new favorite. 

Love Sick – Don Toliver

Toliver’s “Love Sick” is a mesmerizing blend of R&B and psychedelic soul. The album is a vivid exploration of love and longing, showcasing his unique vocal style. Standouts include ‘No Pole’, ‘Embarrassed’, and ‘Do It Right’. 

FORWARD – Jordan Ward

Ward’s sophomore album “Forward” is an eclectic mix of R&B, funk, and hip-hop. It’s an energetic and uplifting album that showcases his creativity and flair. Favorites include ‘FAMJAM4000’, ‘WHITE CROCS’, and ‘PRICETAG/BEVERLYWOOD’.

hypochondriac – brakence (Dec 2022)

Released at the tail end of 2022, Brakence’s “Hypochondriac” is a blend of hyperpop and introspective lyrics. It’s a powerful project that reflects themes of mental health, arrogance, and selfishness. Must listens include ‘intellectual greed’, ‘5g’, and ‘deepfake’. 

SOS – SZA (Dec 2022)

SZA’s “SOS,” another late 2022 release, is a masterful blend of R&B, soul, and hip-hop. Solidifying her as by far one of the most popular artists in the world and a leader in the R&B genre, the album is a deep and introspective journey, highlighting her vocal prowess and songwriting skills. Favorites include ‘Snooze’, ‘Ghost in the Machine’, and ‘F2F’.