As 2023 rolls on, we continue our backward glance at Texas-tied albums celebrating significant birthdays in the next 12 months.
For this batch, we’ve arranged, chronologically by release date, an array of mostly North Texas-rooted records which will mark a decade of existence over the course of 2023. (In case you missed it, here are the albums celebrating their 30th anniversaries this year, the 25th anniversary LPs, the 20th anniversary records and the 15th anniversary records.)
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park (released March 19, 2013)
The self-described “girl from Golden” began her ascent to her current stardom with this accomplished debut, which showcased the full range of her abilities, culminating in the still-stunning single “Merry Go ‘Round,” a song which marked Musgraves as one of the state’s most consequential artists in a generation the moment it entered the world.
LeAnn Rimes, Spitfire (released April 15, 2013)
With the release of her 11th studio album, the Garland-raised singer-songwriter fulfilled her Curb Records contract, which had begun 17 years earlier with her acclaimed breakout Blue. Spitfire, which had a staggered release around the world — the date above reflects the original UK and Australia release; it hit American shelves on June 4 — found Rimes working in a more confessional mode, albeit one that was unmistakably country-tinged.
Natalie Maines, Mother (released May 7, 2013)
With The Chicks on hiatus, each of the trio’s members took a moment to indulge in some side projects, whether it was the Court Yard Hounds (Emily Robison and Martie Maguire) or this LP, the debut solo effort from Maines. It’s a collection of songs, largely covers, produced by Maines and Ben Harper. Her voice, although absent her harmony partners, still cuts just as deeply.
Demi Lovato, Demi (released May 10, 2013)
For her fourth studio album, the Grand Prairie-raised Lovato embraced the neon sensibilities of synthpop, working with a battery of producers, including Ryan Tedder. The shift away from the safe, comfortable confines of Disney would continue as her career progressed, but this collection marks the beginning of that definitive break.
Green River Ordinance, Chasing Down the Wind (released June 20, 2013)
This self-released seven-song EP from the Fort Worth pop-rock quintet was something of a stopgap between its 2012 LP Under Fire and its 2016 LP Fifteen, which, to date, marks the band’s final official studio release. The songs, written by the band alongside the Caney Fork River in Tennessee, deftly blend pop, country and rock.
Forever the Sickest Kids, J.A.C.K. (released June 25, 2013)
The Dallas pop-punk act had to contend with several factors for its third studio album, not least of which was the closure of its label, Universal Motown, and the departures of lead guitarist Marc Stewart and keyboardist Kent Garrison. Nevertheless, the band soldiered on, teaming with producer Mike Green for this 11-song set.
Selena Gomez, Stars Dance (released July 19, 2013)
The Grand Prairie native went it alone, musically, on this, her debut studio solo album. Stars Dance followed a trio of more pop- and rock-inclined records with Selena Gomez & the Scene. This solo debut also provided Gomez a way to explore a great many more sonic textures and styles, as evidenced by the hypnotic lead single, “Come & Get It.”
The Polyphonic Spree, Yes It’s True (released Aug. 6, 2013)
Little could ever hope to contain Tim DeLaughter’s artistic ambitions, but on the Polyphonic Spree’s fourth studio album, Yes It’s True, the Dallas-based symphonic pop act scaled things back — a little. There’s a sense, coming off of the incredible run of the band’s initial three records, that grandeur is being less emphasized, but the gorgeous melodies and arresting lyrics are as prominent as ever.
Kelly Clarkson, Wrapped in Red (released Oct. 25, 2013)
The pride of Burleson created one of the better Christmas albums of the 2010s with this, her sixth studio album and her first foray into seasonal tuneage. Working with producer Greg Kurstin, Clarkson knocked out at least one certifiable, original Yuletide banger — “Underneath the Tree” — but still made room for her gorgeous interpretations of standards like “Blue Christmas,” “Run Run Rudolph” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.