My 4th Annual “Year In Music” Review: Top 20 & 35 Honorable Mentions


I listened to 114 (& counting) full-length albums that were released in 2022. So: Not everything. It’s a dopey endeavor to try to select the ones that were freshest, most distinctive & original, best.

And so for the fourth year, I continued the project where I try to listen to (& keep track of) every complete album I hear, regardless of release dates.

I love the album format and recognize that most listeners no longer access music this way. We are a singles, playlist-oriented society. And even then, who has the time & inclination to listen anyway?

This year, my total diminished markedly. In 2019, flush with enthusiasm, I reached 778 full albums. Then down to 711 and 702 over the next two years. In 2022, it’s way down to 515 & counting)).

What’s happening here?

Could be that I was listening to less music overall. But there were two other contributing factors: 1) an effort to repeat listens more often, less content to listen once and move on; 2) on the flip side of that same coin, I more easily gave up on the “full album” task, more willing to ditch an album halfway through if it wasn’t working for me; I didn’t push to completion the way I had in the past, eager to check off some box. Maybe that’s a positive thing. The whole concept is Schrodinger’s cat anyway, altered simply by being observed. I think I’ve gotten better at that, not thinking about the result as much as the moment, though a pure record of what I listen to will never be possible so long as I keep track of it. 

Here goes . . . 


TOP 20 (in alphabetical order)




Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

Binker and Moses: Feeding the Machine 

Bill Callahan: Reality 



Danger Mouse, Black Thought: Cheat Codes 

Dehd: Blue Skies 

Delines: The Sea Drift  



Alabaster DePlume: Gold 

Dry Cleaning: Stumpwork

Alex G: God Save the Animals 



Hurry for the Riff Raff: Life on Earth 

MJ Lenderman: Boat Songs 

Kevin Morby: This Is a Photograph 

Beth Orton: Weather Alive



Sadies: Colder Streams 

The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention

Spiritualized: Everything Was Beautiful 



SZA: S.O.S. 

Kurt Vile: (watch my moves) 

Wet Leg: s/t 

Immanuel Wilkins: 7th Hand






Caterina Barbieri: Spirit Exit

Laura Cannell: Antiphony of the Trees

Caroline: s/t 

Floating World Pictures: Twenty-Three Views 

Johann Johansson: Drone Mass

Carolyn Shaw/Attaca: Evergreen

Sean Shibe: Lost & Found



Sam Gendel: Superstore 

Makaya McCraven: In These Times 

Simora Pinderhughes: Grief 

Daniel Villareal: Panama ’77



Black Country, New Road: Ants from Up 

Elk City: Above the Water

Ethel Cain: Preacher’s Daughter 

Enumclaw: Save the Baby

Father John Misty: Chloe & the Next 20th Century

Florist: s/t 

Aldous Harding: Warm 

Momma: Household Name 

Tomberlin: I Don’t Know Who

Weyes Blood: And In the Darkness . . . 



Nora Brown: Long Time to Be Gone 

Jake Xerxes Fussell: Good and Green Again

Nina Nastasia: Riderless Horse

Orville Peck: Bronco 

Plains (Waxahatchee, J. Williamson): I Walked With You a Ways

Joan Shelley: The Spur

Twain: Noon 

Wilco: Cruel Country



Yaya Bey: Remember Your North

Little Simz: NO THANK YOU

Saba: Few Good Things 

Earl Sweatshirt: SICK! 

Pusha T: It’s Almost Dry

Nilufer Yanya: Painless


After too much consideration, Big Thief’s Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is my album of the year.


Hopefully you find something enjoyable here that you might have missed otherwise.



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