2022 in Albums

The albums I've listened (and plan to listen to) in 2022 in release order.

Twin Atlantic - Transparency
RELEASE: Jan 7, 2022 | Alt/Pop Rock
There's enough to spark interest throughout this record, but tracks like Get Famous & Dance Like Your Mother feel like they're missing a few key elements to really glue everything together. It feels like a band that doesn't understand how to work together to their full extent.
The Wombats - Fix Yourself, Not The World
RELEASE: Jan 14, 2022 | Indie Rock
It is, without a doubt, still The Wombats we all know and love, but it's a rinsed and repeated sound that's getting a little too repetitive in the bands near-20 year run. I wish it had a bit more meat on the bones, cause it's just exactly what The Wombats make time and time again, there's nothing new and we really, really need that right now.
Fickle Friends - Are We Gonna Be Alright?
RELEASE: Jan 14, 2022 | Indie Pop
Fickle Friends know how to put together some eerie yet melodically enthralling tracks that get you driven into a cosmos. Pretty Great is more than the name gives it and Yeah Yeah Yeah does not explain how catchy catchy catchy it is. A well put together record for a brilliant act.
Skillet - Dominion
RELEASE: Jan 14, 2022 | Rock
This is the first album of 2022 that I feel I went wrong on, admittedly not by much. Yes it's been over 25 years and yet they still keep on churning out the same formula of album, but there is still some gleaming hope inside. Some moments are clear copies from their heyday but there is an evolution showing through the cracks. Collide, Comatose & Awake will continue as firm favourites as this is, really, just a meh Skillet album.
Yard Act - The Overload
RELEASE: Jan 21, 2022 | Post Punk
Witty, driving, methodical and deeply enthralling. Yard Act are masters at crafting a minimal Post Punk sounding slam poem about life in the modern 20s. It's angry while not screaming, it's uplifting without being radio pop and it left a tear running down my cheek by the time Tall Poppies & Pour Another ran into 100% Endurance. An absolute AOTY contender from a near-perfect Leeds quartet.
Battle Beast - Circus of Doom
RELEASE: Jan 21, 2022 | Power Metal
It had a rocky start but by the middle of the album I was fully enthralled by Circus Of Doom. The power that they give off from the drums to the guitar to the bass to those soaring vocals are hard to match. The thing bringing this down from being higher is how repetitive some of the tracks feel. But that ending track with those metal chugs keep me going through and through. Stellar.
Bad Suns - Apocalypse Whenever
RELEASE: January 28, 2022 | Indie Pop
I didn't really feel any of this album, there didn't feel like there was any meaning or energy put in. Most of the sounds were generic, but the title track and 'Peachy' were okay on their own. Indie Pop is such a fun genre and some songs will call for lower tempos, but others scream for there to be a bit of excitement in the form of a faster BPM. 'Life Was Easier When I Only I Care About Me' finally introduced a faster tempo that stuck for the next few songs, but they weren't placed well to give the album a flow. It fell flat overall.
SPINN - Outside of the Blue
RELEASE: Feb 4, 2022 | Indie Pop
Underrated and extremely achieving, SPINN are under the radar and that is borderline crazy to me. Outside of the Blue is an altogether masterfully crafted 37 minutes of Indie Pop meets mellow Trance, and Stargazing may just become the song of the year. There's no getting over just how much of a trance I feel when listening to any of these tracks because they flow better and better with each listen. An utterly stellar record through and through.
Bastille - Give Me The Future
RELEASE: Feb 4, 2022 | Indie/Pop
This story fell flat for me, which doesn't mean I discount the lyrics, I just found it hard to concentrate around the never-evolving 80s theme surrounding nearly every track. It's formulaic and disappointing for Bastille, but it has its shining moments.
RELEASE: Feb 4, 2022 | Pop Punk
Pop-Punk goes... IDK? Help? It'll probably take me some time to get really get into the meat and bones of this record but I'll be honest, IDGAF is exactly how I feel about that song. It's got some horrendous production choices that feel half-hearted. I MISS 2003 is a lovely nod to the past, but there's more downsides than up here.
Black Country, New Road - Ants From Up There
RELEASE: February 4, 2022 | Art Rock
The Intro & Chaos Space Marine don't feel like they fit in this album thematically but we move swiftly on. The stereo width expressed through the production gives such a comfortable feeling. I can safely describe this body of work as a warm hug. To me it feels like a more laid back King Gizzard, which isn't a criticism in the slightest. That all being said, it's not entirely my cup of tea. I cannot deny that Black Country, New Road have excelled in being a cohesive unit. Ants From Up There goes to show how much raw emotion can be injected into a body of work without completely ruining an atmosphere.
InVisions - Deadlock
RELEASE: Feb 11, 2022 | Metalcore
For a group that shined with their single Annihilist, their full album comes affixed with a cheap glue, giving no breathing room for any song to really shine. There's moments of metalcore that I can mosh to, but there's nothing overly special.
alt-J - The Dream
RELEASE: Feb 11, 2022 | Art Rock
A lot of people have highly recommended Alt-J to me in the past and while I've taken that on board, this is my first showing of them and I am... bored. Mediocre, dreamy at the stake of horribly drowned out vocal productions, it has nothing there for me. Hard Drive Gold started off fine but it just molded into the rest of the album and left me feeling next to nothing about it. Oh dear.
Big Thief - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
RELEASE: February 11, 2022 | Indie Folk
Don't look at the length of this album and think "oh god, 80 minutes?!" - it does not feel like that whatsoever. Every track flows perfectly from one to the next. The use of dissonance is perfect and Big Thief have absolutely welcomed me with open arms. The sheer dedication to music that these musicians have is going to be hard to match going forward. It's an array of Folk excellence.
UPDATE (08/08/22) - 91-> 95
This album has jumped leaps and bounds, more so than any other record released this year. It's one of the most wonderfully crafted works of music I think I'll ever listen to. It's so instantly fulfilling to switch on and time speeds on by when you're engulfed by this wonderful creation.
Half Alive - Give Me Your Shoulders (Pt. 1)
RELEASED: February 11, 2022 | Alt Pop
It's forgettable. Reading into the history surrounding this albums release, you realise why. Their label forced an album, released over half of the already not complete album as singles and didn't announce the thing properly. It falls flat ultimately, which is a shame for a band that is so good at what they do. That being said, the production is very, very good, but that doesn't save it much. Summerland and Everything Machine got my head moving, that's about it.
Bloodywood - Rakshak
RELEASE: Feb 18, 2022 | Indian Folk Metal
I had high hopes for this record and it delivered in so many ways. The three singles are standouts. Chakh Le sounds like Dana-Dan & Gaddaar had a child. The tracks can feel a little long, with no song being less than 4 minutes, but the amalgamation of modern metal production and traditional Indian instruments have made a definitive statement. There's flaws, but it does not take away the overall enjoyment.
Consvmer - Obsession
RELEASE: Feb 18, 2022 | Metal
There's some definitive songs on this album, but there's nothing notable other than a style that Consvmer want to go for. It's extremely aggressive in production, but it's undermined by being brickwalled to no end.
Gang of Youths - angel in realtime.
RELEASE: Feb 25, 2022 | Indie Rock
For my first ever listen of Gang Of Youths, "in the wake of your leave" had me hooked from the moment I heard it. "the angel of 8th ave." & "brothers" are incredible standouts that separate the albums upbeat/melancholy split perfectly. The tracks do feel like they drag sometimes, but the later in the album, the more coherent it feels. A wonderfully crafted body of work overall, and something I did not expect in the best of ways.
Stromae - Multitude
RELEASE: March 4, 2022 | French Dance Pop
The French language finds its way to captivate me again. As this album went on I found myself enjoying it more and more. It's so readily consistent through and through. Rap style vocals aren't something I normally lean towards but I found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience of the legendary man behind "Alors on danse".
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul - Topical Dancer
RELEASE: March 4, 2022 | Minimal Tech House
Charlotte & Bolis don't hold back in the lyrical nature of this record. The music, while minimal, is produced immaculately. It's a fusion of Tech, Pop & Minimalism and gives off a chill vibe alongside. Again, this rating is only as low as it is because it's not my preferred listen. I don't discount any of the themes, nor the production, but I just wouldn't choose to listen to it again.
City Kids Feel The Beat - nosedive with a smile
RELEASE: March 11, 2022 | Heavy Pop Punk
An amalgamation of some brilliant Pop Punk tunes with dashes of heavy bangers, "nosedive with a smile" delivers on the bands promise of "Pop Punk for a new generation". This album is definitely an escape from reality, but most of them sound pretty similar, so it can force the album to feel like it's one whole continuation. "stones & arrows" hooked me immediately and the hype surrounding the chorus was perfect, "disagreement" has a classic Pop Punk vibe and "daydreamer" gives a nod to blink182. A great album. Would I listen to it again? Definitely.
Transviolet - Drugs in California
RELEASE: March 11, 2022 | Indie Pop
After being introduced to Transviolet via their support for Twenty One Pilots back in 2016, I can't say there's much to be desired here. I really wish there was some variation in this album but it comes in at a less than half hour block of messily amalgamated trap-pop with vocal performances that are similar to every other song they've released. I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed.
Sea Girls - Homesick
RELEASE: Mar 18, 2022 | Indie Rock
The single "Sick" brought me to Sea Girls and I quickly went to their back catalogue. I was blown away by the entirety of "Open Up Your Head" and their previous works so much so that the hype for this album was growing on me as the singles dropped. Homesick does not miss a beat. It's relatable, it has attitude but it's also filled to the brim with hope. Hometown, Sick, Paracetamol Blues & Higher are absolute standouts, but that does not take away from the rest of the album whatsoever. A classic to remember down the line and an homage to how wonderful Indie Rock music can be.
Charli XCX - CRASH
RELEASE: March 18, 2022 | Electropop
Predictable electronic music with no real wow factor. A cracking voice, nothing much else in the intro of the album. Beg For You has a real old school EDM synth lead and as an electronic music producer I have massive respect for that. Yuck keeps my head nodding throughout. Used To Know Me samples Robin S' House classic "Show Me Love" and it fits very well in the lower tempo. Overall the energy shifts a bit all over the place making the album flow in an energetic but awkward way, it's an album that clearly knows what it wanted to do, I just wish it did it better.
Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems
RELEASE: March 25, 2022 | Hardcore Punk
Holy f*cking chaos... I really thought I was gonna dislike it after noticing the genre "Noise Rock" was attached to this record but I was wrooong. This is punk if I've ever heard it. The drum tones are absolutely spot on and the guitars have a bloody sublime tone to them. This simultaneously sounds like it was produced in the mid nineties and just last week. A truly beautiful blend of old school power and hyperactive energy, and that shows with "Driponomics", combining Trap, Rap & Hardcore so much so that even me, someone who doesn't get behind rap, actually enjoys.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love
RELEASE: April 1, 2022 | Alt Rock
You can tell that Frusciante is back! His guitar work packs a punch and makes the Chili's feel at home again... somewhat. The length of this record combined with some fall-flat tracks such as Poster Child & Veronica, the latter of which has an extremely misplaced tempo change into the chorus just makes the whole thing feel like a mismatched jam session.
There's absolutely no doubt that the Chili's are still the Chili's, and this album jolts from top notch bangers in Black Summer, Whatchu Thinkin' & The Heavy Wing through to some lesser so flops in White Braids & Pillow Chair & Let 'Em Cry.
It's a good shot, but it's not all there for me.
Fatherson - Normal Fears
RELEASE: April 1, 2022 | Indie Rock
I can't quite fathom just how incredible this record really is. When I can listen to an album the full way through without feeling bored and only having some slight production ideas on what I'd change, it's a blessing. "Normal People", "The Feeling And The Sound" & "Dive" are standouts 100%, but "Do It For Yourself" is a stereophonic euphony of everything I've ever wanted in a song. It's absolutely brilliant. "365" has some things that I'd change here and there, but that by no means means it's bad, it really, really isn't. Looks like another Scottish Indie Rock group are on the way for the #1 spot for me this year!
Monuments - In Stasis
RELEASE: April 15, 2022 | Metalcore
There's sheer power and a connection that comes with the production and the lyrics throughout this album, but there's something that isn't quite there for me. The collaborations are stunning but it's just those songs that I really would dabble in going forward. Mick Gordon smashes the production on "Cardinal Red" & "False Providence" while Neema's appearance in "No One Will Teach You" is a hard hitting, somewhat funk driven powerhouse. Although the rest of the album is a little flat for me, it's a near-strong showing nevertheless.
Grayscale Season - Do You Like Violence
RELEASE: April 15, 2022 | Metalcore
I LOVE the power behind the metal that fills this album, but the backing vocals in songs like Volatile & Champagne Tears give off a tone-deaf and questionable sound to me. While they're absolute smackers in their own right, I'm not feeling whatever they're doing with them. There's some moments where there's a muddy bass tone, but oddly it works - props to the producer for having the balls to release that! After the first four tracks everything else kinda forms into one and it gives off no real character. It's a shame.
Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
RELEASE: April 22, 2022 | Gothic Post Punk
There was a very lacking introduction to Skinty Fia. Fear not, How Cold Love Is & Jackie Down The Line soon came to soothe me. This is Post-Punk injected with plenty of Gothic Rock and there's no doubt. The intentionally flat, delayed notes give off a distinctly creepy vibe and it helps this album flow like many others can't. Although there's a lot of production choices that make this record shine, Post-Punk tends to have a knack of finding annoying repetition that is hard to shake. A heavy expression, a dash of heartbreak and a strong work overall.
Ocean Grove - Up In The Air Forever
RELEASE: April 22, 2022 | Nu-Metal
For my first inning on Ocean Grove, I was pleasantly surprised! Upbeat choruses smashed together with heavy guitars and plenty of Nu-Metal grooves to make me bop my head, it's a pretty good outing! "Bored" would go off with a crowd, "Bustin" is a banger of a chorus and "Silver Lining" gave me utter goosebumps. My only real issues are that some of the mixes just seem a little too brickwalled and messy in the low end, leaving a lot of the album to mould together with little space. It's a really good album otherwise and I'll definitely be going through their back catalogue.
Blossoms - Ribbon Around the Bomb
RELEASE: April 29, 2022 | Indie Rock
It may just be me being extremely picky, but this album is full of repetition after repetition. The title track at least gives it some breathing room but it feels like 5 minutes of work rinsed and hung to dry. That being said, the title track is promising, but it lacks the niche that makes it stand out.
Bloc Party - Alpha Games
RELEASE: April 29, 2022 | Indie Rock/Post Punk Revival
It's raw for the sake of sounding raw, I suppose. The production on this album is abysmal and who knows? Maybe Bloc Party wanted that, but it doesn't deliberately sound like the production was meant to bring a gritty feel to the album at all. Yes, it's obviously still the Bloc we know and love, but come on guys... This isn't a good showing.
RELEASE: April 29, 2022 | Metalcore (EP)
Void Of Vision have been on my radar since they released VAMPYR last October and they've been releasing banger after banger consistently. Chronicles I: LUST was a good showing for them but HEAVEN is much stronger. These guys have a huge knowledge for metalcore and they're definitely worth a listen.
Saviour - Shine & Fade
RELEASE: April 29, 2022 | Metalcore
Chock full of talent and clear production choices, Shine & Fade is a brilliant showing from a band who've clearly brought their musicality through the ranks since their debut album in 2012. With all that said and done, there's not enough here to get me overly exited.
