The Best Non-Jazz Albums of 2023

Initial draft collected on Nov. 1, 2023. The file will be updated as additional worthy records are found (although updating may lag behind the official 2023 list). Last year's list was never frozen (OK, let's say it was frozen on Nov. 1, 2023). There also exists a parallel list of The Best Jazz of 2023.

Note: numbering of lists (aside from A/A-) is only temporary, to make it easier for me to tally up stats. I've made no effort to order (other than alphaetical by artist) anything in grades below A-.

Also, several A-list albums below were close enough to Jazz that I duplicated the entries in the Jazz file (sometimes giving them lower rankings there; the year file rank is more authoritative).


[*] indicates that I reviewed this on the basis of an advance, often a CDR copy (a good thing, I might add, for vinyl-only releases). [**] identifies a record that I've only heard via download or through a streaming service like Napster.

For all lists, I've included a few 2022 (and possibly earlier) records that I discovered after last year's freeze date, but I've only included such records if they were released on or after Dec. 1, 2022, or were so little known that they received no mention in the 2022 metacritic file. These are marked, e.g., '22, after the label.

New Music

1. Olivia Rodrigo: Guts (Geffen)
Second album, her debut at 17 was attention-grabbing, and this one, where the production goes big and where she pops through the cracks to claim it all, is even more impressive. A mere two plays through what may well be the record of the year. **

2. Buck 65: Punk Rock B-Boy (self-released)
Venerable rapper from Nova Scotia, dropped this 19-track limited edition cassette (all ten unique copies sold out) by surprise, with a line about the Texas Rangers suggesting he cut that track the day before this dropped. After a layoff, he popped back last year with the superb King of Drums -- so superb I was happy enough when this year's Super Dope sounded just like it. But this one is better still, with the words popping at a pace that justifies his "autodidactic polymath" boast. The beats too, until a change of pace called "Terminal Illiness" seals the deal. **

3. Beneficence & Jazz Spastiks: Summer Night Sessions (Ill Adrenaline)
Rapper Rahim Muhammad, from New Jersey, eighth album since 2004, with earlier efforts going back to 1991. First I've heard from him, but he sounds familiar, reminding me of groups like Downtown Science and the Perceptionists. Jazz Spastiks is a group, based in Scotland, of jazz-oriented hip-hop beatmakers, with ten or so albums since 2010. They're terrific here. **

4. Billy Woods & Kenny Segal: Maps (Backwoodz Studioz)
New York rapper, half of Armand Hammer, albums since 2003, father was a Marxist writer who moved the family to Zimbabwe for the revolution. Second album with LA-based producer Segal. I've been nibbling around his albums for a while without finding one compelling, but figure I might as well bite here. **

5. Aluna: Mycelium (Mad Decent)
British dance-pop singer-songwriter, recorded a couple albums with producer George Reid as AlunaGeorge, released a good solo album in 2020 (Renaissance), tops that here. **

6. El Michels Affair & Black Thought: Glorious Game (Big Crown)
New York funk/soul instrumental band led by Leon Michels, eighth album since 2005, lands a world class MC this time, working over some loops with occasional guest spots. **

7. Robert Forster: The Candle and the Flame (Tapete)
Australian singer-songwriter, joined Grant McLennan in the Go-Betweens, initially struck me as the lesser of the pair, but he's the one still ticking, and writing and singing new songs that fit nicely into the band's aesthetic. **

8. The Hold Steady: The Price of Progress (Positive Jams)
Craig Finn's band since 2003, ninth studio album (plus a few solos on the side). It's getting hard to tell their (or his) albums apart, but they're infrequent enough that each comes as a revelation: the stories interest, the words command your attention, his talkie voice is clear enough, and the music just fits. **

9. Debby Friday: Good Luck (Sub Pop)
From Nigeria, raised in Montreal, moved on to Vancouver, then Toronto. First album, no agreement on genre (electronic, hip-hop, industrial). Only one this reminds me of is Patti Smith, but digging for music roots, substitute Cabaret Voltaire for MC5. **

10. Janelle Monáe: The Age of Pleasure (Wondaland/Bad Boy/Atlantic)
Funk/pop star, from Kansas City (the one in Kansas), dropped last name Robinson, fourth album, a more modest effort than her last couple, clocking in at 31:49, but still a delight. **

11. Buck 65: Super Dope (self-released)
This grabbed me from the first scratches -- having started way back in 1986, he's sounding pretty old school -- beyond which numerous clever lines shoot across the horizon. **

12. Stephen Wilson Jr.: Sřn of Dad (Big Loud)
Country singer-songwriter, from Indiana, first album, about his father, got a little carried away (21 songs, 90 minutes). Still, the first three songs set the stage, showing an interest in social realism and demonstrating sonic tricks (including that "strong Southern drawl" but also booming guitar with a bit of fiddle) to sustain the effort. As for his daddy complex, I have my doubts -- what kind of father teaches his age-5 son to box? not mine, but but I can't say much more in his favor. I keep wondering whether I should revisit Zack Bryan, a good album, but one where the length ultimately wore me down. But even if it earns its reputation, I'd be very surprised if will hold up this well. **

13. Elzhi X Oh No: Heavy Vibrato (Nature Sounds)
Rapper Jason Powers, debut with Slum Village 2002, several solo albums since 2008. Oh No is Michael Jackson Woodrow, son of soul singer Otis Jackson and brother of Madlib/Quasimoto. Terrific flow here, lyrics dancing not just on the beats but surrounded by dazzle. **

14. Baby Queen: Quarter Life Crisis (Polydor)
Pop singer-songwriter Arabella Latham, from South Africa, headed to London at 18 with 40 demo CDs, took her six years to get a contract and an EP, follows up here with her first proper album, then doubles down with a "Deluxe edition" (9 extra songs, a second disc adding up to 73:20). **

15. Iris DeMent: Working on a World (Flariella)
Church-trained folksinger from Arkansas, released three stunning albums in the 1990s, contributed the anchor duets on John Prine's In Spite of Ourselves (1999), has appeared only rarely since. This is her first album of new songs since 2012. The time has taken a toll on her still-unmistakable voice, and the times on her patience, but not on her fundamental decency and good sense. Hits a rough patch midway through which might tempted me to cavil, but in the end I'm just happy to hear more. **

16. Stik Figa X The Expert: Ritual (Rucksack)
Rapper John Westbrook, originally from Kansas but based in Fort Worth, Discogs style is "conscious," which I take to mean smart and coherent, which he most certainly is. The Expert is Irish hip-hop producer Cian Galvin, who earns his moniker. **

17. Amaarae: Fountain Baby (Interscope)
R&B singer, Ama Genfi, born in New York, raised in Atlanta and Ghana, where she is based now. Second album. Interesting in various subtle ways until the punk "Sex, Violence, Suicide" erupts, which makes one wonder about the rest. **

18. La Sécurité: Stay Safe (Mothland)
Montreal "art punk" group, first album: "equal parts: jumpy beats, off-kilter arrangements, and minimalistic melodic hooks," also a nice balance between English and French. They remind me of vintage new wave, perhaps Martha & the Muffins spiked with Devo? **

19. The Handsome Family: Hollow (Loose)
Husband-and-wife duo, Brett and Rennie Sparks, he from Texas and she from Long Island, he the singer (although he never seemed like a natural), eleventh studio album since 1994. They have a distinctive sound, but this seems slightly more refined, comfortable, and fascinated with the world. **

