Staff Picks: Our Favorite Albums of 2023

The year 2023 was a great year for K-Pop releases. Here are the allkpop staff’s top picks from the many new albums that were released this year!

MaiaD’s selection: TXT – The Name Chapter: Temptation.

The album was released on January 27, 2023, which was a great way to kick off the new year. Not only were the preview concept photos highly anticipated and the music videos impressively presented, but it also managed to live up to the hype of the five tracks being released through various streaming platforms. By keeping their story simple and engaging, they also stuck to their idea of growing together, exploring different genres of music while also maintaining their focus on maturing. These songs contain more mature themes such as settling down and challenging relationships rather than evolving into uncertain adult adulthood.

Lorraine’s Choice: Balming Tiger – January Never Dies.

Balming Tiger’s “January Never Dies” is my Album of the Year, despite its unconventional sound and approach to K-Pop. The South Korean band skillfully blends hip-hop, electronic, and experimental music into an innovative hybrid sound that creates a revolutionary genre-bending experience.

A-Nish’s Pick: AGUST D – D-DAY!

The album by Agust D, also known as Min Yoongi, was a blend of different genres and had evocative lyrics. ‘Amygdala’ is an example of how the rapper exposed his vulnerability and shared his dark side with the world. Tracks like – “Life Goes On” bring realism and emotion to the listener, while talking about each song takes ages to finish.

Jungkook – Golden is the musical choice made by ean1994.

Jungkook’s singing skills are impressive in all the different genres, making this album a golden maknae hit.

Janie-Reign’s Choice: NewJeans – Get Up!

When searching for ‘NewJeans’ on any website, you can expect to find more information and material about these girls and their artistry than with numerous other releases or companies combined. They haven’t left a single branch of popular culture that it hasn’t touched, from endorsements in beauty, fashion, technology (IKEA) to collaborations with international film stars and e-gaming. But the one thing that always lingers within me is their resumption of album production as an independent brand like Min Hee

Jia-Lin opted for TNX’s Love Never Dies.

The journey of listening to TNX’s 2nd mini album ‘Love Never Dies’ was an electrifying experience. It seemed familiar territory, but in its dark and melancholic tone, this album epitomizes the turmoil of teenage heartbreak.

The optimusnins’ choice is Jinyoung – Chapter 0: WITH.

JINYOUNG, the last member of GOT7, released his solo album and managed to write all 5 songs on it, which is a great way to enjoy music from all over.

Sophie-Ha’s Choice: D.O – Expectation.

It’s what it takes to be a great singer: you have to sing words that resonate with you and allow the listener to truly feel the emotion, which is why D.O. from EXO has always been one of those exceptional vocalists in the music industry.’ His latest EP, ‘Expectation,’ was released in September as part of this new musical project.

Hannah’s Choice: ROCK STAR, Stray Kids from the Rockies.

The album ‘Rock Star’ is quite different from others, but it brought out distinct music with the Stray Kids sound. Although I enjoy all their other albums, this one was not for me.

Sohnji’s Pick: NewJeans – Get Up!

“Get Up” by NewJeans was one of my favorite albums of 2023, and it remains undoubtedly my top choice. What differentiates this album from others is its consistent sound with a universally relatable message that resonates across genres.

Rika-Go’s Choice: TREASURE – Reboot.

TREASURE’s second full-length album, “REBOOT”, has earned me my number one spot on the list of 2023 musical journeys. The album includes all its signature tracks, including first and opener “G.O.A.”T with Lee Young Hyun and then vocals from Kanye West to “THE WAY TO,” offering a thrilling mix of infectious melodies and fiercely rapping performances.

Sofia-Sayson’s Pick: KISS OF LIFE – Kiss Of Life.

Generally, I find most songs to be impressive upon first listening. However, KISS OF LIFE stood out for its ability to showcase six tracks and their impressive tracklist.

NewJeans – Get Up, Germaine-Jay.

This year, NewJeans surprised many people with their music. I was pleased to hear them and it wasn’t unexpected. They’re now part of the next generation of K-pop, and their songs are a reflection of that.

The winner of Dani-Dee’s Pick is Jungkook with Golden Tea.

Every K-pop fan has been waiting for Jungkook’s solo album since his debut on the internet, and ‘Golden’ is no exception. The back-to-back releases of “Seven” (feat. Latto), “3D (part of J.C. Lewis),” and “Witness” were probably the highlights of the latter half of 2023 for me, as they all showcased different aspects of his persona as a solo artist.

Susan’s Choice: iKON – Take Off!

“Driving Slowly” is one of the best songs to sing while driving in the morning, and if “Never Forget You” doesn’t have the perfect blend of classic YG-style R&B pop ballad, it’s worth noting that Yunhyeong surprised us with his solo and Junhoe’ impressive voice completes this album.

Paul Blanco’s selection is – Thanks For Nothing.

With this album, Paul Blanco continues the trend of excellence we’ve come to expect from his music. The songs are brimming with rhythm and emotion in a captivating manner, making it obvious that his skills alone are worth listening for. As time passes and he refines his sound, it becomes apparent that more people will appreciate the respectable level of his work.

Epik High – Strawberry has been selected by KG as the winner.

For 22 years, Epik High has been a relentless music brand, but their drops have continued to impress us. ‘Strawberry’ is another entry in the tradition of their signature beats and sharp rhymes like Tablo and Mithra Jin that we all love. They continue to use wordplay with lines like “My MBTI is DGAF,” and even better, they still have great banter tricks.

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