2022 Albums of the Year Countdown: Disappointing or Not Enough [Songs Ranked 52-41]

3 Dec

The Logistics (skip if you don’t care about math or the quantitative process):

I only judged good and up ranked songs this year.  I threw out OK, meh, and skip bc with streaming those will no longer get listened to.  Also, I did a percent of good and up songs per number on the album.  Because just stacking an album with garbage songs shouldn’t rank higher either.  You have to have good, great awesome songs, no matter the number of tracks.  I added the % of tracks that were good and above on the album to the score of the level (elite, A, Gr, G) for the final scores.  Highest is best.

Elite 6; awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

For the two bands that put their albums out in installments (Weezer and Young the Giant, Imagine Dragon doesn’t count because I already ranked their entire 1st installment last year) I am going to judge them separately, but also as one unit.  So I’ll place each installment in their ranked position, but then I’ll also do a fifth entry for each band judging it as one album.

One last note: I went back and fourth on Brandi. She released some obvious Grammy reminder music this year. They are different versions of her 2021 album, but it’s still the same album pretty much. Other artists like the Indigo Girls have released a double album with rock on one disc and acoustic on the other. And the price point might have been a bit more expensive than just a single disc. But Brandi released her separately–to get more albums sold, acquire more streams, and remind everybody that last year’s album is Grammy nominated. But I think the acoustic version was even more expensive than my signed copy of the original album, and that plus the cheatee numbers game left a bad taste in my mouth. If it had not been one of my top-tier favorite artists of all time, I would have thrown the copycat album away and not bothered ranking it. But it’s Brandi, so I included it. And she’s amazing so of course it ranked high. But I counted it as a half number so as not to throw off the totally legit albums in the ranking. So there’s that, Brandi is making me messy. Again.

Starting from the bottom of the list (lowest scores):


Drake: 0%

0 of 14 total songs = bad

Too much repetition. Too much auto tune! Very sparse and simplistic backing and production. I don’t get it…  Sometimes I realize music is not for me. But honestly I don’t know who this is for. It sounds like amateurish copycat of Kanye made in someone’s home studio. It is minimal techno with auto tune vocals over it.


Trampled by Turtles:  9.09%+3 = 12.09 Final

1 out of 11 total songs = 9.09%

1 Good 3


I was super-disappointed in this album for the 2nd (3rd?) time.  I guess I’m not really a fan of the band like I thought, because it’s too slow and dreary.  I’m a fan of the album, Palomino.  I liked the fast bluegrassy-hipster ones like It’s a War and those seem to be gone from the remainder of the catalog…

Burlesque Desert Window- G.


Jewel:  25%+10 = 35 Final

3 of 12 total songs = 25%

2 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

7+3 = 10

Alibis- very poppy. Doesn’t sound like 90s her at. All. Catchy though. G-Gr 

Dance sing laugh love- it’s like a song of a pillow or canvas frame. All we’re missing is the word wine somewhere. It’s catchy and hopeful if not cheesy G.

No more tears- her singing sounds forced. Trying too hard. He sounds so much like Elton John here!  The I will rounds and love harmony is the highlight of the song. Darius Rucker does an outstanding job. G-Gr.


Marren Morris: 25.00% + 13 = 38 Final

4 of 16 total songs = 25.00%

1 Great 4; 3 Good 3

4+9 = 13

I have to say, I was SUPER disappointed with this effort from Marren.  I loved her first album, and it was full of heart and spunk.  I hated to rank this album so low, but I just couldn’t get into it.  This one seems like she’s too happy, too settled, and not digging deep for real material.  Most of the songs were slow and quiet.  I hope she comes back on her next album with something she cares about and with more hyped up music.

Circles Around this Town- catchy. Story of how she came to be a famous singer. Comes off like she had it kinda easy. Little bit unlikeable. Like the call back to church song. G.

Nervous- like the edgier guitar. Finally some harder, more excited stuff. Singing with more emotion. Love the bit of edge. Gr.

X Tall Guys- silly topic but catchy and description. Really dumb lyrics. Maren needs some tragedy in her life to get some quality material. I had this ranked “Good,” but couldn’t handle the dumb lyrics so made it a skip. 

Detour- catchy. Actual singing. Western backing. Like the cowboy interlude. Sounds like a walking or horsing beat. Notes-brief. G.

Good friends- nice to hear women appreciate friendship. Slow. G.


Jack Johnson:  30%+9.5 = 39.5 Final

3 of 10 total songs =30%

1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3;

3.5+6 = 9.5

Don’t Look Now- a little faster and more memorable. Slightly catchy. G.

Costume Party- lyrics interesting thought experiment and comparison.  G.

Any Wonder- slow and quiet. Emotive. Notes. G-Gr


Jason Aldean- 26.67%+13.5 = 40.17 Final

4 of 15 total songs = 26.67% good and up

1 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3; 

4+3.5+6 = 13.5

Trouble with a heartbreak- you can’t physically travel away from your emotions. Catchy. G-Gr.

Good made airplanes- nice insinuation of the thesis of the last song. G.

Holy water- does she miss him too? G 

Your mama- sweet love song to moms. It’s not too much. Gr.

2012 song. Take a little ride (live lv)- fun to hear the crowd reaction. G.

2019 song.  Blame it on you (live)- catchy.  G.


Florence and the Machine:  28.57%+14 = 42.57 Final

4 of 14 total songs = 28.57%

1 Great 4; 2 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

4+7+3 = 14

Free- catchy. Relatable. Abusive relationship. G

Dream Girl Evil- catchy. Psychology. G-Gr 

Daffodil- drama. The backing music reminds me of a machine army. Drums increase tension. Gr.

Morning Elvis- quiet. Catchy. Lyrically complex . G-Gr 


The Chainsmokers:  30.77+13.5 = 44.27 Final

4 of 13 total songs = 30.77%

3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

10.5+3 = 13.5

Time Bomb- doesn’t sound like I rei- softer. Electronic on bridge. G-Gr.

I love you- Akon song? Catchy. Electronic bridge brought song to G-Gr 

If you’re serious- the instrumental electronic solos and breakdown is the best thing about it. G-Gr

In too deep- sweet romantic song reminds me of Daughtry. G.


Bonnie Raitt: 40% + 14.5 = 54.5 Final (tie-breaker- under Goo Goo Dolls by 1 great)

4 of 10 total songs = 40%

1 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5

4+10.5 = 14.5

Made Up Mind- very adult contemporary. Catchy.  G-Gr 

Somethings got a hold of my heart- the guitar is more gritty and makes this one more bluesy. G-Gr.

When we say goodnight- low key. Slightly catchy. The stuff your mom wouldn’t mind listening to in the car. The end jam is nice. G-Gr.

Waiting for you to blow- a bluesy bitter song- I know, redundant. Who is it about? Gr.


Goo Goo Dolls:  40%+14.5 = 54.5 Final (tie-breaker- has 2 Greats vs. Bonnie’s 1)

4 of 10 total songs = 40%

2 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

8+3.5+3 = 14.5

Yeah I like You- it sounds happy and upbeat but the lyrics are??? G-Gr.

War- angst and love in the same song. Gr.

Past Mistakes- G.

Superstar- low-key but poetic and romantic. Piano interlude is nice. Guitar catchy and moody. Gr.


Young the Giant:

Act II: 50% + 6.5 = 56.5 Final (II)

2 out of 4 total = 50%

1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

3.5+3 = 6.5

My Way-  Catchy.  G-Gr

The Walk Home- G


Young the Giant:

Act IV: 50% + 7 = 57 Final (IV)

2 out of 4 total songs = 50%

2 G-Gr cusp 3.5 = 7

Happy- cool distortion and flashes of orchestral. I like the break and it becomes almost a different song. G-Gr

Otherside- Little piano runs. Good beat. G-Gr 


KT Tunstall: 41.67% + 16 = 57.67 Final

5 of 12 total songs = 41.67% 

2 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 3 Good 3

7+9 = 16

Is she an out lesbian at this point?  I haven’t really followed her since Suddenly I See but some of these lyrics were explicitly gay.  

I am the Pilot- catchy. Empowering.  G-Gr 

Dear Shadow- lonely in the closet. Being covert is tiring and lonely. Colors = lesbian. Shame. Overtly gay. G

Private Eyes- fun backing sounds. G-Gr.

Demigod- wlw. Pull me out into the open. A xylophone?! G.

Brain in a Jar- nice harmony. Kind of Americana. Hints of piano. G

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