Most Enjoyable Albums of 2022

As in 2021, my ears have enjoyed themselves throughout 2022. As has become a yuletide custom, I give you a list of the ten albums that I have enjoyed the most in 2022, albums which I have kept coming back to throughout the year. The value of music, as the value of any art, lies in the eye of the beholder, so my list may not necessarily be equal to your list. Still, I hope it inspires many of you to listen to albums you might otherwise have missed.

80% of of all the listening on Spotify is supposedly to no more than 20% of the tracks available. Which means you are probably missing a lot of good stuff. The whole purpose of my blog is to bring to the forefront new music that wouldn’t normally get the attention it deserves. As my logline says: I hunt the best music so you don’t have to. (I have added Metacritic’s total rating out of 100, when available. The fact that only a fraction of the albums are universally reviewed, tells a story of how difficult it is to break through for an artist or an album that doesn’t break the surface. And hopefully proves the point that a blog like mine serves a purpose)

So, on with the show. Below you will find a number of great runners-up albums (in alphabetical order) , followed by my final 10. Click on the album cover, and you will be taken directly to the whole album on Spotify. I have also put together a separate playlist with the top 10 albums, found HERE

20 Years Dope Noir
Waldeck
Metacritic: Not rated
Jazz/Swing/Electronica
BRIGHTSIDE
The Lumineers
Metacritic: 72
Rock/Pop
Chimes at Midnight
Madrugada
Metacritic: Not Rated
Rock/Pop
Easy ’cause it Hurts
Charlotte Qvale
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop
Fix Yourselves Not the World
The Wombats
Metacritic: 72
Pop/Rock
Love, Shelby
Shelby Lynne
Metacritic: 53
Rock/Country
Skin
Joy Crookes
Metacritic: 87
Soul/Pop
Something In the Making
Team Me
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop
Surrender
Maggie Rogers
Metacritic: 80
Rock
The Gods We Can Touch
AURORA
Metacritic: 81
Pop
The Sea Drift
The Delines
Metacritic: 84
Folk/Country
Titanic
Mimmi
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop/R&B
True North
a-ha
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop
Two
Dubstar
Metacritic: Not Rated
Electronica/Pop
Vatten
Laleh
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop
Vilde Bye
Vilde Bye
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop/Folk
Wet Leg
Wet Leg
Metacritic: 87
Rock

Then on to my special favourites. Albums that stood out and that I enjoyed more than anything else I have listened to this year.

So, these are my top ten choices of 2022. (Some of the albums were released in 2021, but reviewed by me in 2022. )

To see how others review the album, I have added quotes from other blogs and publications.

You’ll find a link to the individual albums by clicking on the cover.

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
Nerina Pallot
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop

«Taken in its totality, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing is a remarkably accomplished feat, one built around Pallot’s personality and energy. Poised and elegant, but authentic and true, the album is a superlative example of what someone can do in the pop genre when they’re focused on the art above all else.»

Quentin Harrison in Albumism.

Three Dimensions Deep
Amber Mark
Metacritic: 76
R&B

«Three Dimensions Deep will doubtless make it onto many a Spotify playlist; the record boasts club-ready bops and chill bangers that can please almost any aural palate. When you dig beneath the surface, though, Mark imparts universal wisdom and gives listeners a much-needed moment to appreciate ourselves.»

Clare Martin in Paste Magazine

What’s It Gonna Take
Van Morrison
Metacritic: Not Rated
Blues

«After the fantastic opener Dangerous, which pokes fun at Morrison’s status as the pot-stirring, sneering cynic, the rest of the album’s lyrics are obsessed with lying politicians and a brainwashed nation. All good points to discuss, but most of it is just too on the nose… A shame, as the arrangements and playing on What’s It Gonna Take? are tasteful in the extreme and Van Morrison’s voice sounds as good as any time over the last couple of decades.»

John-Paul Davies in Buzz

Kingmaker
Tami Neilson
Metacritic: Not Rated
Folk/Pop/Country

«Kingmaker is Neilson’s finest record yet, and a strong argument that she might herself be the current king of country music…Kingmaker finds the most gifted singer in modern popular music using her extraordinary voice to elevate and inspire those who are too often voiceless.»

Jonathan Keefe in In Review Online

SAL
Salvador Sobral
Metacritic: Not Rated
Jazz/Pop

«..Salvador Sobral is back with the EP «SAL», a work that brings us the talent of Salvador, interpreting all songs on piano in its most naked and stripped form. The EP….has 4 new songs and has an intimate and familiar atmosphere.»

Glam Magazine

Avatars of Love
Sondre Lerche
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop

«…it may be the most surprising record of his career. It’s definitely one that demands repeat listening and deep dives into the lyrical content as well as the structure of both the songs and the album. While it’s hard to look at a career as long and varied as Lerche’s and call anything a definitive album, Avatars of Love comes about as close as one could expect.»

Tim Sendra in Allmusic

Ghost Song
Cecile McLorin Savant
Metacritic: 87
Jazz/Folk

«Though known for her Ella Fitzgerald-esque skill at interpreting songbook standards and French chanson, Salvant has proven herself a literate and nuanced songwriter in her own right. She brings all of these aspects together yet again on Ghost Song, this time adding in more contemporary cover tunes and other folk traditions she hadn’t yet explored.»

Matt Collar in Allmusic

The Highest In The Land
The Jazz Butcher
Metacritic: 76
Pop/Jazz/Folk

«The bleak but beautiful moments here represent a suave, dignified coda for an artist whose work never quite got the hugs it deserved.»

Uncut Magazine

Rachel@Fairyland
Rae Morris
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop

«At eleven tracks long, Rachel@Fairyland is a mature sonic offering from Morris, and comes teeming with lush vocals, delicately arranged instrumentation and poetic lyricism that offer snapshots into the life and times of the Blackpool native.»

Lana Williams in The Line of Best Fit

Allegoría
Gaby Moreno
Metacritic: Not Rated
Pop/Latin

«Alegoría is wonderful, evocative, searing, and true; it is Moreno’s first recording to fully showcase her developed sophistication as a singer and a producer, as well as underscore her maturity as a songwriter. Get it.»

Tom Jurek in Allmusic

And as a little treat at the end, here is wonderful Gaby performing «Nothing’s Wrong» from her superb album Allegoría.

Happy new year, everyone, please come back in January 2023 for the first new picks.

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