This year, I made a playlist of all my favorite albums for me to go back and listen to, so I was better prepared to make this article. So of course I listened to it one or two times on shuffle, then stopped updating it or going back to it at all, lol.

If anything, this article is designed more like my previous fave albums of the year. The albums I listened to most and couldn’t stop thinking about are on here. I do have some honorable mentions:

WayV – Phantom

  • A December 2022 release I listened to nonstop in 2023. I mentioned in my WayV fave songs article that I regretted not including it on my fave albums list of 2022. Consider it my 11th favorite album of 2023 that didn’t release in 2023.

V – Layover

  • My 12th favorite album of 2023. This really grew on me. “Slow Dancing” and “Love Me Again” were stuck on repeat for me. I would have included them on my favorite songs of 2023 if I had done my top 50 songs. They probably would have place somewhere in the 23-21 placement. I’m still obsessed with these tracks, “Blue” as well.

WOODZ – OO-LI

  • I love this album, but I really have three main songs I revisit (“Deep Sleep”, “Drowning”, and “Busted”). So I didn’t include it on this list. Didn’t feel fair.

Minhyun – Truth or Lie

  • I looooove “Hidden Side” and I did listen to this album off and on early 2023, then fell off. But whenever “Hidden Side” popped up on shuffle, I was seated.

Cherry Bullet – Cherry Dash

  • Another one I listened to a lot earlier in the year, then kinda forgot about. Still my favorite Cherry Bullet album to date.

Billlie – the Billage of perception: chapter three

  • Same as above, pretty much. This year, I didn’t listen to Billlie as much as I did in 2022. I listened to everything they released, I just forgot to really go back and listen as regularly. Same with Viviz too.

NCT DOJAEJUNG – Perfume

  • Wonderful album, but kinda forgettable at the same time. When it would pop up on shuffle, I’d get hyped, but this wasn’t one I was reaching for.

And here’s a list of other albums I enjoyed but forgot to go back to 😅

EPEX – Prelude of Love Chapter 2. ‘Growing Pains’

AB6IX – The Future Is Ours: LOST

Kang Daniel – REALIEZ

The New Six – BOYHOOD

Odd Eye Circle – Version Up

Infinite – 13egin

Jo Yuri – Love All (I did listen to a few songs off this one but not the whole album a lot)

I don’t want to say I was burnt out of Kpop this year. But keeping track of everything going on definitely wore me out. I totally became disinterested in following alllll the drama. I’ve just been stepping back from a lot of this idol/celebrity culture anyway, western and in the world of Kpop. It’s just not fun anymore.

It really does get emotionally draining, and looking at people arguing online all day isn’t healthy mentally at all. You gotta know when to step back and remember you don’t actually know these people. And they’re definitely not paying your bills to be that invested in them like that. This recent HyunA and Yong Jun Hyung mess (a quick Google search will catch you up) has just confirmed that as much as I love someone’s work, I don’t know them personally, and they’re gonna do whatever weirdo shit they want.

It also just takes so much time having to shift through music. It was easier for me to listen to my old reliables on repeat, then dig through a bunch of new artists and find maybe one or two songs I like.

And at the end of the day, it is a hobby for me. If I’m not having fun with it, I either gotta make some changes or step away from it completely.

So since I have less time now to focus on Kpop, I think that’ll greatly improve quality on here. I’ll be posting artists that really made an impact on me, good or bad. And my monthly faves will likely be more condensed than before as well, too. I wanted to stick to posting once a week, but it might be more like once or twice a month depending on my schedule. So if you don’t follow me on socials (Twitter and Instagram), make sure to do that for blog updates.

Let’s get into my fave albums of 2023!

10.) tripleS – ASSEMBLE

Such as catchy album, I still stand by this statement. I said in my February(?) article I’d be listening to this album a ton, and unfortunately I forgot to go back to this one more. I did listen to if off and on.

But not as consistently as I hoped. That’s really the only reason why it’s so low on the list. It’s my favorite album, I wished I listened to more this year. I’m gonna force myself to listen to more tripleS (subunits included) in 2024 because the music is FLAWLESS.

9.) Heize – Last Winter

It’s been rainy a lot this winter here in Georgia, perfect time for me to listen to more jazzy/chill music like Miss Heize. I’ve been listening to Last Winter a lot in the mornings.

“Perhaps, Happy Ending” is currently my favorite song off the album. But I’m really vibing with all of them. I think I’ll be listening to it even more in 2024.

