Best Brazilian Pop Albums of 2023
Photo: Vinicius "amnx" Amano | Unsplash

The 20 Best Brazilian Pop Albums of 2023

The Brazilian music industry is creating a pop scene that competes with the world’s biggest names. Get ready to enjoy the 20 best Brazilian pop albums of 2023.

10. Iza — AFRODHIT

With AFRODHIT, Iza cements herself as this generation’s main name for Brazilian afropop. The album lacks a stellar hit, as “Pesadão” and “Meu Talismã” were for her debut album (although “Mega da virada” has potential). Nevertheless, it delivers a clear vision of what IZA is shaping out to be. It’s long overdue for Brazil to have a black pop star who embraces ancestrality.

Like Margareth Menezes (Brazil’s current Ministry of Culture) embraced afropop as a brand and a way for Brazilian pop within the realm of axé music, IZA can take such representation to a higher level. Her music speaks to this layer and many others of Brazilian pop, embracing R&B, funk, and reggae.

9. Pabllo Vittar — Noitada

Pabllo Vittar’s type of innovation used to be making periphery pop culture mainstream. But with Noitada, Vittar wanted to be a sonic innovator, too. Nightlife inspires the album. The choice makes total sense given the electronic foundations of Brazilian peripheral genres like funk and Brega. The songs in Noitada deconstruct house music, club music, Brazilian funk, and brega-funk. Vittar’s melodramatic vocals and comic lyrics make sure they still sound catchy. (But for what it’s worth, the best song is the one that resembles old Vittar the most, the forró-pop “Cadeado”.)

Don’t let the Arca-inspired album cover or even the dismantled beats of “Balinha de Coração” (the album’s lead single) fool you: Noitada is not just a contemplative album; it still delivers the easy fun that you expect from Pabllo Vittar.

8. Davi Sabbag — [(entre)mixtape]

Davi Sabbag uses the alter ego DJ ANJO to create a concept album based on an astral journey soundtracked by electropop. You can hear a bit of tecnobrega in “(((entre)))”, and “carta pra mim” is an intimate synthpop, but all the rest of  [(entre)mixtape] is strict dance-pop, in varying levels of intensity. Sabbag entertains while maintaining this project cohesive and linear.

7. LIMAO THE SOUND — Tropikaldelia

The chaotic, experimental pop of LIMAO THE SOUND comes from the dry sertão of Alagoas. In its first tracks, Tropikaldelia conveys the rawness of Brazil’s cangaço culture, but it gradually flows out to groovier, dance-pop songs. All these styles have in common the psychedelic oscillations, like madness blooming into joy. “Ouço Vozes” is the perfect point of ebullition for the two sides of Tropikaldelia.

If you’re a fan of both Brazil’s manguebeat movement and ’70s funk music, you’ll be served on Tropikaldelia.

6. ÀTTØØXXÁ — Groove 

The accent in the initials of the name ÀTTØØXXÁ is probably the only thing about this band that can be found outside Brazil. Groove is a celebration of many exclusive traits of African-based Brazilian music.

Like every party, Groove has plenty of guests. From Bahia legend Carlinhos Brown to new MPB icons like Liniker, Groove features different voices and styles. Percussion, guitars, melodies, voices – absolutely nothing in this album can be replicated by a foreign artist. 

5. Luísa Sonza — Escândalo Íntimo  

Escândalo Íntimo is the definite album where Luísa Sonza steps out of her box as an artist, an idealizar, and a creative. She sounds a little too desperate to prove she is all that, but her determination benefits the album by making it extremely personal and metalinguistic.

The album is inspired by psychoanalysis, terror cinema, Sonza’s dreams, memories, and taste in Brazilian music. It’s intended to convey a journey into her psyche. Still, it works better as a self-tribute to Sonza’s career than as a concept album.

