It’s that time of year when we all look back on the albums that served as the soundtrack to the last 12 months. With so many incredible releases in 2023, it was pretty tricky to narrow down our most beloved releases. idobi Radio had too many favorites to pack into one list, so today, we are unveiling our Best Albums Of 2023 Volume 1!
We simply weren’t capable of ranking these albums. Instead, we chose to give them all equal praise and list them based on the release date. Additionally, this list does not include EPs or reimagined albums (those lovely releases are for another, so keep your eyes peeled!). Check out our first round of favorite albums of 2023 below!
Higher Lonely Power — Fireworks
Released: January 1, 2023
Fireworks were criminally underrated in their prime. A group that saw a good bit of success in the 2010s with their complementary albums Gospel and Oh, Common Life, they should be revered as one of the greatest bands of that decade. A dedicated fanbase kept them in the conversation, but there is something truly exceptional about their music that should have put them at the top. Seeing their surprise return this year with Higher Lonely Power felt like an old friend knocking on your door in the middle of the night. An intense departure in sound, the new record shows they are capable of music much more diverse than they ever led on.
A pop rock band at heart, Higher Lonely Power blends many genres together in an aggressive and impressive fashion. Who knew Fireworks could be so weird in such a magnificent way? From “I Want To Start A Religion With You” to “Blood In The Milk” to “Goodnight Tomb,” we see a totally different side of the band on this record. Still catchy and digestible, they chose to explore a vast variety of new sounds. Long-time fans were appreciative, but newcomers also had something exciting to chew on. We love to see a group grow, change, and find something entirely new that works. —Tate Logan
RUSH! — Maneskin
Released: January 20, 2023
Deluxe Edition Released: November 10, 2023
Rapidly ascending to the acme of music charts, Måneskin‘s RUSH! emerges through a dazzling kaleidoscope of enchanting vocals courtesy of Damiano David, commanding basslines via Victoria De Angelis, nasty good breakdowns and guitar work from Thomas Raggi, and the driving drums of Ethan Torchio. This quartet of virtuosos has, without a doubt, become the vanguard of our generation’s rock revolution.
Having recently undergone a well-deserved evolution into the group’s deluxe album RUSH! (ARE YOU COMING?), which features five additional tracks not included on the original release, including the soul-stirring “VALENTINE,” exudes the opulence of grandeur and boasts anthems such as the original album opener “OWN MY MIND” and the Tom Morello collaboration “GOSSIP.” In its recent transformation, the album has blossomed into an even more lavish and expansive experience, standing at 22 impressive tracks and resonating with the unmistakable aura of a musical spectacle ready to enrapture arenas and captivate audiences. We’ve been saying it for years now, but these sexy Italians are bound to take over the world.
From the first heartbeat of the album, Måneskin unleashes a sonic tempest, a multi-layered journey that transcends genres, pushing the boundaries of rock, punk, and glam with an irreverent audacity. The guitar riffs, a tapestry of fervor and finesse, dance like flames in the hands of maestros, creating an intricate ballet of sound that reverberates through the soul. The rhythm section, a pulsating heartbeat, propels each track forward with an irresistible energy, an invitation to abandon oneself to the sonic whirlwind. Måneskin’s RUSH! (and RUSH! (ARE YOU COMING?)) are officially my album(s) of the year. —Paige Owens
This Is Why — Paramore
Released: February 10, 2023
Never underestimate the power that comes from a woman’s voice. And in Paramore’s case, never underestimate Hayley Williams’ ability to raise her voice and write authentic songs that tap into her life experiences. This Is Why knows no bounds when it comes to genre or lyrics. Melding the worlds of alt-pop, new wave, and funk, the record explores the anxieties and angst of living in our world today. From the harsh echoing quality of the news to the political and societal traumas from both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is almost too much negativity at our fingertips to process.
This Is Why doesn’t seek to explain the “new normal” but acts as a warm blanket for the listener to take shelter from the unprecedented. It’s the perfect comeback from their 2017 album After Laughter and proves that Paramore continues to evolve while staying true to the rioting teenagers they once were. —Maggie Schneider
The Jaws Of Life — Pierce The Veil
Released: February 10, 2023
Marking their first new body of work since 2016’s Misadventures, Pierce The Veil‘s The Jaws Of Life unfolds as a tapestry of passion woven with threads of raw intensity. The album is accentuated by standout singles such as “12 Fractures” and their Billboard Alternative Airplay No. 1 single “Emergency Contact.”
Vic Fuentes, the poetic helm of the band, serves as a guide through the turbulent seas of love, loss, and self-discovery with his poignant lyrics. His masterful lyricism is exemplified through lines such as the title track’s “A part of me is alien/And part of me is ghost,” “Shared Trauma”’s “To you (To you)/I’m drawn across this universe/And for you (For you)/I’m tempted from my dreams and cursed/In a state of emergency, and I’m afraid it’s getting worse,” and plenty more. These lyrical gems sit beautifully against the backdrop of Jaime Preciado‘s pulsating bass, Tony Perry’s intricate guitar work, and the rhythmic expertise of Third Eye Blind’s Brad Hargreaves, who tracked the drums on the album.