20. Morgan Wade: Psychopath (Ladylike/RCA)
Country singer-songwriter, from Virginia, second album, fine voice, solid-plus writing, a bit too much guitar-heavy production but not as annoying as McBryde's. Christgau says this "exemplifies Nashville's evolution away from down home country toward a less regional style of autobiographical pop." That doesn't sound like a good idea to this old-timer, but the middle ground can still be fertile for someone with the talent to work it. **

21. Navy Blue: Ways of Knowing (Def Jam)
Rapper Sage Elsesser, ten EPs 2015-19, seventh studio album since 2020, this his major label debut, has also done production for MIKE and Mach-Hommy. Underground, beats ambling seductively, words knowing. Featured spot for Kelly Moonstone a highlight. **

22. Arlo Parks: My Soft Machine (Transgressive)
British neo-soul singer, parents Nigerian and French-Chadian, second album. **

23. Pizza Hotline: Level Select (We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want)
London-based electronica producer Harvey Jones, fourth album under this alias, also does business as El Choop (2 albums, 2016-19). Nine cuts, 47:22, at least for the edition I've listened to (looks like they vary). Beats really hit the spot for me. **

24. Lori McKenna: 1988 (CN)
Singer-songwriter from Massachusetts, 12th album since 2000, title refers to the year she got married, at 19, a union that endures, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and increasingly in well-observed song. **

25. Bill Scorzari: The Crosswinds of Kansas (self-released '22)
New York-based singer-songwriter, fourth album since 2014, before which he was some kind of hot shot attorney. Thirteen songs, stretched out to 71 minutes, has a long list of supporting musicians with a few tracks each, suggesting this was recorded over multiple sessions, perhaps going back to 2012. Christgau suggests reading along with the lyric sheet, but he has one, and would do that. Still mostly guitar and words, the latter almost talky. Seems like the surest way to a high grade around here is to remind me of John Prine, which happens when his usual Dylan gets off on a story. **

26. Romy: Mid Air (Young)
Singer-guitarist in The XX, Romy Madley Croft, the last of the trio to spin off a solo album. Dance pop, strong beats, rich tones but trimmed back a bit, very catchy, romantic interests female, but not too close. Fred Gibson (Fred Again) conspicuous among the collaborator. **

27. Zach Bryan: Zach Bryan (Warner)
Country singer-songwriter, though this second label album (after two self-releaseds) topped the rock charts as well as country and folk. Solid, unassuming, workman-like -- attributes that only deeepen with multiple replays. **

28. Declaime and Theory Hazit: Rocketman (SomeOthaShip)
Rapper Dudley Perkins, dozen-plus albums since 2001, with producer Thearthur Washington. Deep, out of this world yet very much within it, loses the thread of the music when he declares his belief in God, yet through some miracle keeps you connected anyway. **

29. Little Simz: No Thank You (Age 101/Awal/Forever Living Originals '22)
Late album drop from UK rapper Simbi Ajikawo, her fifth, after 2021's Sometimes I Might Be Introvert swept many of the year's best album lists. Major musical contribution here by Dean Josiah Cover (of Sault), with Cleo Sol (also of Sault) backing vocals, but still sharpest when the raps cut through to the front. **

30. Joy Oladokun: Proof of Life (Amigo/Verve Forecast/Republic)
Singer-songwriter, born in Arizona, parents from Nigeria, fourth album, follow up to the highly recommended In Defense of My Own Happiness. Another batch of superb songs, which fit comfortably between guests ranging from Chris Stapleton to Maxo Kream. **

31. Andy Fairweather Low: Flang Dang (Last Music)
Welsh singer-songwriter, recorded three low-key but remarkably catchy albums 1974-76, but virtually nothing after 1980 up to 2006 (exception is the 1983 Moments of Madness, credited to Local Boys). Since then he's turned out several live albums, coasting on his reputation, such as it is. But it appears the lockdown got him to concentrate, to write some new songs and play everything but the drums. The label calls this "a remarkable return to form," but it's also a disarmingly engaging return to basics. **

32. Danny Brown: Quaranta (Warp)
Rapper, actual last name Sewell, sixth album since 2010 -- not counting his recent JPEGMafia duo, which continues to confound me. This rolls on so easily I gave it three plays before I decided all I had to do was tack on a grade. **

33. Lucinda Williams: Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart (Highway 20)
After sounding pretty ragged for several albums, here she struggles to recover from a pretty severe stroke, and comes out sounding remarkably centered. **

34. Chino XL & Stu Bangas: God's Carpenter (Brutal Music/1332)
Rapper Derek Barbosa, released debut album in 1996, also has an acting career, working here with producer Stuart Hudgins. He's remarkably fast, not least because he has a lot to say, and the beats serve him well. **

35. Azu Tiwaline: The Fifth Dream (IOT)
Electronica producer, from Tunisia, second album. Deep, dark, dreamy too, but with a hard industrial frame, not as advertised "guiding us warmly towards trance-inducing hyper states of dance & delight," but strangely comforting anyway. **

36. Allison Russell: The Returner (Fantasy)
Singer-songwriter from Montreal, absent father from Grenada, had a harrowing childhood, ran away to Vancouver at 15, joined a Celtic folk band, navigated through several other groups, including roots supergroup Our Native Daughters. Second solo album, no reason to file this under folk -- well, bits of banjo and French, but the hooks are pop, and the barbs pointed. Hits its stride with "Eve Was Black." **

37. Ice Cold Bishop: Generational Curse (Epic)
Los Angeles rapper, hasn't made it big enough for Wikipedia yet, debut album not yet in Discogs (which has 2022's single), credit jammed together in all-caps but Pitchfork review repeatedly refers to "Bishop." Tight loops, hard to follow, with high voices tracked cartoonishly but something deeper in the message. **

38. DJ Finale: Mille Morceau (Nyege Nyege Tapes)
From Kinshasa, Congo, solo debut from a member of Afrofuturist collective Fulu Miziki (Lingala for "music from garbage"), like them on Uganda's premier electroclash label, overruns you with beats that bang on metal, and are even more surprising when they don't. **

39. Gabe Lee: Drink the River (Torrez Music Group)
Nashville native, parents immigrants from Taiwan, fourth album since 2019. Anyone who doubts the power of the American melting pot is in for an object lesson here. **

40. Joanna Sternberg: I've Got Me (Fat Possum)
Singer-songwriter, visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, based in New York, second album. Holds your attention with just guitar or piano and voice. **

41. Yo La Tengo: This Stupid World (Matador)
Indie band, goes way back, many albums, guitar remains distinctive (as much so as Sonic Youth), and that's the payoff in most of the songs here (in what they describe as their "most live-sounding" Yo La Tengo album in years"). Lyrics and vocals less so, but I've never been a stickler on that account. **

42. Jenni Muldaur/Teddy Thompson: Once More: Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson Sing the Great Country Duets (Sun)
Maria Muldaur's daughter and Linda Thompson's son: she released albums in 1992 and 2009, he has a few more since 2000. They teamed up for a 4-song EP of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton duets in 2021, followed by another of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Those are rolled up here, along with four more from Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. Aside from jazz (sometimes even there), we tend to deprecate repertory, but these sound great, near perfect till they ad lib a bit on "Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries," where they show more chemistry than Loretta and Conway could ever muster. **

43. The Cucumbers: Old Shoes (self-released, EP)
New Jersey group founded in 1983 with Deena Shoshkes and Jon Fried, released a delightful EP then, and an eponymous album in 1987 that remains a favorite. Since then, Deena has released several solo albums while occasionally reviving the group, as she does here, for a brief seven songs (23:11), as delightful as ever. Like old shoes, "I'm the one that fits you."

