Album Ratings 2029
Last Active 12-19-21 9:42 pm
Review Comments 1,943
|My Top 50 Albums of 2022|
My favorite releases of 2022, the year of comebacks! A top 50 including one shout-out not part of the ranking, as well as nine Honorable Mentions. Only ranked by several categories: Honorable Mentions, 3.5s, low 4s, 4s, low 4.5s, 4.5s, and 5s. Descriptions are meant to be read at your leisure - they're a mix of my thoughts on the albums and other related memories/associations/tangents.
post-punk/no wave/experimental rock
The only one of the three 2022 Boris albums I liked really
dream pop/shoegaze/alt rock
My devotion to lust, horror and satanic orders
raw black metal/darkwave
This album's mix of styles works surprisingly well, just a little too raw for comfort at times.
|56||They Are Gutting A Body Of Water|
sludge metal/noise rock/post-hardcore
Here’s my thing with this album: I appreciate the themes and how passionately they’re conveyed. Most of the time, I’m on the album’s side. I just think that because the album veers so far into the “making a statement” thing, it begins to make the music seem like merely a vehicle for the vocal performance. And when the vocals are so ham-fisted at times, this drags the album down a bit in my view. ‘Why’ fucking rules though. Final rating: 3.3/5
|53||Small Animal Hospital|
I saw the title of the first song, 'Snow Emergency Parking Rules,' and jokingly thought to myself, "Hey, that'd be funny if they were from Minnesota." And then it turned out they're from Minneapolis, where I'm from. That was cool.
Waiting For The End To Begin
We're Not Here To Be Loved
|50||Francesco Fonassi and Marta Salogni|
l'ebbrezza delle grandi profondità
ambient/tape music/musique concrete
Underwater is this album’s theme. The title is Italian for “the intoxication of the great depths.” From Bandcamp: “The inebriation of being underwater is at the epicentre of a drifting sonic narrative where the listener is invited to get lost in. The pallet of sounds reflects both the marine landscapes and the altered state of mind that deep diving induces.” I haven’t deep-dived myself, but I would say the album succeeds in conveying the feeling of being underwater. Quite hypnotic and disorienting, but always so soft.
Slept on the Floor Still Dreamt About You
I didn't realize this was a compilation until after I'd added it to the database. I found it on Spotify and assumed it was an album. My bad. "morning again" is truly precious and one of my favorite tracks of the year
|48||The Sawtooth Grin|
2022 was the year of comebacks and this is one the best ones. Improves on the 2001 debut in every way.
Dom, w którym mieszkał Wąż
indie folk/indie rock/experimental
alt rock/indie pop/noise pop
instrumental hip-hop/chill lo-fi beats to study/relax to
It took me a while to figure out what I thought of this band, and that was exciting in itself. At first I was really swept away by how different they are, but after a while, the rose-colored glasses came off and I started noticing how awkward and contrived they can be at times. That being said, I still think this is a really solid album. It sounds to me like they improved on what they were trying to do with Cavalcade. The songs here feel more purposeful and are just overall a bit more exciting and dramatic. It’s still not as good as Schlagenheim, but it’s fresh, witty, and a whole lot of fun.
This album really was a big event. It was another comeback in the sense that it had been six years since their last one, and it was also their last one with their original vocalist. And it fucking delivers.
Secular Works, Vol. 2
avant-chamber-doom-pop (or something)
Another comeback! These guys are one of my favorite bands. Their debut, Secular Works, is one of my favorite albums of all time. But their last release before this one came out in 2012, and I hadn’t heard or seen anything about their activity anywhere since. I thought they’d broken up or were on “permanent hiatus.” So, imagine my joy when I found out about this album on Sputnik near the end of the year! I can’t say anything they’ve done since their first album has touched it, but I love that they’re still going, and they definitely still sound like Extra Life – which is really saying something, considering how incredibly unique their sound is. My favorite cuts here are ‘Coming Apart’ and ‘We Are Not the Same.’ There’s a couple tracks here I'm not a fan of, but the others hit hard every time. Maybe it's a little cringe, but I can give that a pass in the name of this band's sincerity and unique artistic vision.
