As long-time readers of this site are no doubt aware, I’ve been posting year-end “Best Albums” reports here or in various print outlets for 30 consecutive years. The most recent report is here, with a roster of my “Albums of the Year” going back to 1992. I typically post my annual lists in early December, since I figure that I need to spend at least 30ish days with a record before deeming it the best of anything; I then do a mop-up addendum each January if something impressive tumbles in at the wire.
I also normally do an interim report half-way through each listening year, which falls in early June on my calendar. Which is now, so it’s time to identify my current contenders for the year-end title. I’m not going to review any of them in full at this point, but I do provide links below if you’d like to investigate and explore them further. My macro sense is that early 2022 has been a rich listening season, compared and contrasted to early 2021, when COVID impacts definitely seem to have impaired bands’ and artists’ abilities to perform and record new material, beyond a lot of navel-gazing “woodshed” projects that were, of necessity, a big part of the Anno Virum listening landscape.
With that as preamble, here are the albums that have moved me the most thus far this year, arranged in alphabetical order by artist name. Do you have some personal favorites that I need to explore in the months ahead? If so, do share in the comment section, please and thanks!
- Buggy Jive, I Don’t Understand How the World Works (EP)
- Cypress Hill, Back in Black
- dälek, Precipice
- Wolfgang Flür, Magazine 1
- Gang of Youths, angel in realtime.
- Gnod, Hexen Valley
- Aldous Harding, Warm Chris
- Ibibio Sound Machine, Electricity
- isvisible isinvisible, Ghosts of Mann
- The Jazz Butcher, The Highest in the Land
- Jethro Tull, The Zealot Gene
- Korn, Requiem
- Midnight Oil, RESIST
- Napalm Death, Resentment is Always Seismic (A Final Throw of Throes) (Mini-LP)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers, Unlimited Love
- Sasami, Squeeze
- Keith Seatman, Sad Old Tatty Bunting
- Snog, Eight Offerings for the Undead
- Wet Leg, Wet Leg
- Jack White, Fear of the Dawn
- Yard Act, The Overload
As a bonus tease, here are five of my very favorite songs culled from these albums, to give you a sense of what’s rocking my world right now. I suppose you can take this as the latest installment of my “Five Songs You Need to Hear” series. As above, these are presented in alphabetical order by artist name. Happy listening!