The 10 Best Latin Albums of 2023

The 10 Best Latin Albums of 2023

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Spanish-language records were all over the map in 2023 — literally. Artists from across the Latin diaspora tested their musical breadth: reggaeton artists from Colombia and Puerto Rico tried their hand at Mexican music and in contrast, Mexican hitmakers infused the sounds of their homeland with rap and rock as last year‘s reggaeton titans — that’s Bad Bunny and producer Tainy — flexed their fluency with enthralling new releases.

This year, Latin music — characterized by its Spanish-language lyricism and Latin-American origins — was spearheaded by Karol G’s fourth full-length release “Mañana Será Bonito,” which easily earned a spot on Variety‘s Top 10 Latin albums list (and Variety‘s staff picks for Best Albums of 2023). The 17-song record proved Karol’s virtuosity in reggaeton and demonstrated her scope, dipping into pop — with an assist from Grammy-winning producer Finneas — to música Mexicana, house music and more. Not only that, the record established Karol as a leading lady of entertainment in the United States, as “Mañana” became the first female-led all-Spanish album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 shortly after its release in late February. It also made Karol the second woman to ever win a Latin Grammy for a música úrbana album.

Young talent led the revolution of age-old sounds in 2023. Tejano hitmakers Grupo Frontera (“El Comienzo”), Eslabon Armado (“Desvelado”), Carin Leon (“Colmillo De Leche”), DannyLux (“DLUX”) and Peso Pluma (“Genesis”), are just a few of the acts that released career and genre-warping records that led to música Mexicana’s explosive year.

Several artists also expanded their catalog with surprising releases, from Mon Laferte’s experimental “Autopoiética” to Becky G’s ranchera set “Esquinas” and Y La Bamba’s psych-rock set “Lucha.” Meanwhile, veterans of their genre, like Juanes (“Vida Coitdiana”) and Don Omar (“Forever King”), returned to their roots.

Of course, 10 is not enough of a quantification to truly capture the depth of Latin music in 2023 — and not all of the records mentioned above made the list — but we tried our best to identify the year’s most poignant and memorable Spanish-language LPs.


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