Taking a feather from the cap of various behemoth grunge artists of the ‘90s, The Jaws Of Life acts as a decadent platter of intimacy and aggression. Serving as the group’s first new work in nearly seven years, The Jaws Of Life is a sink-your-teeth-in masterpiece brimming with a new era for the now three-piece group that is both fresh and familiar. —Paige Owens
Past // Present // Future — Meet Me @ The Altar
Released: March 10, 2023
Deluxe Edition Released: September 29, 2023
Meet Me @ The Altar‘s debut offering, Past // Present // Future, transcends expectations, earning a well-deserved deluxe upgrade that expands the original 11-track compilation to a robust 15 tracks following the album’s original release in March. Across the trio’s debut, each track resonates with a dynamic fusion of pop-punk’s vivacity and emo’s introspective depth. Guitar-driven melodies courtesy of Téa Campbell soar with infectious energy, anchored by drummer Ada Juarez’s thunderous rhythms. Edith Johnson’s vocals, a harmonious blend of power and vulnerability, navigate themes of growth and self-discovery. Each track pulsates with an anthemic spirit, creating a sonic landscape that bridges generations while carving its path in the contemporary punk scene.
Overall, MMATA has captured the spirit of pop-punk without glitz, glamour, or gimmicks—it is pure, raw, and rings authentic. The album serves as a poignant reminder of the past of pop-punk (behemoths such as Paramore and Hey Monday who paved the way for female-fronted acts), the present (which Meet Me @ The Altar slot exquisitely into), and the future, which is yet to be defined. Pop-punk’s certainly not dead, no. Thanks to Meet Me @ The Altar, it’s alive and thriving. —Paige Owens
10,000 gecs — 100 gecs
Released: March 17, 2023
How many gecs does it take to make an electrified, chaotic album? 10,000 is the correct answer. 10,000 gecs is an itch that scratches the brain to its’ stem with a variety of styles under the hyper-pop umbrella. While we try to still make the pilgrimage to the 100 gecs tree from their previous album, 1000 gecs, which showcased the bleeding into other genres like ska and pop-punk, their latest release does so in a sporadically uniform way.
From the beginning of the journey with “Dumbest Girl Alive” in a true hyper-pop formula mixed with an acoustic breakdown to “I Got My Tooth Removed,” that makes you feel like you’re at a vintage school dance that suddenly gets over-taken by a roaming ska band to pick up the vibes, 10,000 gecs covers almost every alternative genre that even the grumpiest rocker has to at least give a head nod. —Lizzie Baumgartner
So Much (For) Stardust — Fall Out Boy
Released: March 24, 2023
The “Love From The Other Side” came through like a gust of wind blowing you over in the middle of downtown Chicago when Fall Out Boy dropped So Much (For) Stardust. Their eighth studio album pivoted back towards their “traditional” rock sound that many were amiss for with M A N I A. The 13-track album carries similar sounds that would make any OG FOB fan stop and remember the energy of Folie a Deux and Save Rock And Roll. With sleeper hits like “Flu Game” and “I Am My Own Muse,” the band reminds everyone that they still have that pop-punk dog in them. —Lizzie Baumgartner
the record — boygenius
Released: March 31, 2023
Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker’s decision to form a supergroup was the musical gift of a lifetime. boygenius invited us into a world of remarkable songwriting and prolific collaboration with an execution beyond alluring. Their collective knack for gut-wrenching themes bathed over incendiary instrumentation has shown that even though all three artists stand beautifully as individuals, their alliance is magical. the record has transcended the intimate pocket of our scene to be widely recognized and praised to the highest degree.
With an appearance on Saturday Night Live and seven Grammy nominations, boygenius has become something of a phenomenon. They crafted an album with an incredible relationship within the songs. By jumping between emotional rollercoasters like “Not Strong Enough” and “Cool About It” to driving, attitude-filled grooves like “Satanist,” there is something for everyone on this album. boygenius is a timeless act that will only continue to impress. —Tate Logan
Void Eternal — nothing,nowhere.
Released: March 31, 2023
Despite making his name as one of the frontrunners of the emo-rap boom of the mid-10s, Joe Mulherin’s first love has always been heavy music. The nothing,nowhere. discography has flirted with destruction before, but not to the extent that appears on VOID ETERNAL. A masterful, crushing, and celebratory blend of post-hardcore, metalcore, and hardcore, with dissonant atmosphere and razor-sharp penmanship still at the forefront, it is a record that feels as familiar as it does fiercely fresh.
“THIRST4VIOLENCE” ripples with nu-metal’s unique braggadocious bounce, “ER4SER” possesses one of the most spine-tingling choruses of the decade so far, and “TRAG3DY” overflows with throat-shredding grit and pit-spinning grandiose. Throw in guest spots from Senses Fail’sBuddy Nielsen and Fall Out Boy’sPete Wentz, to name a couple, and you have a record that serves as a full-circle dream for Joe as much as a well-deserved burst of volatile expression. Pushing and pulling with a sound that defined the turn of the millennium, VOID ETERNAL keeps the spirit of yesterday alive whilst striving to inspire the next generation of moshers as well. —Jack Rogers
I Hope Hell Isn’t Real — Roe Kapara
Released: April 14, 2023
It is nearly impossible to box Roe Kapara’s music into a neat and tidy genre description. Sonically, he lives somewhere between folk rock, alternative emo, and dirt pop—an odd and beautiful combination of perfectly underproduced, lackluster sounds that allow his razor-sharp lyricism to take the front seat. He is no stranger to a catchy acoustic guitar riff, but his talent shines in his ability to deliver a strangely familiar feeling wrapped in a bizarre narrative.
His debut album, I Hope Hell Isn’t Real, feels like recalling a movie you fell asleep to as a child, recognizable, but only in a dream. From macabre themes, horror-infused visuals, and uncomfortable one-liners, Roe Kapara is producing art that is more than unique. “Everyone’s Dying (Grandma’s Drunk Again),” “Everything’s Fine (Nuke Song),” and “Preacher” cement his craft and prove he is not only creating incredible songs but building a special universe along with them. —Tate Logan