|39||Francois Robin and Mathias Delplanque|
L'ombre de la bête
The title is French for “shadow of the beast.” The name of the game here is bagpipes. A quote by Francois Robin from Bandcamp: “MY INSTRUMENT IS ANIMAL. EVERYTHING IN IT EVOKES ANIMALITY: ITS SHAPE, ITS SOUNDS, THE ABUNDANT ICONOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION IT HAS CREATED. AN INSTRUMENT WITH A ZOOMORPHIC CHARACTER, WHO BREATHES, BLOWS, SCREAMS, MOANS. DISSECTING MY BAGPIPE, I WISH TO MAKE THE SHADOW OF THIS BEAST HEARD AND SEEN.” Fresh, surprisingly immersive, and stunningly beautiful at times. I can say I’m a bit more sold on bagpipes now.
Monuments to Impermanence
sludge metal/noise rock
Spirit of Ecstasy
experimental black metal
Not exactly where I was hoping or expecting they would go after Alphaville, still pretty dang good though. 'In the Pleasure of their Company' is an absolute treat and definitely one of my favorite tracks of the year. Honestly, this will need a few more listens to fully figure out, but I'm expecting it'll grow on me.
ambient techno/ambient dub
I have this album to thank for introducing me to freestyle rapper SIR E.U. ‘Plonk IX,’ the track he’s featured on, I found so compelling that as soon as this album finished, I immediately hopped over to SIR E.U on Spotify. That’s definitely one of my favorite songs of 2022. I’ve been listening to his stuff regularly ever since – expect some reviews soon. All that being said, this album rules. A lovely zone-out session by way of steady, yet always unpredictable motion. Huerco S is great.
“We made an album to represent absolutely everything we’re into as a band!”
“It’s 27 hours long!”
SHOUT-OUT: I haven’t actually listened to this yet, but I thought I’d give it a shout-out for fans who might not be aware of it. Even longer than Omni. From Bandcamp: “This is not a sequel to Omni, rather a look under the hood to give you a closer look at some of the moving parts; here we have lots of noise and ambient tracks, outtakes, extras, variations, original cassette mixes, extended versions of tracks used or repurposed etc. Anything repeated from Omni is here for context; over five days of context.”
|30||Whatever The Weather|
Whatever The Weather
|29||Cult of Youth|
With Open Arms
|28||Open Mike Eagle|
Component System With The Auto Reverse
Some of the features on here kinda suck, but all the solo tracks are excellent. ‘I’ll Fight You’ and ‘79th and Stony Island’ are definitely two of my favorite tracks from the year. I think this guy's still pretty underrated. He's definitely one of my favorite rappers going right now.
|27||Danger Mouse and Black Thought|
Years of Failure
|25||Blut Aus Nord|
Disharmonium - Undreamable Abysses
psychedelic black metal
|24||Blut Aus Nord|
psychedelic black metal
One of my favorite bands ever. A further exploration of their one-of-a-kind sound. Ever-changing polyrhythms both hypnotic and danceable, mixed with occasional moments of cheeky avant-garde mischief. You’re having fun, but you don’t even realize you’re expanding your mind while doing it. ‘Plain Hunt On Four’ has a delicious eeriness to it that makes it one of my favorite tracks of the year.
|22||The Soft Pink Truth|
Is It Going to Get Any Deeper Than This?
Miracle in Transit
At The Foothills Of Deliration
I went back and forth between a 3.5 and 4 on this one for a while, but eventually settled on a strong 4. So much death metal coming out now is the dissodeath stuff, I think I almost forgot what excellence in good-ol’-regular-modern-death metal sounded like. I think it sounds like this.
|19||Maria W Horn and Sara Parkman|
In The Spirit of Ntu
Comeback of the year! // EDIT: Okay, this has grown off me a bit. I'd probably put it in the low 4s now, maybe even 3.5s. It's exciting and entertaining, especially after 17 years since The Moon is a Dead World, but after repeated listens, it seems now there's something a bit incomplete about its sound.
Ithate Thngth Oceate
improvised technical brutal death metal
Perfect for relaxing after a long day.
The Liquified Throne of Simplicity
psychedelic folk/"imaginary folk"
All That Has Never Been True
black metal // EDIT: This has grown off me quite a bit. Probably a 3 now, which means no longer on the list :(
Rap album of the year by far. Billy Woods is a poet and these instrumentals hit me immediately. It’s very heavy emotionally, but in a way I see as more empowering than despairing. I always feel cleansed by the end.
Pools of Green Fire
experimental death metal
I like how someone on Bandcamp put it: "Undulating eldritch noise played by something with too many arms. Makes me feel like a nematode getting squeezed to death and digested by a hungry mycelium." Sounds about right.
grind/sludge metal/harsh noise elements
This album destroys. A lot of folks have been dabbling in mixing grind and sludge with harsh noise elements lately, and this is definitely the most effective example of it I’ve heard from out of this modern wave of it.
Conor Mackey, guitarist for math rock/jazz fusion band Monobody, makes his first solo electronic album. And it’s superb. Fans of Aphex Twin, Venetian Snares, Tipper, etc. get on this
Prepare Thyself to Deal with Treacle
experimental rock/no wave, maybe?
This’ll be the first thing I spin next time I get some shrooms. A “let’s be as weird as possible” album that really delivers. Something David Byrne would probably be really into.
improvised experimental technical brutal death metal/"free death"/blenders
To me, these guys are the kings of avant-garde metal right now. Listening to this album, prepare to be mixed, blended, chopped, diced, minced, pulverized, pureed, and ultimately, liquified. It certainly is brain-liquifying shit.
MELTY DEPENDENCY UNLIMITED
So much fun. Definitely check this if you’re into this kind of thing.
I see this album as a return-to-form for Jenny. Whereas her last two albums were basically extensions of the Apocalypse, girl sound, this one gets her back on the track of using a different central style every time. This is her first one that finds its foundation in world music elements; a bit new-agey; drums with a tribal sort of flavor. These elements mix with her free-flowing melodies to create a surprisingly fresh, disarmingly introspective, and exceedingly lovely sort of “art pop” album. “Art pop” is a bit misleading though, as it’s not really as hooky or energetic as that might make you think. It’s more like calm, meditative rhythms alongside Jenny singing beautifully but in a meandering sort of way; taking you on a journey through her endearingly esoteric streams of thought, reaching emotional climaxes by way of realizations within the lyrics. You have to follow along to feel it fully, but when you do, it’s a truly enriching experience.
Where Myth Becomes Memory
This was also a sort of comeback, as it had been five years since their last one, and that one was by far their most acclaimed album. I think this album is just as good as Time Will Die for the most part. If every track was as good as the first three and the closer, I might even say it’s better. But even if it pales a little in comparison, it’s still an evolution. ‘Stumbling’ is a clear (and beautiful) example of this album's new noir-ish quality, but you can also hear it in the tone selection throughout the album. Unfortunately, I still find ‘Labyrinthine’ and ‘Drip’ a bit underwhelming, and ‘Closer’ is also a bit of a wash when you’re not in the mood for it. But at least what they leave you with is one of their very best songs, ‘The End of Eternity.’ Pure epic-ness. These guys are one of my favorite metal bands and this album is a shining example of why.
I can say with confidence Kraus is my favorite shoegaze artist ever. He just nails the sound in my opinion. And this is my favorite album of his, a near-perfect blend of all the elements; the gaze, the noise, the ambience, the melody. The ambient interludes alone are time-stoppingly beautiful. The album as a whole is a feast that’s over too quickly.
improvised experimental technical brutal death metal/"free death"/free jazz elements
Hands-down one of the craziest fucking things I’ve ever heard in my life. One 26-minute long odyssey of improvised(!) and unhinged brutal death metal with free jazz pianos and plenty of other crazy shit in its back pocket. These guys are so dangerously dexterous, I imagine their instruments must want to just shatter in their hands. It’s such a storm of shit happening, it basically sounds like a noise wall at first. So, any new elements they introduce, like the piano, enter as a texture first before you even realize how it’s interacting musically with the other instruments. When you listen close enough to pick it apart though, you find that all the instruments truly are in lock with each other, even though the rhythm doesn’t stay quite the same for more than a couple seconds. The most cerebral metal I've ever heard and an avant-garde milestone.
|1||Keiji Haino and Sumac|
Into This Juvenile Apocalypse Our Golden Blood...
