Best Albums of 2022 (First Half)

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!

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!

4 thoughts on “Best Albums of 2022 (First Half)

  1. Good evening, J. Eric, and thanks for subscribing to my blog. I couldn’t resist running down your list of 20 Best Albums so far, in comparison to the one I commented upon and I’m glad to say that you beat out the Guardian in name recognisability, with seven of your choices being artists I had heard of and five I have heard something by. Jethro Tull go back as far as I do and I have heard more of their music than the other four put together, though beyond such classics as ‘Living in the Past’ and ‘The Witches Promise’ I can’t claim to like them. I shall look at some of your other posts to see if our tastes coincide any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers, and thanks for the comment back. I’ve been a Tull fan since the early ’70s, so am quite happy to have something new from them . . . especially since it’s quite good!!

      I quite like The Guardian for a lot of things (arts, music, culture, political coverage) . . . but on the music front, I would agree that they (and Pitchfork) do often get a bit TOO arcane for their own good. I like learning about new things, and I like a lot of obscure stuff, but it’s hard to imagine a paradigm where most EVERYTHING that’s good in a given year comes from those cohorts, while the “more famous” stuff is given the brush off . . .


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