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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.

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