The Top 10 Albums of 2023

The albums that got me through it in 2023.

Here I am once again, to quote the One True American Idol™.

The year is nearly over, which means it is now time to reflect on the many musical offerings of 2023, arrange them in some arbitrary order, and then argue with each other on the Internet about the ranking, and who has better taste.

Well, I’m not doing that this year! I famously don’t like doing lists. I do like recommending good music to people. That is why I started this whole website 16 years (oof) ago.

I’m going purely with the data with this: the songs from these albums all appear the most in my Wrapped and my playlists. (And I’ve just rebooted my account after years of dormancy, so I’ll get an even more accurate assessment for 2024, which I’m excited about.)

Plenty of the “Honorable Mentions” are Top 10 worthy. I’m just being very honest with myself about my listening habits this year, that’s all.

Therefore, these are my picks for my favorite albums of 2023 arranged in no particular order – although one excellent album gets the distinction of being my Top Played Album of The Year.

Without further ado…


Troye Sivan, Something to Give Each Other
Lana Del Rey, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
Caroline Polachek, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You
Aitana, Alpha
SG Lewis, AudioLust & HigherLove
Bebe, Bebe
Miley Cyrus, Endless Summer Vacation
Samantha Urbani, Showing Up
Kamille, K1
Jessie Ware, That! Feels Good!
Ellie Goulding, Higher Than Heaven
Belen Aguilera, METANOIA
Madison Beer, Silence Between Songs
Chappell Roan, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess
RAYE, My 21st Century Blues


Kelela, Raven

Released on: February 10
Buy it on vinyl

Kelela has always excelled at wrapping her heaven-sent voice around electronic textures and entrancing R&B melodies, but Raven is a next-level triumph. This album remains a constant companion throughout late night existential crises and pensive Sunday mornings, providing a healing touch. Through rich soundscapes and pulsating club beats, it’s a transportive experience from the very first second that “Washed Away” begins. Press play, and enjoy the ride. The only thing that might be better is the remix album that’s right around the corner.


Kylie Minogue, Tension

Released on: September 22
Buy it on vinyl

Padam? The Padamonium was by far one of my favorite things to happen in 2023. Watching the always-deserving Kylie unexpectedly become a meme (in a good way!) felt so satisfying. As did the bulk of Tension, a tight set of tracks that sees our most giving pop queen swerve away from concept records back into the modern electro-pop lane after tackling a Christmas record, a greatest hits collection, Dolly Parton drag and paying tribute to the disco era over the past decade. The title track goes down massively in the club, the gorgeous “Hold On to Now” is essentially this album’s “The One,” and a song explicitly meant to promote her Las Vegas residency – “Vegas High” – somehow winds up being one of the best of the bunch. Kylie getting the most stateside recognition since Fever, notching her biggest chart hit since Aphrodite, and a Grammy nomination? We should be so lucky.

Romy, Mid Air

Released on: September 8
Buy it on vinyl

Romy’s long-awaited solo album was destined to be great from the beginning: Jamie xx, Fred Again.. and Stuart Price? Mid Air is clearly the work of a student of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” full of crying-on-the-dance-floor anthems about queer identity, loss and resilience. Songs like “Strong” provided a club-ready sonic shoulder to cry on, and the self-empowering rallying cry of “Enjoy Your Life” constantly nudged me not to take everything so seriously. (I’m working on it, promise.)

Alison Goldfrapp, The Love Invention

Buy it on vinyl

Alison Goldfrapp has dazzled us for decades providing her breathy coos as one-half of Goldfrapp, but her first-ever solo effort provides the most club-ready moments in the career to date. The Love Invention is a shimmering thing of beauty, equal parts sweaty (“So Hard So Hot”), seductive (“The Beat Divine”) and sublime (“Electric Blue”). It all got enhanced at the year’s end with a brilliant The Love Reinvention remix edition, which flips the songs on their head with even harder beats. Plus, she was fascinating to talk to for Paper.

PinkPantheress, Heaven Knows

Released on: November 10
Buy it on vinyl

“Boy’s A Liar” is a hit, of course, but there’s far more interesting stuff inside the debut album from PinkPantheress. It’s ringtone length-pop, yes, but it still manages to pack in a ton of influences and sounds, including early ‘00s R&B/Y2K pop nostalgia, Lily Allen, Imogen Heap, K-pop – f(x)! – DNB and UK garage, as well as themes of grief and parasocial longing and/or delusion in a ridiculously short amount of time. The result is misleadingly sweet-sounding, lonesome alt-pop crafted for the TikTok-era brain. It’s especially praiseworthy that she’s a co-writer and co-producer on every song, and with talent like Greg Kurstin, Danny L Harle, Kelela, Mura Masa and more in her corner, she’s clearly doing something right.

