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Album of the Year

Which album has played soundtrack to your 2023?

About the award:

Album of the Year is an accolade that transcends boundaries and honours the masterpieces that have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape in 2023. This award recognises the artists who have not only pushed the boundaries of creativity but have also struck a chord with the hearts of listeners worldwide. It’s more than just a collection of songs – it’s a sonic journey that captivates, inspires, and defines a moment in time.

With every new year comes one exceptional album that totally transforms your outlook on life. This year, there were several worthy of recognition.

The Nominees:

1989 (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

In October, Taylor Swift unveiled the much-anticipated 1989 Taylor’s Version – a homage to the past, a celebration of growth, and a testament to the enduring power of musical storytelling.

Ten years on since its original release, the iconic 1989 album has been reborn, reimagined, and revived in Taylor’s own words. This isn’t just a remaster; it’s a personal and artistic reclamation — a chance for Swift to redefine a pivotal chapter of her career and share it with fans who have grown alongside her. Featuring new tracks from The Vault including “Slut!”, Now That We Don’t Talk, and Is It Over Now?, 1989 has been a must-listen for the latter half of 2023.

Listen to 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on Spotify

GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo

In September, Olivia Rodrigo returned with a bang to deliver her second album, GUTS. Featuring chart-topping singles including Vampire, Bad Idea Right? and most recently, Get Him Back!, Olivia lays bare her innermost thoughts and experiences to fearlessly navigate the complexities of love, loss, and self-discovery.

Met with acclaim from music critics, Guts was praised for Rodrigo’s lyrical wit, complexity, and topicality as well as overall music aesthetic and energy. Reviews noted both humorous and emotionally fraught lyrics in the album, detailing Rodrigo’s struggles with identity, romantic and professional disillusionment and societal expectations as a young woman.

Listen to GUTS on Spotify

Unreal Unearth by Hozier

The long-awaited third album from Hozier arrived in August, four years after the release of the Irish singer’s previous album Wasteland, Baby. With inspiration coming from Dante’s Inferno, Unreal Unearth takes fans on a journey through the nine circles of Hell.

Unreal Unearth is full of the complex and intelligent lyrics that fans have come to expect from Hozier. Even without knowing all the details of Dante’s Inferno, listeners can relate to the album, as emotions such as lust, greed, and anger are all things we have felt before. Unreal Unearth is an album to be listened to over and over again with each listen revealing something new. 

Listen to Unreal Unearth on Spotify

The Show by Niall Horan

The much-anticipated third album from ex-One Directioner, Niall Horan arrived in June, symbolising the intricate tapestry of life’s journey. It embraced the inherent fluctuations, the peaks and valleys, the joys and sorrows, urging us to embrace the present and savour every moment of the ride.

From the infectious enthusiasm of the upbeat tracks that compel us to dance and sing along, to the poignant and soul-stirring slower compositions that tug at our heartstrings, The Show encompassed the full spectrum of human experience. 

Listen to The Show on Spotify

The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We by Mitski

The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We was the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Mitski, released on September 15, 2023, through Dead Oceans Records.

Crafting orchestral pop infused with country influences, Mitski showcases her prowess as one of the foremost singer-songwriters of our time, delivering a blend of sardonic wit and profound emotion. The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We delivers a sound that could have been crafted for personal enjoyment only — for the sheer love of life, music, and the people close to them.

And yet, she shared it with us.

Listen to The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We on Spotify

Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

As with her previous re-recordings of early work, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) remains largely faithful to the arrangements and lyrics of the original. But Swift is not the same singer she was at 20. Her starry-eyed optimism has been replaced with nuance and caution. 

Consider the latest iteration of Speak Now as a conversation, a back-and-forth, between the past and present Taylor Swift. It’s a dialogue between the curious teenager grappling with the complexities of growing up and the mature woman who continues to ponder those questions, seeking fresh insights with every turn.

Listen to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) on Spotify

And the winner is…

Album of the Year

The Show by Niall Horan

The much-anticipated third album from ex-One Directioner, Niall Horan arrived in June, bringing with it an era of change for the star. Embracing the inherent fluctuations of life – the peaks and valleys, the joys and sorrows, which urge us to embrace the present and savour every moment of the ride, The Show left a lasting impression.

The Show by Niall Horan is That Fangirl Life’s Album of The Year.