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2022 Albums of the Year Countdown: Seriously Saying Something [Songs Ranked 9-1]

7 Dec

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

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.
Ok, Weezer is really messing up my ranking because they aren’t releasing their fourth installment of this concept album until December 21.  I told me I would only rank my A+ favorites after October 21st.  I had to finish the countdown by the time Midnights dropped so I could focus on that.  And I like to post this prior to Christmas on the first week of December, while anybody is still paying attention to things aside from the holiday.  BUT I have ranked ¾ of Weezer’s material.  I might stop if it had been mediocre and toward the bottom since it wouldn’t make that much of a difference if they were 35th place rather than 39th, for example.  But they are nudging the top spot without 7 more songs!  So what I’m going to do is post this with them in their mathematical position, but then edit to include Winter in late December, which may change up the whole top of the list…

From Lowest to Highest:

9.

Lissie: 83.33% + 32.5 = 115.83 Final

10 of 12 total songs = 83.33%

2 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 7 Good 3

8+3.5+21 = 32.5

Sad- angsty. Bitter song! Catchy. Gr

Lonesome Wine- personal. G 

Night Moves- catchy. Sounds like Stevie Nicks. G

Flowers- self permission for emotion after a breakup. G.

Carving Canyons- deep! Descriptive. G.

I Hate This- autopsy of relationship. Regret. Breakup feels. Feeling. G 

Unlock the Chains- Inspired by Fleetwood Mac but original and not a copycat. Lyrics. Catchy. Gr.

Heart’s on Fire- Adult contemporary soft rock sound.  G.

Yellow Rose- backing sounds like Lord Huron, a little cowboy. G.

Midnight- good ending song for emotion after a breakup and for the album. Cohesive album. Tells full story. Notes. Brass. G-Gr

8.

Avril Lavigne: 75% + 41 = 116 Final

9 of 12 total songs = 75%

1 Elite awesome 6; 3 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 2 Great 4; 1 Good 3

6+15+9+8+3 = 41

This was such an exciting album!  I really, really thought it would take album of the year, because I liked it so much, all throughout 2022.  It dropped very early, and I listened so many times and never tired of it. For treadmilling, it’s perfect. It reminds me of her first album, still edgy, but an adult. Nothing seemed forced or disengenuine and it’s so great to hear pop-punk rock again! I hope Avril stays right in this very genre and does more of this. I LOVED this album. But also, numbers don’t lie, it’s fair and square eigth.

Cannonball- Such a high energy opener! Always gets stuck in my head. Good beat. Great example of pop-punk. Elite-A.

Bite Me- Tough girl. Talking shit to ex-loser. Catchy. Gr-A.

Love Sux- bitter song. I love that she holds HIM accountable but still acknowledges her hurt. More edgy version of Avril is back and I’m happy to hear it. A.

Avalanche- more of a vulnerable song. Touches on mental illness. Always stuck in my head. A.

Deja vu- Relatable song about someone doing the same garbage over and over and the girlfriend getting tired of it. Bitter song! A.

FU- Frustration of talking to someone you can’t get through to no matter what. Realizing you can’t change someone. Gr.

All I Wanted – They sound perfect together. Just a touch of that late 90s CA pop-punk. Gr-A

Dare to Love Me- Quiet song. Strong singing. G.

Break of a Heartache- ends album on an upbeat note. Says she’s tired of hurting.  Gr.

7.

Michelle Branch: 90%+30.5 = 120.5 Final

9 of 10 total songs = 90%

1 Elite awesome 6; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 7 Good 3

6+3.5+21 = 30.5

Who knew?! I liked her (overplayed) stuff in my younger years, and really, really liked her side project the Wreckers. I didn’t know where she went, but Michelle is back. And she’s speaking up. I love how she addresses real issues, yet keeps the songs themselves light and catchy.

Beating on the Outside- jarring opening line. Sex and marriage. Snippets of guitar sound good. G.

Closest thing to heaven- swirling guitar. G.

You got me where you want me- cello. Beautiful. Descriptive. G-Gr.

I’m a Man- I like how straightforward and blatant. Abortion rights. Why men are problematic. First notes get me pumped up! Elite awesome.

I’m sorry- the backing music increases intensity. Instrumental bridge. G.

Not My Lover- sounds like band Garbage. G.

When that somebody is you- quiet. Introspective. G.

You get me- adult contemporary. G

Zut! Alors- G.

6.5

Brandi Carlile:  90.91%+36 = 126.91 Final

10 of 11 total songs = 90.91%

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 3 Good 3

4.5+12+10.5+9 = 36

Doesn’t count?

You already saw my disclaimer at the start of every ranking. I am not here for the money grab. Same songs but acoustic. IG just gave both same time same price. Don’t like $18 for the same stuff. I need to have a talk to the Grammys about album sales. She’s not the only one, but it $ucks all the same. But yet.. that VOICE. Brandi has the chops and knows how to use them. And I appreciate that the twins are featured more prominently in the acoustics. Brandi should know that the band can rock and harmonize since she was basically the third Indigo Girl for years. But alas, this is good, just not fair to fans.

Right on Time- stripped down. Focus on harmonies. More twin involvement is good. They took out everything that made the song excellent. Touch of western on the instrumental brought it up a notch. G-Gr.

You and me on the Rock- pretty harmonies. Quiet. Nobody can compare to Brandi’s singing I would just have had Catherine sing with her bc her voice is thin by itself. G.

This time tomorrow- I don’t like when they change key or whatever for a song I’m familiar with. It always sounds off to me. Nice piano and harmony though. Instruments bring a fullness that wasn’t in the original. G-Gr.

Broken Horses- not as punchy. Not as impactful. Not THE scream-note. Doesn’t make the cut.

Letter to the Past- nice harmonies. Good that the twins are heavily featured. Like the different instruments on short interlude. More western. G-Gr 

Mama Werewolf- love the bridge – angelic. Harmony sounds good. Piano brings a seriousness to it.  She took out high notes unnecessarily, making the vocals a little worse. G

When you’re wrong- wish that the rocking versions also featured more twin harmonies. Piano is nice. Cello is star. Singing is haunting. Gr-A.

Stay gentle- swelling strings. Should have been in the original version. Gr.

Sinners Saints and Fools- dropped from elite awesome to excellent. Still great, but the other version is whoa. Lyrics more easily heard here. Gr.

Throwing good after Bad- nice harmonies. G.

Space Oddity- God. She has such a voice. She can make anything sound good. Gr.

6.

Miranda Lambert: 80% + 47.5 = 127.5 Final

12 of 15 total songs = 80%

1 Elite awesome 6; 2 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

6+10+9+10.5+12 = 47.5

I thought this album might win. I love how cheeky and feisty Miranda always is in her songs. She really brought in with this album and it was a fun, yet sincere set of cohesive songs. The cowgirl vibe and outlaw mentality add a lot and seem totally apt for the singer. Miranda always does her best to shake up the boys’ club that is the country music industry, and I appreciate her always putting herself out there. More. Like. This. Please!

Actin Up- I like a cheeky song. Also liked the state call-outs . G

Scenes- catchy. Gritty sound puts you in the gritty travel that is living on the road. G-Gr.

Carousel- emotional. G.

I’ll be lovn you – catchy. Piano. Gr-A 

If I was a cowboy- gender bender. Feisty. G-Gr 

Country money- fun. Sassy. Is that Gwen Stefani’s voice at the end? G.

Geraldine – Lambert’s take on Jolene is one of my favorite songs of the year! Elite awesome

Music City Queen- probably the best featured artist of the year. The B52s fit the vibe of the song and make their presence known without overwhelming the song. Catchy. A.

Pursuit of happiness- empowering. Hopeful. G-Gr.

Strange- catchy . She is not specific about the problems that cause these strange feelings , but in this year 2022 we can guess the COVID/quarantine &/ politics. I like how she gives suggestions for letting loose and being easy on yourself during these odd times. A.

Wandering spirit -. The begging is low- and quiet then the backing instruments and choir come in on the wandering spirit part. Sounds full and conveys cowgirl to match the cover art. Gr-A.

Waxahatchee- G.

5.

Weezer-Summer: 100% + 28.5 = 128.5 Final

7 out of 7 total tracks = 100%

1 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 2 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

5+9+8+3.5+3 = 28.5

Lawn Chair- strings sound orchestral and lovely. Adds a beat. Lyrics are jarring compared to instruments. Gr.

Records- electric guitar is great. Like the beat. G-Gr.

Blue like jazz- I like the harder rock. Instruments are edgy. Swirling backing. Rounds/harmony. Gr-A

Opposite of me- piano swirling! Do do do are catchy. Gr-A 

What’s the good of being good- a march. Best friend stole his gal and talked $hit so he’s contemplating why not to go low. G.

Cuomoville- rock is nice to hear. Hopeful, positive lyrics. Feed em to the lions sounds really cool. Love the beat. Gr.

Thank you and good night- perfect to end the show. Electric guitar is awesome. Hard rock howl is cool. End is awesome! A.

4.

Taylor Swift:  75%+57.5 = 132.5 Final

15 out of 20 (I didn’t buy the Target album, so there’s one song I don’t have) = 75%

2 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 4 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3; 1 Awesome-skip cusp -0.5; G-N cusp 1; 1 Neutral -1; 1 elite-meh cusp 2; N-M cusp -2; 2 Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

10+9+16+10.5+12 = 57.5

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t love it. The rollout for the era was very retro 1970s so I think my expectations ruined my perception. I have no idea why there was a random 70s theme, because the songs do not convey that to me–it’s a very Man of the Woods moment. If Taylor had not had some rando promo, I think I would have enjoyed the album more. Also, the tricky, cheatee way of dropping a 100 different colored albums, different pictures, having 4 make a clock, recording a million versions of one song to amp up streams doesn’t set well with me. I wish the charts and the Grammys would modify the rules and records so that fans were not exploited. Buying the green album only to find out the purple album with an extra song was rolled out a week later is $hitty. I don’t like it, but it shows the power of curating a loyal fan base. Taylor’s sales and records may be inflated, but the number and buying power of her fans is not–she has a legitimate, obsessed following.

I will say the songs grew on me over many listens. What the album did do was inspire me to research and analyze and think. So I love that! Engaging with the work is my favorite part of being a music fan, and Taylor gave me a lot of fodder this year.

That said, if I was ranking Midnights against Taylor’s own catalog, it would not fare well. Every song had some element that I didn’t like: A beat, a phrase, the lyrics, etc… I think the entire thing would have benefitted from another draft and another edit. It shows that some of these lyrics, some of the songs were drafts, or vault, or half-worked. I think Taylor hustled to finish them up to feed the audience while the legalities of the Re-records get worked out. Taylor had to keep attention and her Eras tour substantiates that this album is to keep people listening and waiting for each old album to drop. She needs the “Taylor’s Versions” to be successful to complete her plan.

At any rate, I wish I liked the songs better, but I do like trying to decode the subtext.

Sidenote, I did not calculate anything below Good in my ranking to stay consistent with the whole list. I did include my opinions on those lower songs just for funsies. They are marked XXX to show I didn’t count them.

Lavender haze- Catchy. Good message. Calling out heteronormative milestones and pressure to hit them quickly/at all. Didn’t like the little ah ah stuff at first but it really grew on me. Like the faster go viral. One note. Good heartbeat noise in parts. Gr

Maroon- The song itself is just good. But the fact Taylor inspires me to research and analyze the meaning brings it up to great. So G-Gr 

Question…- Catchy. Tells a story. I like the sexy noises. Pronoun game is on pointe. Kissgate and it’s aftermath. Brave of Taylor to be so direct. The slowed down mean-girl /tone statement. Gr.

Anti-hero- This might be the most Catchy on Midnights. Self aware. Really putting herself out there more than usual. HATE sexy baby. It just makes my brain go to pedophile. DIL is confusing. The video didn’t count toward this ranking, but it was cheeky-Taylor (my favorite Taylor) I liked the quirky humor and wink wink aspects. Adorable! Gr-A

XXX Snow on the beach- Boring. Not really a duet. Not that catchy. Janet reference is jarring. M.

You’re on Your Own Now Kid- Explains why Taylor feels so lonely and isolated. G

XXX Midnight rain- I absolutely hate the distorted voice. Tells a story. Nothing really going on with backing. No notes. OK

Vigilante Shit- A bitter song! Calling people out. Superhero imagry- consistent throughout. Moag! The production is perfect – understated Reputation. A

Bejeweled- Kind of a throway song. Lyrics kind of superficial. I like the nice! Who is she talking to? The bridge brings something interesting to the song. G.

XXX Labyrinth- The backing has some nice touches but it’s not enough to redeem the blah. It’s too dreamy and half asleep. Lyrics repeat too much. M.

Karma- To everyone who closeted her, started her bearding, and foiled her coming out. With the masters heist. Subtle moag. Very detailed. Visual.  Gr.

Sweet nothings- Sweet song. I listen to it through the lens that it’s about her mom. The only person who loves Taylor unconditionally. Very subdued but it fits well the story perfectly. Tranquility and calm. G-Gr.

XXX Mastermind- This song makes her seem sociopathic. I think it addressed how she is an active participant in bearding and furthering her career with meticulous planning. I think she meant it cheeky but to me it comes across as creepy. That said this might be my favorite production on Midnights. Love moag and videogame noises. It would be looking at awesome territory if not for the psychopathic words.S-A

The great war- The story of Kaylor! Catchy. I like the snare to go along with war. Lyrics invoke war symbolism. Gr.

Bigger than the whole sky- Jarring transition between songs. This song so beautifully encapsulates grief.  This is where dream pop really shines. Conveys agony. I think a lot of people will find solace in this song after any ending  A 

Paris- Snarky. Someone gossiping about kissgate and the 1975 guy being a hookup. Pictures = kissgate. The fictional Paris is when Kaylor boarded up the windos and went private.  Cleaver change of characters. Her fantasy world. Not the kind that’s thrown is clunky. Meant to say it’s Tree, her publicist doing PR damage control. Brainwash Karly to pick her over josh. Go to the lakes or tower in actual paris. But it’s all imaginary  The song is flat and one dimensional in my opinion (which all of this is). G.

XXX High infidelity- Compelling. Makes me want to dig into the analysis. Multiple story threads weaved together masterfully. The oooo ooos are reminiscent of the train so many songs talk about. Lots of callback. Sort of boring musically but lyrics are elite. M-elite

Glitch- Catchy. Is this about Kaylor being a deviation from bearding. Or her dalliance with Kelsea? G.

Could’ve would’ve should’ve- Finally not boring at all. Good backing. Telling a few stories covertly. Extra points for motivating me to untangle who and why. Finally some actual skillful singing in the bridge. I wish the album had more of this. I like the different sounds of the song throughout. The fast part at the end makes me FEEL. Gr-A

Dear reader- I didn’t like it at first. Found the title like the start of a 3rd graders essay. But after a couple of listens I realized Taylor wrote a letter directly to the Gaylors- which is very special. I like the echoing sound. The vulnerability is really likeable. G-Gr 

3.

Kelsea Ballerini:  86.67% + 49 = 135.67 Final

13 of 15 total songs = 86.67%

1 Elite awesome 6; 2 awesome 5; 1 Great 4; 4 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 5 Good 3

6+10+4+14+ 15 = 49

Oh my goodness! This album inspired me to analyze so much. I love the multiple layers and hidden meanings throughout every song. I think Kelsea is one to watch, and I also hope she will fully come out one day. This album is just brimming with Sapphic feelings and I would love for a successful country singer to be open AND remain famous.

I can’t help myself- fun! Inspired by Shania. The repeated words make it cute. Gr.

If you go down I’m going down to- very much could be a (Dixie) chicks song. Strings sound good with it. A.

Love is a Cowboy- good imagry- being with you is like ropin the wind. Hints of fiddle. G.

Muscle Memory- catchy. G.

I guess they call it Fallin- love the faster lyrics. G-Gr 

Weather- upbeat. Catchy though lyrics are kinda sad. G-Gr.

Universe- slow. Pretty. Love song. G. 

Walk in the park- love despite being difficult sometimes. G-Gr.

Heartfirst- following your heart. G 

You’re drunk go home- fun! Love talking shit. Love the features. Notes! Like Shania, chicks, any country that’s cheeky. Elite awesome.

Doin my best- relatable. Talks about insider info. Snaps/claps. G.

Marilyn- thoughtful sounds. Double subject. G-Gr.

What I have- appreciate what you have. Introspective. A.

2.

Weezer:

16/21= 76.19% ¾ year + 60.5 yr = 136.69 Semi-Final

16.5 + 28.5 + 15.5 = 60.5

1.

Amy Ray: 100%+37.5 = 137.5 Final

10 out of 10 total songs = 100%

2 awesome 5; 1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 1 Great 4; 2 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

10+4.5+4+7+12 = 37.5

Amy Ray has always been political. She continuously makes her work mean something, it’s not just words on a page to her. She also puts her beliefs into action with her advocacy. I have always loved the Indigo Girls duo (They are my top of the top all-time favorite music/artists/band) and have grown to love Amy’s solo efforts as well. The transition between the two musical entities is sometimes jarring, but still on-brand.

I like how this album tells a story rarely (never?) heard. Amy Ray is Southern and loves her rural roots. She is also part of the LGBTQQAA community and I think based on interviews I’ve heard, that her identity has shifted over time, and with society’s level of acceptance. Amy Ray started out just being herself, and not really acknowledging her queerness, or taking an identity, let alone projecting it out to the masses. She pinged anyway and her band became pegged “lesbian music” by the mainstream. As part of the Indigo Girls, Amy was portrayed in a stereotypical, non-flattering light on sketch shows, sometimes derided, always in the center of her close-knit fan’s hearts. She learned to embrace her differences and used that to help others. I think now she leans NB or even trans, but in the podcast I heard Amy Ray indicated that it wasn’t a visible option for her when she was younger. Now she may feel too old (her sentiment, not mine) to totally change her trajectory.

