Sunday, January 01, 2023

2022 in music

Kat: 2022 was not a good year for music.  For example, Joss Stone can sing.  And she put out two albums in 2022 (here and here).  And both sucked.  Another bad trend?  Releasing music from the archives . . . when its been unreleased all this time for a reason.  Only one archive release this year was really worth releasing: Barbra Streisand's LIVE AT THE BON SOIR.  But it wasn't just material from the archives that wasn't worth releasing in 2022, it was also so much new material.  Not a great year.  Here are my picks for the ten best albums of new material (as opposed to archive releases).


Janis says this will be her final studio album.  There was a time when that would have made me sad.  I'm not sad.  There was a time when Janis stood for something -- she used to brag that she didn't whore, for example.  The FBI destroyed her family.  So it was a more than a little disgusting for four years to watch her act as their biggest fan.  I don't like Trump either.  I didn't vote for him and I wouldn't.  But my dislike for Trump didn't make me a fan of the FBI.  That it made Janis one is really sad.  And that's why I never bothered to review this album.  It's not as good as FOLK IS THE NEW BLACK but it is a strong album.  

9) Dolly Parton's RUN, ROSE, RUN.

Dolly's now working on a rock album but take a moment to check out this one because it's one of her finer albums -- which is really saying something when you stop to grasp how many great albums she'd released in her career.  "Snakes" is still my favorite track on the album.

8) Bad Bunny's UN VERANO SIN TI.

I have to feel like I have something to say in order to write a review of an album.  Other than "I love this," I didn't really have anything to say.  Also, it was out for over a month before I heard it.  (I first learned of the album when I read the GQ cover story on Bad Bunny.)  By then, it had so many any accolades it didn't need any from me.

Thank goodness, Jack walked away from partisan nonsense.  It hadn't made for good songs.  Instead, The Mellow Man returned with an album worth listening to.  Sadly, all the fans he ran off with the previous studio album have written him off for good.  They didn't come back.  It may be years before they do.  And some may never return.  We never needed Jack Johnson trying to be the new Jackson Browne.  Especially when, it needs to be pointed out, he didn't have the political education that Jackson did.

Jewel released her first studio album in seven years.  And it was worth the wait and then some.  E-mails poured in after I reviewed it and the consensus was that the best song on the album is "Living With Your Memory."  (I liked the song in the review but didn't think it was the best.)  After many, many listens, I think I'll agree with all the people who e-mailed.

5)  Lizzo's SPECIAL.

When I finally got the album, at Target?, I thought it had been out forever because I'd been streaming "About Damn Time" forever.  And the vinyl album was at TARGET.  Which usually doesn't get anything but Adele right away.  So I just listened to this eclectic album and enjoyed it with no thoughts of reviewing this album I thought was months and months old when I bought it the first week of August.  If I'd known it had come out in the middle of July?  I would've forced myself to review it -- it's that good.

I hate the cover.  Hate it.  The music is another story.  It really is something.  It flopped here but it made it all the way to the number one spot on the UK charts.  Give it a spin and you'll understand why they loved it in the UK.

Music matters.  I don't get it when some singer doesn't grasp that.  This could have been Harry's year.  And for the longest time, it looked like it was.  He made a solid album.  But it's not topping my chart. Why?  Bad movies harm your music career.  When will artists realize that?  Harry acted badly in two bad movies -- DON'T WORRY DARLING and MY POLICEMAN.  That didn't help him.  His 'love affair' with Olivia Wilde didn't help him either.  It was his time to be hot and single and there he was saving all his love for the woman with kids by another man (Olivia insists that they didn't start up until after she broke up with Jason).  The best thing he did in the latter half of 2022 was break up with her.  But before he did that, he made another major mistake.  Harry, you're British.  You're not an American citizen.  Don't come into this country as a guest and then start telling us who we should vote for.  No one asked you.  No one cared to hear from you.  I'm planning another trip to Ireland -- where I do have extended family.  But guess what?  As an American citizen, I'm not going to tell anyone in Ireland who to vote for.  I've got more common sense than that.  Your bad movies, your laughable relationship and your telling another country how to vote?  Bad movies that lowered the value of your album. Translation, you blew your wad -- and you did it prematurely and in a way that harms your musical value. Parting note, stop wearing tank tops.  It's distressing to see your boyish body and sparse pit hairs and realize that you're almost 29 but look 14.  Olivia might like jail bait but your fans who aren't tweens expect a little more manly in the man. That's not a crack about dresses.  Wear all the dresses you want just make sure they have sleeves because I don't want to sleep with a man who has less armpit hair than I do -- and I shave.

This is what a man can do, Harry.  Robbie's outshined you and then some.  This is not a compilation album.  Robbie sang new vocals for this album and he sang them over newly recorded music.  It's a sweeping project and a textured one.  You'll be hearing some of your old favorites in a completely different light

My last review for 2022 and it was of the best album of the year.  This is amazing.  And this is where I put the visuals in.

Why?  Because those four songs explain why The 1975 made it to number one on my list of the year's finest.

As for 2023?  Elaine's noted the album she's looking forward to.  What am I looking forward to in 2023?  Really there's just one thing I'm hoping for in terms of music: Diana Ross winning her first competitive Grammy.  She's nominated for her THANK YOU album (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album).  She deserves it for the album.  But she also deserves it for her career.  This is her twelfth singing nomination.  It's long past time that this legendary artist who is celebrated around the world finally gets handed the trophy.