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TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024
TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024

Music of 2023: A Year in Review

1989+%28Taylors+Version%29%2C+Speak+Now+%28Taylors+Version%29+by+Taylor+Swift%2C+Guts+by+Olivia+Rodrigo%2C+The+Record+by+boygenius+and+Lets+Start+Here+by+Lil+Yachty.+Graphic+by%3A+Isabella+Fierros%0A
“1989 (Taylor’s Version),” “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift, “Guts” by Olivia Rodrigo, “The Record” by boygenius and “Let’s Start Here” by Lil Yachty. Graphic by: Isabella Fierros

What were some of the best albums of last year?

2023 was nothing short of a great year for music. Whether it be straight from the artist themselves, or newly adapted music for films, there have been countless new albums and songs that have polarized the music industry and left fans wanting more. 

The year started off incredibly strong with one of the greatest reinventions in music history from Lil Yachty with the album, “Let’s Start Here.” Lil Yachty’s usual pop-rap motif fell to the background as a heavy psychedelic rock theme, influenced by bands like Pink Floyd, found itself as the main focus of Lil Yachty’s new album. It was a breath of fresh air from his old music and it really showed off his incredible vocals and his talent in producing a variety of instrumentals.

Josue Romero ‘24 said, “The way Lil Yachty mixes genres gives people who only listen to rap a chance to get out of their comfort zone and listen to new genres of music.”

Other staple albums that came out during 2023 were Taylor Swift’s versions of “1989” and “Speak Now.” These albums mark a turning point in Taylor Swift’s career where she has moved on from her old record label and is now re-recording her first six albums. Swift was previously signed by Big Machine Records, which was acquired by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in 2019. In the deal, Braun and his company also received the master to Swift’s first six albums. The decision to re-record comes from the desire to own her own work. Swift now has complete control over her re-recorded work, which she officially calls “Taylor’s Version.” They’ve given her a great boost in support and new fans, but also in revenue as “1989” was one of the best-selling albums of 2023.

Lily Sheldon ’26 said, “My favorite artist of 2023 was Clairo. She’s lit. I like listening to her because her music is very good.” Photo by: Christian Montecino

Olivia Rodrigo released her second studio album “Guts,” two years after her debut album called “Sour.” Her album, “Guts,” mainly focuses on her growing pains at the time of making the album and learning about who she is. “Guts” topped the album charts in 14 countries including the United States, Australia, Germany and many other countries.

Michael Alvarez ‘24 said, “Fortnite Festival really opened me up to new music this year. I went from listening to music like ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ to better music like “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo. She’s my favorite artist of the year by far.” 

Finally, boygenius dropped their studio album debut called “The Record.” The supergroup boygenius consists of three already large artists: Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. The group formed in 2018 and has already gained acclaim from critics and fans alike. Their new album doesn’t hold back either. The Record accrued 53,000 copies sold with 85% of that sum being on vinyl, making it number two on top album sales. 

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Christian Montecino, Assistant Print Editor-in-Chief
Christian Montecino is a senior at VHS in his second year at The Cougar Press. He enjoys reading, playing tennis, watching football and music.
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