Diving into the Best Albums of 2023 So Far

by Larissa Tsui

Let's dive into the exciting world of K-Pop albums and what makes them stand out from Western artists' albums. K-Pop albums it's not just about the music CD! K-Pop albums are like treasure troves filled with visual aesthetics and captivating storytelling. They often revolve around a theme or a common message that runs throughout the entire album, or even multiple albums. Not just that! These albums come packed with goodies like high-quality concept photos in a photo book, multi-lingual lyric books or lyric cards for international fans, and the cherry on top 🍒 – random photo card collectibles! Each album also surprises fans with other cool stuff like postcards, sticker packs, posters, and limited edition merchandise. Now that I've given you the lowdown on how K-Pop albums work and what's packed inside, let's talk about my favourite K-Pop albums of the first half of 2023!

TXT’s The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION 


First up, we have TOMORROW X TOGETHER'S (TXT) The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION. This album captures the essence of youth at the brink of adulthood, drawing inspiration from the story of Peter Pan. The boys in TXT express the desire to pause their growth and linger in the carefree world of Neverland.  Their journey forward despite this desire, represents today's generation and their pursuit of growth amidst the challenges of the world. What I like about this album is it's relatable message. This theme reminds me of the time I realised and understood why Peter Pan didn’t want to grow up. We all face temptations we must resist so it makes me feel a connection to this album. I feel like it's a theme that anyone can relate to in one way or another. Yes, the album has a deep meaning but it also isn’t a k-pop album without finding the stickers, photocards and mini poster contained in it 😍

I.M's Overdrive


K-Pop albums are known for their outstanding visuals and packaging, and the next album is a great example of this. MONSTA X’s rapper, I.M has come out with a solo album (finally!) and the album does not disappoint in any way. Unlike the typical album box design, this album goes the extra mile with its innovative approach. It comes in a bag with a transparent cover and a holographic silver backing. Opening it must feel like diving into a goodie bag! And what’s more? There's a lenticular card that adds an extra touch of awesomeness. These cards have 3D effects or change and move as you view them from different angles, which feeds into the album’s holographic, futuristic vibes even more. There are countless creative album packages out there, but this one definitely caught my eye!

Aespa's My World (Smini Version)


Last but not least, let's talk about aespa's MY WORLD Smini version. SM Entertainment is taking albums to the next level with their Smini versions, and it's absolutely adorable. A true e next-gen album experience! Instead of traditional paper prints, almost everything in this album is digitised. Imagine a mini CD keychain that holds all the magic. You get a Smart Music Card, which is like a tag, and all you do is scan that into an app to get the entire album onto your phone. Yup, everything! From the songs to the concept photos, it’s right there on your phone. In a world where CDs and books are becoming less popular (🥺), this is a genius way for fans to get everything that is in a typical album on their phones instead.


So there you have it! K-Pop albums are packed with perks and exclusives that make them stand out from Western artists' albums. No wonder fans can't resist collecting their favourite artist's albums that sometimes, even albums have different versions too, making them great collectibles themselves!  It's a whole experience waiting to be unravelled!

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