The Yorkshire Post's albums of 2022

Brett Anderson of Suede onstage at Brussels Cirque Royal. Picture: Christophe DehousseBrett Anderson of Suede onstage at Brussels Cirque Royal. Picture: Christophe Dehousse
Brett Anderson of Suede onstage at Brussels Cirque Royal. Picture: Christophe Dehousse
After two years heavily interrupted by Covid, the music industry cranked back into gear in 2022, with gigging very much back on the agenda. The past 12 months also produced some excellent musical memoirs. This, though, is The Yorkshire Post music contributors’ choice of albums of the best albums of 2022.

Suede – Autofiction (BMG)

Review by Duncan Seaman

While the Britpop wars were raging all around them, Suede – and the Manic Street Preachers – spent the 1990s purveying a strain of guitar pop that was emotionally intuitive and intelligently crafted, so it seemed apt in that the two bands shared a stage on an autumn tour of North America this year. Brett Anderson & Co’s ninth studio album swaps the lush symphonies of 2018’s The Blue Hour for a “punky” back to basics approach, but the singer’s ruminations on the onward creep of middle age remain at the forefront of Autofiction. “I’m not the kind of person who never feels uncertain” he intones over Richard Oakes’ soaring guitar line in What Am I Without You?, a track that appears on the surface to be a straightforward love song but on closer investigation examines the relationship between the band and their audience. Opening song She Still Leads Me On is an even more startling ode to Anderson’s late mother set to a classic glam-rock riff. In the post-punk number, 15 Again, he re-examines his inner teenager. Suede might be increasingly aware of their own mortality but in Autofiction their collective energy burns as brightly as ever.

Wet Leg. Picture: Hollie FernandoWet Leg. Picture: Hollie Fernando
Wet Leg. Picture: Hollie Fernando

Father John Misty – Chloe and The Next 20th Century (Bella Union)

Review by David Hodgson

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Standing out from the rest of his repertoire by virtue of its big, luscious orchestral strings colliding gloriously with country acoustic guitar, Josh Tillman’s sixth outing as Father John Misty is a fantastical affair, reminiscent of wartime musicals in part, big band in others whilst never sounding pastiche. Lyrically it’s songs largely about love and hope, something of a departure from his previous releases that frequently expressed despair at the world in front of him. Opener Chloe conjures images of a chorus of 1920’s dancers, Q4 the conductor in front of a national orchestra and Goodbye Mr Blue, using a Turkish Angora cat to reflect a personal relationship, a country and western storytelling masterclass. Val Kilmer makes a lyrical appearance in the (sort of) title track The Next 20th Century, the music maintaining interest throughout despite its mellowness. It’s a striking piece of work, never tiring, constantly revealing more lyrical gems on each listen.

Wet Leg – Wet Leg (Domino)

Father John Misty. Picture: Ward & KweskinFather John Misty. Picture: Ward & Kweskin
Father John Misty. Picture: Ward & Kweskin

Review by Susan Darlington

There are few albums that capture the euphoria of coming out of lockdown as effectively as Wet Leg’s eponymous debut. The music is firmly indebted to the 90s indie of The Breeders but the Isle of Wight duo, comprised of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, combine it with joyfully absurdist and irreverent lyrics. There’s the ‘longest, loudest scream’ on ‘Ur Mum’, which has become an interactive mainstay of their live shows; their humorous riposte to being a man’s masturbatory fantasy on ‘Wet Dream’; and the deadpan non sequiturs in Mean Girls quoting breakthrough single ‘Chaise Longue’ (“Is your muffin buttered?”). These elements provide the novelty for which they first attracted attention, but they also have plenty of nuanced earworms that demand repeat listening. What’s more, they’ve injected a sense of fun back into music making, which gives the album a sense of female celebration.

Rich Ruth – I Survived, It’s Over

Review by Janne Oinonen

Rich RuthRich Ruth
Rich Ruth

Nodding at times towards heavy-psych fuzz guitar meltdowns of Maggot Brain-era Funkadelic, the maximalist orchestral swells of Kamasi Washington, the subtle build-ups of ambient minimalism ala Brian Eno or Jon Hassell and the cosmos-straddling spiritual jazz explorations by the legendary likes of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, I Survived, It's Over sounded startlingly vibrant for an album painstakingly assembled from remote contributions by a large cast of contributors.

Rich Ruth set out to create soundscapes that matches his internal chaos after being robbed at gunpoint outside his Nashville home. The results - unhurriedly evolving, soothingly lush yet electrifyingly untamed epics that rendered their esoteric references into a potent, often superhumanly beautiful noise – proved an unexpectedly joyous listening experience for an album rooted in such deep trauma. A transcendental triumph, I Survived, It’s Over provided nourishing moments of serenity whilst also cooking up a racket fit for soundtracking a year that offered no shortage of anxiety, chaos and calamity.

Viagra Boys – Cave World (Year0001)

Review by Tom Newton

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Sweden’s own Viagra Boys popped out a potent dose of post-punk energy this year with third album Cave World.

Rather than yet another radio friendly slogan chanting band, Viagra Boys looked to conspiracy theories, evolution and the misinformation regarding vaccines of recent years.

A real side-swiping tongue-in-cheek document of the modern world sounding like a less maudlin Birthday Party but retaining the same blistering energy and dry wit of Cave and Co.

The post-punk revival is quickly becoming tired and homogenised within its 5 year spurt in popularity, however Viagra Boys mercifully haven’t been wrung dry of all credibility by the BBC6 hipsters thus far.

Keep a few of these little blue numbers in a top drawer for safekeeping. Viagras are stiff competition for album of the year.

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