All that is to say that this album of a southern queer is an important contribution to the landscape, and as with the Indigo Girls, I hope it opens doors for other artists to embrace their queer/rural roots simultaneously.

Joy Train- Reminds me of Bonnie Raitt. Great banjo!  Vocals are intentionally discordant but it’s not that pleasing to the ear. G.

Chuck will’s widow- Strings are the star. Very folksy. G-Gr.

They won’t have me- Recycled song. String interlude great. More powerful, emotive singing. Heavier bass gives it more urgency. Gr-A

From the room- slow. Harmony. G.

Tear it down- slow. Harmony. G

A mighty thing- after slow/bleak a welcome faster, brighter instrumentation. About homophobia. A.

Subway- could be an IG song. Love string interlude. Singing is powerful & longing. Gay rights. A 

Cowboys and pirates- catchy.  tells a story. Folksy/Americana. String! Gr.

Muscadine- slow. G.

North Star- a bit more triumphant sounding. Hint of choral/gospel. Hymn-like. G-Gr.

2022 Albums of the Year Countdown: Revelry, Theater, & Therapy [Songs Ranked 18-10]

6 Dec

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

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.

Ok, Weezer is really messing up my ranking because they aren’t releasing their fourth installment of this concept album until December 21.  I told me I would only rank my A+ favorites after October 21st.  I had to finish the countdown by the time Midnights dropped so I could focus on that.  And I like to post this prior to Christmas on the first week of December, while anybody is still paying attention to things aside from the holiday.  BUT I have ranked ¾ of Weezer’s material.  I might stop if it had been mediocre and toward the bottom since it wouldn’t make that much of a difference if they were 35th place rather than 39th, for example.  But they are nudging the top spot without 7 more songs!  So what I’m going to do is post this with them in their mathematical position, but then edit to include Winter in late December, which may change up the whole top of the list…

From lowest to highest:

18.

Red hot chili peppers: 64.71% + 39 = 103.71 Final

11 out of total 17 = 64.71%

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

4.5+12+10.5+12 = 39

They are weirdly enough still their authentic selves after all this time. The album was familiar yet new. They have a formula–and it works for them.

Tippa my tongue- sings similar to Giveitaway. Funky guitar. G-Gr 

Peace and love- funky interlude. G.

Eddie – wails on guitar. Funk. 70s. Gr.

Fake as fuck- catchy. Funky guitar. Spacey, psychedelic bridge. Trumpet! Gr-A

Roulette- G

My cigarette- I absolutely love the music on this track!  It would probably be an awesome if was about anything else.  Anything! Singing about the killer cigarettes is yuck. Smoking is unhygienic, gross, and literally tied to a bunch of cancers and health problems.  I understand cigarettes are small potatoes once you’ve done heroin, but still…  G

Afterlife- Gr

Shoot me a smile- G

The drummer- catchy. Funky guitar. Nice beat. G-Gr

Bag of grin- darker. Fast backing is interesting. Chorus has a nervana sound. Gr.

Copperbelly- G-Gr

17.

Marcus Mumford:  80%+24.5 = 104.5 Final

8 of 10 total songs = 80%

1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 7 Good 3

3.5+21 = 24.5

I liked the album, but feel like it needs something. I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Cannibal- singing sounds like band. Softly angry. G-Gr

Grace- nice singing. Catchy. Drawn out words are nice. Double voice on bridge adds. Guitar breakdown is interesting. G .

Prior warning- quiet. Sparse. Chimes. Shooting noise. G.

Dangerous game- interesting. Sounds like the singing I liked from the band. G.

Better angels- more rock. G.

Go in light-vsings with feeling. G

Stonecatcher- haunting. Duet goes well. Piano. G.

How- Brandi always sounds perfect. She is awesome at meeting the vibe. And of course notes/harmonies. Sounds great together.

16.

Luke Combs:  75%+31 = 106

9 of 12 total songs = 75%

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

8+14+9 = 31

Doin This- a lot of heart. Shows genuine love for music not just fame. G-Gr 

Any given Friday night- tailgate song! Relatable. Small Town fun. References John mellencamp. G

The kind of love we make- catchy. Love song. The singing has urgency to it. G-Gr 

On the other line- mirraccas! Fishing instead of being with his gal. Unapologetic. Double meaning of line. G-Gr 

Outrunnin your memory- catchy. Miranda sounds perfect with him. Gr.

Used to wish I was- story of a failed fb career but it was fate that brought him here. Embracing who he is. G-Gr.

Ain’t far from it- catchy! References Allen Jackson. Good syncopated beat. Fun. Gr

Call me- he figures Even if she’s bitter he’s still on her mind. G.

Going going gone- descriptive and visual. Comparisons. G.

15.

Dropkick Murphys:  80%+27 = 107 Final

8 out of 10 total sons = 80%

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

5+7+15 = 27

All you fonies- G

Cadillac Cadillac- G

Dig a hole- country western. Guitar changes their sound a lot. G.

The last one- harmonica. Pro- Blue collar work. Workers rights. G.

Never got drunk no more- a conversation. Hungover person says they’ll never drink again. The wife knows it’s been said before and doesn’t believe it. G-Gr.

Ten Times More- G-Gr.

Water are a’risi- G

Where Trouble is at- A

14.

Lizzo-

9 of 12 total songs = 75.00% + 33 = 108 Final

1 awesome 5; 1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 1 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 3 Good 3

5+4.5+4+10.5+9 = 33

Overall, I love the positive vibes, I love loving yourself and your friends.  This album seemed like a lot of therapy has taken place, and is doing the talking.  The positivity is a good post-Covid sentiment to push.  I know it’s about Lizzo’s Twitter wars and how that caused her trauma.  I’m glad she could write this album to help process that pain in a constructive way.  As society, we need to find a middle ground on weight.  The 90’s Kate Moss look was dangerous.  But being morbidly obese is also dangerous.  We shouldn’t bully, but not intervening (in either direction) when someone is literally killing themselves is just not enough either.  On a completely different note, I got big, bi-vibes from a lot of these songs.  

The Sign- references quarantine. Cool electric guitar sounds. G-Gr.

About damn time- very disco. Used disco samples-fun. The hustle flute and I’m comin out Tonight lyrics. A little on the nose. Gr.

Grrrls- valuing friends and women. Empower. Bi-girl energy. G.

2b ready (to be loved)- more disco samples. Empower. G

I love you bitch- empowering song about self-love. Tals about struggles . A 

Special- Rhymes video with video. Talks about race, weight, loneliness, and self-esteem. More self-love and love for others. Empowering. Gr-A

Special- empowering. Self love. Propping others up. G-Gr.

Everybody’s Gay- no they’re not. Is that Thriller sampled? It’s hilarious that she references Michael Jackson in a song with gay in the title. Spectacular keyboard. G-Gr 

If you love me – more empowering and self-love. Does the MJ woo!  I like the sentiment very much, but don’t like the fat-positive movement-it’s literally dangerous.  That’s not to say I want bullying, or pro-anorexia, but weight does impact health negatively in many different ways.  G.

13.

Panic at the Disco: 75% + 33.5 = 108.5 Final

9 of 12 total songs = 75%

2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 3 Good 3

9+12+3.5+9 = 33.5

I still don’t know when Brendan did, or why everyone is calling him problematic.  So I went ahead and ranked a band I really liked way back when. I didn’t research the album but my overall impression was that it’s theatric. I’m not sure if it’s an actual soundtrack or play or something, but it could be.

Viva Las Vengeance- I love the energy behind this. The notes always move me. There is a show tune quality to it.  Notes! Gr-A 

Middle of a Breakup- relatable. Notes. Idk much about theater but this song also seems show tune adjacent so I’m wondering if this is a concept album. Meatloaf quality. G.

Don’t Let the Lights go out- notes. Heart beat. G.

Star Spangled Banner- def theater. Never saw Rent, but this seems like it could fit in there. Verse reminds me of Billie Joel. Nice orchestral at end. Gr.

God Killed Rock and Roll- very Queen. Like exact rip- of their everything. Notes. Gr-A 

Something About Maggie- cross between Queen Amie Mann and show tune. Brass is nice.  Notes. I like the circusy interlude. Nice trumpet at end. G-Gr.

Sad clown- Dichotomy between the happy energetic music and angsty lyrics. Notes and notes and notes! Gr.

All by yourself- slow. Reminds me of wonder years Beatles theme at first. Notes. G

Do it to Death- sounds like a commercial ad. Choppy transitions.

Gr.

12.

Imagine Dragons:  66.67+42 = 108.67 Final

12 of 18 total songs = 66.67%

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 5 Good 3

4.5+12+10.5+15 = 42

It was like there were two writers on this album. Some of the songs were very screamy and some were the sound I liked from prior albums. The discs are very–I’m in therapy. Which is fine, and sometimes uplifting. Not their best work.

Bones- catchy. Distortion. Electronic snips. Just enough screamy.

G-Gr 

Sympathy- interesting comparisons. Flute? Ownnawannapia. Gr.

Sharks- foreboding. Claps that aren’t Ott pop. Like the pace of comin to get you. Whisper used to good effect. Like a horror movie. Gr.

I Don’t Like Myself- someone had therapy. Introspective. Gr-A 

Blur- Gr.

Higher Ground- syncopation. Reminiscent of their earlier work. G-Gr 

Take a Easy- channeling Weezer. Catchy. Harmony. Nice Base toward the end. Could do without the screamy. G-Gr.

Waves- catchy. Seems heartfelt and sincere. More comparison to water. G.

I’m Happy- therapy. Repetition. Some moag. Nice distortion at the end. G.

Sirens- catchy. G.

Younger- this must be the letter to self that was mentioned earlier. Good instrumental break. G.

I Wish- lots of emotion. Nice to hear about friendship.  The vocals get a bit overwrought, but the swelling instrumentation at the end is nice. G

11. 

Kelly Clarkson:  83.33%+25.5 = 108.83 Final

5 out of 6 total songs = 83.33%

1 Elite awesome 6; 3 awesome 5; 1 A-Gr cusp 4.5

6+15+4.5 = 25.5

I really wish Kelly would have put out a full-length album.  She would probably be my top album of the year if there was more material.  Girl can SING.  It’s breathtakingly amazing to listen to her belt it out.

Call Out My Name- notes!  The instruments sound 80s.  Gr-A

Happier than Ever- starts very slow, but blazes into a notes/bitter song.  Tiny elephant trumpeting.  The beat ramps up.  The notes ramp up. A

Trampoline- A

Queen of the Night- WOW, wow, wow!  How does anyone compare to Whitney?  It’s pretty brave to even do a cover of possibly the best singer of all time.  But Kelly really goes for it.  Great notes and a bit more edgy of a delivery.  Buzzsaw noises. Taking into account production and technology differences between the early 90s and now, I dare say this one is the better version.  They are both elites though.  Elite Awesome

Fake Plastic Trees- notes! A

10.

Demi Lovato:

11 of 16 total songs = 68.75% + 46 = 114.75 Final

3 awesome 5; 3 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 1 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

15+13.5+4+10.5+3 = 46

The genre switch is forced, but Demi’s pipes are able to work any material in front of her.  I didn’t think the pop-punk was apt or genuine for her, and I begrudgingly remain unbiased when giving points.  I don’t like her appropriating pronouns, and I don’t like her sketchy manager, but the gal can SING!!!

Freak- channeling Paramore. More edgy. Screaming. G-Gr 

Skin of my teeth- reminds me of Ashlee Simpson. Personal lyrics. Catchy. Notes! A.

Substance- upbeat backing for depressing sentiment. Notes. Personal. Gr.

Eat me- lots of acoustic background sounds. Fast. Shouting. Angry. Brittney copy. Note to yell. Could be in a comic movie. A.

29- age inappropriate. 17 to 29. Calling out some scumbag. Notes! G-Gr

Happy Ending- about her addiction. Relatable about demons and searching for elusive happiness. G-Gr 

City of angels- many LA sights & places. Hard rocking. Gr-A.

Wasted- double meaning. notes. Gr-A.

Dead Friends- personal. Upbeat. Punky. Notes. Gr-A 

Help Me- screamy. G 

Feed- uplifting. Personal responsibility and choices. A

2022 Albums of the Year Countdown: Artists Return [Songs Ranked 29-19]

5 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.

Lowest to highest:

29.

Death cab for cutie:  63.64%+23.5 = 87.14 Final

7 out of 11 songs = 63.64%

5 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

17.5+6 = 23.5

I don’t know how I survive- G-Gr

Roman candles- G-Gr

Here to forever- G-Gr

Pepper- G-Gr 

I miss strangers- G-Gr

Wheat like waves- G

I’ll never give up on you- G

28.

Weezer-Spring: 71.43% + 16.5 = 87.93 Final

5 of 7 total tracks = 71.43%

3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 2 Good 3

10.5+6 = 16.5

Opening night- Shakespeare on the grass. Random topic. Funsy and light but catchy. Electric guitar. Ends with a touch of renfest. G-Gr 

A Little bit- Positivity. Catchy. Sincere. G-Gr 

The sound of drums- catchy. Sing-song. G.

All this love- light. Upbeat. Piano is a nice touch. G

Wild at Heart- drums! G-Gr.

27.

Fletcher:  61.54%+27.5 = 89.04 Final

8 of 13 total songs = 61.54%

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

4+17.5+6 = 27.5

Becky’s so Hot- hate the sentiment. The base is good especially at the end when the melody cuts out. Gr.

Guess We Lied- Fun double meaning of lie. G-Gr 

Better Version- skews country. Smart profound lyrics. G.

Conversations- relatable song about overthinking and ruminating.  G-Gr 

Serial Heartbreaker- Faster 80s beat. Fast verse. Uses slower speed at the end to emphasize the point. G.

Girl of my Dreams- self-love during a breakup. Empowering lyrics. G-Gr 

I love you bitch- like Lizzo-, an empowering song about self-love and acceptance. G-Gr 

For Cari- nice ending. Sounds low-key triumphant. G-Gr 

26.

Arcade Fire: 70%+20 = 90 Final

7 of 10 total songs = 70%

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

4+7+9 = 20

Tracks set up like a movie, a continuation of each chapter of the story.

Age of Anxiety I- quiet start. Kicks up later 3rd of the song. Speaks of current events and how they impact us as individuals. G-Gr

Age of Anxiety Ii- 80s. Dreamy. Female voice changes the vibe a bit. Idk the lyrics but probably profound. G

End of the Empire IV- singing sounds more like their past albums. Nice piano. Modern language – unsubscribe. Chime bell sound at end. G 

The Lightning Ii- upbeat yay finally! I like how they say increments of time. Anticipation. Frenzied backing. G-Gr 

Unconditional I- phonemes always make it song catchy. Empowering lyrics. Motivational. G.

Unconditional II- 80s synthesizer sound to it. Around 4min neat sound. Gr.

25.

Weezer-Autumn:

4 out of 7 total tracks = 57.14% + 15.5 = 72.64 Final

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 2 Great 4; 1 Good 3

4.5+8+3 = 15.5

Can’t dance don’t ask me- syncopation and speed are nice. G.

Get off on the pain. Buzzing instrumental. Quiet parts of singing. Teeny bit of 80s. Ramps up. Gr

What happens after you- guitar is star. Sounds awesome in the back! Like the harder more edgy sound. Gr-A.

Tastes like pain- samples one of my favorite allegros. Fun mix of classical and rock. Gr.

24.

Amanda Shires: 70% + 23 = 93 Final

7 of 10 total songs = 70%

2 Great 4; 5 Good 3

8+15 = 23

Take it like a Man- sparse, emotional. Desperate. Long. Orchestral finish. Gr.

Empty Cups- voice sounds very Dolly Parton -cant be accidental. G.

Here he comes- catchy.  G

Bad behavior – sultry. Gets stuck in my head. Gr.

Stupid love- there’s nothing I can call out in this song that I don’t like, but .. G.

Lonely at night – good, wide open singing. G.

Everything has its own time- could be on a movie soundtrack. Very thematic. G.

23.

King Princess:  66.67%+ 27 = 93.67 Final

8 of 12 total songs = 66.67%

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

4.5+10.5+12 = 27

I Hate Myself I Want to Party- depressing. Gritty. Depressing. Describes a bleak life. end is 180 faster and more in control empowered. Un-does prior song? G.

Cursed- catchy. More upbeat. Emotive singing. Longing. Regret about an ex. G-Gr. 

Little Brother- 80s backing but more gritty singing. Calling someone out.  G-Gr 

For My Friends- catchy. Just enough 80s and moag but not Ott. G.

Too Bad- bitter song. Personal lyrics. Interesting backing sounds. Angsty. G.

Change the Locks- COVID quarantine made them petty and argumentative. She’s mad they’re over. G-Gr

Dotted Lines- depression. Signing bad contract young. G.

Let Us Die- catchy. Angsty. 2020s Alanis? Gr-A.

22.

Young the Giant: 62.5% + 32 = 94.5 Final (all 4)

10/16 for whole year = 62.5%

9.5 + 6.5 + 9+7 = 32

Despite loving the Weezer seasons concept albums, I didn’t like the Act roll outs because I feel like I’m going to miss something. I like the concept of the albums, and think it is very deep and meaningful theoretically. That said, the songs were not like the rest of the catalog and it was difficult for me to attach to any of them in that same way. I realize the band was on a spiritual and political journey, and think it’s an important story to tell and contribution to society. I just want some hooks or a beat in there somewhere! First songs are real duds. Too soft and slow.