8.) KAI – Rover

Have I talked about how much I love this cover art? Maybe I have and I forgot. But unfortunately, Mr. Kai knocks it out of the park aesthetically with his solo releases. He gets more comfortable and confident with the direction and concept with each album release, I think.

I’ve talked so much about “Rover”. Now I think it’s time for me to be annoying about “Bomba”. It’s such a loud, fun song. The party is in full swing. It’s still my second favorite song off Rover.

I somehow missed this brilliant film teaser for Rover. We do get about 40 seconds of “Bomba” around the 2:03 minute mark. I wasn’t expecting the yee haw agenda are you kidding me?? He just gets it 💁🏾‍♀️.

From start to finish, this video is engaging. I love the way it was filmed, choice of lighting, his outfits, especially the one during “Sinner”, the inclusion of choreography to help tell the story, just 10s across the board. I love things like this. Watching the trailer just makes me want to relisten to Rover start to finish again. Love it.

7.) Kep1er – Magic Hour

My favorite Kep1er album to date. Similar to tripleS, I wanted to listen to more of their music this year, and didn’t listen to them nearly as much as I should have. Kep1er is easily my favorite newer girl group at the moment. And Magic Hour really solidified that for me.

This is another album I’m forcing myself to get out of my comfort bubble to jam to.

6.) ENHYPEN – Dark Blood

Dark Blood is sooooo good as a whole. I still don’t love it as much as Border: Carnival, Dimension: Dilemma, my top two fave Enha albums, but it’s solid 5th place:

Dimension: Dilemma

Border: Carnival

Dimension: Answer

Border: Day One

Dark Blood

That’s my top Enha album rankings as of Orange Blood being their most recent release.

Anyway, I spent so much of 2023 going back and forth on my thoughts on this album. It was somehow middling but good at the same time for me. I like the songs enough, but they don’t have me hooked like their older stuff like “Drunk-Dazed”.

But much more memoriable than “Sweet Venom” and anything else from Orange Blood. Now that album is truly disappointing as a follow up to Dark Blood. I feel like if the album is orange, I’m not gonna like it, lmao.

I feel like this album should have been bigger, grander. I think that’s what felt off to me. This album feels painfully underrated.

I don’t think it even was nominated much for any awards, which is totally disappointing. Maybe Dark Blood was a little a head of it’s time.

I feel like in like 3 or 4 years we’re gonna be talking about how much the public slept on this album, and how Enha’s been creating bangers with engaging concepts all along, y’all just weren’t paying attention.

I have yet to decide on my favorite song from Dark Blood. Maybe “Chaccone”. I feel like that’s the one I go to most after “Bite Me”. But yes, I have decided I do love this album, and it’s okay for it to not be as great as Dimension: Dilemma or even sit at the same table with it. Sometimes your faves make a good album that you listen to a lot, and just vibe to. And Dark Blood is a reliable good time for your ears.

5.) SEVENTEEN – FML

I love “Super” so fooking much. It’s easily top 3 fave SVT title tracks for me. FML was another album I felt mixed on at first, then quickly grew to love on more listens to it. “Super” is my most listened to song off the album, and I truly listened to it all year off and on. I listened to the rest of FML mostly the first like two months of its release.

I just cannot stress enough how happy I am to see Seventeen finally receive their flowers. It’s almost 10 years of Seventeen and their music just keeps getting better. Truly living legends.

4.) TXT – The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION

It’s officially one year since TNC: Temptation dropped, and it still sounds a fresh as it did then. I’m still obsessed with “Sugar Rush Ride” and “Tinnitus”. I still want to do a deep dive article looking closer at production and other aspects of creation during this album.

This album and era was such a bright spot for me in 2023. I keep saying it because it’s true, but this era ignited my love for TXT.

This track list is just banger after banger after banger. The baseline in “Devil by the Window” is addicting. “Sugar Rush Ride” is now my third favorite title track to date.

“Happy Fools” finally gave us a western feature that isn’t cringe or feels forced. “Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)” is basically the b-side of the year. HYBE totally missed out on not making it the second title and running with it going viral on Tiktok. And “Farewell, Neverland” wasn’t on my radar much prior to hearing it live, but it now my second favorite TXT ballad after “Maze in the Mirror”.

I just have so much love for this album, and I’ll defend her honor on her behalf 😤.

