The year 2022 in 23 music albums – Liberation

“Mom, how was the music in 2022?” “It was hot, it was cold, it was moving. It was crazy, it was serious, it was vital. It was distressed, it was joyful, it was mixed. Jazzmen doing techno, minimalist crooners, delirious cowboys, flamenco singers on motorcycles.” “But mom, wasn’t the world on fire back then?” “What do you want me to tell you, honey? We are like that, humans. We love life so much we’d twerk at the stake.”

stereotypy, No man looks like Brad Pitt in the Drôme (The beautiful brute)

Can we live a love story with a 20 euro bill? How to react if your tuna contains 40 kilos of cocaine? Did Mickaël Vendetta deserve to win? the celebrity farm ? Astereotypie, an incredible collective formed at IME, Bourg-la-Reine’s medical-educational institute ten years ago, answers all these questions on their electrifying third album.

Bertrand Bellin, vision drum (Wagrama)

Five months left to find out vision drum on stage, somewhere in France. To admire firsthand this record that is expected to have a long life, as long as the lineage of drunkards from which it comes. Mechanical and super chic, with the guitar upside down, he attends his own procession. Belin has never stripped music so much of him, and this regimen suits him madly well.

big thief, Dragon New Warm Mountain I believe in you (4AD)

Impossible title, delusional generosity, Big Thief’s fifth album was a must, as of February, as a must of the year. Absolutely predictable, we are now talking about one of the great references of American indie rock. Surprising indeed, the group shatters all expectations and yet, always, surprises, astounds, on this record that is both dazzling with perfection and full of insane excesses.

burnt boy, With love, damini (Caveat)

The best choirs of 2022 are all on this record. We’re hardly exaggerating, so much With love, damini it made us hum in front of the computer in the summer, in the fall, in the arrival of the cold. Not scalding, but warm throughout, this sixth album from the Nigerian is all about love and fusion (dancehall, r’n’b, West African accents), the epitome of what’s called the naija or afrobeat sound, since advanced that is now part of the global mainstream. It’s up to you to sand it down.

louis cole, Quality over opinion (Brain Feeder)

Too good, too dumb, too sad: Louis Cole, the Californian, genius drummer, maniacal worker on all instruments, went above and beyond for us with quality over opinion, concentrated on everything that the new electronic jazz funk pop scene can do, which is a success on YouTube -and in real life- with that je ne sais quoi that their colleagues, Domi & JD Beck ( whose album was ‘a hair short of finishing on this list) or even Thundercat: songs too, too good.

dry cleaning, enhancement (4AD)

How do you win the day when you tell stories of bouncing balls and muscular skiers in a background of guitars between Magazine and Black Sabbath with a blank voice? Playing genius, flexibility, showers of icy bits, sinusoidal bass lines and packing it all into the cover of the year.

Gwendoline, After that, it’s cup! (Dead Wax)

These two disillusioned Rennes jump into the abyss and come out crawling with 4 grams of blood. It is scientifically proven: if you listen Audi RTT and don’t bellow mechanically “Get together at the PMU at eight in the morning, go on a motorcycle retirement with all your friends”, is that you are Elon Musk.

Hudson Mohawke, cry sugar (buckling)

Magnum opus of our monster saturated with fat and data, the new great album by the Scotsman exiled in California Ross Birchard was a pinnacle of fun of the electronic year. A slightly conceptual album, which aims to embrace “the crazy Technicolor of American decadence” but that he embarks above all with his know-how, futuristic house, gospel trance, fluorescent trap gabber, you decide.

irreversible tangles, Open the doors (International Anthem)

On the ashes of a past that has not finished consuming us, this group traces the perspectives of a future to be re-enchanted. Anger and spirituality, drums that sound the memory of the ghosts of disunited States and saxophone that shouts the cry of all oppressions, the inventory of present contradictory forces is only there to stimulate a story of crumbling tomorrows.

James, The importance of emptiness (Investigate)

We were met with so much total incomprehension in defending this record that it was a great relief, two months ago, to discover the fans who had flocked to the Olympia to celebrate this pleasant song of tonsure surpassed in a few years. to the strange pop music. Turn, we repeat, damn right, and show yourself that you left more than one slime.

suspensory, i love you jennifer b (Rough trade)

Hailing from the same humus as Black Country, New Road, a post-pulp progressive pop septet whoseants from there that stimulated us all year, Jockstrap is the other band of the singer/violinist Georgia Ellery, her secret garden and, if possible given the sweet madness of BCNR, her space of freedom. Like a baroque XX full of ideas, the duo does everything with their electronic rock, especially the best, and the inexhaustible.

oan Kim And Dirty Jazz, Oan Kim and dirty jazz (self-produced)

Smoky cabaret atmospheres and chiaroscuro tones, shreds of jazz and scraps of post-rock, this soundtrack produced during confinement is one of the most UFOs of the year. Fifteen vignettes that, each one, tell a fragment of history, but whose end to end produces a form of singular self-portrait of the suggestive.

Khali, he doesn’t look like me either (self-produced)

Nothing heard here more leaden and furious in cé-fran rap in recent months than this second album by Khali. A plunge into one’s own damaged psyche, a mirror that stands up against all the others, it is not difficult to recognize oneself in it a little, a lot. Also a welcome alternative to the disappointing big machines of the year: underground rap is growing, getting richer, it never ceases to amaze us with its richness and diversity.

Bireli Lagrene, individual suites (Pee Wee!)

Far from any pyrotechnic trick, far from a banal selfish journey, the Bas-Rhin guitarist establishes his first solo collection in over 50 years. A masterpiece where, among a handful of covers and melodies from his pen, he improvises in the moment, for eternity.

Lisa LeBlanc, fancy disco (bonsound)

If there was a single pop album to keep alive the tired old heart of electroshock disco for the past two years, this would be it. Because he’s not elegant but rather rowdy, he knows how to withdraw into the most overwhelming acoustic simplicity as if deploying the great artillery of funk, and he teaches us a lot about food in the depths of New Brunswick.

Tumi Mogorosi Group Theory, black music (Hour Mushroom Half Hour/New Earth)

With this second album, the South African drummer pursues the exploration of a polyphonic jazz where, more than rolling boxes, he plays collectively and signs superlative arrangements. All at the service of a Great Black Music, from which magnetic songs sprout.

orville Peck, broncos (Sony)

With his second album, his first for a major, the masked gay cowboy had two options: continue chaining the hazy bluettes and caressing fans of Lana Del Rey, Morrissey, David Lynch and Chris Isaak in the direction of their hair. or finally to make an authentic gas station country, popular, bombastic, full of baroque lullabies and colorful jeweled costumes. He makes the right choice.

Apple, Comfort (Universal)

I wish all the variety was like this… It’s the little music that resounds every time we put the latest Apple on the record player again, a victory for French music that, however, forced Apple to take off to Quebec and reinvent itself far away of the pressures of the industry, with Flavien Berger, it must not be forgotten. Limpid, moving, intimate, raw, even cruel, never intimidating, Comfort console, and that’s something.

pusha-t, it’s almost dry (Universal)

Deal of legends, Pharrell at the top, nostalgia thick: it’s almost dry It is an amazing machine to make you nod and regret your withered youth. Do we cringe under an old-school duvet to love it so much? Not at this level of invention and power. Pusha-T, former half of Clipse and rapper extraordinaire, has never been so masterful, sure of what he wants and what he has become, there is nothing to throw away it’s almost dryAmerican rap in its most sovereign form.

rosalia, motomami (Sony)

While Billie Eilish reigned over the year 2021 with tears in her eyes, assuring us in a pale voice that no, really, it’s okay, the year 2022 was noisily flown over by Rosalía at the controls of a weapon of mass seduction fueled by an adulterated. mixture of diesel, sweat and teriyaki sauce. Magnificent album of a double transformation, that of its author, and that of globalized pop.

Valdes, V (Step)

V for Victoria or Vendetta, the fourth feature film by Valentin Le Du stole our hearts, made us laugh, cry, burst and anguish. An amazing album and partly neglected since its release in February -it’s the rap game that wants to impress more than be partly disposable- but whose sensation when coming out of yet another confinement is unforgettable: a delight.

weye blood, And in the Dark, Glowing Hearts (Subpop)

It is the soundtrack of the world collapsing in real time. It is timeless music, which could have been recorded in 1925 as in 1969. It is a pure Californian record, like Love, the Doors, X, Jane’s Addiction, Tupac or Kendrick Lamar did. It’s both Carpenters and Gershwin. This is undoubtedly the best, the most ambitious, the dizzying thing that Natalie Mering has written.

Wu Lu, Foolish (buckling)

A distant cousin of Gil Scott-Heron who would have taken on the mission of taking over the entire Stone Roses accompanied by Deftones under the supervision of Mica Levi? A cannibalistic Tricky who would have swallowed DJ Shadow and tried his luck in the jungle trying out the Bad Brains? There are many ways to describe Wu-Lu’s debut album, but none that really do justice to this impressive and indefinable record, somewhere between deconstructed rock and electric soul.


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