21.

Beyonce 62.5%+35 = 97.5 Final

10 of 16 total songs = 62.5%

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

5+4+14+12 = 35

I liked the backing mostly, and I don’t think Beyonce intended for it to be a lyrical album. That said, I get that it’s sexy, and it’s supposed to get listeners to feel. This is totally a me thing–there were too many explicit straight sex references, and it totally grossed me out and put me off. Most people will not have this issue, so this ranking might be too low.

Alien superstar- like the on the bar. Rest is just ok. G

Cuff it- I like the backing. Catchy. Ties into aliens. 70s. G.

Really smooth transition. 1st listen I thought it was the same song.

Energy- remind me of Justin Timberlake crossed with childish Gambino’s this is America. Lotta interesting phoneme sounds. African flair. G-Gr.

Virgo’s groove- really slow to get interesting. Not good til 5min mark. destiny’s child-esk harmonies and many mariàh singing runs. G-Gr.

Move- I like the move out the way parts. G.

Heated- I think she says, I gotta fend myself off. If so, I like the idea we can be our own harshest critics and worst enemy. The weird talking part is interesting and different. Gr.

All up in your mind – love that moag! I like the backing and recognize but can’t place it. G-Gr

America has a problem – I like the 1st few music lines. Like the fast sing. Those 3 nos get stuck in my head for days. Catchy! A. 

Pure honey- like the backing. Seems like a song designed for a group dance, like cha cha. Turns into Prince sounding. Silly voice at end? G-Gr.

Summer Renaissance – more classic Beyonce. Obvious sample. Appluse speeds it up and makes it catchy. Choral backing fills it out. G.

20.

Carrie Underwood: 66.67% + 32.5 = 99.17 Final

8 of 12 total songs = 66.67%

2 Elite awesome 6; 1 awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

12+5+3.5+12 = 32.5

UGH! Carrie’s voice is just top tier. This gal can siiiiinnng. Her register is expansive and her belting always moves me. However, it seems like she gets lost when picking material or formulating an album (I didn’t look to see if she writes her own songs). I wish she would have more of a theme for each album. The Velvet Heartbreak does tell a story, and it flows… But I think she could do something stronger. Showcase her voice, but have a certain vibe for the entire album.

Velvet Heartbreak- I love the comparisons of clothes to men.  It’s visual and relatable.  God she can always fucking sing! That …ache at the end alone is elite!  Elite awesome.

Ghost Story- A boring song but when she hits those notes it’s magical! G-Gr 

Hate my Heart- catchy and relatable. Not wanting to miss someone, but missing them anyway. G.

Burn- Can’t get over the memory despite being over the ex. Just a good. G.

Pink Champagne-kind of an 80s beat. I like when it slows down. Just a good. G. 

Poor Everybody Else- might be my favorite song of the year. Empowering and exciting. Love the concept. Notes! Similar to some of her other songs but still awesome! Elite awesome.

She Don’t know- I love that it’s not 2 women fighting each other! Carrie is saying you can have my life with that dude (bc it sucks). I love a bitter song! A. 

Garden- this is a good final song. The message that you get what you put out there goes with the rest of the album. G

19.

Skillet: 66.67% + 37 = 103.67 Final

8 of 12 total songs = 66.67%

1 Elite awesome 6; 2 awesome 5; 4 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 1 Good 3

6+10+18+3 = 37

I enjoyed this album so much when I was listening that I thought it might win. I don’t add all the numbers until every contender’s songs are ranked though. I do it that way so my judging is equal and I don’t amp up or lower albums in order to make them fit in a certain spot. It’s a blind ranking to make the final countdown as unbiased by aesthetic, sentimentalism, standbys, etc… As such, I was surprised Skillet ranked this low based on the songs. It was definitely one of the best listens of 2022 (and great treadmill tunes)!

Standing in the storm- catchy. Hard. Bravery despite pressure. Just enough screamy. Gr-A.

Dominion- electric guitar! Fast. Awesome instrumental break! Exciting. Gr-A 

Valley of Death- starts quiet slow emotional. Elite awesome.

Beyond Incredible- hints of electric guitar. Good running beat.

 Gr-A

Destiny- reminds me of Lincoln park with harder/catchy parts interspersed. Triumphant. Gr-A.

Shout your freedom- great running beat. Empowering. A.

Destroyer- such cool guitar. Fast. Reminds me of 1990s alternative. Guitar zipping. Ramps up. Electric on last words adds a lot. A.

Forever or The end-  hard rock ballad. Harmonies rounds. G.

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:

40.

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.

39.

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 

38.

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

37=37

*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.

37=37.

*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.

36.

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.

35.

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.

34.

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.

33.

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.

 G-Gr

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.

32.

Young the Giant:

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

3 out of 4 total songs = 75.00%

3 Good 3

9

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.

31.

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

30.

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.

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):

Last

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.

52.

Trampled by Turtles:  9.09%+3 = 12.09 Final

1 out of 11 total songs = 9.09%

1 Good 3

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.

51.

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.

50.

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.

49.

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

48.

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.

47.

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 

46.

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.

45.

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.

44.

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.

43.

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

42.

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 

41.

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

2021 Album Ranking [bottom of the barrel]

20 Dec

Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • 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

Another aside-I try only to rank songs released on the calendar year.  Sometimes I’m unaware a ‘live’ song isn’t new, or I judge a remix or something.  This year I must say there were a LOT of cheatee, not actually new, music put out in 2021:

Madonna-True Blue (35th Anniversary Edition); Green Day- Insomniac (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition); Avril Lavigne- Bite Me single; Metallica single; Sam Smith-Love Goes (live) & soundtrack produced by him?  Rufus Wainwright-live; Jason Isbell- live; Sarah Bareilles-live; The Black Keys- remastered, live; Pink-remixes; Blondie-Spanish; Kelly Clarkson-Christmas

You see there were a lot of people putting something out, so the Wiki 2021 Albums list looked overwhelming, but a lot of artists were tricky.  They got their name out, but didn’t put in a lot of work *side-eye* Seems to me like everyone had a lot of time to think and write and get something together during the 2020 Covid-pause.

There’s my parameters.  Let’s commence the count-from bottom of my reviewed to the best of the best 2021!

Vampire Weekend– S (too experimental & discordant)

tot = nope

I abandoned this one, because I just couldn’t.  You’ll see a theme this year-not everything is made for me, not everything is appreciated by me.  It’s fine.  This is one of those.

John Mayer-Sob Rock

I was torn about even reviewing this album.  John Mayer has been a long time staple of mine, but new information has come to light (Jessica Simpson) and I feel like it isn’t all that ethical to support him.  But I thought I’d at least give it a chance.  Well, I shouldn’t have.  It’s nothing special.  Nothing much was going on in the songs.  Boring.  And by the time I got to the baby-talking track (cringe!) I was over it.  There are just too many albums this year to fuss about with a meh one.  So I aborted mission halfway through.

tot = NOPE

Last Train Home M

Shouldn’t Matter but It Does G

New Light M

Why You No Love Me S (baby talk)

Wild Blue M

Shot in the Dark; I Guess I Just Feel Like; Til the Right One Comes; Carry Me Away; All I Want is to be With You

Those were the only two albums that I could not make myself finish.  The next ones scored in the negatives.  That just means they either had tracks to skip, mehs, or not enough songs that moved me.

Neil Young Crazy Horse-Way Down the Rust Bucket-Live

I really couldn’t get past the awful singing.  IDK why listeners are very hard on women who don’t/can’t/lose their singing, but it seems like it’s tolerated if men do it *cough patriarchy/misogyny*

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

0awesome; 2Great8; 5Good15; 3Neutral-3; 5Meh-15; 2Skip-24 = tot-20

Country Home- S (pretty bad singing)
Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleeze- S (bad)
Love to Burn- N
Days that Used to be- G
Bite the Bullet- M
Cinnamon Girl- M
Farmer John- M
Over and Over- G
Danger Bird- N (terrible singing knocks the score down)
Don’t Cry No Tears- G
Sedan Delivery- G
Roll Another Number (for the Road)- M (bad singing)
Fuckin’ Up- M
T-Bone- S (About 5 words in the song)
Homegrown- N (good harmonies)
Mansion on the Hill- S (bad)
Like a Hurricane- Gr (probably best on album)
Love and Only Love- Gr
Cortez the Killer- G

David Gray-Skellig

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

0awesome; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 2Neutral-2; 6Meh-18; 1M-S cusp-4.5; 0Skip =tot-14.5

Skellig- M
Dun Loaghaire- G
Accumulates- G
Heart and Soul- N-G cusp
Laughing Gas- N
No False Gods- M-S cusp
Deep Water Swim- G
Spiral Arms- M (repetitive)
The White Owl- M
Dares My Heart be Free- N
House with No Walls-M
Can’t Hurt More Than This- M
All That We Asked for- M

Doja Cat- Planet Her:
Now, I know.  This is the album that is getting the most hype this year.  I only listened to it for that reason.  And last year I listened to Dua Lipa for the same reason, and really liked it.  The magic didn’t happen this year.  I like the title of this album, and that’s about it for me.  And that’s OK.  Not every album is made for me, nor enjoyed by me.  I wasn’t feelin’ this one.  I might be the only one on the planet.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-M cusp 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G3; 1G-N1; 1G-M0; 3N-3; 7M-21; S = tot -9
Woman- G (Repetitive.)
Naked- N
Payday- Gr-G (Good ambient sounds, but Minnie Mouse singing.)
Get Into It (Yuh)-  Gr-G (Baby-voice is ehhhh, but rap is good and fast.)
Need to Know- Gr (Catchy and I like the repeated words)
I Don’t Do Drugs- N (Xylophone is interesting and different, but the rest of the song is kinda boring.)
Love to Dream- M
You Right- N
been Like This- N-M (Somewhat high note is good, but the song is just boring.)
Options-Gr (Moag!)
Ain’t Shit- M (The only thing I liked was the counting.)
Imagine- M
Alone- M
Kiss Me More- G-M (Disco sound)
You Right (Extended)- G (The duet is probably the best on the album.  I also liked the breathes/breathing sounds.)
Up and Down- G-N
Tonight – M
Ride- M
Why Why- M

Kaleo

I wanted to love this one like I loved their last album.  But it really fell off in the second half.  It probably would have ranked higher if the latter half was edited out completely.

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

0awesome; 0Great; 2Good6; 2N-G cusp2; 2Neutral-2; 1M-N cusp-2; 4Meh-12; 0Skip = tot-8

Brother Run Fast G

Break My Baby N-G

Alter Ego G

Free the Slave N-G

Skinny N

Hey Gringo M-N

My Fair Lady M

I Want More M

Backbone N

I Walk on Water M

Into My Mother’s Arms M

Aly & AJ:  a touch of the beat…[title is long and annoying, I’m not writing all of it]

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

0A; 0Gr; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 3G-N3; 2N-2; 3M-9; 1S-6 = tot-7

Pretty Places M

Lost Cause G-Gr (I love a bitter song)

Break Yourself S (I died of boredom)

Slow Dancing M

Paradise N

Symptom of Your Touch Lucky to Get Him G-N

Listen!!! N-G (the brr brr noise saves it.  and nice piano)

Don’t Need Nothing N-G (finally, a beat!  is this what the album is missing?)

Stomach N

Personal Cathedrals Gr-G (a better singing style, more lyrically intricate)

Hold Out M

Billie Eilish- Happier Than Ever:
I almost aborted listening, because the entire first half of this long album was pretty ‘background music’ (boring).  But it bothers me to not finish things so I pressed on a little more, and I’m kinda glad I did, bc it did get better.  Track order is a major problem here!  Mix it up or cut the front half.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
0A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 6M-18; 1S-6 = tot -3.5
Getting Older-M
I Didn’t Change My Number- G
Billie Bossa Nova- N
my future- M
Oxytocin- G-N (Good base and moag)
Goldwing- G
Lost Cause- M
Hailey’s Comet- N-G (Sounds a lot like 1930s type of singing/crooning.  This goes on for too short of a time.  There’s a pause and then it seems to be a whole different song?  Then, that’s too short as well.)
Not My Responsibility- S (Need to sing)
Overheated M
Everybody Dies- M (I can hear her breathes a lot, and it doesn’t sound good. Big yawn.)
Your power- G
NDA- Gr-A.  (catchy . Same tune as  her 1st album. Good moàg)
Therefore I Am- N
Happier Than Ever- Gr
Male fantasy- G
M (Glitch is always welcome.  Has rap :-/  .)

Shovels & Rope- Busted Jukebox Volume 3

Soooo?  Is this supposed to be a kid’s album? Title it better, because I needed to listen with that expectation in mind.

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

1awesome5; 0Great; 3Good9; 3Neutral-3; 2Meh-6; 1Skip-6 =tot-1

Hush Little Baby- S (WTF is this shit?)
In My Room- G
What a Wonderful World- N (Great song, played too slow. Whistle & talking sucked)
You Are My Sunshine- N
Cry Baby- G
My Little Buckaroo- M
Everybody Hurts- N (Weird choice for a kid’s album, if this is one…)
Mother Earth and Father Time- M
The Ants Go Marching- A (Fucking great syncopation!)
Tomorrow- G

We’ll get into the middle of the pack tomorrow.  And I’ll come back and number these when I finish the last two album-rankings.

Awesome Albums of 2020 Top 13-1

17 Dec

#13

Black Eyed Peas (8 awesome; 3 good; 1 ok; 2 meh; 1 dislike of 15 = 

53.3% awesome; 

20% good; 

Awesome good avg = 36.65%

80% OK & up; 

6.7% dislike

Awesome – dislike =

46.6% awesome

Awesome good avg – dislike =

29.95%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/16/black-eyed-peas-translation-album-review/

Every song could just blend together on this album.  The theme is perfectly executed, where the individual songs can hold up on their own, but the album could be played and the listener might never know when one song ended and the next began.

At one point, I thought Translation would be my winning album of the year.  I decided to weight dislikes heavily though–b/c it takes a LOT for me to not like a song at all.  And I just can’t get behind using the word “bitch” to convey someone you don’t like or respect.  And it pains me to mark down Will I Am because I think he does have a good heart (he is my VERY favorite episome of Songland because he was so nice and fair and awesome), but I can’t get behind that one song…

#12

Taylor Swift (6 Awesome; 7 good; 2 ok; 1 meh; 1 dislike of 17 = 

35.3% Awesome; 

43.8% good; 

avg awesome/good is 39.6%; 

88.2% ok & up. 

Dislike = 5.9%

Awesome – dislike = 29.4%

Awesome good avg – dislike = 33.7%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/25/taylor-swift-folklore-album-review/

What a good album–it’s an understatement.  Taylor Swift again shows her dexterity as a writer and performer.  She really can do anything!  Do I like Dream-Pop?  Absolutely not.  But I like Taylor, she’s a sentimental favorite of mine, and I can appreciate what she’s done here.  This album’s strongest feature was the layered writing, which embedded so much information, that it drove multiple listens–genius.  Folklore is most definitely the most lyrically-robust album of the year.  Like Apple’s work, Taylor shows she has a keen knack for saying, showing, and musically burying meanings everywhere.  Just don’t call folklore “Alternative” IT IS NOT IN THE ALTERNATIVE GENRE.  This is most definitely an attempt at dream pop like Lorde and an inspiration to Taylor, Lana del Ray.  But more hooks and catchiness.  Taylor can’t help but to write earworms.  It’s a good departure and makes me excited for whatever is going to follow.

This album was also heavily penalized for a poorly written (in my opinion) hastily added song.  I expect more from a writer of Taylor’s caliber.  She could easily write a hundred better Covid songs, and she should have.  There’s really no excuse for just throwing a song on an album.

#11

Lauren Alaina 

Getting Good (2 awesome; 2 good; 2 ok; meh; dislike of 6 = 

33% awesome

33% good

Awesome good avg = 33.3%

100% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/lauren-alaina-getting-good-ep-review/

I never knew given the choice between some drinking break-up album and a more traditional country good-girl album, that I would prefer the latter.  But in this case I did.  I felt like the Getting Over Him wasn’t very authentic for Alaina.  I suggest she #1, just combine into an album in the future.  #2, stay true to herself, because without even knowing there was a choice I gravitated to her more true story.

#10

Kenny Chesney  (4 awesome;6 good;2 ok; meh; dislike of  12= 

33.3% awesome;

50% good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.65%

100% OK and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/13/kenny-chesney-here-and-now-album-review/

It feels to me like Chesney knows the exact combination of elements to make a winning record.  And he’s combined them (as he always has) to make a good record.  What I’m not getting, is a lot of genuineness, authenticity, or enthusiasm for making music.  It all seems very detached and formulaic.  Also, this party guy is wearing thin, and feels a bit disingenuous to me.  I’d like to see an album with more introspective, that I can tell Chesney feels.

#9

Brothers Osborne (4 aweseome 2 good 1 ok 3 meh OF 11 = 

36.4% awesome; 

18% good) =

Avg of awesome and good = 

27.2%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/brothers-osborne-skeleton-album-review/

The album takes a sharp turn on song 5.  It goes from trite, bro-party country to something better.  I wish they would cut out the first 4 songs, actually–it’s that much of a change.  

