’s Top 30 Albums of 2023

Best of 2023

And we are back, once again, with our annual ranking of our favorite albums of the year. Below you’ll find the contributor best of 2023 list with blurbs written by the staff talking about why we loved these albums. Each album title links to a streaming page so you can check out anything you may have missed. There’s also a playlist featuring a song from every album on this list, and a few staff members have shared their individual lists and some commentary in their blogs.

As always, thanks for spending 2023 with us, and I hope you find something new to check out and love.

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Jason Tate’s Top Albums of 2023

Best of 2023

Well, it’s that time of the year again. I’ve been putting together a list of my favorite albums of the year since at least 2005, and 2023 was one of the most jam-packed I can remember. Not only did I listen to more music than ever before, but I found the quality of new releases week-to-week to be engaging and exciting. Discovering new gems and being more than impressed with the output from old favorites.

You can subscribe to my newsletter if you’re interested in a weekly rundown of the music and other entertainment I consume, and the staff compiled best of 2023 list can be found here.

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Adam Grundy’s Top Albums of 2023

Best of 2023

2023 was absolutely S-T-A-C-K-E-D from top to bottom with some incredible music from so many talented artists. Below is a collection of my favorite albums (which include several EPs, for the first time on my year-end list, because I adored them so much), a separate call out for EPs, a playlist of my favorite songs, the best concerts I attended, my favorite books I read during the year, as well as my favorite interviews I conducted. Also, be sure to check out my favorite movies and TV shows that kept my attention in 2023. I wish all of you a very happy New Year, and I’m thrilled to spend another year with everyone on this site and in the forums.

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Craig Manning’s Top Albums of 2023

Sometimes, the things you love leave you. Sometimes, those things come back.

Musically, 2023 for me was a year defined by the things I got back. Six of the 30 albums listed below were made by artists or bands I thought would never release music again. All six were artists who played key roles in extremely formative moments of my life; then they all went dormant for extended periods of time. Three of the six had been out of action for a decade or longer; one’s been gone for 23 years. Getting all six back – plus a few other long-awaited returns not represented on this list – felt like a little gift from the music gods, and made 2023 feel so special. There’s a Dawes song I love that goes, “May all your favorite bands stay together.” 2023’s blessing, for me, was more like “May all your favorite bands get back together.”

2023 was also the year that I wandered back out into the live music world, after being extremely hesitant about doing so in 2021 and 2022. While that post-pandemic return to normal didn’t come without its costs – I definitely contracted COVID-19 at a Taylor Swift concert – it felt so wonderful and so life affirming to be a part of a deafeningly-loud audience again. Getting that sensation back in 2023 – and having a couple of my very favorite concert experiences ever along the way – was a gift of its own.

So, here’s to getting things back, whether that’s the bands you love or the kinds of communal live music experiences you weren’t sure you’d ever have again. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the past five years, it’s to never, ever take anything for granted, and I tried to instill that spirit into the making of this list. To quote yet another Dawes lyric, “Most people don’t talk enough about how lucky they are.” Most people also don’t talk enough about why they love the music they love, so here’s 30 albums from 2023 that I love – and more importantly, the “why.”

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Garrett Lemons’ Top Albums of 2023

Best of 2023

Man, what a year. It was dominated by Taylor Swift and I wrote one of my favorite pieces about attending two stops of The Eras Tour. I attended Furnace Fest for the third year in a row, but didn’t write about it this time. It’s been a tough year with a lot of loss. But music has really helped me through. It’s been the year of the EP, with some absolute juggernauts represented below including as my AOTY. Gonna share some of my favorite songs of the year interspersed with their albums. Definitely check them out if you haven’t. Happy New Year!

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