Windwaker - Love Language
RELEASE: May 6, 2022 | Metalcore
Electronically influenced to a T. Beautiful is exactly what the intro to this album is. There's pop essences sprinkled throughout but the metal smashes the glass and makes sure the heavy fan can get in the pit. There's so much personality to this album, it equally sounds like a bunch of friends making music purely for fun and meaning. The flow is so juxtaposed in a good way, no two songs sound the same. For a debut album, they've absolutely nailed it and I can't see where they go next.
Arcade Fire - WE
RELEASE: May 6, 2022 | Art Rock
This entire album has a very cathartic undertone and it goes to show with the sincerity of the lyrics. The beginning of the album had me a little confused as it wasn't what I was expecting and it kind of carried that feeling throughout. The Lightning II is a brilliant standalone tune. It's not overall an album I'd choose to listen to again and again, but it had enjoyable moments.
Bear's Den - Blue Hours
RELEASE: May 13, 2022 | Folk Rock
Enchanting. Charming. Fascinating. Bear's Den have crafted a work to bring you comfort and safety. Blue Hours is a delightful embrace that never shies away from being meaningful and although there's some similarities in the track list, I still find myself enthralled. It's dark but it somehow shines, and it's definitely not grey. I'm stunned.
Florence + The Machine - Dance Fever
RELEASE: May 13, 2022 | Alt/Pop Rock
One of the eeriest but most incredible uses of Florence's voice I've heard. F+TM's works have been one of the most incredibly consistent catalogues in the modern era of music and this is no exception. It's classic Florence without feeling recycled and the production is stellar. That being said, it's not my preferred listen and I can find myself disconnected at times, it's the voice that enthralls me.
The Chainsmokers - So Far So Good
RELEASE: May 13, 2022 | Electronic
Every song sounds the same. The sampling is a sorry attempt at being creative, not to mention that said samples do not fit with the vibe of the song whatsoever. Solo Mission sounds like if you ordered Daft Punk on Wish.com. Talk about beating a dead horse, The Chainsmokers have barely changed with their rinsed and repeated sound. I'm very glad these guys had fun making this album but yikes...
Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
RELEASE: May 13, 2022 | Rap/Hip Hop
Sorry fellas, I just don't get it. There's a ton of hype surrounding Kendrick and I'm sure that's for good reason, I just don't find myself enjoying any of this. I can't get behind songs that repeatedly swear - sure there's going to be meaning behind it but it comes across so... half-hearted to me? It's all so plain and simple and I really put it down to me not being a fan of the hip-hop/rap scene and it's nothing against Lamar himself. There's sincerity in the lyrics and he tackles some harsh topics but... Nah, it's a pass. Not for me.
Gospel - The Loser
RELEASE: May 13, 2022 | Post Hardcore (Progressive)
I feel like I'm in another dimension when listening to this album, it's graceful with the synths and raw with the vocals. All of it mashes together for a very pleasing and often guttural experience. It's very much in the vein of 'black midi' in that the progression of the tracks and the album as a whole is magical. The energy is there immediately and it doesn't give up throwing more your way. That being said, I did enjoy this record, but there's other albums like this that I'd prefer to go for, such as the aforementioned 'black midi's "Hellfire".
Static Dress - Rouge Carpet Disaster
RELEASE: May 18, 2022 | Post Hardcore
Ayyy, we got some local boys on the list alongside Yard Act! I fully expected "Attempt 8" to hit SUPER hard out of nowhere considering how much power the first two tracks gave but was instead greeted with a mellow interlu- HOLY F*CK COURTNEY, YOU NEED TO RELAX. I came into this album with a Metalcore expectation but after only 4 songs everything switches up with an incredible intensity. It's a bit too heavy for me to come back to over and over again, but I can't deny that this album is a cornerstone in modern day Hardcore music.