44. Islandman Feat. Okay Temiz/Muhlis Berberoglu: Direct-to-Disc Sessions (Night Dreamer)
Turkish groove merchant Tolga Böyük, debut 2015, credits: drum machine, electric bass, synthesizers. Percussionist Temiz (b. 1939) has been on the fringe of the European free jazz scene since the 1970s (including albums with Johnny Dyani and Monghezi Feza). Berberoglu is younger, plays baglama and cura (plucked string instruments used in Ottoman classical music), while others play guitar (Erdem Baser) and drums (Eralp Guven). **

45. Felo Le Tee/Mellow & Sleazy: The III Wise Men (New Money Gang)
South African amapiano trio, affiliated somehow with DJ Maphorisa (Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe), although the producer names that appear here areTshelofelo Mokhine, Phemelo Sefanyetse, and Olebogeng Kwanaite (plus Mlotlasi Phoshoko on one track). Beats are inscrutable enough they take quite a while to settle in, and will be hard to distinguish from future efforts. But pretty good for now. **

46. Ishmael Reed/West Coast Blues Caravan of All Stars: Blues Lyrics by Ishmael Reed (Reading Group)
Spoken word from the legendary novelist, backed by a band featuring David Murray (tenor sax) and Ronnie Stewart (guitar), with Art Halen (trombone), Gregory "Gman" Simmons (bass), Michael Robinson (keyboard), and Michael Skinner (drums). **

47. Bettye LaVette: LaVette! (Jay-Vee)
Soul singer, raised in Detroit, was 16 when she recorded her first hit in 1962 but struggled after that, until the breakthrough of her 2003 album A Woman Like Me. All tracks here were written by Randall Bramblett, who I remember as a singer-songwriter in the mid-1970s, who dovetailed into soul but couldn't pull it off himself. LaVette can, and then some. **

48. Homeboy Sandman: I Can't Sell These Either (self-released)
New York rapper Angelo del Villar II, has dropped short albums/long EPs several times a year since 2007, the best in recent years a compilation of stray tracks called I Can't Sell These, hence the title of this 20-track, 59:07 monster. I suspect the commercial lapses have more to do with uncleared samples than any weakness in the material, which certainly isn't obvious. **

49. Jessie Ware: That! Feels Good! (PMR/EMI)
British singer-songwriter, several albums, goes hard disco for this one, proclaiming "pleasure is a right." A little glitzy. Sometimes I'm reminded of Chic, then find myself missing the signature bass lines. But most songs are pure pleasure. **

50. Czarface: Czartificial Intelligence (Silver Age/Virgin)
Hip-hop "supergroup" -- Inspectah Deck, 7L, Esoteric -- twelfth album since 2013, all with comix covers and comic grooves, perpetual adolescence as proof of vitality: "better check your pulse if you don't feel it." **

51. Grace Potter: Mother Road (Fantasy)
Country-rock singer-songwriter, two early albums as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (2002-04), third solo since 2015. Rocks hard, though the change-of-pace works just as well. Message: "you can't keep a good time down." **

52. Noname: Sundial (self-released)
Rapper Fatima Warner, second album after a breakout mixtape, subtle beats under a torrent of words, some from guests who threaten politics. Before I got to this I heard cries of "antisemitism" just because Jay Electronica dropped a verse that namechecked Farrakhan -- far from the only preacher who wishes God's wrath on others, but the one whose name automatically elicits instant opprobrium -- and delved into the murky prophecies of Armageddon. (Perhaps even more politically incorrect these days, he says "a joke like Zelenskyy.") More explicitly political is the later verse by Billy Woods, recalling his childhood with revolution in Africa, or for that matter the closer with the more liberal Common. All reflect back on racism, which I figure is fair game, especially done this seductively, in a brief 31:54. **

53. Creation Rebel: Hostile Environment (On-U Sound)
UK-based reggae/dub group, basically Adrian Sherwood's Hitrun and On-U Sound house band, had a run of albums 1978-84, so I would expect some personnel turnover nearly forty years on, but they do have that sound. Not a vocal powerhouse, but voices too find the groove. **

54. Dan Tyminski: God Fearing Heathen (8 Track Entertainment)
Bluegrass singer-songwriter, plays guitar in Alison Krauss's band, did an album in 1985, had a bit part in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, has a couple more albums. Finishes strong with a song about Occam's Razor and an ode to Jimmy Martin. **

55. Bounaly: Dimanche ŕ Bamako (Sahel Sounds)
Guitarist Ali Traore, from Niafounke in north Mali, recorded live at a wedding bash in Mali's capitol city, a haven for many refugees from the jihad in the north. With vocals, drums, and calabash, the recording a little crude but powerful. **

56. Rasheed Chappell & the Arcitype: Sugar Bills (Project City Music Group)
New Jersey rapper, sixth album since 2011, with producer Janos Fulop. This runs up against my distaste for "gangsta shit" (as HHGA rather circumspectly put it: "traditional hip-hop . . . a great emcee who is in turn with golden -age aesthetics") but this carries that deadly weight better than any album I've heard in years (maybe since Ghostface Killah?). **

57. MC Yallah: Yallah Beibe (Hakuna Kulala)
Ugandan rapper Yallah Gaudencia Mbidde, second album, cranks up the speed and intensity, even borrowing from the metal-fusion that has developed in and around Nyege Nyege Tapes. **

58. Corook: Serious Person (Part 2) (Atlantic, EP)
Singer-songwriter Corinne Savage, apologies for misspelling their name in previous reviews (identity "queer and non-binary," per Wikipedia). Five songs, 14:20. Second sounds like the Moldy Peaches merged into a single person. First and fourth trace the growth of "a pretty cool person." **

59. A.S.O.: A.S.O. (Low Lying)
Berlin-based duo, initials (they prefer lc but I don't) for singer Alia Seror-O'Neill, cover photo includes producer Lewie Day (looking askance), first album, easily tagged trip hop, but much more than just another example. **

60. Laura Cantrell: Just Like a Rose: The Anniversary Sessions (Propeller Sound)
Nashville-born country singer-songwriter, now based in New York, recorded three promising albums 2000-05, this only her third since, coming nine years after No Way There From Here (her best). More solid songs here, especially "Holding You in My Heart," and a closer about "AWM." **

61. Taj Mahal: Savoy (Stony Plain)
Eclectic roots bluesman Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, started in 1965 in a group with Ry Cooder called Rising Sons, reunited last year in a Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee tribute. Goes back even earlier here, reminiscing about Chick Webb in the Savoy Ballroom (some years before he was born in 1942). He sticks to top shelf songs here, risking comparison to Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, Jimmy Rushing -- even the sureshot Maria Muldaur duet, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Of course, he has his own take, but I wonder how useful this really is. **

62. Chase Rice: I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go to Hell (Broken Bow)
Country singer-songwriter from Florida, sixth album since 2010, the one on Columbia (2014) a platinum hit, but three later albums on Broken Bow didn't come close. Title from two songs, both against the grain, as is most of the filler, where the down home is spiced with stratospheric guitar. **

63. Okwy Osadebe and Highlife Soundmakers International: Igbo Amaka (Palenque)
Nigerian, the son of Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe (1936-2007), an Igbo highlife star in Lagos from his first album in 1958. During the 1970s, highlife was eclipsed by juju and afrobeat, but I always found the early stuff especially charming, as is this slight update. **

64. Clarence "Bluesman" Davis: Shake It for Me (Music Maker)
Born 1945 in or near Eufala, Alabama, where he still lives. Seems to be his first album, but has a steady sound, with a little extra jangle to the guitar -- reminiscent of the label's 2020 compilation Hanging Tree Guitars. **

65. Water From Your Eyes: Everyone's Crushed (Matador)
New York duo, Nate Amos and Rachel Brown, specify pronouns but not instruments, several albums since 2017, although this is the first one to get any real notice. Disjointed, which seems to be the sound of the year -- one that makes me despair of ever being hip again, but much here that I do appreciate. **

66. Nihiloxica: Source of Denial (Crammed Discs)
Second LP from a "Bugandan techno outfit" based in Kampala, Uganda, described as "Bugandan drums meets UK bass." The drums put it over the top. **

67. Sara Petite: The Empress (Forty Below)
Country singer-songwriter, from rural Washington via San Diego, seventh album since 2006, promises "the intersection of country twang and roots-rock bang." Delivers too, with an embrace of low-life and high-times. **

68. Ice Spice: Like . . ? [Deluxe] (10K Projects/Capitol, EP)
Bronx rapper Isis Naija Gaston, produced a six-song, 13:08 EP under this title back in January, reissued in April with a seventh song, now reissued again, this time packed with eleven songs (including two takes of "Princess Diana"), but still only 22:07. The extra heft helps, giving time to let the clipped beats and words find their own magic. **

69. Patricia Bastos: Vos Da Taba (self-released)
Brazilian singer-songwriter, from Macapá, just north of the Amazon delta, seventh studio album since 2002. Exceptionally delightful. **

70. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Weathervanes (Southeastern)
Singer-songwriter, started in Drive-By Truckers, went solo in 2007 and started co-crediting his band in 2009. Reputation precedes him, but I've never had the patience to figure out whether it's deserved. But he's singing as passionately as ever, and for once the sound is ingratiating enough to invite further inspection. For instance, consider: "I thank God you weren't brought up like me, with all that shame and certainty." **

71. Kid Abstrakt & Leo Low Pass: Still Dreaming (Melting Pot Music)
Los Angeles rapper, parents from Brazil and Nicaragua, a "young emcee with an old soul aims to give you nostalgic vibes and provide jazzy hip hop sounds," which he certainly does. The producer, from Amsterdam, helps out. **

72. Margaret Glaspy: Echo the Diamond (ATO)
Singer-songwriter, from California, based in New York, third album since her 2016 debut (Emotions and Math, a Christgau A-). She is at her best defending her "Female Brain," not least because her estimable guitar conjures up something a bit funkier than usual. Then comes the critique, from "people who talk don't say a thing" to "when you're only thinking of yourself you're missing out on everybody else." **

73. Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday 2 (Young Money/Republic)
Fifth studio album, resurrects the title of her triple-platinum 2010 debut (and her 2012 sequel, and mostly her 2014 follow up). Big-time operation, lots of writers and producers and some no-doubt-pricey samples, the basic digital edition running 22 tracks, 70:14, with four other variations (mostly bonus cuts, but also a 10-track, 32:05 "physical" (which I assume means vinyl, because them's the cats willing to pay more for less; that could solve the overkill problem, but probably doesn't). Still, more idiosyncratic than expected, especially when she leans into those Trinidadian roots. Needs a trim, but. **

74. Rodney Crowell: The Chicago Sessions (New West)
Country singer, emerged as a thoughtful songwriter with his 1978 debut, seems like his albums have only gotten easier over the years. This was recorded in Jeff Tweedy's Chicago studio, and came so easy they didn't even bother thinking up a title for it. Made it easy to underappreciate, too. **

75. Tyvek: Overground (Ginkgo)
"Garage lo-fi punk band" from Detroit, self-released debut 2006, eponymous album on a small but real label 2009, somewhere along the timeline added a saxophone (Emily Roll), adding some overtones to the guitar thrash. Kevin Boyer sings. Reminds me of the early Buzzcocks. **

76. Native Soul: Teenage Dreams (Awesome Tapes From Africa '21)
South African duo, teens, programming amapiano beats that keep coming at you like game music, twelve pieces, 82 minutes. Christgau added Amapiano to the title, but I'm not seeing any hint of that on the cover scans. **

77. Charley Crockett: Live From the Ryman Auditorium (Son of Davy)
Country singer-songwriter, has been releasing trad-themed records at a furious pace since 2015, building up a songbook that he crafts into a fine best-of here. **

78. Two Shell: Lil Spirits (Mainframe Audio, EP)
Electronic music duo from London, half-dozen singles and EPs since 2019, nothing LP-length, but these five cuts (16:41) make for a very satisfying demi-album. **

79. Slowthai: Ugly (Method/Universal)
British rapper-turned-singer Tyron Frampton, third album, title supposedly an acronym for "U Gotta Love Yourself" (spelled out but not expanded on in the title song). **

80. Aja Monet: When the Poems Do What They Do (Drink Sum Wtr)
Poet, from Brooklyn, last name Bacquie, four books since 2012, first album, songs co-credited to the musicians: Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (trumpet), Weedie Braimah (percussion), Luques Curtis (bass guitar), Marcus Gilmore (drums), Elena Pinderhughes (flute), and Samora Pinderhughes (piano). Much remarkable here, but it does go on awfully long (83:00), and demands a lot of attention. **

81. Sister Zo: Arcana (All Centre, EP)
New York-based electronica artist, has at least one previous EP, this one 4 exquisitely balanced rhythm tracks, 17:38. Remarkably satisfying. **

82. Mon Laferte: Autopoiética (Universal Music Mexico)
Singer-songwriter from Chile, based in Mexico, ninth studio album since 2011. This has some remarkable parts, mixed up in a pastiche that I can't begin to comprehend, but only start to doubt with the terminal dirge. But is that really the end? **

83. Dan Ex Machina: Ex's Sexts (self-released)
As a rock critic, Dan Weiss has such widely varied taste that I keep expecting his records so develop an eclectic (if quirky) syncretism, but here, especially, he falls back on punk, not as a formalist, but maybe just because he has a lot of anger to work out, or maybe his guitar has a mind of its own. Note that Spotify has a 10:26 title song not on Bandcamp. Lyric I noted: "I want to use my fucking power to destroy the more powerful." **

84. Elle King: Come Get Your Wife (RCA)
Singer-songwriter from from Los Angeles or New York, daughter of comedian Rob Schneider, took her mother's name, started as an actress in 1999, recorded an EP in 2012, followed by an album in 2015, with this her third, and most country, right down to the trailer cliché, which she treats as a badge of honor. **

Also added (or promoted) the following older albums after freezing the 2022 year-end file:

1. Afrorack: The Afrorack (Hakuna Kulala '22)
Electronic music from Uganda, someone named Bamanya, who built "Africa's first DIY modular synthesizer, a huge wall of home-made modules and FX units. Recapitulates many of the sounds of the pioneers of electronic music, then finds layers of rhythm they never dreamed of. **

