While the music market is more and more focusing on singles and even writes weird stories like Taylor Swift’s “Top 10 Billboard Charts Full House” this year, I still love EPs and albums. Thus, this posting is looking at the multi-song releases, after I already introduced you to my individual song favorites in 2022. By the way, if you want to compare what I liked the years before, here are my postings released for 2019, 2020 and 2021.
My Favorite EPs in 2022
I did not change the quantity of releases I nominate in here compared to the previous year. Thus, here are my favorite EPs. This category is not split into genres. As always, the year-end charts do not necessarily need to reflect the order of my ratings.
5. Choosing You by Brooke Eden
Even though there hasn’t been another release by Brooke Eden, I felt she had a really persuading year 2022. One of the reasons is of course this EP, Choosing You. Just five tracks and 17 minutes, but great compositions on point about her wife. Great listen.
4. Following the Rain by Kyle Daniel
Kyle Daniel released this one in mid 2022. It does not only contain Me & My Old Man, which you already know from my Favorite Songs – but four additional great writes. Kyle is just an amazing storyteller – and his EP is simply underlining that.
3. Something Divine by Junipa Gold
Austrian rock artist Junipa Gold is finally the only non-country artist, who made it on this list of five – even though my long list had a couple of other candidates. Great five track rock release. Amazing lead vocals, which simply stay in your mind.
2. Rachel Bradshaw by Rachel Bradshaw
The country music year 2022 started great – as it started with this EP (which is a 7th January 2022 release). Rachel Bradshaw illustrates that she is much more as “the girl from the Bradshaw Bunch” or “Terry’s daughter”. Just missed the top spot on my 2022 EP list.
My Favorite EP in 2022:
Masquerades by Tenille Townes
None of the EPs I picked has been released later than July – and also the finally winning EP has been released in the first half of the year. Tenille Townes shared the seven songs of Masquerades with us on 22nd April 2022 – and they are simply a blast. It is just a great listen – give it a try!
My Favorite Non-Country Albums in 2022
Rock, pop, schlager… and even jazz. There have been a lot of different styles in 2022. I tried to widen my scope of reviews compared to the previous year. Furthermore, I have to say that the promos I receive of country music releases are still limited in number. I more and more appreciate to create a major part of my weekend contents before the albums are in fact released. Hope you enjoy these releases as much as I do.
7. Rock Candy by Orianthi
I loved Orianthi’s 2020 album O – and this year’s Rock Candy was not worse, definitely. The Australian artist is an amazing and fascinating one. Eleven songs in this October release – keep your heads banging while listening to her.
6. Vita Beata by Stephen Jay
I saw Stephen Jay nine times on stage during 2022 – and I am scheduled to have ten additional ones in 2023. Unfortunately, I never consumed his own music, but saw him in his role as the bassist of Weird Al Yankovic. In May 2022, just during the over 130 shows North American tour, he released his latest album Vita Beata – amazing music by a great artist.
5. Diamond Star Halos by Def Leppard
If you had a look into my Favorite Songs 2022, this nomination is not too surprising to you: the Sheffield hard rock legends released a new album – and Diamond Star Halos is not only a great listen for fans of the band. There is even a country song in it – believe it or not!
4. Powerzone by Chez Kane
After her amazing self-titled debut EP released in 2021, Chez Kane’s debut album Powerzone was one of the 2022 releases I looked forward to most. And the British artist simply did great! Classic rock 1990’s style in the 2020’s. Simply a lot of fun!
3. Not So Silent Night by Sarah Connor
I am typically rather tired of Christmas releases. Most of the albums more or less contain the same songs again and again – not too rarely with not that much added value compared to the original or previous versions. All these thoughts are absolutely wrong in regards of Sarah Connor’s Not So Silent Night. A great holiday storytelling with different types of songs and amazing quality. In summer time or snowy winter – Sarah Connor is simply one of Germany’s finest acts.
2. Songwriter by Richard Marx
Richard Marx is Mr Right Here Waiting For You to you? Then I absolutely urge you to listen to Songwriter. Twenty songs, five times each in pop, rock, ballads… and country. And the US artist is great in any of them.
My Favorite Non-Country Album in 2022:
This Life by Curtis Stigers
Richard Marx and Curtis Stigers are two amazing artists of my youth years. Curtis Stigers is on the top of my list for 2022. Not that surprising if you follow my website – his album This Life has received the full 5.0 out of 5.0 points in my review in February 2022. Stigers covered his own songs – and turned them into jazz tracks. A best of, a cover album… but still so special. I loved this one this year!
My Favorite Country Albums in 2022:
Last, but not least, here are by top long-play listens in country music.
7. Je wahrer die Liebe by Klaus Lage
I guess you don’t have that one on your list. Klaus Lage is rather known as a German rock artist (if you have the chance to see him live on stage, I absolutely recommend it!). However, his 2022 Je wahrer die Liebe is also full of Americana and country elements. He is simply one of the best music creators in Germany.
6. Songwriter by Richard Marx
No copy and paste mistake. I already told you that Richard Marx also did five country songs in his Songwriter – and they are great. I felt that it is fair to list him in the country music category as well.
5. A Smell of Gravy by The Cumberland River Project
A new release by Frank Renfordt and his The Cumberland River Project. The artist from Hagen in Germany is simply an excellent songwriter and storyteller and enriches his music with an excellent choice of artists, who are supporting him to turn them into a great sound. A Smell of Gravy sounds like an unusual album title, but there is a lot of good music in this June 2022 release.
4. Different Man by Kane Brown
Yeah, if you are a country music traditionalist, you might try to challenge my choice and call Different Man an R&B or pop release. But Kane Brown definitely has a country music heart – and he also does country music songs in his latest album. Look forward to enjoy a widespread range of people in the audience when he is touring Europe in early 2023.
3. Bar Stool Preacher by Jacob Bryant
Jacob Bryant took the “Rachel Bradshaw role” on the country album side: he released his Bar Stool Preacher album very early in 2022, on 14th January 2022. And he kept a top position in my ranking throughout the full year. 13 songs, 45 minutes and a lot of great stories finally make him finish on the third spot of my ranking.
2. On My Way by Katie Henry
On My Way is very often listed as a blues or rock album as well. However, New Jersey artist Katie Henry is simply doing a beautiful blend of genres – and regardless which name of genre you typically put on it – it is a great listen. I honor the country music heart of her release – and in that ranking, she is close to the top.
My Favorite Country Album in 2022:
Blue Wall by Noah Guthrie
Noah Guthrie is one of those artist you just need to keep your fingers crossed all the time. He is such an excellent storyteller and songwriter. Apart from that, he is fascinating on stage, as I saw in his 2019 show in Cologne. Blue Wall is another release as of the second weekend of January 2022 – fantastic recording.
Most Special Music Release in 2022:
Songwriter by Richard Marx
Okay, there is no seven disc new song CD box like Lordi’s Lordiversity last year. But somehow Richard Marx burned down a similar concept in a single twenty track album. Five rock songs, five pop songs, five ballads and five time country… and the Chicago artist is mastering all four sections. He makes it into both album rankings (which felt rather impossible to me before) – and truly deserves this additional glory.
2022 Media Reviews – Top Pick! ratings
Here are all my 2022-released Media Reviews, which lead to a Top Pick! rating:
These are all articles, in which I dealt with events and places influencing musical history: