Once again, we’re going to keep the year-end lists short and sweet. Why? Well, one strong indicator of the year’s state of music manifests in a final list that I curate just for myself – the ultimate top ten albums of the year, based not necessarily on how good an album is, but on how much I personally loved it and how often I played it over and over again simply because I couldn’t stop listening to it. How easy was it to make this list? Could I instantly pick ten albums that found themselves in a natural heavy rotation? Did I struggle to come up with ten? Did I struggle to keep it down to ten? Unfortunately, I did struggle a bit this year. We still had great albums, but I found myself constantly listening more to new music than replaying albums in a constant quest for something to really knock me sideways. Luckily, two last-minute albums really saved the year, but all in all, I would say it was a solid, but unremarkable, year.
We’ve got all eight categories again this year. Each category features ten of my favorite albums, followed by five Honorable Mentions where available. The complete list, posting schedule, and further information are as follows (note: this list will be updated with links as the posts go live):
(12/26) Top ten 2021-misses: Any album, in any genre, released in 2021 that I didn’t hear until this year.
(12/27) Top ten most disappointing: Any album, in any genre, that failed to meet expectations.
(12/28) Top ten remasters/reissues: Any remastered or reissued album from anywhere in the world, whether CD, vinyl, box set, etc.
(12/29) Top ten debut albums: Any artist who released an original studio album, or comparable EP, for the first time in 2022 from anywhere in the world.
(12/30) Top ten original soundtracks/original scores: Any original soundtrack or score composed exclusively for film, television/streaming, or video game from anywhere in the world.
(12/31) Top ten hard rock/metal: Any hard rock or metal album released by a mostly English-speaking and/or Western band/artist.
(01/01) Top ten pop/electronic: Any pop or electronic album released by an English-speaking and/or Western band/artist.
(01/02) Top ten East Asian pop/rock: Any pop or rock album released in East Asia (especially Japan and South Korea).
These lists are not meant to be exhaustive, nor absolute: they are simply a reflection of the genres I listened to the most in 2022. In addition, a lot of great songs that never appeared on albums, or that were featured on just-okay (or disappointing) ones were released, and I won’t be getting the chance to highlight them in this year’s lists.
Thank you to everyone who continues to visit this tiny corner of the Internet. I appreciate you all sticking with me immensely. I can’t wait to start looking back with you all, and wish everyone the best in the new year.