Harry Styles - Harry's House
RELEASE: May 20, 2022 | Pop
Ah, Harry... I can't believe I'm gonna say it but I preferred your stuff in One Direction. Oops. You've got some catchy tunes here, fella, but there's nothing that grabs me I'm afraid. 2 months between announcement and release weakened this, I think. I can't fault him too much, he knows how to give you some ear candy, but eh, it never gives you that moment to remember and it just passes by.
Everything Everything - Raw Data Feel
RELEASE: May 20, 2022 | Art Pop
I did not feel like I was in this journey for nearly an hour. It's my first delve into an Everything Everything album and by golly jeez, I'm beyond impressed. Bad Friday, Pizza Boy, Metroland Is Burning, Cut UP!, My Computer... there's SO many energetic and meaningful tracks building up an absolutely solid Art Pop/Alt Dance album. I heard a few Everything Everything singles before going into this properly and I really didn't expect to be THIS blown away. There's so much passion and innovation splashed throughout this record. A big thank you to my close friendo Reece for leaning me towards these guys.
Seth MacFarlane - Blue Skies
RELEASE: May 20, 2022 | Jazz
Having only just recently found out that Seth has a music career outside of musicals, I can hear how much fun he's having with this whole album. The arrangement is a perfectly syncopated Jazz backing for Seth's warming vocal, especially shown in "It's You or No One", "Blue Skies" & "It Could Happen to You". I'm not a huge Jazz/Easy Listening guy and this has me smiling because I think about Family Guy and American Dad with some of the horn hits sprinkled throughout. I'm very impressed with a lot about this. Well done, Mr. Griffin!
Liam Gallagher - C'MON YOU KNOW
RELEASE: May 27, 2022 | Britpop
I used to be a fan of the unique vocal style that Liam utilised in Oasis but jeebus wept it's over done throughout this album. There's no flow, there's rarely any moment that actually stands out, I just can't really stand any of it. C'mon You Know builds and builds for... 0 payoff. It Was Not Meant To Be felt like I was listening to The Beatles for a split second, then I suddenly flashed back to reality. Everything's Electric is by far the best song on the album, but the "ooh's" after the chorus have an odd dissonance that doesn't work for me. It leaves me feeling uncomfortable - and I don't think that's what Liam was going for... I could be wrong.
JER - Bothered/Unbothered
RELEASE: May 27, 2022 | Ska Punk
Instantly this album made me smile. Ska Punk is so incredibly cathartic and leaves a smile beaming from ear to ear. Opening with some slapping bass and riffing guitars on "BOTHERED" through to "Clout Chasers!", the Ska Punk fusion is released with immediate effect.
Soon enough you're lowered onto a soft bed with the outro of "Decolonize Yr Mind" leading the way. "Maybe..." starts off slow and smacks you in the face with some hearty lyrics, stacking the horns as the song progresses. The entire production of this album is top notch and every moment is spent thoroughly enjoying the experience. Watch this space, this score may increase over time.
Alfie Templeman - Mellow Moon
RELEASE: May 27, 2022 | Indie Pop
It's not a bad outing, honestly. The start of the album is a bit wonky but once the quadrant of Broken through to Candyfloss comes on everything switches up. There's an immediate vibe switch and I found myself enjoying most of the rest of the record. Some lyrics fall flat to me, but ultimately Alfie knows how to craft a lovely Indie, synth-filled pop song. He's going places.
Trollfest - Flamingo Overlord
RELEASE: May 27, 2022 | Folk Metal
This is quite possibly one of the most fun albums I've heard. Fusing Folk & Metal music sounds absolutely daft, but this is the second band this year that's done it extremely well. Trollfest mix shades of funk & rap in with their already chaotic but not overdone sound. "Dance Like a Pink Flamingo" is a bloody welcome and a half and the rest of the album is a blend of bonkers, kooky and absolutely insane tracks that leave you smiling for over forty minutes. "Piña Colada" came as a surprise but jeeeesus does it work! This Norwegian band need more acknowledgement - and they should have been in Eurovision 2022!

AOTY July Playlist