I Ranked All 87 Albums I Listened to This Year
Oh shit, here we go again. 2022 in music, in 10 words exactly.
Last year, I set myself the mammoth feat of listening to at least 100 new albums that came out. I succeeded in that ridiculous task by listening to 110 albums, and ranking them in order of preference, because I like a challenge. I decided that it's as good a tradition as any to start, so here we are for the second year running.
It's been a phenomenal year for music, with excellent albums from old favourites and new discoveries alike. While I listened to less albums than last year, I thoroughly enjoyed most of these ones, and I'm sure there's still great ones I missed. Let me know if your favourite album has been featured in the comments, and be sure to drop any recommendations for gems I might have missed!
Just like last year, I'm heading this off with a disclaimer: please know that I enjoyed the vast majority of these albums. If your favourite record of the year ranks low, that doesn't mean I disliked it. In fact, I probably really enjoyed it - there's just so much great music out there. I also only listened to albums I had a genuine interest in, so there's no hate-listens here. Even the bottom ranked album is a good record made by a band I like! It was also really hard to order some of the albums at the top of the list. Every album that's close to the top spot is a phenomenal listening experience and well worth your time. I also want to stress that there's definitely lots that I've missed, so please do let me know what your favourites are below!
Ok, enough preamble. Let's-a go!
87. Skinty Fia - Fontaines D.C
Jackie Down the Line is great. Otherwise, it's no Dogrel.
86. I Know Nigo! - Nigo
Honestly, let Tyler feature on everything. It would be better.
85. How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars - The Weather Station
Didn't hit me like Ignorance did, but Stars is great.
84. Once Twice Melody - Beach House
Sometimes, albums are too long. Some great ideas got lost.
83. Demon Time - Mura Masa
A letdown after RYC, but hey, he's clearly having fun.
82. Caprisongs - FKA Twigs
Not as cohesive as her other albums, but still good.
81. Too Much to Ask - Cheekface
A big cup of noodles! A giant cup of noodles!
80. Palaces - Flume
Look at the bird on the cover! What a cool bird!
79. Florist - Florist
Sprawling folk opus seamlessly blends quiet storytelling with nature soundscapes.
78. Big Time - Angel Olsen
Queer women rule country. This album is proof of that.
77. Remember Your North Star - Yaya Bey
What a voice and what a writer. Fantastic R&B record.
76. Super Champon - Otoboke Beaver
The best punk band of our generation? I'd argue so.
75 My Checkered Future - Eichlers
Hi (hyperska AOTY version)! Try listening without smiling. You can't.
74. Never Let Me Go - Placebo
A welcome return from the gothic greats. They're so good.
73. Where Myth Becomes Memory - Rolo Tomassi
The opener is crystalline and gorgeous. Punishingly heavy and intense.
72 Don't Go Throwing Roses In My Grave - Gregor Barnett
Menzingers man goes country. The opener is giving Johnny Cash.
71. Running With The Hurricane - Camp Cope
More laid back for them. The title track is great.
70. This Is What I Mean - Stormzy
The opening trio of songs is great. Uneven but excellent.
69. Born Pink - Blackpink
The second half flags, but God, it starts so strong.
68. Emotional Creature - Beach Bunny
Oxygen and Weeds are as good as anything they've written.
67. Louie - Kenny Beats
Much more mellow than you'd expect. Powerful and heavy stuff.
66. Wild Loneliness - Superchunk
The cover art makes me smile. If You're Not Dark fucks.
65. Cgwarmth - Happy Accidents
It's good to have Happy Accidents back. Static is beautiful.
64. Renaissance - Beyonce
The world's biggest artist platforming trans women is so cool.
63. World Wide Pop - Superorganism
Still one of the most exciting bands around. Teenager's catchy.
62. Last Night In The Bittersweet - Paolo Nutini
Hot take: Paolo's Caustic Love is phenomenal. This rocks, too.
61. Ramona Park Broke My Heart - Vince Staples
Vince is thrilling. This doesn't beat self-titled, but it's great.
60. Glitch Princess - Yeule
Dazzling electronic goodness. The future of pop music is here.
59. Raise Hell - Fresh
London punks mix things up. Going To Bed is stunning.
58. Ugly Season - Perfume Genius
Less immediate than previous albums, but inventive and still excellent.
57. The Notebook - Commuted
You're So Hot To Me is instantly loveable. Good shit.
56. 40 Oz. To Fresno - Joyce Manor
Gotta Let It Go is one of their best songs.
55. Shape Up - Leikeli47
Chitty Bang's incredible. What a way to start an album.
54. Headful Of Sugar - Sunflower Bean
Easily their best album yet. The title track is excellent.
53. Alpha Games - Bloc Party
I love Bloc Party, and it's good that they're back.
52. Wet Leg - Wet Leg
Overrated? Sure. But Chaise Longue is an instant indie classic.
51. The Price Of Life - Bob Vylan
Incendiary anthems from one of the most exciting bands around.
50. Few Good Things - Saba
Beautiful album. If I Had A Dollar is a banger.
49. Heterosexuality - Shamir
The sound of the coolest queer club you've ever visited.
48. The Parts I Dread - Pictoria Vark
Demarest's a masterpiece. A great album by a great writer.
47. Cool It Down - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's great that they're back. Mars is a beautiful closer.
