Yesterday we explored the first four albums in our top 10 of the year as chosen collectively by AUK writers. Tomorrow we will reveal our runner-up and number-one album of 2022, but for today, here’s numbers 6-3. If you haven’t heard them then what else are you doing on Christmas Day?
Number 6 – Drive-By Truckers “Welcome to Club XIII”
Number 5 – Wilco “Cruel Country”
This album is a glorious, gorgeous return to the very peak of both his songwriting and also his band’s powers. It’s all here, everything a long-term fan could want, a new listener could want, a dilettante or a fanatic. None will be disappointed. Dive in and drink your fill: ‘Cruel Country’ it maybe but there are untold riches in its hills and valleys. (KH) Wilco’s ‘Cruel Country’ got a fabulous review on AUK and while it didn’t knock me out on first listen, it has very definitely crept up on me over the last few months. It’s a fine album and my pick for 2022. (CF)
Number 4 – Charley Crockett “The Man From Waco”
Crockett sure can nail a cover. Think Billy Swan’s ‘I Can Help’ or Ernest Tubb’s ‘Saturday Satan Sunday Saint’. Before that dodgy heart gives out, he’s also giving us some damn fine songs of his own. This is the soundtrack to a Texas conjured up in stories, films and dreams. Often plays well with whiskey. (AD) All the songs on ‘The Man from Waco’ are written or co-written by Crockett, a distant descendant of the legendary Davy Crockett, and rank highly amongst his best. His rich, occasional baritone, voice is always an authentic instrument which takes you back to an earlier place and time. This is a very fine album and adds significantly to Crockett’s growing reputation. (FA)
Number 3 – Beth Nielsen Chapman “Crazy Town”
Beth Neilsen Chapman’s new album ‘Crazy Town’ was my first 10 of the year, it felt like a 10 on first listen in the car–instant wow factor, vibrant sound, great lyrics and vocals, memorable melodies, and after many more listens it’s clear it’ll be a long term favourite. A more unashamedly commercial sound than her earlier material, with top Nashville musicians, and referencing many of my favourite artists/tracks too. (DJ)
Check back tomorrow when we’ll be revealing our top two albums of the year.