#8

Green Day (4 awesome; 4 ok  of 10 = 

40% awesome; 

Awesome & OK avg =

60% good

80% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/green-day-father-of-all-album-review/

I think this album utilized the piano better than some of their past works.  And that fast pounding on it, does a lot to increase excitement.  There is also a James Dean sort of 1950s enthusiastic rebel sound that’s still punk-pop, but a little retro.

#7

Indigo girls (4 awesome;  4 good;  3 ok;  meh; dislike of 11 = 

36.3% awesome; 

36.3% good; 

Avg of awesome & good  =

36.3%

100% OK and up.)

#6

Selena Gomez  (7 awesome; 6 good; 4 ok; meh; dislike of 17  = 

41.2% awesome; 

35.3% good;  

Awesome good avg = 38.25%

100% Ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/selena-gomez-rare-album-review/

Does it feel personal to anyone else that Bieber got 4 Grammy nominations for an unpopular album, full of derivative lyrics, and Selena was snubbed?  Like, she calls him out in this album, this solid, good album.  But he gets the noms and she doesn’t?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Unless politics and or money were involved…

#5

The [Dixie] Chicks (5 awesome; 5 good; 1 OK; 1 meh; dislike of 12

41.7% Awesome; 

41.7% Good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.7%;

91.7% OK & up)

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.

#4

Dua Lipa 5 awesome; 3 good; 1 OK; 2 meh of 11 =

45.5% awesome; 

17.3% good

Awesome good avg = 31.4%

81.1% OK & up)

The album reminds me a little of the ‘Bring It On’ Soundtrack.  Nothing ground-breaking here, but a fun listen all the same.  There are glimmers of potential on this album.  And when Dua Lipa embraces her own voice, that’s where things go right.  This artist reminds me of a hybrid between Katy Perry’s California-girl lite pop and 1980’s vanilla, Debbie Gibson. And too often she veers into the easy, superficial sound rather that challenging the status quo of pop. 

#3

Aloe Blacc (8 awesome; 1 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 10 = 

80% awesome; 

10% good; 

Awesome good avg = 45% 

100% Ok and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/17/aloe-blacc-all-love-everything-album-review/

Overall, a very strong album.. Each song builds on the last, and it fits a cohesive theme.  I’ve heard Blacc use his voice more and would have liked to see more low and super-high notes, but it still left me with a lot of feeling.

#2

Fiona Apple (all good–heavy intellectual = 100%)

(8 awesome; 4 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 13 = 

61.5% awesome; 

30.8% good 

Awesome good avg = 46.15%

100% OK and up

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/fiona-apple-fetch-the-bolt-cutters-album-review/

I initially was happy to see Fiona Apple releasing music again, because it’s been a long drought, and she’s historically an artist I like.  And on first listen to the album, I could see there was a lot going on and it should be good.  Do I like to listen to it the most?  No. Do I think Apple had the most technically sound and spectacular album of 2020?  Yes.  I think she deserves album of the year Grammy.  But Apple doesn’t just hand it to you.  You have to work to understand and appreciate Fetch the Bolt Cutters.  And it’s also intentionally not that sweet and pretty and pleasing to the ear.  Apple has made known she can sing beautifully, and play piano with virtuosity, but here she chooses not to.  So it’s a little work to listen.  But also a cerebral masterpiece.  Smartest work of 2020–and that’s saying a lot with folklore on the scene.

TOP ALBUM OF 2020:

Kesha (14 awesome, 2 OK of 16 = 

87.5% awesome; 

Awesome + ok avg = 

93.75% good

100% OK and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/23/kesha-high-road-album-review/

The Good: 2020 Albums Countdown (30-14)

11 Dec

#28

Eminem (2 amazing 9 good 2 alfred talking(3 tot); and hated 4 of 17  =

11.8% awesome; 

52.9% good songs; 

Awesome good avg = 32.35%

23.5% hated = 

Awesome – hated = neg%

Good – hated = 29.4% good

Awesome good avg – hated = 8.85%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/eminem-music-to-be-murdered-by-album-review/

I had to deliberate long and hard to decide where to place the album on the list.  It contains probably the best rap song of all time (yup, I said it) and also a really powerful song, that’s ne of the best of anybody this year.  Unfortunately, it also contains that Eminem-brand misogyny, violence, and toxic masculinity, as well as a denial of white privilege.  I used to overlook those things a lot because I was younger, and I could think of the guy’s real life upbringing and struggles and somewhat justify all that toxicity.  Rap is a historical record of racial politics and socio-economic struggle.  But also, it’s 2020, and these issues are at the forefront, and Marshall Mathers has had plenty of time to get counseling, perspective, and education.  So I could not bring myself to rate it in the Awesome grouping for those reasons.

#27

Alanis Moressette (3 awesome; 3 good; OK; 1 meh; 2 dislike OF 11 = 

27.3% awesome; 

27.3% good; 

9.1% meh; 

18.2% dislike

Awesome – dislike =

9.1% awesome

Good-dislike =

9.1% good

Awesome good avg – dislike = 

18.2%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/11/alanis-morissette-such-pretty-forks-in-the-road-album-review/

I feel like half of this album is my favorite.  It’s a more mature version of Morissette, though she’s still got that edge I’ve always loved.  She is honest and emotional, independant, yet in this album, there’s more vulnerability then I remember on prior works.

But then half of the songs fall into the “trite” category.  Maybe a little too saccharine for my liking.

#26

T.I. (3 awesome; 9 good; 3 ok; 2 meh; 2 dislike of  20 = 

15% awesome; 

45% good; 

Awesome good avg = 30%

15% meh; 

10% dislike

Awesome – dislike = 5% awesome

Good – dislike = 35% good

Awesome good avg – dislike =

30%)

Taylor Swift

Evermore (1 awesome; 10 good; 3 ok; meh; 1 dislike of 15 (so far)

6.7% awesome; 

66.7% good

Awesome good avg = 36.7%

93.3% OK & up

6.7% dislike

Awesome – dislike = 0

Good – dislike = 60%

Awesome good avg – dislike 30%)

DON’T FREAK OUT THESE ARE FIRST IMPRESSIONS & SOME ALBUMS TAKE MANY LISTENS TO APPRECIATE

#25

Kelsie Ballerini (11 of 13 good; 1 strongly dislike message = 

84.6% good 

– 7.7% dislike = 

76.9% good)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/14/kelsea-ballerini-kelsea-album-review/

I have this little theory that Taylor Swift went around and did some (uncredited) featured work on all her friends’ albums.  Like just for fun and because she can.  I talked about it on the Selena album and on Katy Perry, and I thought I heard some contenders in this album too.  I heard her on those other 2 albums, then made my theory, then listened  for it on this album.  Song candidates:

1) The Other Girl- the parts where it says, “They know about me” and also “red dress” line.

2)  and/or Love and Hate

3)  and/or Hole in the Bottle (the layered voice could easily be TS, and that last laugh?  If that’s not Taylor, then it sounds identical.  

#24

Smashing Pumpkins (awesome; 3 good; 1 ok; 6 meh; dislike of 10= 

30% good; 

40% Ok & up)

I mean, they haven’t given me all that much to say about the album.  It’s Ok, nothing really stands out except for the progressive track title spellings.  Not bad, could be more noteworthy next time around.

#23

Nada surf ( AWESOME 6 GOOD 1 OK MEH of 9 = 

66.7% good; 

77.8% ok and up )

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/04/nada-surf-never-not-together-album-review/

Not the “Popular” sound at all!  Far from it.  It’s actually more of a Death Cab for Cutie sound.  I was surprised this one ranked above my honorable mentions list.  It’s mellow, but not boring, and they gave me just a taste of their 1990s sound, but mostly had a new vibe.

#22

John Legend ( 4 good 3 ok of 16 =

25% good; 

44.8% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/28/john-leg

end-bigger-love-album-review/

There were many songs on this album that I didn’t like something about.  But each of those disliked songs had at least one redeeming factor, or this entire album would have been ranked lower.

#21

Katy Perry (5 good 7 OK of 12 = 

41.7% good

100% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/katy-perry-smile-review/

#20

Bon Jovi (2 awesome; 6 ok; 4 meh of 13 = 

15.4% awesome; 

46% ok; 

Aweseome + good avg=

30.7% good)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/bon-jovi-2020-album-review/

Bon Jovi wins easiest, most genuine segway into current events.  He does a seamless job of staying true to his own sound, and having an album that discusses all of today’s issues.  He hits on:  Political ugliness, the division in the country, war, racial justice, covid, and I applaud him for taking it on, and doing it well.  Every artist has a responsibility to do that right now.

#19

Rufus Wainwright (2 awesome; 3 good; 3 ok; 4 meh; dislike of  12= 

16.7% awesome;

25% good; 

Awesome good avg = 20.87%

66.7% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/rufus-wainwright-unfollow-the-rules-album-review/

#18

The Strokes (1 AWESOME 5 GOOD 3 ok of 9 = 

11% awesome; 

55.6% good; 

Awesome good avg = 33%

100% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/02/the-strokes-the-new-abnormal-album-review/

This is one of those albums that just might be too cool for anyone listening to it.  I’m glad to hear some more true alternative genre, but some of the experimental sounds are just too much.

