While we all know what we listened to the most (in terms of streaming numbers) via our yearly data leaks Spotify Wrapped, the best albums are the ones we love the most and get the most enjoyment out of.

As a chronic album > playlist fanatic, here is a round-up of my top 10 albums of 2023 (before we get too deep into 2024).

#10: Heaven knows — PinkPantheress

Heaven knows — PinkPantheress

A late addition in the year (released November 10, 2023), as a gen-z I cannot not-stan PinkPantheress. Her iconic ad-lib "YEAHYeahyeah" sends me into outer space every single time, though it's used a bit more sparsely on this album (tastefully).

As a musician who truly found her audience on TikTok, her blend of 2000s nostalgia aesthetics, the mix of hip-hop, rnb, UKG, drum&bass, and pop sounds make PinkPantheress the perfect soundtrack for the chronically online generation. With booming bass lines (as heard on track 6 "Bury me") mixed with sweet harp-strung chords and her iconic baby-girl voice, it's easy to forget her dark and tormenting lyrical content.

As much as I enjoyed this album, it lacked some of the nostalgia and dancey sound I loved from her previous break-out tracks like "Pain".

Rating: 7.5/10

Favourite tracks: Bury me, True romance, Nice to meet you

#9: 春游 — Leah Dou

春游 — Leah Dou

In the #9 spot is a rising Chinese artist Leah Dou (). Even though she is the daughter of mega-famous singer Faye Wong, don't let this classic case of nepo-baby industry-plant behavior take away from the great music on this album.

The album is littered with groovy, catchy, and beautifully atmospheric feel-good rnb beats. Songs like "Monday" and "橘子汽水" (translation: orange soda) evoke memories of a warm spring day, riding a bike through the French Concession in Shanghai, as the semi-empty roads glitter with late-afternoon sunlight.

If you're a fan of Korean or Japanese RnB/Pop and don't let language barriers stop you from having good music taste, make sure you don't sleep on the Chinese musicians and give this album a try.

Rating: 8/10

Favourite tracks: Monday, 北京!咖啡!, 橘子汽水

#8: UTOPIA — Travis Scott

UTOPIA — Travis Scott

A follow-up to one of my favourite albums of the 2010s ASTROWORLD, UTOPIA is an undeniable resuscitation of his career after the tragedies at his festival in 2021. In a relatively quiet year for hip-hop, this album stood out as a continuation of Travis Scott's unique psychedelic-trap sound. So much of the production is reminiscent of Kanye West — bombastic, unique, gripping, and confidence-inspiring.

Across the album there are features from Teezo Touchdown, Beyonce, Playboi Carti, Drake, 21 Savage, and SZA (just to name a few of my faves). These guests add so much quality and excitement to the album. Cut to Travis playing FEIN! 15 times in a row at MSG 💀

What never ceases to catch my attention are tracks on Travis' albums where he swaps the complex production for a more down-played, and relaxed instrumental for a moment of introspection in between the rage songs (e.g., "MY EYES" from this album or even "COFFEE BEAN" from ASTROWORLD). These songs end up being some of my most played and favourite tracks from what otherwise would be an upbeat album.

Rating: 8/10

Favourite tracks: MODERN JAM, MY EYES, FEIN!, I KNOW ?, Topia Twins, TELEKENESIS

#7: NEVER ENOUGH — Daniel Caesar

NEVER ENOUGH — Daniel Caesar

One of RnB's most popular artists, Daniel Caesar's NEVER ENOUGH is his best album since 2017's FREUDIAN.

On NEVER ENOUGH we see Daniel Caesar return to the slow-jam love song vibes, ditching his brief turn towards pop with CASE STUDY 01, albeit he has some corny moments with songs like "Homiesexual".

Songs like "Valentina" are glorious, catchy, and dreamy, with his voice filling the sparse beat and groaning synths, and booming 808s (in the latter half of the song).

Whether it be "Let Me Go", "Always", or "Buyer's Remorse", Daniel Caesar's crooning voice always conveys his yearning for love so viscerally. Love it.

Rating: 8.2/10

Favourite tracks: Valentina, Let me Go, Always, Please Do Not Lean

#6: Quest for Fire — Skrillex

Quest for Fire — Skrillex

With Quest for Fire we finally see the return of electronic music legend Skrillex. Having grown up on his Bangarang EP (2011), I was extremely happy to see him release new music in 2023, this time with a beard and no glasses.

This album has all of the classic Skrillex sounds (even his legendary "OhmyGOD" sample which has kind of become his producer tag), updated and refreshed for 2023's electronic trends of house, drill, UKG, jungle, and drum&bass.

Plus his b2b2b run with Four Tet and Fred Again was one of the most memorable music events of the year.

Rating: 9/10

Favourite tracks: Leave Me Like This, Rumble



If you know me, this is by no means a suprise. Kaytranada x Aminé are 2 of my favourite artists, so this collaboration is a natural high-ranking, high-playback type album this year.

What could have been a 10/10 album was actually more of a chill groove, laid-back, fun album. While I was expecting no-skip bangers back to back, what we got was the same consistent funky-dancey production from Kaytranada and amazing summer-vibe bars from Aminé.

If you're familiar with other Kaytranada-produced rap albums (like IDK's Simple), this is very much in the same lane.

If "4EVA" comes on and I hear it I am obligated to dance. It is the law.

Rating: 9/10

Favourite tracks: 4EVA, letstalkaboutit, Rebuke, Sossaup

#4: falling of flying — Jorja Smith

falling of flying — Jorja Smith

Not sure if it was moving to London or if it's the first album Jorja Smith has made in 5 years, I really enjoyed this highly-anticipated rnb queen to get back to releasing new music.

"Little Things" released as a teaser earlier in 2023 showed Jorja Smith expanding her sound toward dance-type-beat productions, not to mention the Nia Archives and L Beats Mashup versions being smash hits on the internet as well.

Overall this project sees Jorja Smith returning to form with classic rnb tunes that are well-written and beautiful, and her vocal performances continue to be astounding and unique.

Rating: 9/10

Favourite tracks: Little Things, Try Me, Lately

#3: Larger than Life — Brent Faiyaz

Larger than Life — Brent Faiyaz

The number of times I played this album in the last few months of 2023 was absurd. Being an old Sonder fan, Brent Faiyaz is once again on his toxic-boy shit with this album.

Larger than Life combines some of the best rnb and hip-hop sounds with Brent's buttery smooth voice. I honestly am not sure if this man can do any wrong and has been the soundtrack for city boys in the last few years.

The album initially caught my attention with the A$AP Rocky feature on "Outside All Night". Not only is this the best song on the album, Rocky's verse is incredible with vintage flows, great lyricism, and iconic swagger. Even the bridge from a new artist on the block N3WYRKLA piqued my interest enough to explore her music as well.

Rating: 9/10

Favourite Tracks: Outside All Night, Forever Yours, Moment of Your Life

#2: moreWARD(FORWARD) — Jordan Ward

moreWARD(FORWARD) — Jordan Ward

Jordan Ward found popularity in 2023 on Tik Tok with the viral "FAMJAM4000" and got the co-sign from Tyler, the Creator on "WHITE CROCS". He was heavily recommended for rnb fans in 2023 and touted frequently as Album of the Year by many music fans online, and after initial skepticism I found this album to be incredibly enjoyable.

Jordan Ward's blend of playful production and unique singing voice makes him the immediate face of the contemporary alt-RnB music scene. It's everything you might love from easy-listening carpool-karaoke to cheeky one-liners that'll send the squad into a laughing fit.

His song writing is outstanding, with songs like the intro "BUSSDOWN" blending verses and choruses togther. His mumbling vocal performance (like on "IDC") is rather endearing, conveying qualities of intoxication either being drunk or high.

Specifically, this deluxe version of the album incldued some of my favourite tracks like "MUSTARD" with 6lack. I was really surprised by this newcomer artist taking such a high place on my year-end list, give it a try I really do recommend this album.

Rating: 10/10

Favourite Tracks: BUSSDOWN, IDC, MUSTARD

#1: Fountain Baby — Amaarae

Fountain Baby — Amaarae

Finally at the number one spot, my favourite album of 2023 was Founatin Baby. This is an incredible blend of hip-hop, RnB, dance, electronic, afrobeats, punk, and pop giving it an very unique sound that I haven't heard from other artists in the space.

After loving "SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY" back in 2020, I'm so glad Amaarae's latest album is a cohesive and thrilling listen.

Her production is energetic and easily ass-shake-able, she really got me dancing on the street of London not caring if I look like a fool. Her unique falsetto singing voice also sets her apart and makes her sound easily distinguishable. On songs like "Co-Star", a peaceful intro lures you into the track before breaking out into a fun, dance-y song about asking your crush what their sign is LMAOOO

My favourite track is none other than "Angels in Tibet". An instant energy boost, the beat is fucking insane and will get you jumping out of bed and into the gym in the first 15 seconds.

In a year where UKG and Afrobeats saw significant popularity, Amaarae's music was unique and refreshing, and for sure to get you some credits if you queue it up on aux at the party.

Favourite Tracks: Angels in Tibet, Co-Star, Wasted Eyes


While my top played album of 2023 was actually SOS by SZA, that album technically came out in 2022. These new releases in 2023 I 100% enjoyed thoroughly, and glad it reflects my taste of being primarily rnb heavy with some electronic, hip-hop, and dance music sprinkled in there too.

Have you listened to any of these albums? What did you think of them? What are your top 10 albums last year? What are you looking forward to dropping this year?

Let me know!!!