2023 albums of the year

Another trip around the old star in the sky means it’s time for my reflections on my top (10+) album picks of the year. There were indeed some gooders out there but I’ve dwindled ‘er down as I could. Let’s start with some notables beyond my top 10ers. In no particular order, these are all deeecent!

  • Queens of the Stone Age, In Times New Roman…
  • Lowest of the Low, Welcome to the Plunderdome
  • Arkells, Laundry Pile
  • Rancid, Tomorrow Never Comes
  • Sincere Engineer, Cheap Grills
  • Greta Van Fleet, Starcatcher
  • Avatar, Dance Devil Dance
  • Odds, Crash the Time Machine
  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation
  • Elliot Brood, Town

And now for my top 10s. To be honest, it was super hard to pick the ordering here (but undeniable were my top 3 picks – YouTube music stats confirms them to be too 😉

10. Noah Kahan, Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever). My sister Krista introduced me to this dude this year. Pretty darn great indeed. Favs include: Stick Season, Northern Attitude, Strawberry Wine, Dial Drunk, Everywhere, Everything, and All My Love.

09. Chris Stapleton, Higher. Such a solid album with excellent musicianship and songwriting. Plus, this man’s voice…sweet lawd it be darn great! Favs include: Trust, Higher, The Day I Die, It Takes a Woman, White Horse, and What Am I Gonna Do.

08. The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Rise & The Fall. One of the best out there! Like all of their other albums, this one does not disappoint. They have this rhythm and drone-like tone in many of their tunes that you can just feel in your bones. All toe-tapping goodness here. Favs include: Plague Dogs, Conductors, Candu, 10ft Tall, and Late September Snow.

07. The Beaches, Blame My Ex. What a fun album we have here. Although these folks have been around for 10ish years, I just came to them this past year. This album is a fun time indeed. Was a constant at the gym on the ol’ treadmill! Favs include: Shower Beer, Blame Brett, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Paranoid, Edge of the Earth, and If a Tree Falls.

06. The Gaslight Anthem, History Books. I’ve loved these dudes since the start. Coming back with this doozy of an album after being on a very long break. So happy! Favs include: Positive Charge, Little Fires, History Books (with the Boss baby!), Spider Bites, Autumn, and A Lifetime of Preludes.

05. Gregory Alan Isakov, Appaloosa Bones. Another one that has been around for some time that I just came into this past year. Like others on here, the voice is just sooooo good. When having a little bit of a stressful day, week, whatever, I put this album on and it calms the soul. It’s all great but picking a few favs: Appaloosa Bones, Before the Sun, Watchman, The Fall, …it really is all great from start to finish.

04. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Weathervanes. Another fantastic album from one of the best singers, songwriters, and musicians around, not to mention he surrounds himself with the same. From start to finish, this is one great album! But as usual, a few favs include: Strawberry Woman, Death Wish, If You Insist, Cast Iron Skillet, White Beretta, Save The World, damn…it’s all great!

03. Samia, Honey. Randomly popping up in the YouTubes was Samia’s tune “Honey.” I was hooked immediately. Such great tunes and such a voice. This album was on a constant rotation since it came out WAY back in January. I love it all but some favs include: Honey, Amelia, Kill Her Freak Out, Charm You, Breathing Song, Nanana, …this is pointless. Every tune is great from start to end.

02. Boygenius, The Record. And here we are nearing my top pick with these fine folks. I truly think that these three on their own are super talents. And now combining all three into one super talented group extravaganza, this is something I don’t think the world has seen, heard, experienced since The Beatles (and I don’t say this lightly as I consider the Beatles to be the best band of all time). What a fantastic album but of course, picking a few favs: True Blue, Not Strong Enough, Emily I’m Sorry, Anti-Curse, We’re in Love (this one gives me goosebumps each time…and the lyrics…wow), Satanist …another pointless endeavour – it’s all fucking tops. These three folks are *the* best singers, songwriters, musical talents I have heard/experienced in a very long time.

…and hilariously wearing Beatle-esque type outfits…so fun

01. The Menzingers, Some Of It Was True. What has become one of my all time favourite bands, this doozy of an album makes me sooooo very happy and was a constant, even if it came out later in the year. I love it all! One of my favourite quotes from the tune “Some of it Was True” – “The older I get the less I know, and I knew nothing then.” Fucking right…ha! If I have to pick a few favs, though I really do love it all, include: Some of It Was True, There’s No Place in the World For Me, Try, Love at the End, etc-etc-etc.

As always, here’s hoping 2024 brings more of the same goodness. -tMac


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