Thursday 29 December 2022

22 in '22 (part 4)

In a year when the UK has become an even bigger laughing stock around the world than ever before (thanks Tories, you've done it again!), the one thing that's kept many of us going is music. Quite frankly, what else do we have? Today, I present the last batch of my 22 favourite albums of 2022 and there's a real international flavour about it. USA, Germany, Sweden, Jamaica, England and, of course, Wales are all represented.

The final seven had to be carefully whittled down from about twice that number, but I think I've made the right decisions. They are not listed in any particular order.

WIDOWSPEAK - 'The Jacket'
I was unfamiliar with Brooklyn duo Widowspeak before I heard Everything Is Simple this year, and surprised 'The Jacket' is their sixth album. More fool me. I've really been enjoying this record.

xPROPAGANDA - 'The Heart is Strange'
Claudia Brücken and Susanne Freytag teamed up with original Propaganda producer Steve Lipson for the first time in 37 years and made a record that is far better than it had any right to be.

HORACE ANDY - 'Midnight Rocker'
Now 71, Horace Andy shows no sign of slowing down, and his voice is as wonderful as ever. Recorded with Adrian Sherwood, 'Midnight Rocker' has been lauded as one of his best records this century.

After a few ropey overly-woke albums that verged on self-parody, Frank made a welcome return to his hardcore roots (hence the album title). He's certainly at his best when he's like this.

CATE LE BON - 'Pompeii'
It took a bit of time to get into Cate's 6th album, mainly because of its pace, but repeated listens have been rewarding. This clip of her at Glastonbury is just brilliant. The chainmail really suits her!

FIRST AID KIT - 'Palomino'
I had a feeling that the Söderberg sisters were treading water a bit after their last couple of albums, but 'Palomino' restored my faith. A really good set of songs with one or two new sounds creeping in.

Editors' output has been somewhat patchy in recent years, but 'EBM', featuring new member Benjamin Power (aka Blanck Mass), could be their best record in some time. It's certainly been worthy of a few plays here.

And a few notable extras I just couldn't ignore. In alphabetical order...

I'm not one to throw a load more negativity into an already very negative world, but for the record, I just want to state how massively disappointed I was with the following records. I had high expectations for these, especially the first one which, considering how long it's been since their previous record, is particularly poor.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS - 'Cool It Down'
GWENNO - 'Tresor'
ALVVAYS - 'Blue Rev'

And that's it for another year folks. I'm going to let the blog lie dormant again for a bit as I'm not really feeling it right now. We'll see what happens. Ta-ta.


  1. Yup. The Alvvays album let me down too.........didn't bother buying Arcade Fire or Arctic Monkeys on the basis of once bitten. Wasn't tempted by YYYs having read so many lukewarm reviews.

  2. Just popped in a lot later to say that I had taken note of your comment about xPropaganda and picked it up on vinyl a couple of days ago. It is ridiculously good.......

    PS : It was also me with the anon comment on 19 January!!!