Rob Sheffield’s Top 20 Albums of 2023

From mega-pop sensations to underground gems

Nobody likes you when you’re 2023, as Blink 182 warned us. But it’s a fact: years that end in “3” are always great music years, however they might suck for everything else. These were the albums (and songs) that kept me facing forward and moving on up all year. Some of them kept revealing new twists and surprises over time; other settled into a durable pleasure groove. Some are mega-pop sensations; others are underground gems. Pop divas, rap poets, punk rockers, storytellers, tearjerkers, rump shakers—this year, your next favorite song was wherever you found it. So good night, the Year of She’s Still ’23 Inside Her Fantasy. Here’s looking forward to some ‘24K Magic for 2024 Hour Party People.

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