2. Angela Strehli: Ace of Blues (Antone's/New West '22)
Originally from Lubbock, moved to Austin and worked as stage manager at Antone's. There she released an album in 1987, and was part of the trio Dreams Come True in 1990. Since then she's recorded occasionally (including an album as The Blues Broads with Tracy Nelson and two others), while running a blues club in Marin County, California. Now 77, this is her first since 2005, twelve golden oldies united by guitar and voice that stands up to the originals, even when eclipsing them is impossible. **

3. Mud Morganfield: Portrait (Delmark '22)
McKinley Morganfield, legendary as Muddy Waters, grew up with his mother as Larry Williams, only took up the family trade in 2008, well after his father's death. (Same for his younger brother, now known as Big Bill Morganfield, who cut his first -- and probably best -- album in 1999.) Still, Mud's vocal likeness is uncanny. He also claims eight (of 14) writing credits (one for his father, and one for John Lee Williamson, aka Sonny Boy I). **

4. Hermanos Gutiérrez: El Bueno Y El Malo (Easy Eye Sound '22)
Duo based in Switzerland, brothers Estevan and Alejandro, father Swiss, mother from Ecuador, fifth album, produced in Nashville by Dan Auerbach. Very tasteful instrumental music, mostly guitar, not in any niche. **

Honorable Mention

Additional non-jazz rated B+(***), listed alphabetically.

  1. 75 Dollar Bill: Singularity 06: Anchor Dragging Behind (The State51 Conspiracy, EP) **
  2. Deena Abdelwahed: Jbal Rrsas (Infiné) **
  3. Gracie Abrams: Good Riddance (Interscope) **
  4. Colby Acuff: Western White Pines (Sony Music Nashville) **
  5. Tanner Adell: Buckle Bunny (Columbia, EP) **
  6. Armand Hammer: We Buy Diabetic Test Strips (Fat Possum) **
  7. Atmosphere: So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously (Rhymesayers Entertainment) **
  8. Aunty Rayzor: Viral Wreckage (Hakuna Kulala) **
  9. Bambii: Infinity Club (Innovative Leisure, EP) **
  10. Bar Italia: Tracey Denim (Matador) **
  11. Bar Italia: The Twits (Matador) **
  12. Belle and Sebastian: Late Developers (Matador) **
  13. Eric Bibb: Ridin' (Stony Plain) **
  14. Gina Birch: I Play My Bass Loud (Third Man) **
  15. Bombino: Sahel (Partisan) **
  16. Apollo Brown & Planet Asia: Sardines (Mello Music Group) **
  17. VV Brown: Am I British Yet? (YOY) **
  18. Buck 65/Doseone/Jel: North American Adonis (Handsmade) **
  19. Rodrigo Campos: Pagode Novo (YB Music) **
  20. Sarah Mary Chadwick: Messages to God (Kill Rock Stars) **
  21. Tyler Childers: Rustin' in the Rain (Hickman Holler/RCA) **
  22. Margo Cilker: Valley of Heart's Delight (Fluff and Gravy) **
  23. Brandy Clark: Brandy Clark (Warner) **
  24. Slaid Cleaves: Together Through the Dark (Candy House Media) **
  25. CMAT: Crazymad, for Me (CMATBaby/AWAL) **
  26. Corook: Best of Corook (So Far) (Atlantic '22) **
  27. Corook: Serious Person (Part 1) (Atlantic, EP) **
  28. Craven Faults: Standers (The Leaf Label) **
  29. Chuck D as Mistachuck: We Wreck Stadiums: Homage to Rap & Baseball Heroes (SpitSLAM) **
  30. DJ Black Low: Impumelelo (Awesome Tapes From Africa) **
  31. Doja Cat: Scarlet (Kemosabe/RCA) **
  32. Dream Wife: Social Lubrication (Lucky Number) **
  33. Bob Dylan: Shadow Kingdom (Legacy) **
  34. Open Mike Eagle: Another Triumph of Ghetto Engineering (Auto Reverse) **
  35. Avalon Emerson: & the Charm (Another Dove) **
  36. Febem/Fleezus/CESRV: Brime! (Butterz/Beatwise, EP, '21) **
  37. Feeble Little Horse: Girl With Fish (Saddle Creek) **
  38. Four Elements & Beyond: Clock the Chemistry (Four Elements & Beyond) **
  39. Robbie Fulks: Bluegrass Vacation (Compass) **
  40. Jayda G: Guy (Ninja Tune) **
  41. Georgia: Euphoric (Domino) **
  42. Gloss Up: Before the Gloss Up (Quality Control) **
  43. The Go! Team: Get Up Sequences Part Two (Memphis Industries) **
  44. Alison Goldfrapp: The Love Invention (Skint/BMG) **
  45. Gunna: A Gift & a Curse (YSL/300 Entertainment) **
  46. Tim Hecker: No Highs (Kranky) **
  47. Hemlocke Springs: Going . . . Going . . . Gone! (Good Luck Have Fun, EP) **
  48. Hieroglyphic Being: There Is No Acid in This House (Soul Jazz '22) **
  49. The Hives: The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons (Disques Hives) **
  50. Malcolm Holcombe: Bits & Pieces (Singular) **
  51. Nabihah Iqbal: Dreamer (Ninja Tune) **
  52. Ja'king the Divine: Parables of the Sower (Copenhagen Crates) **
  53. Carly Rae Jepsen: The Loveliest Time (Silent) **
  54. Jlin: Perspective (Planet Mu, EP) **
  55. Karol G: Mańana Será Bonito (Universal Music Latino) **
  56. Kaytraminé [Aminé/Kaytranada]: Kaytraminé (Venice Music) **
  57. Terry Klein: Leave the Light On (self-released) **
  58. Kool Keith & Real Bad Man: Serpent (Real Bad Man) **
  59. Talib Kweli & Madlib: Liberation 2 (Luminary) **
  60. Lalalar: En Kötü Iyi Olur (Bongo Joe) **
  61. Lambrini Girls: You're Welcome (Big Scary Monsters, EP) **
  62. Lenhart Tapes: Dens (Glitterbeat) **
  63. SG Lewis: AudioLust & HigherLove (PMR/EMI) **
  64. Liquid Mike: S/T [Self-Titled] (Kitschy Spirit, EP) **
  65. The Long Ryders: September November (Cherry Red) **
  66. Madlib/Meyhem Lauren/DJ Muggs: Champagne for Breakfast (Soul Assassins) **
  67. Mahalia: IRL (Atlantic) **
  68. The Malpass Brothers: Lonely Street (Billy Jam) **
  69. Man on Man: Provincetown (Polyvinyl) **
  70. Memphis LK: True Love and Its Consequences (Dot Dash, EP) **
  71. Metric: Formentera II (Metric Music International) **
  72. Model/Actriz: Dogsbody (True Panther Sounds) **
  73. Moka Only: In and of Itself (Urbnet) **
  74. Gurf Morlix: I Challenge the Beast (Rootball) **
  75. Megan Moroney: Lucky (Sony Music Nashville) **
  76. Azuka Moweta & Anioma Brothers Band: Nwanne Bu Ife (Palenque '22) **
  77. Róisín Murphy: Hit Parade (Ninja Tune) **
  78. The National: First Two Pages of Frankenstein (4AD) **
  79. The National: Laugh Track (4AD) **
  80. Bobbie Nelson and Amanda Shires: Loving You (ATO) **
  81. No-No Boy: Empire Electric (Smithsonian Folkways) **
  82. Oddisee: To What End (Outer Note) **
  83. Alogte Oho & His Sounds of Joy: O Yinne! (Philophon) **
  84. Pangaea: Changing Channels (Hessle Audio) **
  85. PinkPantheress: Heaven Knows (Warner UK) **
  86. John Primer: Teardrops for Magic Slim: Live at Rosa's Lounge (Blues House) **
  87. Quantic: Dancing While Falling (Play It Again Sam) **
  88. Ratboys: The Window (Topshelf) **
  89. Recognize Ali: Back to Mecca II (Greenfield Music) **
  90. Regal86: La Onda: Groove In-Groove Out (self-released) **
  91. Whitney Rose: Rosie (MCG) **
  92. Rough Image: Rough Image (WV Sorcerer) **
  93. Say She She: Silver (Colemine) **
  94. Jeffrey Scott: Going Down to Georgia on a Hog (Music Maker) **
  95. Shaheed & DJ Supreme: The Art of Throwing Darts (Communicating Vessels) **
  96. Shalom: Sublimation (Saddle Creek) **
  97. The Shootouts: Stampede (Soundly Music) **
  98. Skyzoo & the Other Guys: The Mind of a Saint (First Generation Rich) **
  99. Slayyyter: Starfucker (Fader) **
  100. Sleaford Mods: UK Grim (Rough Trade) **
  101. Jimi "Primetime" Smith & Bob Corritore: The World in a Jug (Vizztone/SWMAF) **
  102. Jorja Smith: Falling or Flying (FAMM) **
  103. Snooper: Super Snőőper (Third Man) **
  104. Sunny War: Anarchist Gospel (New West) **
  105. Surgeon: Crash Recoil (Tresor) **
  106. Brit Taylor: Kentucky Blue (Cut a Shine) **
  107. The Third Mind: The Third Mind/2 (Yep Roc) **
  108. Leon Thomas III: Electric Dusk (Ezmny/Motown) **
  109. Tomu DJ: Crazy Trip (No Bias, EP) **
  110. Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway: City of Gold (Nonesuch) **
  111. Stephen Ulrich: Music From This American Life (Barbčs) **
  112. Underscores: Wallsocket (Mom + Pop) **
  113. V Knuckles & Phoniks: The Next Chapter (Don't Sleep) **
  114. Colter Wall: Little Songs (Black Hole/La Ronda) **
  115. Wiki & Tony Seltzer: 14K Figaro (Wikset Enterprise) **
  116. Wild Up: Julius Eastman Vol. 3: If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich? (New Amsterdam) **
  117. Jess Williamson: Time Ain't Accidental (Mexican Summer) **
  118. WILSN: Those Days Are Over (Ivy League) **
  119. Withered Hand: How to Love (Reveal) **
  120. Jamila Woods: Water Made Us (Jagjaguwar) **
  121. Wreckless Eric: Leisureland (Tapete) **
  122. Yeule: Softscars (Ninja Tune) **
  123. Young Fathers: Heavy Heavy (Ninja Tune) **

Also added the following older albums after freezing the 2022 year-end file:

  1. Bas Jan: Baby U Know (Lost Map '22) **
  2. Big Joanie: Back Home (Kill Rock Stars '22) **
  3. Noah Kahan: Stick Season (Mercury/Republic '22) **

Reissues/Historic Music

The standard for historic music is a record where everything was recorded 10+ years ago, regardless of whether it's ever been in print before. Some past lists may have treated previously unreleased music as new (regardless of actual age), but I've never been able to manage that distinction consistently. This category also includes compilations of previously released music, including straight reissues, although my selection is very erratic.

1. Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens: Music Inferno: The Indestructible Beat Tour 1988-89 (Umsakazo)
Breakout stars from the 1986 compilation The Indestructible Beat of Soweto, followed by superb albums by each and together -- his groan gains most from the collaboration, and a justly revered live album from Paris. This was scraped together from several stops in Britain at the time, and is as catchy and moving as you'd expect. **

2. Pet Shop Boys: Smash: The Singles 1985-2020 (Parlophone, 3CD)
Fifty-five songs, most from worthy albums -- even such recent ones as Super (2016) and Hotspot (2020) -- the first two discs largely recapitulating the 2003 2-CD compilation, PopArt: The Hits, plus an extra 68:37 from the later period. **

3. Todd Snider: Crank It, We're Doomed (2007, Aimless)
Long-shelved album, recorded after The Devil You Know (perhaps his best studio album ever), "paradoxically [he] felt the album was both too much and too little, needing more but already too much." Some songs were salvaged for Peace Queer and The Excitement Plan, and several were re-recorded later, so much of this is semi-familiar. Perhaps reassuring to recall the doom we (mostly) survived, as opposed to the doom still to come. **

4. Danger Mouse & Jemini: Born Again (2003-04, Lex)
Hip-hop producer Brian Burton and rapper Thomas Smith (also known as Jemini the Gifted One), released an album together as Ghetto Pop Life, then recorded this one, shelved until this release -- meanwhile, Danger Mouse achieved a measure of fame for his Beatles remix, The Gray Album. This really hops. **

5. Thomas Anderson: The Debris Field: Lo-Fi Flotsam and Ragged Recriminations, 2000-2021 (Out There)
Singer-songwriter from Oklahoma, been throwing out his homemade records since 1989, the barrel scrapings often more compelling than his first-run albums. **

6. Piconema: East African Hits on the Colombian Coast (1978-84, Rocafort)
Various artists compilation, all groups appear to be from Kenya or Tanzania, active in 1978-84, plus or minus a couple years, with all songs available as singles or in some cases on albums, although Discogs provides few dates. Title derives from the compilers having first heard these songs on Colombian sound systems. **

7. Borga Revolution! Volume 2: Ghanaian Dance Music in the Digital Age, 1983-1996 (Kalita)
Further explorations in the Ghanaian diaspora, including a couple names likely to be recognized elsewhere (A.B. Crentsil, Pat Thomas). Advantage over Volume 1 is in the more sustained dance grooves. **

8. Taylor Swift: Speak Now (Taylor's Version) (Republic)
I'm pretty indifferent to this series, which may be why I'm filing this under "reissues" even though I take them at their word that they're all new recordings. Both sides of the dispute are rich, and Taylor's only getting richer. I've heard the originals, but don't remember them enough to nitpick, and I'm not interested enough to go back. As a first approximation, I'd say they're pretty even, with a bit more excess baggage on the new ones, but they've tracked my original grades. This, her third album, was the first I graded A-, and I'm hearing it all again. Except this time I have a better picture of how big she promised to become in "Mean." **

9. Nastyfacts: Drive My Car + 2 (1981, Left for Dead, EP '22):
Per Robert Christgau: "three white male NYC teens with their 18-year-old senior partner, black female composer-vocalist-bassist Kali Boyce. All three kick ass and then some." That shortchanges some details, like the skids and crashes on the title romp, or the male interjections on the closer. I might cavil about the length (7:38), but this is pretty tightly packed, with each song building on the previous. **

Also added the following older albums after freezing the 2021 year-end file:

Honorable Mention

Additional non-jazz rated B+(***), listed alphabetically.

  1. Jewel Ackah: Electric Hi-Life (1986, BBE) **
  2. Barbie: The Album (Atlantic) **
  3. Alan Braxe/Fred Falke: The Upper Cuts [2023 Edition] (2005, Smugglers Way) **
  4. Kantata: It's High Time Now (1986, BBE) **
  5. L'Orchestre National Mauritanien: Ahl Nana (1971, Radio Martiko) **
  6. Les Rallizes Dénudés: Citta' '93 (Temporal Drift) **
  7. Jeffrey Lewis: Asides & B-Sides (2014-2018) (self-released) **
  8. Ary Lobo: Ary Lobo 1958-1966 [Limited Dance Edition No 19] (Analog Africa) **
  9. Sonic Youth: Live in Brooklyn 2011 (Silver Current) **
  10. Taylor Swift: 1989 (Taylor's Verison) (Republic) **
  11. Tolerance: Divin (1981, Mesh-Key) **
  12. Ali Farka Touré: Voyageur (1991-2004, World Circuit) **
  13. Papa Yankson: Party Time (Odo Ye Wu) (1989, Kalita) **
  14. Yo! Boombox: Early Independent Hip Holp, Electro and Disco Rap, 1979-83 (Soul Jazz) **
  15. Neil Young: Chrome Dreams (1974-77, Reprise) **

Also added the following older albums after freezing the 2021 year-end file:

  • None.

Notes

Additional new non-jazz records rated B+(**) or below (listed alphabetically by artist).

