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The Kickabout with Johnny Vaughan 11am - 1pm
27 December 2023, 07:00
Here are Radio X's picks of the finest albums of the past 12 months... from the return of Blur and The Rolling Stones to great new music by Royal Blood and Paramore.
Here are Radio X's picks of the best albums of 2023... in strictly chronological order.
The fourth album from the former Supergrass man is a mature reflection on life via superb songwriting. Tracks include Sonny The Strong and Don't Say It's Over.
The Dublin post-punk outfit trump their well-received 2019 debut When I Have Fears with a grittier follow-up. Tracks include Return My Head and Ethel.
After gaining international attention by winning the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, the Italian quartet continue to startle and delight with their accomplished pop rock. Tracks include Supermodel, Honey (Are U Coming?) and The Loneliest.
The American rock band fronted by Hayley Williams take a sonic detour into the realms of late 70s post-punk offering a nervy album that's entirely suited to its times. Tracks include This Is Why, The News and Running Out Of Time.
Proving that their debut It Won't Always Be Like This wasn't a fluke, the second album from the young Dublin band is solid, emotive indie rock. Tracks include Love Will Get You There and These Are The Days.
Not content to rely on past glories by playing Wembley Stadium with Blur in 2023, Damon Albarn got his old band back in the studio and continued his aural adventure with Gorillaz. The line-up is suitably stellar, with Beck, Thundercat, Bad Bunny, Tame Impala and even Stevie Nicks all present. Tracks include Cracker Island, New Gold and Silent Running.
The fragile but hopeful worldview of the Wigan band attracts more followers with every year; this is an accomplished follow-up to 2021's How Beautiful Life Can Be, with more passion and a touch more drama. Tracks include Say My Name and Struggle.
The Brighton-based four piece led by Izzy Bee Phillips os a defiant and intense statement. Tracks include Charlie Bronson, Out of My Mind and Heavy.
The eighth studio album from the pop-punk stalwarts is pleasingly back to FOB basics. Tracks include Heartbreak Feels So Good and Hold Me Like A Grudge.
The fourth album of appealing tunes from the Sydney-based trio has a wider palette without losing their unique identity. Tracks include Everybody's Saying Thursday's The Weekend and Fading Like A Picture.
The fifth album from the Manchester band sees guest appearances from Frank Turner, Boy George and Shaun Ryder, but the star turns don't get in the way of their solid indie rock. Tracks include Money, Letter To Myself and Let Me Down.
Like the first Foo Fighters album, this is an album that sees Dave Grohl working through his pain to find the positivity in tragedy. The unexpected death of drummer Taylor Hawkins in March 2022 casts a long shadow over this album - as does the death of Grohl's mother Virginia - but the light still shines through. Tracks include Rescued, Under You and Show Me How.
The title and cover art may hark back to Noel's Burnage roots, but his head is still in the clouds; with a guest appearance from Johnny Marr and even a remix from Robert Smith of The Cure, this is Gallagher Snr at his most expansive. Tracks include Pretty Boy, Council Skies and Open The Door, See What You Find.
Josh Homme's recent troubles in his personal life may have delayed the new QOTSA record, but the experience has found its way into the music, offering the rawest set of songs since the days of Rated R. Tracks include Paper Machete and Emotion Sickness.
The shimmering dance beats of Welcome To The DCC gave a hint as to where the Southend rockers' heads were at; this precision-tooled follow-up to 2020's Moral Panic shows the band are more essential than ever in 2023. Tracks include Welcome To The DCC and Overcome.
Fontaines D.C.'s frontman goes solo and marks out some territory of his own, toning down the post-punk moves of his band for a more intimate setting. Tracks include Fairlies and Of All The People.
Eight years after their last outing together, The Magic Whip, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree have reconvened to play some enormous shows around Europe and - bonus! - recorded a whole album's worth of new material. It's part classic Blur, part a step in a new direction, with a twist on the old sound and more mature concerns. Tracks include The Narcissist, St Charles Square and Barbaric.
The former Rascal and part time Last Shadow Puppet returns to his rock roots in style. Tracks include Troubled Son and The Wonder.
The Swedes are seasoned campaigners by now, but their sixth outing - its title a sly nod to the "mastermind" behind their sound - is their slickest yet and perfects the hyperactive garage rock formula. Tracks include Bogus Operandi and Countdown To Shutdown.
A busy year for Andrew Hozier-Byrne: the Eat Your Young EP caught some attention in March, while this accompanying album reminded everyone what a great artist he is. Tracks include Eat Your Young and De Selby (Part 2).
The fourth studio album from Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher sees the duo take controls of production and create a deeper, dynamic set of songs. Tracks include Mountains At Midnight and Shiner In The Dark.
The tenth studio album from the duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons and the invention and inspiration shows no sign of drying up. Tracks include No Reason, Live Again and The Darkness That You Fear.
A year on from the announcement that founder member Tom DeLonge was back in the fold, Blink are back with a collection of songs that are partly autobiographical and party good old pop-punk bangers. Tracks include One More Time and Edging.
In January of this year, would you have put money on our end of year lists featuring both The Beatles AND The Stones? Nope. But it happened. While the Fab Four's Now And Then was a work of archaeology, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood's 24th (!) album is fresh material, with only a small nod to the past in the shape of a return appearance by Bill Wyman, the final recordings by the late Charlie Watts and a cover of Rolling Stone Blues by Muddy Waters. Tracks include Angry, Sweet Sounds Of Heaven and Bite My Head Off.
The sixth album from the London collective brings on the star guests - Damon Albarn, Holly Humberstone and even Chaka Khan all appear - but remains rooted in the band's reassuring worldview. Tracks include Tekken 2, Turn The World On and I Want To Be Your Only Pet.