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radio414's wholly objective list of the top ten (10) albums of 2022 in their opinion

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hey what's up

I did this last year, which means it was fresh in my mind in January to start compiling the stronger albums. Here's my honorable mentions in alphabetical order by artist name, and then the actual top 10 list.


Carmel Smickersgill - We Get What We Get And We Don't Get Upset

Carpenter Brut - Leather Terror

Cate Le Bon - Pompeii

Jenny Hval - Classic Objects

Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers

Orville Peck - Bronco

PUP - The Unravelling of Puptheband

Soccer96 - Inner Worlds


Also just like last year, don't feel bad if I didn't include your favorite. I know for a fact there are albums from last year that I just didn't get a chance to listen to in time. CowCow already put up a "best song 2022" thread, and I've resolved to better maintain my rates music thread, but still leave a comment if you want.


10. Guerilla Toss - Famously Alive

Guerilla Toss unfortunately had “released an album in January”-itis, which means it’s all but been forgotten by the time to do end of the year lists, but I went back to listen to it in preparation for this one, and you know what? Yeah, it’s still a really good album. I haven’t gone through the band’s back catalog, but from reading, I’m given to understand that this is not what they normally sound like, but if this is what they’re going to sound like in the future, I’m already on board.

9. Black Midi - Hellfire

8. Black Country, New Road - Ants From Up Here

Black Midi’s Cavalcade made last year’s list kind of by default, because I wanted to include something from that world of music but utterly bounced off of Black Country, New Road and Squid’s offerings once their LPs came out. That was then, this is now, and the now is that Black Midi has gotten even more cohesive, pushing out what is basically a concept album, and Black Country, New Road have sanded off all the rougher edges that I didn’t particularly enjoy about For the First Time. There are still some caveats to these placements, which is why they’re still so low. Black Midi is still on the abrasive side of math rock, so you either vibe with it or you don’t, and I can’t help but feel that Black Country, New Road mixed their now-departed vocalist Isaac Wood a bit too low, but these are both matters of opinion. I adore both of these bands.

7. The Comet Is Coming - Hyper Dimensional Expansion Beam

Speaking of groups of projects based in England, saxophonist Shabaka “King Shabaka” Hutchings is in, like, three different active groups and does solo work on the side. I discovered this set of groups through this one, but the distinct blend of electronica jazz still makes this one my favorite. It’s enough that the group consisting of just Betamax and Danalogue, Soccer96, made it into my honorable mentions this year. Admittedly, the album does have a bit of a “more Comet is Coming, exactly as it always was” vibe to it, but that’s still good enough for me.

6. Dry Cleaning - Stumpwork

A lot of London-based bands this year. I guess that’s just what I’ve been listening to. Dry Cleaning is notable for their vocals, feauturing Florence Shaw’s spoken word poetry instead of actual singing. In the past, it’s messed with my brain a bit, like, I keep thinking the words are strung together with a bit more cohesion, but either because I’m used to it now or they really are languid stories at this point, I’ve come back to this album again and again since its release. The backing music knows exactly what kind of song it’s supporting as well, being a similarly slowed-down version of what Wikipedia says is post-punk? Anyway, Stumpwork is a delightful album in every way besides the album art, so check it out.

5. Kikugaku Moyo - Kumoyo Island

This is supposedly Kikugaku Moyo’s last album, as the band has stated “we have done what we set out to do for this project,” which sucks, since between them and Kristin “Lingua Ignota” Hayter moving in a different direction with her work, I’m down a few musicians I listen to regularly. Yes, I know I can go back and listen to the old stuff, but it’s still bittersweet. Thankfully, Kikugaku Moyo have decided to go out with a bang, just a smooth Japanese rock sound from beginning to end.

4. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms, and Lava

The requisite KGLW addition to the list. Did you know King Gizzard made five additions to their discography this year? Did you know three of them were in October? In fairness, this one was recorded over just a few days, a series of jam sessions with a key signature and a title in mind, so that explains the magnitude of their output. I’d be worried about the quality dipping, but that temporality keeps the album from being disjointed, and Gizz have always been on the jammier end of psych rock anyway, so that’s actually a feature rather than a bug.

3. Little Simz - No Thank You

I’ve read reviews that call this a follow-up to Little Simz’s banger of an album last year, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, and I guess that’s technically true in the same way any album would have been a follow-up, but that’s also selling it short. People might think that, after SIMBI’s massive acclaim and her single for Venom: Let there be Carnage’s Tiktok virality, Simz could afford to coast on her success and release an album with “just some good songs.” That didn’t happen at all. Instead, what we got was subdued, yes -- there certainly aren’t any interludes or bombastic openings -- but that allows the album to be even more reflective, for Simz’s lyrics to really come to the fore. My one complaint is it was released so late in the year I had to revise my preemptive rankings because of it, but that’s a good problem to have, in my opinion.

2. Horse Lords - Comradely Objects

2020’s The Common Task is fun if you know what you’re getting into, but that album still grated on me occasionally, especially in the back half where Integral Accident meanders its way into the eighteen (18!) minute range. That got toned down here, with a song ever so slightly crossing the ten-minute mark and every other song closer to seven. The songs are also just better, I think. They’re still grating sometimes, but they’re grating in a way that strikes my fancy this time.

1. Jockstrap - I Love You Jennifer B


So many things stand out about Jockstrap. Their name is the obvious one, with the additional justification being that “it made our mums upset.” Also stand-out, though, is how their music defies classification. Even the all-encompassing “experimental” or “avante garde” labels don’t quite fit, as once you’re convinced that the song is just unlistenable nonsense, it’ll take a hard turn into something quite pleasant. And yeah, maybe that’s a super pretentious thing to say about a band with a song about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but it’s my list so I get to write about them, okay?

The song is Debra, if you’re curious.

According to the band, “Everything on here is pretty singular sounding, so we hope there is a track on [the album] for everyone, something that speaks to you and says, ‘I’m a banger.’” I think they hit it out of the park. 

I hope you found something you enjoyed out of the 18 albums between these two lists. Here's to 2023 being a good year for music and good for life in general.


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