Culture Fix’s 2023 Top 10 Albums of the Year

It’s that time of year again and we have painstakingly chosen ten albums that sum up the strongest of 2023. Expect euphoric pop, broadway divas turned disco queens, country pop majesty, joyous queer anthems, and electronic excellence. We haven’t ranked them, instead simply presenting our ten highlights of the year.

All of our albums of the year have been featured on the site throughout 2023 and also feature tracks which are included on the Culture Fix playlist.

Connect with us on social media here: Instagram, X, Tik Tok, YouTube & Facebook.

Idina Menzel – Drama Queen

Idina Menzel unleashed her inner dance diva on Drama Queen, a high energy set of disco and dancepop anthems that combined her impeccable vocals with vibes of sheer pop euphoria. Idina accompanied the release of the album with a social media campaign that defied the laws of camp – one that continues to live rent free in out minds. Highlights include Move, Beast and the Jake Shears penned Dramatic. Drama Queen was a testament to Idina’s versatility and a genuine bop filled extravaganza.

Jake Shears – Last Man Dancing

Jake Shears followed his New Orleans inspired self-titled solo debut with Last Man Dancing, an escapist club fantasy which blends together Jake’s influences old and new. Mixing mainstream disco flavours with more gritty underground dance sounds, Last Man Dancing is a smorgasbord of pop joy, as heard on big radio friendly tracks such as I Used to Be In Love and Devil Came Down the Dance Floor, and sexy experimental-flavoured numbers including Voices, Radio Eyes and 8Ball.

Billy Porter – Black Mona Lisa

We longed for Billy Porter’s full on pop album debut after hearing Children back in 2021, a number that pairs his soulful vocals with high energy upbeat pop. Billy’s full length collaboration with Island Records UK arrived this year in the form of Black Mona Lisa, an album brimming with pop excellence heard in contemporary anthems including Baby Was A Dancer, Broke A Sweat and Fashion. Billy asserts himself as one of the ultimate multi-hyphenates with this masterful set.

Shania Twain – Queen of Me

Shania Twain returns to the world of country-pop with Queen of Me, her first studio album since 2017. The album was a triumphant return, blending her signature country-pop sound with a contemporary flair from producers including Mark Ralph. The album exudes empowerment and self-discovery, with Shania’s vocals as strong and captivating as ever. Catchy melodies and infectious beats define tracks like Giddy Up and Number One, while poignant numbers like Last Day of Summer (penned by Jack Savoretti) showcase Twain’s emotional depth. The production is polished, seamlessly fusing modern and classic country-pop elements. Queen of Me is a testament to Twain’s enduring talent.

Stephen Sanchez – Angel Face

Destined for superstardom, fifties troubadour inspired Stephen Sanchez delivered his debut full length album Angel Face. Crafting vintage soul melodies and pairing them with melancholic Orbison inspired vocal panache, Angel Face soars with numbers such as Until I Found You, Evangeline and Only Girl. The full set transports listeners to an era of music from yesteryear, crafting rich narratives and storytelling spark in each of the tracks which Sanchez co-writes or writes solely.

Kylie Minogue – Tension

The earth-shattering queer joy delivered by Kylie Minogue’s Padam Padam was one of 2023’s defining pop moments. Kylie’s unmistakably enduring appeal seen by the star wracking up another #1 with her sixteenth LP Tension. The LP shines beyond Padam with the title track, Oliver Heldens’ collaboration 10 Out of 10, and the euphoric Hold On To Now shining as contemporary Kylie classics.

Rêve – Saturn Return

Canadian singer-songwriter Rêve had us in a chokehold with her Y2K inspired banger Ctrl + Alt + Del, one of the shining gems of her debut LP Saturn Return. The dancepop set astounded with huge pop moments such as Breaking Up With Jesus, Disco at the Strip Club, Contemporary Love, and UK garage inspired My My (What a Life).

Troye Sivan – Something to Give Each Other

Troye Sivan’s third album stands as his strongest yet with his campaign getting off to a blistering start with dance cut Rush. Something to Give Each Other radiates as an ode to queer freedom and expression, with tracks such as One of Your Girls and Got Me Started standing out as some of Troye’s most open and impressive releases. Production from Oscar Görres draws us in to a smoothly intoxicating pop landscape, whilst those on the fence are likely to fall in love with Troye after hearing this.

Army of Lovers – Sexodus

Sparked by a collaboration request from Ukrainian superstar Olga Polyakova, Swedish pop icons Army of Lovers found themselves reunited for a full length studio album. Spearheaded by the collaboration Love Is Blue, Army of Lovers delivered their camp pop originality on numbers such as What’s That Look, Sexodus, Romanism, and Bring Your Love. We hope that Sexodus sparks more regular output from the trio made up of Alexander Bard, Jean-Pierre Barda and Dominika Peczynski.

Alison Goldfrapp – The Love Invention

Alison Goldfrapp dropped her feature length debut as a solo artist with The Love Invention navigating impeccably produced electronic soundscapes. Alison explores tones of quiet electronic euphoria and more lavish extravagant synth productions on the album, which sees her re-establish herself as the one of the UK’s queens of electropop. Highlights include the grandiose charm of In Electric Blue, the scintillating groove of Digging Deeper Now and So Hard So Hot, and the quiet shine of SloFlo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *