Archive | 4:21 AM

2022 Albums of the Year Countdown: Mostly Throw-Backs & Queer Representation [Songs Ranked 40-30]

4 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.

from lowest to highest:


Vance Joy: 41.67% + 16.5 = 58.17 Final

5 of 12 total songs = 41.67%

3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

10.5+6 = 16.5

Missing Piece- sounds just like before. Catchy. Lyrically based. G-Gr.

Clarity- always upbeat and catchy. Visual. G.

Boardwalk- have a definite sound and stayed true to it.  G.

Looking at me like that- sex song. Catchy. Devotional. G-Gr.

This one- Banjo is very welcome! G-Gr.


Papa Roach: 42.86% + 20.5 = 63.36 Final

6 of 14 total songs = 42.86%

5 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

17.5+3 = 20.5

Stand up- A bit screamy.  Structured like Linkin park with scream/sing. Good pump up song for running. G-Gr 

Liar- catchy. Rap-singing. Could be a skillet song. G-Gr.

Ego Trip- chorus is catchy. Staccato verse militarized. G-Gr 

Unglued- the backing music is nice juxtaposition for more saccharine lyrics. G.

No apology – more lyrical. Still rocks. Emotive. Very early-otts. G-Gr.

I surrender – sounds a bit churchy. Quiet end is nice and makes you listen hard- impactful. G-Gr 


Bowling for Soup: 40%+22.5 = 66.5 Final

6 of 15 total songs = 40%

1 awesome 5; 2 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

5+8+3.5+6 = 22.5

Greatest of All Time- self-aware. Funny. Upbeat . Gr.

I Wanna be Brad Pitt- I like all the name drops .  G.

Hello Anxiety- it’s my song! G-Gr 

June Carter Cash- catchy. Backing is very late 90s. G.

Killin em with kindness- I love how it’s in gangsta rap style saying something positive and uplifting on the chorus . The Harmonies and rounds sound good too. A.

After all these beers- a summation of their career. A drinking song. Great end to the album. The sing along makes it very pub. Gr


*exact tie

Harry Styles:  46.15%+21.5 = 67.65 Final

6 of 13 total tracks = 46.15%

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

8+10.5+3 = 21.5

music for a sushi restaurant- some Prince sound mixed in. 70s vibe with backing singers. Unique sound with the talking to shout-singing. Brass? Gr.

Daylight- the moag is nice. Sticking to you is gross. G-Gr 

Little Freak- more subtle moag. Poetic. Tells a story through imagery. Sounds like a heartbeat. Seems gay to me. G.

Daydreaming- big disco vibe. Catchy. Falsetto. Brass. Notes. Funk sound guitar gives it a 70s flair.  G-Gr 

Satellite- soft rock. Waiting. Lonely. Echoing. G-Gr.

Love of My Life- subtle moag. Beautiful singing. Nice love song. Like the piano at the end. Gr.


*exact tie

Michael Buble:  46.15%+21.5 = 67.65 Final

6 of 13 total songs = 46.15%

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

8+10.5+3 = 21.5

Make you feel my love- song seems familiar. Is it a cover? He always sounds good though. Instrumentals are the star here. G.

Baby I’ll Wait – I like the doo-op type backing. Notes and emotion. Gr.

Higher- immediately catchy. Tango backing. Notes. G-Gr 

Bring it on home to me- sounds like the platters. Choral backing. Don’t love the word slave in a love song. G-Gr.

You’re the First you’re the last my everything – Typical Frank. Backing is nice. G-Gr.

Smile- Disney. Was there some reboot? Very overwrought backing instruments and singing. Note! Gr.


Pussy Riot: 57.14% + 15 = 72.14 Final

4 of 7 total songs = 57.14%

3 Great 4; 1 Good 3

12+3 = 15

Princess charming – sounds just like Brittany. I like turning stereotypes on their head- def empowomsn, pride, lesbian lists. Catchy. Gr.

Horny- I don’t understand this Asian mini mouse voice? G.

Sugar mommy- this beat is the shit! And combined with a circusy sound it’s one of my faves of the year. Good for exercise. Hate the mommy shit tho- yuck!  Another turning stereotypes on their head, so to speak. Lyrics are cringe but backing fire. Gr.

Poof bitch- the rap/beat is so good . Hyper. Don’t love the robot rap but the backing gets me hyped! Gr.


The Wrecks: 54.54% +24 = 78.54 Final

6 of 11 total songs = 54.54%

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 4 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5

4.5+16+3.5 = 24

I love this part- Dark, late 90s sound. Linkin Park+ Backstreet Boys. Always gets stuck in my head. Gr

Where are you now- Pausing and singing intensity used to good effect. Good beat pre- bridge. Gr.

Don’t be scared- Hollow echo sound. G-Gr 

Unholy- catchy upbeat uplifting. Love the better than ever part. Keyboard backing sounds great. Touches of moag. Gr-A.

Dystopia- angstsy moody lyrically based. Base and guitar sound awesome at bridge. Dramatic. Jam crescendo at the end. Gr.

Ugly Side- Vance joy + plain white tees. Catchy. Gr.


Hayley Kiyoko: 53.85% + 26 = 79.85 Final

7 of 13 total songs = 53.85%

1 awesome 5; 2 Great 4; 2 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

5+8+7+6 = 26

Luna- catchy.  G.

For the Girls- a little like a commercial song. Catchy. Fun howls. Open lesbian. G-Gr 

Flicker Start- syncopation. Gr.

Forever- catchy. Romantic. Lesbian. G-Gr 

Deep in the woods- sounds a bit like Aqua. G 

Supposed to be- catchy. Nice strings at end. Gr.

Well…- catchy. Melody pause with beat and auto-tune. About an ex and feeling better than them. Petty. Fun electronic at the end. A.


Thomas Rhett: 53.33% + 30 = 83.33 Final

8 of 15 total songs = 53.33%

1 elite awesome 6; 1 Great 4; 4 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

6+4+14+6 = 30

Church Boots- talking about staying down to Earth. G-Gr.

Anything cold- great tailgate song. Perfect happy, party song.


Angels- seems sincere. Nice harmony. G

Half of Me- one of the best songs of the year! Great drinking song. Cute and cheeky. Elite awesome. 

Bring the Bar- a date at home. Low-key. Party for 2 take two.  G.

Slow down summer- this song feels like ice tea on a porch and chillaxin. Nice orchestral touches in the backing. Cheeky. G-Gr.

Us someday- would make a good wedding song. Gr.

Somebody like me- a gal talking about having high standards. She wants a bf to treat her right. He thinks he could fulfill all of that. Strings peeking through are nice. G-Gr.


Young the Giant:

Act III: 75.00% + 9 = 84 Final (III only)

3 out of 4 total songs = 75.00%

3 Good 3


Dollar $tore- I don’t care for symbols and emojis in titles.  This song was real slow, didn’t like the meditative Indian-sounding part.  The end faster part salvaged this too long song.  G.

Cult of Personality- I heard “tower” in the lyrics too.  A Trump song?  A mistake.  G.

Dancing in the Rain- I’m finding that I only like the last 3rd of all these songs.  They could all be chopped up into 2-3 songs and make a true album.  Like the prior ones this one was too quiet, too slow, but the ending salvaged it.  G.


Young the Giant:

Act I: 75% + 9.5 = 84.5 (I only) (tie-break- no Greats vs Black Keys)

3 out of 4 total = 75%

1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

3.5+6 = 9.5

American Bollywood- G

Wake Up-  Finally something interesting.  I like the beginning snippet.  Lyrical. G-Gr

Tomorrow- I like that it start out upbeat.  This seems more like their other material that I liked before. G


Black Keys: 60%+24.5 = 84.5 Final (tie-break- 3 Gr vs 0 for Young the Giant)

6 of 10 songs total = 60%

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

12+3.5+9 = 24.5

Wild Child- it’s got a bit of darker guitar (bass?) The band is known for. Catchy . Gr.

For the love of money- sounds Mississippi blues. Like the stronger call back to jazz and blues. G-Gr 

Good love- it’s a relief to hear instrumental rock again with actual instruments doing jams. Gr

Burn the damn thing down- good opening riff . G.

Happiness- tambourine! Catchy. Gr.

Baby I’m coming home – I like the beat most. Nice to hear true rock. G.

Didn’t I love you- G.