My Favorite Songs Of 2023

Five years after then president of The Recording Academy proclaimed that women need to step up, the ladies have responded with “How’s this, jerkface?” Women dominate this year’s Grammy nominations. More importantly, all but two of the top 20 songs on my year-end list are led by female artists (with one guy showing up to provide guest vocals). That’s a record, I think, but don’t quote me on that. I’m too lazy to check. I don’t have a deep analysis for this phenomenon, but I do have a deep appreciation for the talent and diversity of these women (not that women have ever been underrepresented in my annual tallies). The highest placing male acts on my 2023 list are none other than The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Yes, you read that right. The legends are back, and they still can show the young-uns how it’s done. With their song “Angry,” The Rolling Stones have achieved a remarkable feat: the longest span from first appearance to most recent appearance in my year-end surveys. In 1981, my first year of making such lists, the group placed with “Start Me Up.” The 80s are also well represented by Kylie Minogue and Madonna, each of whom made a triumphant return to my list after long absences. Welcome back, ladies! And last but not least, let’s give a round of applause to Megan Thee Stallion, who has been in my top five for five years in a row. That’s a record, I think, but don’t quote me on that. I’m too lazy to check. Now, without further ado, here is my list of the best songs of 2023. Enjoy!

  1. Ice Cream Man. – RAYE
  2. vampire – Olivia Rodrigo
  3. Kill Bill – SZA
  4. Bongos – Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  5. Not Strong Enough – boygenius
  6. Flowers – Miley Cyrus
  7. Escapism. – RAYE & 070 Shake
  8. Paint the Town Red – Doja Cat
  9. Lipstick Lover – Janelle Monáe
  10. Nobody Gets Me – SZA
  11. Dance the Night – Dua Lipa
  12. Shirt – SZA
  13. AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM – Beyoncé feat. Kendrick Lamar
  14. What Was I Made For? – Billie Eilish
  15. Padam Padam – Kylie Minogue
  16. Cobra – Megan Thee Stallion
  17. Brenda Put Your Bra On – Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack & Pillbox Patti
  18. Angry – The Rolling Stones
  19. Now and Then – The Beatles
  20. Cool About It – boygenius
  21. RATATA – Skrillex, Missy Elliott & Mr. Oizo
  22. Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd – Lana Del Rey
  23. Calm Down – Rema with Selena Gomez
  24. Gorilla – Little Simz
  25. Seven – Jung Kook feat. Latto
  26. My Love Mine All Mine – Mitski
  27. bad idea right? – Olivia Rodrigo
  28. Jaded – Miley Cyrus
  29. Tropic Morning News – The National
  30. Someday At Christmas – Lizzo
  31. Used To Be Young – Miley Cyrus
  32. Pretty Girls Walk – Big Boss Vette
  33. River – Miley Cyrus
  34. Light On In The Kitchen – Ashley McBryde
  35. Out Alpha the Alpha – Megan Thee Stallion
  36. Bubblegum – Dawn Richard
  37. Rush – Troye Sivan
  38. It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody – Weyes Blood
  39. Weightless – Arlo Parks
  40. Psychos – Jenny Lewis
  41. The Sea – Romy
  42. Lil Boo Thang – Paul Russell
  43. Popular – The Weeknd & Madonna feat. Playboi Carti
  44. The Narcissist – Blur
  45. (It Goes Like) Nanana – Peggy Gou
  46. Tukoh Taka – Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Myriam Fares
  47. Freak Me Now – Jessie Ware
  48. Standing Next To You – Jung Kook
  49. Eyez – The Arcs
  50. What Now – Brittany Howard
  51. Thinking About You – Beck
  52. Wall of Eyes – The Smile
  53. Good Lookin’ – Dixon Dallas
  54. Girl Like Me – Dove Cameron
  55. Wild Flower – RM with youjeen
  56. Helmet – Steve Lacy
  57. Everybody’s Got to Learn – First Aid Kit
  58. Flip a Switch. – RAYE feat. Coi Leray
  59. Nothing Left To Lose – Everything But The Girl
  60. Say Yes To Heaven – Lana Del Rey
  61. Moonlight – Kali Uchis
  62. Bending Hectic – The Smile
  63. In My Head – The Lemon Twigs
  64. Snooze – SZA
  65. Attention – Doja Cat
  66. get him back! – Olivia Rodrigo
  67. Will Anybody Ever Love Me? – Sufjan Stevens
  68. Tux (Your Body Fills Me, Boo) – US Girls
  69. Lottery – Latto feat. LU KALA
  70. Bug Like an Angel – Mitski
  71. The Hands – serpentwithfeet
  72. A day in the water – Christine & the Queens
  73. Drummer Boy – Titus Andronicus
  74. Little Things – Jorja Smith
  75. Daydreaming – Harry Styles
  76. True Love – Christine & the Queens & 070 Shake
  77. Evicted – Wilco
  78. Got Me Started – Troye Sivan
  79. Eye For An Eye – Rina Sawayama
  80. Water Slide – Janelle Monáe
  81. Single Soon – Selena Gomez
  82. Odyssey – Beck & Phoenix
  83. I Don’t Know What You See In Me – Belle & Sebastian
  84. Seem an I – PJ Harvey
  85. Begin Again – Jessie Ware
  86. One of Your Girls – Troye Sivan

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-7-23

One night in December 1994 my friend Kathy and I attended the WDRE Acoustic Xmas show at New York City’s Beacon Theater. There were multiple artists on the bill, each getting a short slot to perform three or four songs. The acts were The Go-Go’s, Big Audio Dynamite, Jesus and Mary Chain, frente!, Love Spit Love, Black 47, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. I looked up online who performed, as the only act I recall seeing there were the Radiohead guys. The band had one album out at that time, 1993’s Pablo Honey. Kathy and I just wanted them to do their hit – “Creep” – and then skedaddle. They didn’t play “Creep.” They played some song about plastic trees and one about an iron long and some other mess. Kathy and I knew this band would never be heard from again.

Oops.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke was born on this date in 1968. Lots of Thom’s work on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 9-11-23

Richard Ashcroft’s original plan was to release the songs he wrote for Urban Hymns under his own name, but he got cold feet. Shortly after the album’s release The Verve broke up, briefly reforming in 2007.

The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft was born on this date in 1971. The singles issued from his band’s Urban Hymns are included on today’s playlist.

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