To quote Bandcamp: “Into this juvenile apocalypse captures Haino and the three members of SUMAC live on stage, navigating a series of spontaneous compositions in front of an attentive audience, with no prior discussions or planning involving the direction of the music.” For me, it unwinds at just the perfect pace. And the music is just kind of otherworldly. It feels like something beyond metal or our conception of “noise rock,” like an alien music channeled in by ordinary instruments and in this specific moment. I could try to describe the sound of it. It’s meaty, sludgy, and huge. It’s meandering and psychedelic. It’s tantalizingly delicate as well as ferociously noisy. But none of this description does it justice, because each adjective seems to minimize the whole; the wholly distinct character of the alien creature that was born when Keiji Haino and Sumac came together. More specifically, when they came together for this one-off show in Vancouver on May 21, 2019.
|cool fucking list nice - ton of good shit here|
don't quite get the megahype on 3 (who does noisy plaingaze just right, but top of the pile forever? hmm)
|still waitin on my alignment jonboy|
|3 deserves the megahype, there really aren't that many shoegaze artists out there that combine that truly visceral, hard-as-nails noise with what are, at their core, sugary sweet melodies. he melds both extreme of the shoegaze spectrum like basically no one else|
|thank you Johnny and thank you much for the feature :)|
|he's making the music that scott cortez should be making this decade and i defs give him probs for outgunning most other gaze on the stimulation and decibels fronts, but his approach is still a little narrow. perfect palette, but he'd be so much better with even the slightest extra muscle in the songwriting dept|
and np lol - am i imagining things, or did a draft of this list pop up last week or so? glad to be able to feature it properly
|still need that shakira feature tho |
|yeah i sort of appreciate that position, his songs are kind of slight, but i think it works since his songs are usually just a brief and blissful rush. as a result they i dont think they really need much more than a few simple elements structurally/melodically |
|oh for sure, don't think he needs to be any more complex within individual tracks - just wish he had a couple of extra tricks up his sleeve. was v much there for the rush on View No Country and am still rooting for him, but hearing him continue to explore the same sound more or less the same way has cooled me down just a little|
|6 and a half months in the making, right on time|
|"did a draft of this list pop up?"|
yes haha a draft. i changed some things and retitled it.
|Was not expecting number one, good for you man. I didn't love that record but I get what was supposed to happen with it|
|I love that Rolo album so much.|
|did u know there are 60 albums on your top 50 albums list its ok this isnt maths class|
|nice, was hoping to see the mars volta tho|
|Wasn’t very into the new Mars Volta unfortunately, though the new direction was interesting |
|we didn't have a single album in common, nice. |
|Well, that’s how it should be with how much music is out there now, haha. That is funny though. Cheers, mate m/|
|I also enjoyed 12 & 17, and have been looking at 15 for a bit.|
|You might also enjoy Szun Waves - Earth Patterns|
|13 rules. i might check 3|
|Nice list. Haven’t got around to jamming your 1 but I loved American Dollar Bill |
|"we didn't have a single album in common, nice. "|
Have you listened to Rolo what are you doing with your life.
|Pos will peek some of these did not know improvisational tech death was a thing |
>post a draft of a 2022 top 50 list
>gets no comments
>delete that list
>post basically the same list with a more appealing title
>list gets featured
>proceed to not respond to comments
lol sorry for the late replies folks
|"his [Kraus] approach is still a little narrow. perfect palette, but he'd be so much better with even the slightest extra muscle in the songwriting dept"|
I agree with this to an extent. This is the one thing holding me back from 5ing Eye Escapes. I do think Eye Escapes has quite a bit more variation than View No Country though, and I prefer it for that reason.
|"Haven’t got around to jamming your 1 but I loved American Dollar Bill"|
If you loved American Dollar Bill, I'd highly recommend it. Have you heard their second album?
|"did not know improvisational tech death was a thing"|
yeah, 2022 was my first encounter with it. absolutely bonkers stuff. death metal in general is going pretty wild right now, especially on bandcamp lol
|also thanks Potsy, good to see you :)|
also The Loser has officially gone from a 4 to a 3.5, sorry to say, so of course I had to denote that in its description
also added one more description, for the Urushiol album