– My Favorite Albums / EPs 2023

Yeah, I am still more of an album person. I feel that a long-play is still able to tell stories in significantly more depth than a single release. Thus, I stay in line with the corresponding postings in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022: after I introduced you to my favorite songs already, it is time to praise my best albums and extended plays of the year 2023. If you are a single song person, hope you liked my Favorite Songs of 2023 I posted yesterday.


My Favorite EPs in 2023

As the music industry more and more moves towards individual songs (I feel they just did not put up the right strategy to promote albums…), EPs become a more and more important way to release music. However, having a good EP with a certain variety of tracks, good messages and an overall story might be even harder than an album, which might still be great with a few weaker spots. So, I definitely feel that it is a big challenge to be successful in this category.


5. Identity by Sylvia Aimee

I simply love this young Dutch artist and feel that her releases are top notch. In June 2023, Sylvia Aimee added an EP to her discography. Amazing, very personal songs. I absolutely love it.

Sylvia Aimee – Identity EP

4. Great To Know You by Milow

The Belgian artist released this EP at the end of March 2023. The songs with a gentle beauty and lovely melodies, even though the messages themselves behind th songs are very powerful and strong.

Milow – Great To Know You EP

3. More Than a Bad Habit by TracieLynn

Tthis is another female country music artist EP. However, TracieLynn is a very energetic and powerful country-rock lady. Her song Broadway Cowboy (taken from this EP) already made it to my Favorite Songs of 2023. Finally, the whole August 2023 EP deserves being listened in my favorite releases. So I do.

TracieLynn – More Than a Bad Habit EP

2. The Moment You Find Your Flame by Atreyu

I typically feel that a good EP should have five or six tracks. You just need a certain number of songs to tell a story, create a variety of sounds and songs. Atreyu’s August EP release came with four songs only – and a rating of 4.9. There are exceptions. Or exceptional ones? The US-American hard rockers just did things too well in here – and deserve the spot in my annual review.

Atreyu – The Moment You Find Your Flame EP


My Favorite EP in 2023:

Aufbruch by Ticket To Happiness

I had a lot of great music by German artists this year. The Western German folk rock band Ticket To Happiness gave me a lot of fun with their music in 2023, which finally ended up in their EP release, just two weeks before year-end . Great, fun listen – and an absolute treat during my 2023 reviews.

Ticket To Happiness – Aufbruch EP


My Favorite Non-Country Albums in 2023

As I need to plan ahead more intensively, country music is not as dominant on as it used to be in previous years. Thus, there is a large number of really good album releases I covered, which are not country music at all. Furthermore, I feel that the German music scene (which is generally less country-prone) has been releasing some really good music in 2023 (and a lot of crappy stuff as well…). Hope you like my seven album picks of this year.


7. The Green Machine by Fiddler’s Green

That’s indeed a late entry. Fiddler’s Green released their 2023 album on 29th December 2023. Just when other bands are still recovering from their hard Christmas celebrations. The Green Machine is an amazing folk-rock long play with a couple of really good listens. Love it!

Fiddler’s Green – The Green Machine

6. Optimismus Prime by Sören Vogelsang

Nerd is my favorite non-country song in 2023. But finally, the whole album Optimismus Prime, which is full of entertaining songs, has become one of my favorites this year. I love running into artists like Sören Vogelsang in my musical work.

Sören Vogelsang – Optimismus Prime

5. Eamonn McCormack by Eamonn McCormack

Blues-rock from Ireland – Eamonn McCormack is active since the 1990’s, but he also very well-reputed as a touring and studio musician. On 3rd February 2023, he released a new solo album, which became one of my favorite listens almost immediately. Great one.

Eamonn McCormack – Eamonn McCormack

4. Das ist keine Übung by Alex Diehl

I loved Alex Diehl’s 2021 EP – and when he released his album in early October 2023, I have been even more delighted. This is just another release by the Southern German artist, who is so good in sharing personal stories. This album is excellent songwriting and storytelling.