Thematics aside, Escândalo Íntimo delivers good music nevertheless. The MPB and rock-inspired songs (“Carnificina”, “Luísa Manequim”, “Chico”) as well the romantic songs (“Iguaria”, “Outra Vez”) already take the higher spots of Sonza’s best music of her entire career. If you can’t like them for how they sound, you’ll at least have to give the album credit for being Sonza’s most serious artistic endeavor. 

4. Lamparina — Original Brasil  

There is an idealized, softer version of Brazilian popular music that many attribute to the music of artists like Lamparina with some sort of criticism; as if raw genres like forró, samba, axé, etc don’t mesh well with delicateness. This discourse derives from relevant questions pertinent to race and class; but another valid discussion is how these genres do make great soft pop, because they’re inherently catchy and versatile. 

Original Brasil is alluring in its curation of genres, and a true example of how they all belong to the spectrum of pop music. All the tracks exude the same fresh sensation, like ice cream on a summer day, partially because of lead vocalist Marina Miglio’s tone. From the samba of “Menina” to the satiric axé of “Sensação”, the reggaepop of “Tô que tô à toa” to the romantic MPB-pop of “Boca com Boca”, Original Brasil is true to its title.

3. Marina Sena — Vício Inerente

Ah, the trope of the country city girl arriving in the metropole to embrace her inner pop star unapologetically. Taylor Swift did it in 1989, and Marina Sena did it in Vício Inerente. It’s easy to take her sophomore album as a “gotcha” moment, as if everyone was waiting for her to become a sellout. But the truth is that all of Sena’s quirky features are still here: her strident voice, her Minas Gerais accent, the melodies that are half-pop and half-MPB, the sensual lyrics with prose so unique that you could mistake for nonsensical. 

It’s fascinating to see how Sena flirts with formulaic pop as she maintains everything that put her in the position of being sometimes ridiculed. Sena, the person, may be affected by criticism, but when she makes music, she does not care, does not fear, and that’s why she remains bewitching.

You hear her using orthographically incorrect slang in “Dano sarrada” and then sounding as serious as ever about being an MPB diva in “Mande um Sinal”. You have her experimenting with ambient pop in “Pra ficar comigo” and then doing TikTok-type melodies in “Que Tal”. Ah, Marina. May you remain lost in São Paulo, lost in music, and holding on to all that makes you so charmingly weird.

2. Ana Frango Elétrico — Me Chama de Gato Que Eu Sou Sua 

An exponent of alternative pop and MPB, Ana Frango Elétrico takes a jazzy turn in Me Chama de Gato que eu Sou Sua. True to her animal-inspired lyrical brand, this time, she takes the place of a cat (the album title translates as “Call me a cat and I’m yours”) to create a deliciously odd album.

She sings in Portuguese and English, in introspective ways (“Camelo Azul”, “Insista em Mim”) but also explores the elegant boogie of genres like citypop (“Electric Fish”) and disco (“Dr. Sabe Tudo”).

Me Chama De Gato Que Eu Sou Sua by Ana Frango Elétrico


FBC is a master of concept albums. In 2021, the singer released a nostalgic Brazilian funk masterpiece (Baile, in collaboration with VHOOR). But in 2023, he traveled even further back in time. O AMOR, O PERDÃO E A TECNOLOGIA IRÃO NOS LEVAR PARA OUTRO PLANETA takes an almost two-hour trip to ’70s disco and funk to deliver a futuristic message (the album title translates as “Love, forgiveness, and technology will take us to another planet”).

But make no mistake: this is not an attempt to surf the hype of Beyoncé’s RenaissanceO AMOR, O PERDÃO E A TECNOLOGIA IRÃO NOS LEVAR PARA OUTRO PLANETA was conceived way before that, and although it does explore genres born in the US, it feels more at home with the Brazilian black music tradition of artists like Tim Maia and Tony Tornado. You can’t help but be impressed with how such a long album does not fall to the temptation of sounding repetitive and losing quality while relying on beats of the same breed.