The post-pandemic musical renaissance is here. For artists we spoke to, 2022 was about re-entering the world, socializing in person, and performing live music again. The excitement of touring and showcasing new music was palpable and among those artists who re-entered the music scene with stellar albums were too many to include in one list. These are our favorite picks.
“Midnights,(3 AM Edition)” Taylor Swift
One does not download a Taylor Swift album immediately when it drops, no, no, that is a rookie mistake. When “Midnights” was announced I waited a few hours and lo and behold an extended version of “Midnights (3 AM Edition)” dropped three hours later. Among those bonus tracks, “Bigger than the whole sky,” and “Paris” fit in seamlessly with hits, “Karma,” “Maroon,” and the undeniable bop “Anti-hero.” This album lives up to the hype.
In case no one told you today, Lizzo is special. She’s also multi-talented and a ray of positivity. Her follow-up to her hit, “Cuz I love You” is a love letter to herself and in doing so Lizzo has opened herself up to love and a relationship. The album, like Lizzo, is unapologetically black. The album is full of slick grooves and manages to pay homage to her roots, her music will have you dancing, twerking, singing, and crying. Songs like “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)” are about fully loving oneself in order to be able to love others in return. The album is full of positivity, sick beats, and heartfelt lyrics.
“Tastes Like Gold,” LIT
LIT’s 7th studio album, “Tastes Like Gold” brings back the nostalgia and reminds us that the L.A. rockers are superstars and we are glad they are back! The album became an instant frontrunner for Best Album of 2022 upon first listen. The album kicks off with “Yeah Yeah Yeah” an uptempo banger that grabs you instantly and makes you bop your head. It then takes you on a giant ride with their autobiographical hit single, “Kicked off the Plane.” “Tastes Like Gold” features collaborations from No Doubt’s Adrian Young, Butch Walker, and American Authors.
“Attention: Miley Live,” Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus doesn’t need to do much to get our attention. Her evolution from Disney pop starlet to an artist fully in control of her image and freedom to reinvent herself and introduce a newer generation to the rock sensibilities of Blondie, (“Heart of Glass”), pop royalty Madonna, (“Like a Prayer”) and in this live recording features a mashup of her hit, “Wrecking Ball” and Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Attention” Miley Live features 20-tracks a full hour and twenty-two-minute concert experience. A must-listen for any Miley fan.
“Pretty Good for a Girl Band,” Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers
Australian breakout act, Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers are making a name for themselves with their in-your-face punk-infused rock. In 5 tracks they establish themselves as badass musicians who are extremely talented and way more than just pretty good for a girl band. Their single, “Girl Sport” tackles the stereotype that girls aren’t as strong at sports a metaphor for the times these ladies have been praised for being surprisingly good despite their gender. What makes this band special is that they are able to take the piss out of gender stereotypes and tackle other subject matters as well. The album kicks off with the track titled, “AHHHHH!” which opens with the ladies performing beautiful harmonies set to catchy melodies. This EP is so fantastic it was a no-brainer to select it as one of the winners of Best Album of 2022.
“Good Man,” Miles Francis
Miles Francis really comes into their own with the album, “Good Man.” Released in March of 2022 the New York City multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter challenges gender norms and further explores masculinity and manhood in tracks like, “Rainjacket,” and “Good Man.” What instantly drew me to this album was the musicality, I could hear hints of Prince and Bowie which turns out happen to be among the many extraordinary artists who influenced their music.
When Tiffany announced that she was making a rock album expectations were high and she delivered. The raspiness of her voice and the angst expressed throughout the record showcase the versatility and edge she had all along. Now, entirely in control of her sound and musical direction Tiffany bares her soul on tracks, “I Like The Rain,” and “My Everything.” When she spoke with us back in November regarding the record she confirmed that this record was a long time coming and authentically all her own.
“All Killer No Filler (1977-2001),” The Senders
New York’s unsung punk heroes, The Senders may finally get their due with the release of their compilation album, “All Killer No Filler (1977-2001). The double album features 27 unreleased and out-of-print songs and is available in digital and CD formats. The album starts with “Devil Shootin’ Dice” a melodic uptempo song that instantly draws you in. The cool thing about this compilation album is that it features live recordings and studio tracks giving you a feel for the energy and charm they brought to the crowd, listen to “Fat Face” and you’ll get a taste.
“Fix Yourself, Not The World” The Wombats
Released in January 2022 The Wombats’ “Fix Yourself, Not the World” is one of those albums that expertly delivers govvy hooks, fun melodies, and catchy lyrics. It is electro-pop goodness. Among my personal favorites are, “If you ever leave, I’m coming with you,” “Everything I love is going to die” and “Work is easy, Life is hard.” It’s no wonder this album would go on to become the band’s UK number one album. These guys are so prolific that by November of 2022, they were releasing a new EP (Is This What It Feels Like To Feel Like This?)!