My Ten Favorite Music Projects In 2022 At The Half Way Point Of The Year
It's been an awesome music year so far.
- I NEVER LIKED YOU by FUTURE
- DS4EVER by Gunna
- The Tipping Point by Tears For Fears
10. Harry’s House by Harry Styles: I fell into the trap...I like Harry Styles. When Harry's House first dropped, I stayed far away from it. But I eventually gravitated to the album through the song As It Was; and after doing multiple complete listens, I have to say it's very good. Some of the songs give me Old Navy commercial vibes, but others really hit me in the right spot. I can jam out to As It Was or Day Light no problem. Good album that will probably garner some Grammy buzz.
9. Pool by Still Woozy and Remi Wolf: This year in music has been very strong with lots of great albums, but this single by Still Woozy and Remi Wolf deserved recognition. Remi Wolf and Still Woozy are two artists I've been a fan of for a few years and when these two coming together, it always makes me happy. While the beat of the song seems happy and relaxing, it's really the look at two friends that are struggling in their own ways.
Remi Wolf sings about relationships that hurt her and how she keeps falling into that trap. "Risking my relationships and people I just can't resist, And bad behavior I've been tryna to hide, Suffocate and drown". Still Woozy sings about how his life with his wife is good, but when he shuts his eyes he sees an old friend who has passed. This image haunts him. "I saw my late friend last night, He came to see me in a dream, I don't know why he visits me, I worked all day, Just let me sleep, alright?". When I've had a long day, I like to listen to this song to unwind.
8. The Live Series: Songs Of Location by Bruce Springsteen: While this album didn't put any new music out, listening to live Springsteen is fantastic. I've never had the opportunity to see the Boss live, but when I listen to Meet Me In The City from 2016 in Sweden, I feel like I'm there. By far my favorite from the album is Candy's Room from 1978 in West Hollywood. There is a lot of anticipation as the music begins to play and Bruce finally says in to the mic "In Candy's room there are pictures of her heroes on the wall" and I get excited.
7. Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar: I have never been a massive Kendrick fan; I love the hits, but he's never been an artist that I'd do a deep dive on. Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers really changed my attitude on his music. There are only two artists who can tackle social issues while making great music at the same time and that is Joey Bada$$ and Kendrick. Kendrick does that on this album while also sprinkling in bangers that will be in the same realm as Money Trees or Swimming Pools like N95; "Who you think they talk 'bout?, Talk about us (you out of pocket, shoot, shoot, shoot), Who you think they copy off?"
This is another album that will be in the conversation when the Grammys roll around and I think should win best rap album. That would be the second win for Kendrick in this category as he won for To Pimp A Butterfly in 2016.
6. JR Specs Pay Day Project: This here has to be one of the most ambitious projects of the whole year. JR Specs, friend of the My Parents Office Podcast, decided to release 24 songs this year; 2 a month coming on the 1st and 15th each month. So far, he's delivered on that promise.
JR has a pop-ish sound, but is like a musical chameleon. He can spit bars at a fast pace like he did on his song Rodeo Tony, can sing a love song referencing the The Buggles like Heart Candies, and knows when a feature will hit. So far, Specs has not missed and just about every song has been a banger in my monthly rotation; I commend the hard work he's put into this rigorous process.
5. Come Home The Kids Miss You by Jack Harlow: This album received a profane amount of hate because it sounded "too main stream". That's a lot of malarkey if you ask me. I personally loved this album by Jack Harlow; and I definitely have a bias because I've been big on Jack Harlow for years when he dropped 18 in 2016. The features he utilized in Drake, Pharrell, and Justin Timberlake were masterful and the sampling that was used was clever. First Class was the smash hit from the album where Harlow sampled Glamorous by Fergie and turned it from a pop hit to a rap hit.
Under appreciated aspects of the album were songs like Young Harleezy where he makes a beat switch early on in the song by using Snoop Dogg. It starts as a trap/R&B track, but at 0:44 turns to a West coast bop. "Trust me, where I'm sittin', I can't even see these boys, I ain't like that CD boy, you better eat them Wheaties boy, This is not Vanilla Ice or Beastie Boys". Insert the nasty stank face you make when you hear an unreal bar. I think that Come Home The Kids Miss You will be nominated for best rap album, but will not take home the trophy. Still an immaculate piece of music.
4. Czarmageddon! by CZARFACE: You probably didn't hear about Czarmageddon; but now that you have, go listen to it. What I have to point out from this album that is the most important is how magnificent the production is. Going from dark and mellow beats that accentuate the hip hop trios pars to beats that sound like they're straight out of a video game keeps you on your toes from Damien's Dinner Time to Logan-5. Personally, I think The Czarlaac Pit is the hardest and most enjoyable song off the album because of the beat that sounds like they used a didgeridoo. Zero skips on this album.
3. From 2 to 3 by Peach Pit: Peach Pit makes music to listen to when you're either happy or want to be happy. For me, I listen to Peach Pit when I wake up because it's a better morning pick-me-up then a double shot of espresso from Mary Lou's Coffee. Songs from the bands new album, From 2 to 3 definitely carried me through many morning practices this spring because of the jovial guitar used in most of their music.
The draw of From 2 to 3 is the way that Peach Pit can morph great story telling with fun instrumentals. Vickie is the main example of this; the story of a person being happy that another person doesn't live near them because they wouldn't get their beauty sleep accompanied by a beat that makes you want to dance with a stranger captivates me. From 2 to 3 is the perfect summer vibes album to play when you're driving, playing beer die, or relaxing by the pool.
2. Crocodile Turbo by Action Bronson: "TURBO, TURBO, TURBO." That's what you'll hear at the end of the songs on Crocodile Turbo. Have you ever wanted to feel like Rambo hiding in a tree waiting to attack, but you're driving to your unpaid internship in Worcester? Well, Crocodile Turbo is the album for you. While I don't actually think Action Bronson had to "choke a motherfucker on the side of the road", he makes me believe it. Him rapping these lyrics of violence are a better actor than Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood.
Initially, I didn't know how to feel about the album. Traditionally, I'm more of an easy listening guy and this much aggression punched me in the mouth; but after multiple listens, I fell in love with it. It's a lot different than previous albums he's dropped that I've adored, like Mr. Wonderful or Blue Chips 7000, but he makes it work.
1. 90’s American Superstar by Wallice: Remember the name Wallice because she is about to blow up. Her album, 90’s American Superstar gives me hope that rockstars are still out there in this younger generation of musicians. Wallices combination of throwback references to Dazed and Confused and John Wayne with a rock rhythm hits me in all the right places and makes me smile ear to ear while I sing along. Previous songs in her catalog are about weathered relationships that still weigh on her like Punching Bag or Wisdom Tooth; but on 90's American Superstar, she makes herself the main character.
Her song Rich Wallice is girl bossing personified. She tells the story about how she wants to be rich and famous and cannot wait to meet her future self. Her future self borders on being a villain that is real mean and doesn't abide by the laws. The chorus of the song makes you want to bang you head and sing along as he plays the electric guitar; "I got a whole lot of prospects, It's never enough, I got two digits in my bank account, Order until it runs out".
Like I mentioned prior, the song writing is genius. I have a soft spot for 90's nostalgia and gives me every bit of it on the song 90's American Superstar. "Lazy and lonely, dazed and confused, Way more than ten things I hate about you, Clueless and at my breaking point, Need somebody new to disappoint, Escape from LA, it's time to go, Kill the star on the radio". I've had this album on repeat for weeks now, and I don't see it leaving the rotation any time soon. BANGER.