#17

Haim (4 awesome; 5 good; 7 ok;  meh; dislike of 16 = 

25% awesome;

31.3% good; 

Awesome good avg = 28.15%;

100% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/05/haim-women-in-music-part-iii-album-review/

I tried to listen to Haim before, because I heard a lot about them.  But I just didn’t really connect.  But some of their stuff was good on this album, and it made me want to listen to more of their catalogue again.

#16

Chris Stapleton (3 awesome; 6 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 14 = 

21.4% awesome; 

42.9% good; 

Awesome good avg = 32.15%

71.4% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/chris-stapleton-starting-over-album-review/

#15

Miley Cyrus (3 awesome; 8 good; 4 ok; meh; dislike of  15 = 

20% awesome; 

53.3% good;

Awesome good avg = 36.65%

100% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/14/miley-cyrus-plastic-hearts-album-review/

This album is awesome–but not really because of Miley herself.  She pairs with standouts and covers some favorites.  But whenever it’s Miley, by herself on her own track–it doesn’t really hold up.

#14

Lauren Alaina 

Getting Over Him

(2 awesome; 4 good  of  6 = 

33.3% awesome; 

66.7% good)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/12/lauren-alaina-road-less-traveled-album-review/

Overall, I was disappointed.  If your EP is made of a few really great songs, put it out.  But if the songs are not perfect, either edit til they are better, or add some stunners and make a full album.  Also, the two things I liked best about her past album, was Alaina’s positivity and good messaging, and her vocal strength.  This EP showcased neither.

Yet, here it is at the top of the ‘Good’ list, because it’s out of 6 songs.  So maybe it’s the smartest way after all…

I didn’t realize Alaina had put out two EPs until (embarrassingly late) the day before I was ready to publish the finalized list.  Why not just make them 1 album?  So to all the people I said edit and put out an EP if you need to–never mind on that.  Spotify made it a complete pain in the ass!  It was hard to see them.  Hey Spotify developers, if you’re reading this–puh-leeze make all kinds of music chronological.

How I Formed My 2020 Album Countdown

8 Dec

I try to do a yearly top albums of the year countdown. And usually I uses the Wiki albums (for that year) page to see what’s dropping. I make sue to listen to my historical favorite artists, and if I still have time I’ll check out albums of genres I’m a fan of, then big names. And I usually just go by my own opinions–nothing academic, nothing fancy. I simply rate the albums as I like them.

This year I decided to try a more quantitative approach. Which is why my descriptions of songs and albums, might not match up all that well with the album’s placement on my list. I judged songs on a scale of awesome, good, OK, meh, and dislike this year. OK means neutral. No complaints, but no excitement either. meh, ment to me that it was boring, or I tuned it out, or the song didn’t make an impact on me. Awesome songs instantly made me enthusiastic. It is a rank based on my own reactions, and what gets me going. So obviously–awesome isn’t objective. It’s geared toward what I like. Good were the songs that were above neutral, but that didn’t make me excited. They were solid songs, but didn’t have that it factor. And dislikes were things that offended me, things I thought were thrown together without a bunch of thought, things that made me angry. It takes a LOT for me not to like a song!

Then to formulate the list from worst to best, I mathematically quantified the number of each type of song against the number of songs on the album. And this definitely favored artists with less tracks. But a theme this year, was edit. Which, when I was first getting into music was entirely different. Back when you had to pay $12, then $17, and sometimes $22 for an album–it sucked when that album was short. What a waste of money. Those albums with 8 songs or something were an awful value. But also it sucked to buy a whole ass album, just for 1 song. And the rest of the songs sucked. I’m talking to you Billy Joel, River of Dreams. Don’t just put songs on an album to fill it out. Now that streaming is primary, nobody needs or wants filler material. I suggested that artists only put out there BEST work. Also, I really weighted disliked songs heavily. Just because I like most things. It really has to be awful for me to dislike it.

What came out was a list of albums that surprised me. It would have been different if the rankings weren’t based on percentage. But I can tell you the albums represent how much I like and dislike the tracks. So I might not do it this same way next year, but it’s totally accurate to the songs I like and dislike for this year.

2020 Album Countdown: The A-OK (24-18)

7 Dec

I’m trying something different with my countdowns this year. Instead of writing a whole big thing (that nobody will read) I did individual album reviews and put the link under the artist. If you wanna check out my specific thoughts, click the link-if not, move through the count!

This is NOT the final list. This is the middle of the countdown list.

24.

Jason Mraz (1 awesome; 2 good; 5 ok;  meh; 4 dislike of 12 = 

8.3% awesome; 

16.7% good; 

66.7% OK & up

 -33.3% dislike = 

33.4% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/05/jason-mraz-look-for-the-good-album-review/

This is a very light, and optimistic album.  And I have an ethical dilemma about supporting a “look for the good in everyone” or “make love not war” narrative, when it’s a matter of ethics violations, suppression, human rights, and life and death, as is going on right now.  It’s the right message for a different time.  Sorry (not sorry), but this hippy-dippy $hit ain’t gonna cut it right now, and it’s a pretty privileged position to be coming from when people are literally dying in the street.  At this time, I say, Jason, read the room.

Also, not to get too down on the artist of my first concert experience, but I really dislike the genre of reggae.  So each song was judged on my opinion, rather than on it’s own merits as I usually would.  Because there’s no way I’m putting even a good reggae song on my playlist!

Thirdly, listening to reggae I do not like made me wonder if there’s some sort of listener effect (scientifically speaking) where your opinion remains consistent.  For example, because I didn’t like 2 reggae songs in a row, am I more likely to hate that third song too?  Even if it’s not reggae? And this is only broken with an extreme like of that third song?  I was wondering because of the true reggae songs, I think there were 3-4, yet I really didn’t like any of the songs that followed….

23.

Jojo  (2 awesome; 3 good; 5 ok; 1 meh; 4 dislike of  16 = 

12.5% awesome; 

18.8% good;

Awesome good avg = 15.65%

62.5% OK & up

25% dislike

Awesome – dislike = neg

Good – dislike = neg

Awesome good avg – dislike = neg

Ok – dislike = 37.5%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/jojo-good-to-know-album-review/

22.

Lady Gaga (5 good, 5 meh, 1 hate of 16 = 

31.2% good; 

31.2% meh; 

Avg of good & meh = 

31.2% OK

-6.3% for hated song = 

24.9% good; 

24.9% OK

Chromatica (interludes):  they’re nice.  I like them and was left wanting more each time.  I gather they are a type of separation for the musical chapters.  I say that because I was wondering why the album doesn’t sound futuristic until a third of it is finished.  And I realized there was a break-up to end the first third, then a 2nd chomatica interlude, and a definite change in feel/sound.  If that’s the case, I say throw out the entire first chapter.  Every song was weak and generic.

I was listening to the Lady Gaga album, and a song came on that immediately made me amped up and excited.  I thought–finally!  It took til track 16, but here is a show-stopper.  It was the next song in her catalogue, Bradley Cooper singing “Black Eyes” off A Star Is Born Soundtrack.  But that little story tells you how I felt about Chromatica.  There was some strong ‘remix for the gay club scene’ vibes from this album.  It’s dancy.  I did like, what I gather, is supposed to be 3 chapters of a story.  It’s a neat concept, and I’d like to see it done better in the future.  On this album, you could unfortunately toss chapter 1 and 3 in the trash.  Each of the songs on the first and last thirds of the album were weak to bad.

21.

The Flaming Lips (4 ok of 11 = 36.4%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/the-flaming-lips-american-head-album-review/

Alice fell asleep in Wonderland.  That’s how I would describe the album.  It’s experimental, but down-tempo, low-key.  Background music, with distortion.  

These last 3 songs, finally woke me up.  I nearly didn’t finish listening to the whole album, because I thought I could tell where it was headed.  I’m glad I didn’t abandon it before it got better.  I wish Flaming Lips had released an EP with the latter-part of the album.  

20.

Alicia Keys (7 ok of 16 = 43.8% ok)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/alicia-keys-alicia-album-review/

I guess the album is good, though it’s not my cup of tea, apparently.  I wanted higher energy, less slow, less chill.  But even for those who like this easy-going music, I think the album could have benefitted from some editing.  Don’t keep every song just to have a more substantial album.  Cut weak songs–even if it turns into an EP.  Or single.  

19.

Joan Osborn (7 ok of 10 = 70% ok)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/08/joan-osborne-trouble-and-strife-album-review/

18. The Top A-OK album of 2020 is:

The Lone Bellow (6 good; 6 meh of 12 = 

50% good; 

100% meh and up; 

avg = 70% Ok )

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/27/the-lone-bellow-half-moon-light-album-review/

Next list is The Good.

Check it out!