2nd Grade, Afterpartees, Chris Lund, Edward O'Connell, Eytan Mirsky, Freedy Johnston, Friends of Cesar Romero, Greg Pope, Kate Clover, Ken Sharp, Kids on a Crime Spree, Love Burns, Movie Movie, Papercuts, Pete Astor, Phil Thornalley, Push Puppets, Richard Turgeon, Ryan Allen, Sad About Girls, Sloan, Superchunk, Tamar Berk, Televisionaries, The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness, The Genuine Fakes, The Happy Fits, The Happy Somethings, The Kryng, The Minders, The Photocopies, The Rubs, Tony Molina, Trevor Blendour, Young Guv
Once again I’ve assembled a crack team of ace reviewers to whittle our towering pile of albums from 2022 down to an essential must-have list of just 25 choices. How could these stuffed suits know what’s hip, you might say? It’s kinda like how album covers can be deceiving – the dullest dust jacket may obscure a real gem. So I’ve had these guys working overtime to bring you the very best of 2022, as featured in the annals of this here blog over the past calendar year. They’ve combed through countless long-players, extended plays and concept albums to put together multiple ‘must have’ lists. Tough work but you can tell by quality of their tailoring that they were up for it.
Cue drumroll – here we have it, Poprock Record’s 25 must-have LPs from 2022:
1. Tamar Berk Start at End
2. Trevor Blendour Falling in Love
3. Televisionairies Mad About You
4. Kids on a Crime Spree Fall in Love Not in Line
5. The Kryng Twelve Hymns to Syng Along
6. The Minders Psychedelic Blacktop
7. Eytan Mirsky Lord, Have Mirsky!
8. Edward O’Connell Feel Some Love
9. Phil Thornalley Now That I Have Your Attention
10. Kate Clover Bleed Your Heart Out
11. Push Puppets Allegory Grey
12. The Rubs (dust)
13. Afterpartees Family Names
14. Sloan Steady
15. 2nd Grade Easy Listening
16. Greg Pope Rise of Mythical Creatures
17. Papercuts Past Life Regression
18. Young Guv Guv III
19. Freedy Johnston Back on the Road to You
20. Pete Astor Time on Earth
21. The Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness The Third Wave of …
22. Superchunk Wild Loneliness
23. The Happy Fits Under the Shade of Green
24. Tony Molina In the Fade
25. Chris Lund Indian Summer
Tamar Berk’s outstanding album Start at End tops our list for 2022. Melodic, poppy, inventive, and with a smooth AM radio sheen that encourages repeated listening. And then it’s hard not to fall for the manic, almost gleeful energy of Trevor Blendour’s Falling in Love. The Televisionaries’ Mad About You is just a wonderful mixture of retro rock and roll and hooky modern melodic riffing. I could go on (and I have – click on the hot links to go to the original posts). The list has got old faves (Freedy Johnston, Edward O’Connell, Eytan Mirsky), power pop stalwarts (Sloan, Greg Pope, Chris Lund), and a whole lot that was entirely new to me (Kate Clover, Push Puppets, Pete Astor). And there’s jangle to spare (The Kryng, Young Guv, The Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness). The list is proof that, contra claims we are solely a sample culture, the long-playing album is alive and well in the new millennium.
And there’s more. The ongoing revival of the extended play record format has led to this list, Poprock Record’s must-have EPs from 2022:
1. The Happy Somethings Ego Test
2. Movie Movie Movie Movie
3. Sad About Girls Wild Creatures
4. Friends of Cesar Romero In the Cold Cruel Eyes of a Millions Stars
5. Ryan Allen I’m Not Mean
6. Love, Burns Fade in the Sun
7. Richard Turgeon Rough Around the Edges
8. The Genuine Fakes Extended Play Vol. 3
The Happy Somethings make me happy, about a lot of things. They say important things, they give me hope. And their tunes are swell. The rest of the list is pretty winning too. Great tunes in smaller packages. That leaves no excuses not to check them out.
Sometimes an album is bigger than its constituent parts. Sometimes it’s just big. So I had to carve out a special category for Ken Sharp’s latest homage to the 1970s, Poprock Record’s must-have concept album from 2022:
Ken Sharp I’ll Remember the Laughter
Our last category recognizes an artist of prodigious talent and shocking productivity. By my reckoning over the past year alone he has turned out 2 albums of completely new material, 8 EPs of new material, 3 double-sided singles, 3 greatest hits albums, a b-sides album, an EP of remakes, and a holiday EP. Sleep is apparently not for this guy. Thus we bestow the Poprock Record special award of awesome poprock merit to:
Another year, another avalanche of great tunes. Melodic rock and roll lives and here is the proof. Click on the links and find your new faves. The guys in suits are done here (for now).
1954 ‘Speaking of Pictures’ ad courtesy James Vaughn.