46. Underwater - Ludovico Einaudi
Einaudi's first solo piano work in years is so beautiful.
45. The Lakes Of Zones B And C - Emperor X
False metal! False metal! FALSE METAAAAAAAAAAAAAL! A very good record.
44. Squeeze - Sasami
Nu-metal reinvention from a true genius. Brutal and brilliant.
43. SOS - SZA
Overlong, but when it's good, it's phenomenal. F2F is incredible.
42. I Don't Belong Anywhere - October Drift
Resonant lyrics that chilled me. Webcam Funerals especially hits home.
41. God Save The Animals - Alex G
Runner is a song of the year. His best yet.
40. She/Her/Hers - She/Her/Hers
Hearing these songs is comforting. Reigning queen of folk punk.
39. Nymph - Shygirl
Her debut doesn't disappoint. A truly revolutionary artist - so great.
38. Prince Daddy And The Hyena - Prince Daddy And The Hyena
Their best album yet. Truly thrilling. Perfect for screaming along.
37. Two Ribbons - Let's Eat Grandma
Happy New Year joins Death Cab as a NYE staple.
36. DFTK - Yung Kayo
Rico Nasty meets Young Thug. A whirlwind of inventive production.
35. The Unraveling Of Puptheband - Pup
Four Chords 4: More Saxophones. Humorous and moving at once.
34. Even In Jest - Cheerbleederz
Break Ur Arm kicks things off phenomenally. This album rocks.
33. The Last Thing Left - Say Sue Me
The greatest surf-rock band since The Beach Boys keep winning.
32. And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow - Weyes Blood
Simultaneously soothing and stirring. The Worst is Done is chilling.
31. Here Comes The Devil - Smidley
High-concept gothic brilliance. The way the tracks segue is phenomenal.
30. 5 To The Eye With Stars - R.A.P. Ferreira
His impeccable storytelling's still here. Best album under this alias.
29. You Still Here, Ho? - Flo Milli
Hilarious, moving, and shit-talking. I love it. Flo Milli shit!
28. All Of Us Flames - Ezra Furman
The transfeminine Bruce Springsteen. Forever In Sunset is literally perfect.
27. Absolution - Riverby
An album that starts and ends with absolutely perfect songs.
26. Now Or Whenever - Spector
Welcome back, lads. "Landfill indie"'s brightest stars strike gold again.
25. Crash - Charli XCX
It's Charli, baby. Call it Pop 3, 'cause it's electrifying.
24. Farm To Table - Bartees Strange
Heavy Heart is a masterpiece. A rich, stylistically omnipresent extravaganza.
23. Nicole - Niki
Proof that she's 88rising's best writer. A gorgeous pop masterpiece.
22. The Loneliest Time - Carly Rae Jepsen
Count ourselves blessed to witness Carly's TikTok era. Phenomenal stuff.
21. Asphalt Meadows - Death Cab For Cutie
Roman Candles moved me. Their best album since Narrow Stairs.
20. Nothing's Ever Fine - Oceanator
A grunge masterpiece that builds on her debut's excellence. Phenomenal.
19. Please Don't Take Me Back - Martha
Captures the state of Britain accurately. Fuck this place, indeed!
18. We've Been Going About This All Wrong - Sharon Van Etten
Continuing her upward trajectory, a gorgeous, tense whirlwind of intensity.
17. Dance Fever - Florence And The Machine
Back in Town through Dream Girl Evil is straight classics.
16. Psychokinetic Love Songs - Hey, ILY
Mathy chiptune virtuosos strike gold. Every track delivers. Perfect flow.
15. Forget Your Own Face - Black Dresses
Masterful. A noisy pop gem. Play as loud as possible.
14. Traumazine - Megan Thee Stallion
How can you not love Meg? Brilliant album, as always.
13. Midnights - Taylor Swift
Pop perfection. The 3AM Edition delivers: stream The Great War.
12. Smithereens - Joji
Bleak balladry meets exciting trip-hop. Yukon is an instant classic.
11. Bronco - Orville Peck
Yeehaw! More pop than his debut, but equally fantastic.
10. Life On Earth - Hurray For The Riff Raff
Thrilling nature-punk. Equal parts personal and political, this album devastates.
9. Las Ruinas - Rico Nasty
One of the most creative artists ever keeps getting better.
8. Sick! - Earl Sweatshirt
His best album. Short and sweet, immaculate production and lyricism.
7. Worm Food - Cavetown
Cavetown goes electro?! His trademark intimacy meets inventive, exciting arrangements.
6. Sore Thumb - Oso Oso
Computer Exploder is the album opener of the year, without question.
5. Bleed Out - The Mountain Goats
"Shining like a deep sea creature" never leaves my head.
4. Soft Animal - Long Neck
Disarmingly direct record that resonated deeply with me. Powerful stuff.
3. Laurel Hell - Mitski
Mitski's 70's moment is incredible. Love Me More's especially great.
2. Preacher's Daughter - Ethel Cain
Gothic masterpiece. One of the best songwriters ever. Unforgettable album.
1. The Hum Goes On Forever - The Wonder Years
An immediate entry on my all-time list. A fucking masterpiece.
Listen to highlight tracks from my top 40 albums below:
AC is the Head of Written Content at QSO Media. Read more of their articles here.
Enjoy QSO Media’s content? Support alternative LGBTQ+ journalism by buying us a Ko-Fi.