AOTY 2023
OK ORCHESTRA has the maturity and introspections of a tween. The songwriting is simplistic and the childish melodies are comparable to the chant and flow of nursery rhymes. The album is very clean and akin to a bridge between the idyllic life of a child and the societal pressures of becoming a young adult. I don't think I'm in the right age group for this kind of music and I don't like the album but who am I to criticize this? There is nothing pretentious or harmful about AJR—if anything, ... read more
AndrΓ© 3000 - New Blue Sun
The legend, André 3000 is back but this time with an instrumental flute album—and it's pretty great! New Blue Sun is thoughtful spiritual music that is present in the moment. The album is pure improv on the flute by André and manages to have moments that are kind of enthralling and exhilarating. The melody of the flutes has no clear direction and just exists in its small habitat which actually works and is totally fine. The first listen of New Blue Sun is novel and kind of ... read more
PinkPantheress - Heaven knows
Heaven knows is a springy, energetic, and very consistent debut album. The album is stacked with awesome producers and has a super fun and fresh sound that cannot be funnelled as any single genre. I love PinkPantheress's whispery and fluttery melodic vocals but I think her hooks could be even stickier and barbed.
Slowdive - Souvlaki
Souvlaki is introspective music that appeals to the emotions and senses. The bittersweet and poignant album is what coming to terms with the past and present sounds like in sonic form. The clouds of delay and soundscapes are decent but Souvlaki is not much more than just atmospheric. The album inspires more thought than it contains.
Luna Elle - Ms. Elle
After being on tour with IDK, Luna is back with a new EP. Ms. Elle shines a spotlight on Luna's talent and sophisticated R&B sensibilities. Luna's lax voice is excellent, as always, and her harmonizations have improved. I appreciate the longer songs but I wish the production was more exciting. Nonetheless, Luna is a young star in the making and people should start taking note of her name.
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
Little Earthquakes is stale and unimpressive. The backbone of the album which is the piano is tasteless and when the production is stripped away from songs, Tori simply cannot carry a song alone. The songs have weak melodies and although there are some pretty good verses in Little Earthquakes, the songwriting is inconsistent and the album is overall boring.
Jung Kook - GOLDEN
GOLDEN is Jungkook's attempt at entering the mainstream English pop music industry. This is an artist with over a decade of experience taking a stab at English pop, and it's successful but reflects the blandness that is all too commonly found in mainstream pop. The album plays it safe and is just so uncreative and lifeless. The pop songs infused with contemporary R&B elements are easily the most enjoyable on the album. GOLDEN nails down the mediocrity and dullness of mainstream pop.
Lil Tecca - TEC
TEC is average pop rap with an average production. The songs are short and incomplete but the transitions between them flow very well and that's pretty much the only impressive thing about the album. More attention is put into the album sequencing than the songs themselves but I appreciate the effort regardless. Even TEC perfectly loops back into its first track which is honestly a pretty cool surprise and detail.
Brent Faiyaz - Larger Than Life
Larger Than Life manages to feel super slow despite having many short songs and generally being a pretty short album. I find Brent's smooth vocals and the production lowkey and underwhelming. Larger Than Life is inconsistent and carried by hooks that are just fine and mediocre.
Ken Carson - A Great Chaos
A Great Chaos is a loaded package of short flashes of energy and stimuli. The hard-hitting and melodic production is lit but Ken's flow is weak and dragged. The brain-numbing writing and Ken's underwhelming delivery is tiring and a bore to listen to.
Arca - KICK ii
KICK ii is a blend of Latin electronic with dark, dystopian, and futuristic elements. The dembow provides a backbone for the album, of which the industrial and technological production overlay. I love it when artists take risks in their music, but the experimental quality of KICK ii's second half hurts the overall consistency of the whole album. Regardless, KICK ii is very innovative and listening to the album is like watching a genius at work.
Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter - SAVED!
SAVED! is mostly composed of renditions of 19th-century American church hymns with a few original pieces by Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter. The warbles, cutting-outs, and even the cover artwork make the album feel like retrieving an old and weathered scratched vinyl from dust and darkness. The usage of glossolalia relates directly to an unknown language, or a lingua ignota which is a brilliant connection and detail in the album. Kristin's greatest strength was always her ability to pour ... read more
Dorian Electra - Flamboyant
Flamboyant is an album that rivals the addictive quality of infinite and fast online content. The album is a maximalist approach to electropop and was important in the genesis of hyperpop. The interplay between the gender spectrum theme found in the lyrics and Dorian's fluid singing is interesting but I wish there were more stronger hooks in Flamboyant. Hyperpop has been fizzling out for the past few years but I still believe it's the sound of the future.
Troye Sivan - Something To Give Each Other
Suddenly, October feels like Pride Month. Something To Give Each Other is a good pop album which is hard to come by these days. The fun and sex-positive album is a fresh, cool breeze of dance pop. The production takes influence from house music and there are some subtle alt-pop qualities about the album. I love Troye's lax voice and Something To Give Each Other is an all-around improvement from his previous record.
Mitski - The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We
The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We has good moments but is just inconsistent. Mitski's vocals feed off of the production and are so in the moment—her songwriting is great too. However, the mixing on the album sounds muddy and it's hard to hear Mitski. I'm unsure if the album's lo-fi quality was intentional but it would be far more enjoyable if Mitski's vocals were clearer and sharper.
Sufjan Stevens - Javelin
Javelin is a tender dedication to Sufjan's late partner, Evans Richardson. This album drew my attention due to its incredible reviews but after several listens, I think Javelin is overrated. I really enjoy the album's folktronica twist to indie folk but Sufjan's vocal mixing is so poor and that is unavoidable to notice. Sufjan's vocals are cloudy and unremarkable and his songwriting and production do not make up for it either. The production reflects the emotion in Sufjan's singing but is ... read more
Drake - For All The Dogs
Woof, woof, how does anyone take this album seriously? For All The Dogs is almost an hour and a half long with 23 tracks and not a single one of them is enjoyable. The album is so underwhelming and its songs feel like they were pumped out with no purpose or effort. For All The Dogs takes the dog metaphor to a silly extreme and feels like a ridiculous freestyle with wordplay made on the spot. Drake needs to sing less, rap more and consider trying something radically different from the trash he's ... read more
NAV - Good Intentions
Good Intentions is a drone of boring trap production and auto-tune. Smoking weed behind a school and being late for attendance and making this quality of music is not the flex NAV thinks it is. The album is lame and lifeless and there is zero substance in NAV's shallow writing.
STARFUCKER has anthems for bold and fearless midnight clubbing in downtown streets. The album is highly glamourized and shamelessly vain but I kind of love it for that. There's a dark synthwave inspiration which is cool but there are very few moments that set the album apart from basic dance pop and electropop tropes. STARFUCKER is a little too cliché and average.
yeule - softscars
softscars skips the human boundaries of skin, flesh, and blood and goes straight to the spirit. The angular and anxious guitar chords ground the music and the electronic production brings with it form and dimension. Sonically, softscars is pretty interesting but it lacks memorable melodies and hooks.
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Recent Review Comments
On NoOffenseBut's review of Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter - SAVED!
""THE POOR WAYFARING STRANGER" is soo sooo incredible i've been bumping to that song for over a month now, best song on the record fs"
On cybercrashersTV - Detransitioned
"@CyberCrasher_TV i totally get that and i agree but i still think it's an awkward contrast to the mixtape's serious topics—like it ends up coming off kind of comical"
On Lu :)'s review of Porter Robinson - Nurture
"congrats on 400! great album and great review! i have to agree, Nurture feels like a big and warm reassuring hug"
On Host's review of Young Fathers - Heavy Heavy
"excellent review"
On PixieVT's review of Slowdive - everything is alive
"excellent review"
On ikmmm's review of Kevin Abstract - Blanket
"great review"
On mike_drop's review of Nils Frahm - Encores 1
"I'm really sorry to hear this Mike. I can relate to you a lot actually, maybe not quite the same way, but I'm in my final year of high school and juggling my passion for music alongside school and extracurriculars and university applications and various other things does make it harder to review albums. I just try to review whenever I feel ready to so my reviewing schedule is pretty messed up most of the time. it sounds like you might benefit from a break from AOTY; at the end of the day, the site's for sharing the love of music we all have and if you're not enjoying it or having fun, what's the point? don't feel bad about a lack of motivation or anxiety, it's totally normal. just do your thing and focus on yourself and don't even worry about the list, you don't owe the internet anything. that's a sentiment i remind myself often on AOTY; sometimes i don't reply to comments in my shoutbox because i simply don't have the energy for it and it's for my own health"
On AllAboutMusic's review of Lil' Kim - Hard Core
"great review"
On ikmmm's review of Jane Remover - Census Designated
"ooof great review, I gotta listen to this soon"
On thepingvin's review of Quavo - Rocket Power
""quavo has squeezed the absolute maximum out of the genre: production is top notch, energetic and catchy flow, sincere lyrics, and some solid features." totally agree"
On clouds3's review of Lady Gaga - The Fame
"great review!"
On BROCKHAMPTON - iridescence
"@NCritz Ameer brought a darkness and toughness to BH's music that no one else could deliver MERLYN!!"
On BROCKHAMPTON - iridescence
"@NCritz omg bearface is my favourite, Kevin Abstract or Merlyn is a close second"
On BROCKHAMPTON - iridescence
"@NCritz 🀷🏻‍♀️"
On BROCKHAMPTON - iridescence
"@NCritz love love love SATURATION II my ranking is prob SAT II, SAT I, SAT III"
On BROCKHAMPTON - iridescence
"@NCritz agreed, they're phenomenal"
On BROCKHAMPTON - iridescence
"@NCritz you gotta listen to all the SATURATION albums first they're sooo good"
On ACopWithAClub's review of Sufjan Stevens - Javelin
"I literally could not agree more!!"
On Drake - For All The Dogs
"@edgarratesmusic I liked a few verses from Teezo, SZA, and Sexyy Red but not a single song was consistently good I don't even hate Drake but man, he is FALLING off hard"
On π“‘π“π“‘π“’π“žπ“žπ“Ÿπ“”π“‘πŸ–€'s review of Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
"My goodness, I am so sorry to hear this. My condolences, stay safe ❀️"
On Lu :)'s review of Lianne La Havas - Lianne La Havas
"nice review"

November Playlist