Alex Diehl – Das ist keine Übung

3. Toto und der Mann im Mond (music album) by Sasha

Three non-country albums received the full 5.0 rating this year. This one by Sasha is maybe the most surprising or exotic one. In fact, it is the soundtrack to a book the German pop artist has co-written. Toto und der Mann im Monc comes with beautiful melodies and stories and simply warmed my heart while listening to it. Lovely!

Sasha – Toto und der Mann im Mond (music album)

2. Inside Voices by Ron Pope

I featured the Americana pop/rock artist from Georgia twice this year. First of all, there is this album, Inside Voices, which he released in June 2023. Later, I listened to him live on stage in September 2023 in Cologne. Both were magical experiences. But this posting is about the album only. Love it!

Ron Pope – Inside Voices

My Favorite Non-Country Album in 2023:

Shades of Blue by The Joni Project

Can a cover album be the album of the year? These three German ladies, majorly based in Hamburg showed that it is absolutely possible. They praised Joni Mitchell’s legendary 1971 album Blue in their very own way. Listening to their 3rd November 1989 listen is truly magical. Congrats to Anne de Wolff, Stefanie Hempel and Iris Romen.

The Joni Project – Shades of Blue


My Favorite Country Albums in 2023:

Country music is still my favorite genre – and I feel that there are still some good albums out there – even though Nashville is not doing sufficient to promote long plays. Maybe that’s a reason why there are some artists in my list you might not have expected in this line-up of great listens.


7. Philip Bradatsch by Philip Bradatsch

I kick-off the list with two country albums from Germany. Philip Bradatsch released this self-titled album of nine songs in late Apriil 2023. I feel that he really did well with good lyrics and good storytelling. Unfortunately, I did not hear too much from him on top of that during this year.

Philip Bradatsch – Philip Bradatsch

6. Wieder da! by Tom Astor

It was rather controversial when I praised this album – and I am sure that it will be controversial again when I disclose my selection. Tom Astor is one of the legends of German country and country schlager music. German traditional country is very traditional and sometimes even takes too much presence, blocking contemporary country music from the small market. However, I feel that this man did a great job releasing Wieder da! (“Back again”). Great one!

Tom Astor – Wieder da!

5. Gravel & Gold by Dierks Bentley

In contrast to the first two albums I picked, I am sure that Dierks Bentley and his 2023 album is at least on your personal long list. He released the set of songs already in late February – but I still regularly love listening to it.

Dierks Bentley – Gravel & Gold

4. Lost At Sea by Chris Shiflett

This one is maybe a rather surprising name on the list (but I always come up with surprising nominations, don’t I?). The Foo fighters guitarist released this solo album in October 2023 – and it s a really nice mixture of country, Americana and rock. If you haven’t had a listen yet, I absolutely recommend to do so.

Chris Shiflett – Lost At Sea

3. On Your Time by The Steel Woods

Another country rock / Southern rock album is On Your Time by The Steel Woods. The album has also been recorded in October. I feel they will be great on tour 2024 – they are currently scheduled as a support of Blackberry Smoke in Europe.

The Steel Woods – On Your Time

2. The Name Lives On by Texas Hippie Coalition

Country rock music has been rather present for me this year – and the Texas Hippie Coalition is even mixing metal elements to their music. Great blend, which lead to a 4.8 rating in April 2023. And to the second spot on my year-end review regarding country albums.

Texas Hippie Coalition – The Name Lives On

My Favorite Country Album in 2023:
Carolyn’s Boy by Darius Rucker

No country album in 2023 got a rating higher than 4.8 in 2023 – but my definite favorite is Carolyn’s Boy by Darius Rucker. He released the album in fall, almost in parallel to an European announcement for 2024. This almost ensures that 2024 will be another Darius Rucker treat for fans on “my” part of the globe.

Darius Rucker – Carolyn’s Boy


Most Special Music Release in 2023:

Dogma by Dogma

Where do these ladies come from? What are they about? The female hard rock and metal band feels like a ladies’ version of Lordi. Great promotion and social media concept – and one of the best hard rock albums of the year – I absolutely praise Dogma… Without knowing too much about them but their music.

Dogma – Dogma


Media Reviews – 2023 Top Pick!s

Here are all 2023-published Media Reviews, which lead to a Top Pick! rating:


Concerts in 2023

Here are all my Concert postings published in 2023:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *