2022 Best of Lists

edited December 2022 in Fight Club
It's already past the point where we created the equivalent thread last year. Share here the things you liked best this year and the lists you find of what other folk liked best (so that we can try to avoid panic-editing our own mental lists with things we missed).

I am actually curious to see how this goes this year, because within the little bubble of my own tastes, I feel as if this was a bit of a fallow year. Quite a few folk I follow released their major emerging-from-lockdown statement album last year and were relatively quiet/back on the road this year. Of course there were things I liked, but when I started working on my own list I found there was less that immediately leapt out to me as having been important or a standout release this year. I am curious to what degree that reflects just my own state of mind (back to a full face-to-face university workload with some of the online things added during the pandemic not subtracted). I started listening toward compiling my own list early, and found that I was working through dozens and dozens of albums that were perfectly ... OK. Is it just me? Probably. I am curious what others found this year that excited them.


  • edited December 2022
    Here' the NPR list.
    It has one title that is on my list, the only one on the list that I have heard. In fact I have never heard of most of the artists, let alone the albums. This is another condition that is deepening for me with every passing year.
  • This one should be fairly appropriate for the emusers crowd, as it seems to be a bit more diverse and eclectic than most, without actually being a specialty/genre list.
    They've got the new Diamanda Galas album as their no. 2, which surprised me because I thought most music critics hated her, but to be fair it's probably her most listenable album yet. (Though that's not really saying much, I suppose.)
  • I'm in the middle of making my two-part mix of stuff I liked
    (waaaaaay too many things...) for the Random Radio shows of
    December 28 and January 4.
  • edited December 2022
    Of course there has been a flood of jazz lists. A good all-purpose, [slightly left of] mainstream list is at Jazzwise: https://www.jazzwise.com/features/article/the-20-best-jazz-albums-of-2022
    I love this New Commute reissue list: https://www.newcommute.net/feed/2022/10/30/new-commute-albums-of-the-year-2022-comps-amp-reissues Dozens of interesting things, most of which I missed
  • edited December 2022
    @Doofy, the jazzwise list is interesting. I am waiting on my copy of the new Bill Frisell, Four, before I finalize my list - based on streaming it and Chapel I prefer Four, but we'll see. The Oded Tzur is on my radar too - didn't buy it when it came out but still thinking I should. I've liked Fergus McCreadie and must dig that one out again - my memory is that I liked his previous album better, but it might just be that I spent more time with it. I wonder if there is any reason two artists on the list came out with an album this year called View with a Room?
    (ETA if you're willing to forego the digital booklet, Isabela can be bought quite cheaply at 7digital)
  • The 'View With a Room' synchronism didn't even register with me! Not too difficult to imagine how it might have arisen, pandemically
  • The Fergus McCreadie album is wonderful, waiting for a  man in a red suit to bring me the means to buy some new albums that I missed this year.
  • edited December 2022
    Not a best-of list per se, but my year-end Best Jazz on Bandcamp column went up:

  • Here's a good one: https://concreteislands.com/concrete-islands-albums-of-the-year-2022/ Don't really know what Concrete Islands is about, but they seem to be more or less up eMusers' alley, or mine anyway. Looking forward to digging into the Compilations and reissues list

  • edited January 2023

    It’s a new year and it seems like time to post my own annual end of year list. I worked through various other lists and found things I enjoyed but nothing to displace what I had settled on except for the late addition of the Horse Lords album below. Like last year, I’ve proceeded alphabetically instead of ranking. These are the albums I liked best and most wanted to return to this year, out of an estimated 125-150 2023 album releases that I listened to all the way through. I have aimed to steer away from "I kind of admire this" and towards "I keep wanting to play this again." The links go to streams where I could find them.


    Alister Fawnwoda, Suzanne Ciani, Greg Leisz – Milan (Deluxe) (ambient) Flowing, meditative soundscapes built around lap steel gestures and drifting synths. (Technically a 2021 release, but the Deluxe version came out in 2022 and was how I found it.) Link.

    Andrew Tasselmyer and Blurstem - Duets(ambient) Gentle piano meditations embedded in droney textures. Link.



    Big Big Train – Welcome to the Planet (progressive rock) BBT are often a little too close to the folky end of prog for my sweet spot, but this one had nice variety and stuck with me. Link


    Caterina Barbieri – Spirit Exit (electronic) Eccentrically spiraling synth patterns and vocal textures that manage to be both propulsive and mysterious. Link


    Cover art of the album

    D’Virgilio, Morse & Jennings - Troika (pop) Delicious vocal harmonies with catchy melodies – mostly the mellow side of Morse, in the style of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. (This year’s Morsefest release was excellent too) Link.

    Dynastor – Default Mode Network (ambient) I listened to a lot of albums in this vein this year – this one caught my ear as I was compiling the list. Long-form ambient/drone, spacey. Link.


    Bill Frisell - Four  Blue Note Records

    Bill Frisell – Four (jazz) Reflective, melodic quartet renditions of a good selection of Frisell compositions. Link


    Sacred Chants

    Grace Davidson – Sacred Chants (classical) Unaccompanied performances of chants by Hildegard of Bingen graced by Davidson’s astonishingly pure voice. Link

    Grotta Veterano – Form (ambient) As noted above, I had a hard time choosing between a large number of ambient releases – I discovered Grotta Veterano this year, and the lyricism of this album pushed it ahead by a nose. Link.


    Horse Lords – Comradely Objects (rock?) A mathy assemblage drawing from both krautrock and free jazz, inviting the brain to become absorbed in tracking minute deviations from interlocking rhythms. Link


    John Also Bennett – Out There in the Middle of Nowhere (ambient) Lonesome lap steel notes, sometimes digitally processed, cry into the night. Austere meditations occasionally joined by footsteps and the sounds of desert creatures. Link.


      Three Sides of One

    Kham Meslien - Fant​ô​mes​.​.​. Futurs (jazz) Warm-textured and tuneful solo double bass performances with a little spoken word poetry. The most evocative cover art of the year. Link.

    King’s X – Three Sides of One (Rock) King’s X return fourteen years after their last album with their best release in a long time, by turns heavy and harmonious. Link.



    Loscil – The Sails (electronic/ambient) This double album was to my ear another return to form – these compositions to accompany dance performances throb and sway with gentle insistence, built on the classic loscil blend of texture and rhythm. His best in some time. Part 1 Link. Part 2 Link.


    Nils Frahm – Music for Animals (ambient) Three hours of long and leisurely ambient drones and burbles with the deft Frahm touch. Balm for patient ears. Link


    Pjusk – Salt og Vind (ambient) Now reduced from a duo to solo status, Pjusk nevertheless delivered another very satisfying serving of icily atmospheric soundscapes. Link


    Taylor Deupree - Harbor (ambient) One of the most consistent inclusions on my end of year lists, Deupree released several good albums this year. Harbor was for the me the most striking, centered, as always, on stillness but experimenting in a range of directions. Link

    Tomotsugu Nakamura – Nothing Left Behind (electronic)Following in the same vein as his excellent Monologue and Literature, this release offers another round of gently fractured stutterings of processed guitar. Link


    Yosuke Kakegawa - Remnant (ambient) Perhaps my favorite album of 2022, wonderfully detailed collections of small sounds with a whimsical musicality that rises above average ambient fare. Link


    36 & Zakè - Stasis Sounds For Long​-​Distance Space Travel II (ambient) This sequel set new standards for an ambient album release, with a live stream accompanied by a movie-length video montage. It picks up exactly where the first episode left off, packed with rich, warm drones. Link

  • I included that Horse Lords album in my favorites for '22 on the Dec. 28th Random Radio broadcast.

  • Good job I went hunting for this (I have a pitiable 4 of this top 50) as it lead me to discovering The Wire had my sub details wrong - that'll learn me to resub for 2 years!

  • The jazz poll results are in. https://hullworks.net/jazzpoll/22/totals-new.php Top 10 a little free-jazzier than I would have expected, but I guess that reflects the range of invited voters. Certainly expected Makaya McCraven to be higher. Another strong showing for Blue Note, which has a younger list these days. Glad to see JD Allen land that high

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