Tuesday, January 30, 2024

2023 Mix Tape

Explicit Language  

Every year I make a mix for myself at the end of the year, that is essentially a countdown from 20-1.  Problem is this year I really didn't write about much of the music I listened to and so I decided to expand it and just include all the songs I really liked.  Turns out that was 41 songs.  

I still counted down to my favorite song of the year.  

41. Inwood Hill Park by 6LACK
    Really like the sound of this song.

40. What You Wanna Try by Masego
    This song for me is all about the vibe.  

39. Unlovable by Beach Weather
    A very catchy song.

38. It's Not Me (It's U) by Mazie
    Another catchy tune.  

37. Bugs by Khai Dreams
    I'm drawn to songs that I find to be good walking songs.    

36. I Wish You Roses by Kali Uchis
    This is an R&B vibe that I'm enjoying. 

35. Missed Call by Kelela
    You'll notice that none of these songs up here at the top of this mix are really anything I'm that drawn to lyrically.  This is no different, just like the groove.  

34. Big Man, Little Dignity by Paramore
    OK the first song where what drew me to the song were the lyrics more than the sound.  

33. Just Married by Kelsea Ballerini
    Followed by another.  A sad song on a sad EP.

32. I Remember by Cheat Codes & Russell Dickerson
    I thought this was a fun album and this is a fun song.  

31. I Thought I Was Waiting by Verite
    Great feel on this song and interesting lyrics.  

30. Sax Fifth Avenue by Masego
    A lot of artists do these songs about being poor and trying to make it in music.  For some reason this one really clicked with me.  

29. Before You Met Me by Elle King
    I just found this to be a fun song, great lyrics.  

28. While You're At It by Jessie Murph
    There are a lot of female and male artists these days doing songs about their self destructive lives.  This whole album falls into that category but similar to the Masego song at 30 this song works for me  

27. From the Start by Laufey
    Always fun to bring in pop jazz, but especially when the jazz singer is writing brilliant lyrics.  

26. Mountain With a View by Kelsea Ballerini
    Like I said this was a sad EP.  This particular song has some really good lines.  "I can't believe I'm a few months out from 29.  I can't handle another year of you and I just being fine."

25. Pieces by Ella Mai
    I love the sound of this song and found the lyrics very interesting.  

24. Infatuation by SG Lewis
    Come on it's a great dance song and I love great dance songs.  

23. Amelia by Samia
    Some songs just sound so good to you that you like them.  There isn't anything really special about this song but I just love the sound of it.  

22. Caution to the Wind by Everything But the Girl
    Maybe the song that connected with me the most on an emotional level this year.  

21. You Are Not Alone by Deorro featuring Dear Sara
    This EP by Deorro was really a great way to start the year.  A great song on so many levels.

20. Itch by Quinnie
    OK now we are into the top 20.  There have been a lot of songs written over the years about feeling drawn to someone and dealing with those emotions.  This deals with that in a fun and smart way.    

19. Backpack by Quinn XCII
    This song just made me smile every time I heard it and I find funny to be worth a lot.  The idea of a song about a guy who is essentially willing to completely change who he is to get with a girl in a funny lyrical way is just a fun song.  

18. The Other Side by Mimi Webb
    Smart lyrically and a fun song musically.  You can run to it, dance to it, drive to it.  It works on so many levels and you can sing along with it.  

17. Nothing Left to Lose by Everything But the Girl
    Tracey Thorn is the master of writing songs about people who are emotionally falling apart and thinking that a past lover can help them fix their problems.  This is a classic example of her work.  

16. Sunset by Caroline Polachek
    OK some songs are just so catchy and so represent a certain space in your life that you just can't get away from them.  That is Carline Polachek and 2023 for me.  

15. Second Best by Laufey
    Laufey is a good vocalist and a great song writer.  

14. Nobody Like You by Deorro featuring Lost Boy
    Like I said this EP that started my year stuck with me all year.  When I needed an uplift this year I put this song on and I'd be dancing no matter where I was.  

13. Full Machine by Gracie Abrams
    A great vocal performance on a song that needs it to work.  A simple song with some very sad lyrics her vocals make this all click.      

12. Since I Have a Lover by 6LACK
    OK I'm a sucker for a good love song and this one works for me.  Fantastic sound.

11. Escapism by Raye
    I find this song to be so smart.  Love the sound, love the lyrics, and she has the perfect approach to it as a singer.  

10. Skylight by Gabrielle Aplin
    Like I said I love a good love song.  Great vocal performance.  

9. 2 O'Clock by Ella Mai
    I really liked the lyrics to this song and it's one of those songs that I never got tired of listening to.  

