My favorite records of 2023

My favorite album of 2023 isn’t in the picture as I’m waiting for the deluxe box set that comes out in early March, 2024. Peter Gabriel’s i/o, his first album of new music in over 20 years, came out in early December and I have literally listened to nothing but this. So much so that Apple updated its 2023 Replay and the record became my most played streaming album of the year in under a month.

Like last year, here’s the rest of the list in no particular order:

  • Jenny Lewis - Joy Y’all: Jenny Lewis was back with a strong effort. At just over 30 minutes the record was short and sweet but full of catchy songs.

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Weathervanes: Jason Isbell self-produced this album and cranked the electric guitars a bit more than in past albums.

  • The Hold Steady - The Price of Progress: You either love or hate Craig Finn’s voice. But there is no denying he is a master storyteller.

  • Alex Lahey - The Answer is Always Yes: Alex Lahey’s third album is just a rockin’ good time.

  • boygenius - The Record: I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said on every Best of 2023 list already. The supergroup of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers followed up their debut EP with a wonderful album.

  • Angie McMahon - Light, Dark, Light Again: If it hadn’t been for Peter Gabriel, this would have been my album of the year. There was no sophomore slump for this singer / songwriter out of Australia. I really hope more people get to know her and her music.

  • Dessa - Bury the Lede: Minneapolis poet / author / singer / rapper Dessa was back with Bury the Lede and did not disappoint.

  • Favorite repress / reissue: Prince and the New Power Generation - Diamond and Pearls: I almost regret not buying the deluxe box set of this album. The quality and the mix of this album, originally released in 1991, is hands down the best mixed album I heard all year. I listened to the original a few times before picking this up and was blown away the first time I put it on the turntable.