MMM Staff Picks: Richard John Cummins’ Top Ten Favorite Albums of 2022
2022 was another interesting and relatively lucrative year for music. Not much of particular note happening in the way of rock’s oldest active veterans (i.e. those who began in the ’60s or ’70s), but a few major ’90s and 2000s came back to show that they’re still determined to move forward artistically. One 2010s starter also came back with her most successful album to date, while another from that generation gave a concept album a shot. Not to mention a few up-and-coming newer bands continued to show great promise on their second or third major release.
#10. Simple Plan – ‘Hard Than It Looks’
With their first new album in six years, a collection of super-tight, uplifting highly enjoyable rockers, Canada’s veteran emo-ers make it look easy and also prove that sometimes a Simple Plan is the best plan.
#9. The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘ATUM: A Rock Opera In Three Acts’
Even after a quarter century, Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan makes it clear that he won’t go quietly, and this first part of an intended album trilogy proves he still has what it takes as a songwriter and producer.
#8. Beyoncé – ‘RENAISSANCE’
This innovative collection of EDM, R&B, and hip-hop showcases all the defiance and beauty which illustrates why Beyoncé is one of the most successful artists of the twenty-first century so far.
#7. Muna – ‘Muna’
On their third album, Muna filters a singer-songwriter vibe through mostly synth-heavy tracks (with some strings even thrown in for good measure) along with poignant lyrics and Kate Gavin’s indie rock-worthy vocals. It all works seamlessly.
#6. Arctic Monkeys – ‘The Car’
With The Car, the Arctic Monkeys continue their current musical road trip, still leaving their original speedy sound in the rearview in favor of this compelling bunch of songs that take driving tips from the Beatles, Coldplay, and Blur among others. It’s a ride worth taking.
#5. The Beths – ‘Expert in a Dying Field’
Well, we certainly hope that tight, poignant, fun indie rock is not a dying field, but on their third full-length album, the Beths do prove themselves to be quite knowledgeable on the subject (the album went to number one in the band’s native New Zealand. Time to catch up, rest of the world!
#4. The Weeknd – ‘Dawn FM’
There’ve been conceptual works framed by the idea of a fictional radio station, but this may be the first to combine it with that of the afterlife. The Weeknd gets it all to work perfectly with his trademark brand of synth-based R&B.
#3. Mitski – ‘Laurel Hell’
Outstanding singer-songwriter Mitski returns from a four-year absence not a moment too soon with this amazing group of strong, tight, slickly produced but emotionally raw tracks. Laurel Hell is listening heaven.
#2. Sports Team – ‘Gulp!’
The band’s name is still boring AF, but these young London-based indie alternative rock absolutely score a win with their second full-length album.
#1. Momma – ‘Household Name’
Whoa, Momma! LA natives Momma this year birthed their third full-length album, an amazing collection of fun and tight guitar-driven ’90s-inspired (think Belly meets the Smashing Pumpkins) tracks, all of which definitely moves them towards the status suggested by the album’s title.