Palo Alto High School's Arts and Culture Magazine

C Magazine

Palo Alto High School's Arts and Culture Magazine

C Magazine

Palo Alto High School's Arts and Culture Magazine

C Magazine

C Mag’s Top 10 Albums of 2023

Check out the 10 albums we had on repeat in 2023
C+Mags+Top+10+Albums+of+2023
3 MIN READ

10. “Let’s Start Here.” Lil Yachty

A massive pivot from past projects in his discography, “Let’s Start Here.” is Lil Yachty’s foray out of mumble rapping and into a new genre that can only be described as different. The album is an unexpected blend of RnB, Tame Impala-esque psychological rock, and jazzy funk, and we’re here for it. Yachty’s voice shines as he reminds us what the goal of rap is these days: how can you push the boundaries so far, it almost sounds familiar.

 

9. “KAYTRAMINÉ,” by KAYTRAMINÉ

Two longtime friends, Haitian-Canadian music producer and DJ Kaytranada and Portland native Aminé, team up to create an 11-track LP bursting full of funky dance tracks perfect for the summer. Kaytranada’s signature house-influenced pulsing beats mesh wonderfully with Aminé’s smooth flow. This album manages to do two things at once: inspire introspection while making you want to move your body, tropical beverage in hand. 

 

8. “GÉNESIS,” Peso Pluma

In an increasingly globalized world, non-English speaking artists are beginning to take center stage, and Peso Pluma is the latest to steal the spotlight. On “GÉNESIS” tradition reigns supreme as trombones and trumpets wander alongside expressive guitars, underneath Pluma’s intense emotional vocals. You don’t need to understand the lyrics to enjoy “GÉNESIS.” Peso Pluma’s vocal versatility, raspy tone and instrumental arrangements rooted in cultural heritage appeal to any listener, regardless of language. 

 

7. “10,000 gecs,” 100 gecs

Seven years after Laura Les and Dylan Brady released their first project as duo 100 gecs, they have elevated their definition of hyperpop. Characterized by thrash metal riffs, pop-punk, and other chaotic yet understandable pitches, “10,000 gecs” shows the power and support behind their band. The aesthetic is widely appreciated and with their recent record label signing in 2020 with Atlantic Records the band continues to emerge from the shadows as two best friends throw together their greatest ideas from the file cabinet. 

 

6. “UTOPIA” by Travis Scott

Two years after the tragedy at his Astroworld Festival in Houston, Travis Scott is back and ready to rage, delivering his fourth studio album, “UTOPIA.” The 19 song project is characterized by cinematic synths (Travis actually released a 75 minute movie alongside his album), rapid beat switches, and fantastic features from the likes of Drake, Playboi Carti, Future and SZA. Heavily inspired by Ye and Travis’s hometown of Houston, “UTOPIA,” makes a statement: nothing can stop La Flame. 

 

5. “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd,” Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Ray delivers with her ninth studio album “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd.” With it comes much of what we’ve come to expect from the American singer-songwriter: retro cinematic qualities as she explores themes of tragic romance, glamor and melancholia. But what sets this project apart is its depth. Del Ray is not afraid to get to the bottom of things and we can’t wait to see where she dives next.

 

4. “the record,” boygenius

Garnering six Grammy nominations, boygenius’ debut LP “the record,” is a dynamic celebration of friendship. After a several year separation, the trio is back and better than ever, their voices harmonizing, singing lyrics of love, heartbreak and everything in between, on top of indie rock melodies. “the record” is a testament to relationships, something we all can relate to, and we can’t see how this one develops. 

 

3. “For All The Dogs,” Drake

While longtime fans may be upset that the old Drake is not back with “For All The Dogs,” the rapper has managed to do something better with his latest LP: he’s managed to create a modernized version of his mid-2000s iconic Toronto sound. Melodic RnB tangents take off from trap verses, and romantic conversations cross with — in typical Drake fashion — disses and shots at the biggest in the industry. Complete with star studded features from Sexyy Red to Bad Bunny, “For All The Dogs” epitomizes the new Drake — confident, charismatic, and unapologetic.

 

2. “Zach Bryan,” Zach Bryan

Zach Bryan took his music into his own hands, by self-producing and writing the majority of his self-titled album, “Zach Bryan.” Stripped down simplistic melodies and old school country songwriting team up to create ballads that are anything but antiquated. Bryan stays true to himself and his home state of Oklahoma, and when listening to his latest piece of work, it’s hard not to imagine being in an ‘88 Ford driving along curvy country roads. I dare you not to sing along. 

 

1. “GUTS,” Olivia Rodrigo

And our staff’s favorite album of 2023 is: Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album, “GUTS.” Rodrigo’s vocal prowess dazzles throughout as she speaks her truth: calling out past partners for their cruelty, telling tales about reckless behavior, melancholic confessions about times she did wrong. Rodrigo cultivates an irresistible blend of pop and rock, taking the best of both genres and creating a fusion that appeals to any listener. “GUTS” is high school in nine songs, and after listening to it, we never want to graduate.

 

Honorable mentions included in this year’s Grammys cycle but not technically released in 2023:

 

“SOS,” SZA

 

“Stick Season,” Noah Kahan

 

“Midnights,” Taylor Swift

 

“Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022),” Fred Again..

 

“Her Loss,” Drake and 21 Savage

 

“Heroes & Villains,” Metro Boomin

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About the Contributors
Zeke Morrison, Editor-In-Chief
2022-2023 Staff Writer 2023-2024 Editor-In-Chief I joined C-Mag because I'm really passionate about the arts, music, and just about anything C-Mag tends to cover. One of my favorite parts about C-Mag is how visually compelling it is. I love journalism because I can tell the stories I want the world to hear about. In my free time I like to play baseball, try new restaurants, and make movies. In the future I would like to pursue a career in a creative industry.
Jake Papp, Social Media Manager
2022-2024 Staff Writer I joined C Mag to explore a creative side and share stories with everyone. I have two older brothers and two dogs. I enjoy playing baseball, golfing, and fishing.