NewJeans, Get Up

Buy the Beach Bunny Bag version

(Yes, it’s technically a mini-album, but it deserves the recognition nonetheless.) The kids are alright: we’re in good hands with the current crop of fourth generation of K-pop groups, but NewJeans is especially carrying the K-pop torch to exciting new heights. After making an incredibly strong first impression with their debut EP last year (“Attention” and “Hype Boy” forever), the quintet, which launched under the winning HYBE umbrella, dabbles in UK garage (“Cool With You”), Baltimore club (“ETA”), Jersey club and drum and bass (“Super Shy”) across their highly addictive 2023 follow-up, complete with super cute, effectively eye-catching Powerpuff Girls imagery. These girls are just super shy, super cool, and they’ve musically not missed once.

Lali, Lali

Released on: April 13
Buy it on vinyl

Mariana “Lali” Espósito is a pop music stan, and it shows. The Argentine child star-turned-pop queen’s self-titled record leans heavy on the ’90s and early ’00s, including Jennifer Lopez, Max Martin’s work with the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, and especially the career of the legendary Miss Britney Spears, including the Blackout-leaning “Disciplina” and the “(You Drive Me) Crazy (The Stop Remix!)”-sampling “Obsesión,” among other obvious nods. Five albums deep, she’s undoubtedly delivered her best work to date, and a record that deserves to bring her attention on a global scale.

Rêve, Saturn Return

Released on: October 20
Buy it on vinyl

Rêve is one of Canada’s best bets, and she’s just getting started. Her origin story is a trip, from writing scripts for a porn site, to going viral with National Anthem performances, to getting signed and taking over clubs with cuts like “CTRL + ALT + DEL” and appearing on Canada’s Drag Race. Her debut album is wall-to-wall bangers, full of the impressive belting that earned her acclaim online, and delightfully audacious lyrics about dancing to disco in strip clubs and break-up sex with exes. She’s fun, fierce and gorgeous, and in a more perfect world, she’d be notching the same streaming numbers as acts like Dua Lipa and Ava Max. Give her time. (And in the meantime, listen to my conversation with her for Legends Only.)

Slayyyter, Starfucker

Released on: September 22
Buy it on vinyl

Slayyyter had a vision, and saw it through: Starfucker takes the aesthetic of ’80s erotic thrillers mixed with the essence of overly invasive TMZ paparazzi culture, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan’s “bimbo summit,” and alcohol and cocaine-fueled nights at Chateau Marmont and filters it all through a late ’00s electronic pop soundscape. The razor-sharp, dark-pop hooks of throbbing bangers like “My Body,” “Miss Belladonna” and “Memories of You” conjure everything from Justice to Peaches to Heidi Montag to Blackout and The Fame Monster, while the grainy DIY aesthetic of the music videos and lush, tits-out album cover (one of this year’s best) come together to form one of the most cohesive, cautionary Hollywood tale-style campaigns of the year.

Ava Max, Diamonds & Dancefloors

Released on: January 27
Buy it on vinyl

Interpolation Nation’s strongest soldier does it again! Miss Max simply can’t be tamed (or restrained from rehashing a ’00s hit), and even though the signature lopsided blonde wig went away for this go-around, her proclivity to provide us with perfect pop bops remains stronger than ever. The singles did what they needed to do, sure, but it’s the bangers deeper inside – “Sleepwalker, “Turn Off the Lights,” “Get Outta My Heart” – that hit even harder. My night out with the Albanian sensation for Nylon was also the most wild and fun thing I wrote this year, easily.

TOP EP OF 2023

Addison Rae, AR

Released on: August 18
Buy it on vinyl

In what was easily the year’s most unlikely release, the TikTok dance superstar-turned-Thanksgiving Queen broke the Internet (well, my WiFi anyway) with the surprise release of the best discards from her lost, leaked debut album sessions. “I Got It Bad” unironically remains a pop masterpiece co-crafted with the “…Baby One More Time” maestro himself Rami Yacoub, and deserved to go No. 1 for 50 fucking weeks. “2 Die 4,” now with a special feature from Charli XCX, was already a viral hit in unreleased form. Her cheery take on shelved Gaga scrap “Nothing On (But the Radio)” is pure pop bliss, as well as her maligned, Selena Gomez-adjacent single that started it all, “Obsessed.” Addison Rae the Pop Star will have her day, eventually.

And there you have it.

Here’s wishing on a star for Robyn’s return to Save Pop™ in 2024. And perhaps the other Robyn – Robyn Rihanna Fenty – should she remember that she was once a pop star. Hey, a boy can dream.

Happy holidays, and have a Happy New Year!

Check out the MuuTunes Spotify playlist. You can also subscribe on Apple Music.

This site contains product affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.

“Boy Next Door”: Lourdes Leon Modernizes a Judy Garland Classic

“Boy Next Door”: Lourdes Leon Modernizes a Judy Garland Classic

Daughter of Madonna, friend of Dorothy, astronomical gay rights

Hikaru Utada Will Release a New Single in Early 2024

Hikaru Utada Will Release a New Single in Early 2024

Ahead of a greatest hits, Hikki is dropping a new single that will serve as the

You May Also Like