8. Forever by Everything But the Girl
    They wrote these songs during COVID and this is maybe the best COVID era song I've heard in how it made us all look at the world around us and what exactly we value.  

7. In the Dark by Ava Max
    A good pop song is a good pop song.  Not much else to say about this one.  

6. Boys Who Kiss You In Their Cars by Ber
    Like I said I like funny and this song has it.  Ber was a revelation for me in 2023.  

5. What Can I Do by Renee Rapp
    Another great love song, so pretty.  Unrequited love hurts especially when it is for a friend. 

4. Wish I Didn't Press Send by Gabrielle Aplin
    Sending drunk texts is always a bad idea, but it can make for a great song.  Love the sound of this song, great vocals and really fun lyrics.  

3. Mad At Me by Samia
    At the end of the day I'm a sucker for a really good pop song and that's what this is.  

2. Bunny Is a Rider by Caroline Polachek
    Speaking of really good pop songs.  This became a family favorite this year and so it holds a close place in my hear from 2023. 

1. Your Internet Sucks by Ber
    This song is just about perfect.  Lyrics are great.  Great production and song construction.  Vocal performance is perfect.  And it has humor to it.  I really like the opening of the second verse.  "There's a girl in me that misses us.  But I hope that she gets hit by a bus and wakes up in bed with amnesia.  Cause there's a lot of things she never said, a lot of shit she should forget."  


  1. Before I get started on the playlist--which I'm excited about--I just want to say that I am also impressed and appreciative that you actually went to the pains of putting it together and completing this post at the HP. One of my disappointments with myself right now is that I just can't muster up the interest to follow through and watch the Raiders beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl from January 1977. The thought of all that Ken Stabler/John Madden/Al Davis stuff and "old man Willie" just leaves me cold, and I think I'm actually just not going to do it. Tomorrow starts February 1977, and I think I'm just going to put my football cards away for a few months and see what's going on in the NBA77 and then MLB77.

    1. Super Bowl XI has to be on the list of the worst Super Bowls ever played. I still remember how disappointed I felt while it was happening. I don't think I watched any of the second half.

  2. I like the "Tom's Diner" melody in "What You Wanna Try" by Masego.

  3. Indeed, "It's Not Me (It's U)" by Mazie did catch me.

  4. I guess that's anime featured in the video for "Bugs" by Khai Dreams. Maybe there are similar forms of animation that are not exactly anime, and maybe one of those is what is featured in "Bugs." But, whatever, I'm really surprised how popular the anime or anime-style animation has grown over the course of our lives. It's not my jam, but it's freaking everywhere now.

  5. That "Just Married" is excellent writing. That sort of ironic turning of a common phrase is so effective and clever for a chorus.

  6. I understand and relate to the sentiment of many of these songs, but I will say that "being fine" is generally underrated.

  7. "Amelia" by Samia is my favorite so far.

  8. And then I liked 22 better than 23, and I'm delighted to see that song is Everything But the Girl!

  9. That EBTG woman's voice has changed a good bit over the course of these years. I liked it then, but I think I like it more now.

  10. Oh, yeah, I remember this "Nothing Left To Lose" song from last year. I really like it. It's now my second favorite song I've heard this week, currently behind "Reach" by Orleans.

  11. New favorite from the playlist: "Sunset" by Caroline Polachek. Love it. Love it!

  12. New favorite from the playlist: "Second Best" by Laufey. Love it!

  13. I'm still listening to the playlist, and this doesn't have anything to do with that. But I just wanted to mention that I spent some time sitting in a car in a Lone Oak parking lot one day last week, waiting in the rain for my wife to get out of a meeting. I heard “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers and “Private Eyes” by Hall and Oates in sequence on AM radio, and I enjoyed the entire experience.

  14. Why wouldn't Ber want to hear about the boys' bands?

  15. "What Can I Do" by Renée Rapp is a beautiful, small song about a hard, giant hurt that I and effectively everyone I know have experienced, and I'm glad she has written this particular version--especially for the gay kids who hear it. If this song has any good marketing behind it, I can't imagine that it's not a monster hit playing on zillions of EarPods at this very moment.

    1. Agree it's a universal song I feel when a friend is in a situation like that.

  16. "Wish I Didn't Press Send" by Gabrielle Aplin, like "Operator" by Jim Croce and "Telephone Line" by ELO, is a good song and a great marker of a moment in telecommunications time.

  17. Well, that was a blast. Thank you again for putting together this post and playlist.