3.) TXT – The Name Chapter: FREEFALL

Aw yeah, tubatu giving the rock girlies what they want. It was dificult for me to place Freefall over over Temptation at first. But ultimately it came down to the multiple genres and variety you get on Freefall versus Temptation. Freefall is much more experimental and diverse musically than Temptation, as much as I love Temptation. Temptation really is more of the same in a way. Not in a bad way, but it doesn’t push TXT as musicians like Freefall does.

Could I have done without “Do It Like That”? Hell yeah, but this collab actually isn’t that bad. It’s a song that if I heard in H&M or something, I’d nod my head along and jam while shopping. I might even Shazzam it. But it isn’t one of the songs from Freefall I find myself revisiting much.

#JusticeForBackForMoreAnittaVersion I will never not be salty about this not being on Freefall. I gotta deduct points for that and the inclusion of “Do It Like That” over an original song ot5 song or even a subunit song. I would have rather them had giving us two subunit songs over “Do It Like That” and “Back For More (TXT version)”. But that’s my unwanted opinion lol.

I included “Growing Pain” as the video of choice for this article because it was brought to my attention it isn’t as well liked as I thought it was. I saw someone make a tweet about it, and I was like ?? Really??. So justice for her too. I know “Skipping Stones” wasn’t much of a fan favorite, but “Growning Pain” is such an experience start to finish. The vocals and guitars? Chefs kiss for real.

The more I think about this album, the more I love it too. I wasn’t expecting it to place this high my list for fave albums of 2023. If you would have told me that (despite some of my minor complaints) early in 2023, like before the album dropped, I’d be shook.

2.) EXO – EXIST

I told y’all it was gonna be between 2 albums, and even after revisiting my faves this year, I couldn’t think of two other albums that could top my top 2.

“Hear Me Out” is still one of my favorite songs and most listened to consistenly of 2023, and in 2024. I STILL get excited hearing D.O’s “One, two threee”. And the “Ooo ooo ooos” and vocalizing going on in the first 20 seconds of the song. It’s just time to turn uppp.

I think in a year that had so much drama and chaos going on, seeing EXO have fun and save the day with EXIST was a much needed addition. I admit I mostly listen to the same like 4 songs off EXIST in 2023. But in 2024 I know when I’m having my EXO craving, the b-sides to EXIST are gonna pop up and I’ll be listening to them every time they pop up, no skips.

EXIST was another reminder too that even though I don’t follow EXO as closely as I used to. I’m still and EXO-L deep down. Like a sleeper agent, lol. EXIST really made me remember why I love EXO’s music still and it made me excited for the future for EXO.

1.) LOOSSEMBLE – LOOSSEMBLE

2023 was the rekindling of relationships with my faves. I’ve talked about how I missed LOONA when it came to some of their releases as a full group. “Paint The Town”, “Why Not”, songs like that. And as much as I hate the girls got diveded up like Germany after World War II, musically I think that made them better.

OEC gets to pick up from where they left off (their debut album was wonderful), Heejin always seemed like more of a soloist to me, and I love <K>, Chuu’s solo activies and album also suit her perfectly, and Loossemble just feels like the spirtual successor to LOONA as a whole. I can’t wait to see what Haseul, and Yve bring to the table in 2024.

Plus the girls get to link up when they want. We’ve already had LOONA reunions with the girls visiting each other at concerts, mentioning phone calls with the others, and commenting on each other’s Instas. We’re well fed with content.

I wasn’t a huge fan of “Sensitive” at first, especially compared to “Newtopia” and my favorite song of the year, “Colouring”. But “Sensitive” is a sleeper, a slow burn. And after hearing it live I was completely sold on it. Hearing all of the songs live made more of an impact on me.

Plus it was emotional seeing the girls perform together again on the same stage. I forgot when I saw LOONA back in 2021? Yeojin wasn’t able to perform, so seeing her in 2023 was the first time I got to see her in person. She quickly became my fave Loossemble member after being maybe my like 7th or 8th fave member in LOONA.

Hyeju climbed up the faves ladder at the debut showcase as well. She’s so cool and funny. Anyway I’m incredibly excited to see what’s next for all of the former LOONA girls. I can’t wait for the next Loossemble release. You will hear screaming when they announce the next mini album, don’t be alarmed, it’s just me being excited, lol.

I highly recommend checking out my fave albums if you happened to missed any of these. And check out some of the honorable mentions too. You might find some new faves there.

I’m excited to finally have 2023 done. Now it’s time to get caught up on January 2024 music. Let me know your favorite albums of 2023 in the comments. I hope you’ve had a good new year so far.

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I’ll see y’all next article.

Take care!

Ash💫

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