Album life! The cohesive grandiose statements that shaped the pop trajectory from “Pet Sounds” to “Purple Rain” to “Dirty Computer” are still alive and well. I owe this to Beyoncé. But he had a lot of other big (and small) statements worth spending an hour, two, ten hours on.
Self-love in the dance club. Always a great theme for LP. Queen More than any other record in his bay, “Renaissance” is an album for anyone who likes all kinds of pop music: disco, Top 40 of the 80’s, his R&B of the 90’s, 100 varieties of electronica. . While it is well made, it feels good to the touch. It looks more like a natural work of art, perhaps a cathedral lit by strobes and disco balls, rather than an elaborate skyscraper. Defying with joy on the dance floor. High art with freedom married to pop fun.
A million albums have come and gone. Nothing starts like ‘Special’: ‘Hello, [expletive], did you miss me? I have been at home since 2020. I twerk and make smoothies. It’s called healing. And since you last saw me, I feel better, on this LP Lizzo in a masterclass of hooks, bravados, hooks, dignity, hooks, genres her mashups and more hooks Shake quickly. It has many similarities to the “Renaissance” – more self-love, self-care, and self-confidence. But it’s mixed with more pop styles than ever, including fiery ballads (remember) and additional retro grooves and double the joy.
“Denim and Diamonds” Nicky Lane
“Denim & Diamonds” was a chain of honky-tonk nightclubs. Nicky Lane’s dad used to party a lot at Nashville parties. She had to write a song about it. The song became the title her track of her humming, half indie her rock, half outlaw her country fourth album. She writes about swindling a tank of unleaded petrol and Coke at a gas station her father knew (“First Time”). She writes about how her single mother’s devotion prepared her for divorce (“Born Tough”). She writes about her 60-year relationship with her grandparents (“Good Enough”). The whole record is craft and hook, wit and honesty.
“Dying Expert” Beth
The Beths’ “Jump Rope Gazers” made my list of favorite albums of 2020. The Beths’ is my list of favorite albums of 2022. Can’t wait until 2024! New Zealand heroes do power pop, pop punk, indie pop and indie rock better than anyone working today. They are also gentle, hurtful, rebellious, silly, and dynamic. The best rock’n’roll band.
“Clouds” Ballroom Thieves
Like many people, Ballroom Thieves’ Martin Earley and Calin Peters spent much of the pandemic dealing with big questions and heavy emotions. Oh, and also, like so many people disrupting the pandemic, they fell in love with Harry Styles. . This ballad is an echo-and-reverb, unsettling ballad with a searing little guitar his solo and a dreamy chorus. The song sits somewhere between lilting indie pop (“Borderline”) and a nearly seven-minute cello-maddening dream (“Trodden”). This trio song shows how deep and dense “Clouds” is.