Music

The 15 Best Dance Albums of 2023: Staff Picks

Singles may be the lifeblood of the dance world, but albums are its beating heart — the projects on which artists offer worldviews, complete statements and the fullest sense of who they are, where they’re coming from and what they care about. Thus like dancing itself, an album is an intimate experience, especially when you listen closely.

And 2023 was an exceptional year for the format: legends returned with refreshed ideas, new acts rose above the fray, newly solo artists defined themselves and altogether a barrage of resonant projects reminded us of the vast territory of sound that the dance/electronic genre covers.

While tech house, house and techno continued ruling dancefloors worldwide, it’s hard to say any one sound defined the top albums of the year. There were throwbacks, there was ambient, there was drum ‘n’ bass, house, IDM, acid, pop dance and more. But the long-player format did give artists a chance to step back from the decks — where getting the crowd moving is the perpetual motivating force — and get into the studio to explore often softer and more experimental sounds, which might not be right for peaktime (or for radio crossover), but which still are part of the dance DNA.

And while the Dance/Electronic Albums chart was largely dominated by old standbys in 2023, the way albums were transformed into the live setting helped contribute to one of the healthiest years for live dance events in recent memory.

These are our 15 favorite dance albums of 2023, presented in alphabetical order by artist.

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