  1. 6lack: Since I Have a Lover (Interscope) ** [B+(**)]
  2. 100 Gecs: Snake Eyes (Dog Show/Atlantic, EP, '22) ** [B+(*)]
  3. 100 Gecs: 10,000 Gecs (Dog Show/Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  4. Acid Arab: Trois (Crammed Discs) ** [B+(**)]
  5. Actress: LXXXVIII (Ninja Tune) ** [B+(**)]
  6. Aesop Rock: Integrated Tech Solutions (Rhymesayers Entertainment) ** [B+(**)]
  7. African Head Charge: A Trip to Bolgatanga (On-U Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  8. Agust D: D-Day (Big Hit Music) ** [B+(*)]
  9. Alaska & Steel Tipped Dove: The Structural Dynamics of Flow (Fused Arrow) ** [B+(**)]
  10. Rauw Alejandro: Playa Saturno (Duars Entertainment/Sony Music Latin) ** [B+(**)]
  11. Algiers: Shook (Matador) ** [B+(*)]
  12. Altin Gün: Ask (Glitterbeat) ** [B+(*)]
  13. Emil Amos: Zone Black (Drag City) ** [B+(*)]
  14. André 3000: New Blue Sun (Epic) ** [B]
  15. Anitta: Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story (Republic, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  16. Anohni and the Johnsons: My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross (Secretly Canadian) ** [B+(**)]
  17. Alex Anwandter: El Diablo En El Cuerpo (5 AM) ** [B+(**)]
  18. Aphex Twin: Blackbox Life Recorder 21f/In a Room7 F760 (Warp, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  19. Amber Arcades: Barefoot on Diamond Road (Fire) ** [B+(*)]
  20. Nia Archives: Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall (Island, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  21. Asake: Work of Art (YBNL Nation) ** [B+(**)]
  22. Assiko Golden Band de Grand Yoff: Magg Tekki (Mississippi) ** [B+(*)]
  23. Nanny Assis: Rovanio: The Music of Nanny Assis (In + Out) [B+(**)]
  24. Atmosphere: Talk Talk EP (Rhymesayers Entertainment) ** [B+(**)]
  25. Avelino: God Save the Streets (More Music/OddChild Music) ** [B+(**)]
  26. B. Cool-Aid: Leather Blvd. (Lex) ** [B+(*)]
  27. Baby Rose: Through and Through (Secretly Canadian) ** [B+(*)]
  28. Daniel Bachman: When the Roses Come Again (Three Lobed) ** [B+(*)]
  29. Bad Bunny: Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Manana (Rimas Entertainment) ** [B+(**)]
  30. Corinne Bailey Rae: Black Rainbows (Thirty Tigers) ** [B+(**)]
  31. Kelsea Ballerini: Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (Black River, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  32. Caterina Barbieri: Myuthafoo (Light-Years) ** [B+(**)]
  33. Bark: Loud (Dial Back Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  34. The Baseball Project: Grand Salami Time (Omnivore) ** [B+(**)]
  35. Jon Batiste: World Music Radio (Verve) ** [B+(**)]
  36. BC Camplight: The Last Rotation of Earth (Bella Union) ** [B]
  37. Bdrmm: I Don't Know (Rock Action) ** [B+(*)]
  38. Be Your Own Pet: Mommy (Third Man) ** [B+(**)]
  39. Beach Fossils: Bunny (Bayonet) ** [B]
  40. McKendrick Bearden: Bright as the Mines Out (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  41. William Bell: One Day Closer to Home (Wilbe) ** [B+(**)]
  42. Big Freedia: Central City (Queen Diva) ** [B-]
  43. Big O: In the Company of Others (Vintage Soundz) ** [B+(*)]
  44. BigXthaPlug: Amar (United Masters) ** [B+(*)]
  45. Biig Piig: Bubblegum (RCA) ** [B+(*)]
  46. Selwyn Birchwood: Exorcist (Alligator) ** [B+(*)]
  47. Bktherula: LVL5 P1 (Warner, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  48. Black Belt Eagle Scout: The Land, the Water, the Sky (Saddle Creek) ** [B+(**)]
  49. Black Country, New Road: Live at Bush Hall (Ninja Tune) ** [B+(*)]
  50. Black Milk: Everybody Good? (Mass Appeal) ** [B+(*)]
  51. Robert Sarazin Blake: One Summer Night: Live at the 2018 Subdued Stringband Jamboree (Same Room) ** [B+(**)]
  52. Mykki Blanco: Postcards From Italia (Transgressive, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  53. Carsie Blanton: Body of Work (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  54. Rory Block: Ain't Nobody Worried: Celebrating Great Women of Song (Stony Plain -22) ** [B+(**)]
  55. Blonde Redhead: Sit Down for Dinner (Section1) ** [B+(*)]
  56. Blondshell: Blondshell (Partisan) ** [B+(*)]
  57. Blue Lake: Sun Arcs (Tonal Union) ** [B+(**)]
  58. Blue Moon Marquee: Scream, Holler & Howl (Ilda '22) ** [B+(*)]
  59. Blur: The Ballad of Darren (Parlophone) ** [B+(*)]
  60. Joe Bonamassa: Tales of Time (J&R Adventures) ** [B-]
  61. Boygenius: The Record (Interscope) ** [B]
  62. Boygenius: The Rest (Interscope, EP) ** [B]
  63. Pony Bradshaw: North Georgia Rounder (Black Mountain Music) ** [B+(**)]
  64. Brothers Osborne: Brothers Osborne (EMI Nashville) ** [B+(*)]
  65. Zach Bryan: Boys of Faith (Warner, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  66. ML Buch: Suntub (15 Love) ** [B+(*)]
  67. Buck 65: 14 KT Gold (self-released, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  68. Bully: Lucky for You (Sub Pop) ** [B+(**)]
  69. Tré Burt: Traffic Fiction (Oh Boy) ** [B+(*)]
  70. Chouk Bwa & the Ängstromers: Somanti (Bongo Joe) ** [B+(**)]
  71. Julie Byrne: The Greater Wings (Ghostly International) ** [B+(**)]
  72. Daniel Caesar: Never Enough (Republic) ** [B+(*)]
  73. Gail Caesar: Guitar Woman Blues (Music Maker) ** [B+(**)]
  74. Adriana Calcanhotto: Errante (Modern/BMG) ** [B+(**)]
  75. John Cale: Mercy (Domino) ** [B+(*)]
  76. Call Super: Eulo Cramps (Can You Feel the Sun) ** [B+(**)]
  77. Lewis Capaldi: Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent (Captiol) ** [B+(*)]
  78. Ken Carson: A Great Chaos (Opium/Interscope) ** [B+(**)]
  79. Cash Box Kings: Oscar's Motel (2023, Alligator) ** [B+(**)]
  80. CASisDEAD: Famous Last Words (XL) ** [B+(**)]
  81. Cat Clyde: Down Rounder (Second Prize) ** [B+(*)]
  82. Filipe Catto: Belezas Sao Coisis Acesas Por Dentro (Joia Moderna) ** [B+(*)]
  83. Cautious Clay: Karpeh (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  84. Eddie Chacon: Sundown (Stones Throw) ** [B+(*)]
  85. Chai: Chai (Sub Pop) ** [B+(**)]
  86. Grian Chatten: Chaos for the Fly (Partisan) ** [B+(**)]
  87. Che Noir: Noir or Never (Poetic, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  88. The Chemical Brothers: For That Beautiful Feeling (Virgin EMI) ** [B+(*)]
  89. Christine and the Queens: Paranoia, Angels, True Love (Because Music) ** [B]
  90. Chuquimamani-Condori: DJ E (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  91. City Girls: Raw (Quality Control/Motown) ** [B+(**)]
  92. Clark: Sus Dog (Throttle) ** [B]
  93. The Clientele: I Am Not There Anymore (Merge) ** [B+(*)]
  94. Brent Cobb: Southern Star (Ol' Buddy/Thirty Tigers) ** [B+(*)]
  95. Shirley Collins: Archangel Hill (Domino) ** [B+(*)]
  96. Jessi Colter: Edge of Forever (Appalachia) ** [B+(**)]
  97. Luke Combs: Gettin' Old (River House Artists) ** [B+(*)]
  98. Conway the Machine: Won't He Do It (Drumwork/Empire) ** [B+(**)]
  99. Hollie Cook: Happy Hour in Dub (Merge) ** [B+(*)]
  100. Bethany Cosentino: Natural Disaster (Concord) ** [B+(**)]
  101. Crosslegged: Another Blue (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  102. Cydnee With a C: Confessions of a Fangirl (Bread & Butter, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  103. Miley Cyrus: Endless Summer Vacation (Columbia) ** [B+(**)]
  104. Dave and Central Cee: Split Decision (Neighbourhood, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  105. Davido: Timeless (DMW/Columbia) ** [B+(**)]
  106. Jordan Davis: Bluebird Days (MCA Nashville) ** [B+(*)]
  107. Defprez: It's Always a Time Like This (Closed Sessions, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  108. Ryan Davis & the Roadhouse Band: Dancing on the Edge (Sophomore Lounge) ** [B+(**)]
  109. Day Tripper: What a Time to Be Dead (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  110. Dazegxd & Quinn: DSX.FM (DeadAir, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  111. Indigo De Souza: All of This Will End (Saddle Creek) ** [B+(*)]
  112. Olivia Dean: Messy (EMI) ** [B+(*)]
  113. Deer Tick: Emotional Contracts (ATO) ** [B+(*)]
  114. Lana Del Rey: Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (Interscope/Polydor) ** [B+(**)]
  115. Helena Deland: Goodnight Summerland (Chivi Chivi) ** [B+(*)]
  116. Depeche Mode: Memento Mori (Columbia/Mute) ** [B-]
  117. Hannah Diamond: Perfect Picture (PC Music) ** [B+(*)]
  118. Fatoumata Diawara: London Ko (Wagram Music) ** [B+(*)]
  119. Disclosure: Alchemy (Apollo/AWAL) ** [B]
  120. McKinley Dixon: Beloved! Paradise! Jazz! (City Slang) ** [B+(*)]
  121. DJ +1: Aromáticas (También) ** [B+(*)]
  122. DJ Danifox: Ansiedade (Principe) ** [B+(**)]
  123. DJ Girl: Hellworld (Planet Mu) ** [B+(**)]
  124. DJ K: Panico No Submundo (Nyege Nyege Tapes) ** [B+(*)]
  125. DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ: Destiny (Spells on the Telly) ** [B+(*)]
  126. DJ Shadow: Action Adventure (Mass Appeal) ** [B+(*)]
  127. DJ Ws Da Igrejinha: Caça Fantasma, Vol. 1 (Dalama) ** [B]
  128. En Attendant Ana: Principia (Trouble in Mind) ** [B]
  129. Drain: Living Proof (Epitaph) ** [B+(*)]
  130. Drake: For All the Dogs (OVO Sound) ** [B]
  131. Drayton Farley: Twenty on High (Hargrove) ** [B]
  132. Dropkick Murphys: Okemah Rising (Dummy Luck Music) ** [B+(*)]
  133. Baxter Dury: I Thought I Was Better Than You (Heavenly) ** [B]
  134. Bokani Dyer: Radio Sechaba (Brownswood) [B+(**)]
  135. Jason Eady: Mississippi (Old Guitar) ** [B+(**)]
  136. Easy Star All-Stars: Ziggy Stardub (Easy Star) ** [B-]
  137. Ekiti Sound: Drum Money (Crammed Discs) ** [B+(*)]
  138. The Ekphrastics: Special Delivery (Harriet) ** [B+(*)]
  139. Ana Frango Elétrico: Me Chama De Gato Que Eu Sou Sua (Mr Bongo) ** [B+(**)]
  140. Eluvium: (Whirring Marvels In) Consensus Reality (Temporary Residence) ** [B+(*)]
  141. Emperor X: Suggested Improvements to Transportation Infrastructure in the Northeast Corridor (Dreams of Field, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  142. Ensemble 0: Jojoni [Made to Measure Vol. 49] (Crammed Discs) ** [B+(**)]
  143. Entoto Band: Entoto Band (Guitar Globetrotter) ** [B+(**)]
  144. Everything but the Girl: Fuse (Buzzin' Fly/Virgin) ** [B+(*)]
  145. FACS: Still Life in Decay (Trouble in Mind) ** [B+(**)]
  146. Jad Fair and Samuel Lock Ward: Happy Hearts (Kill Rock Stars) ** [B+(**)]
  147. Fatboi Sharif X Steel Tipped Dove: Decay (Backwoodz Studioz) ** [B-]
  148. Kari Faux: Real B*tches Don't Die! (Drink Sum Wtr) ** [B+(*)]
  149. The Feelies: Some Kinda Love: Performing the Music of the Velvet Underground (Bar/None) ** [B+(**)]
  150. Feist: Multitudes (Polydor) ** [B+(*)]
  151. Fever Ray: Radical Romantics (Rabid/Mute) ** [B+(**)]
  152. Amanda Fields: What, When and Without (Are and Be) ** [B+(**)]
  153. Mick Flannery: Goodtime Charlie (Oh Boy) ** [B]
  154. Foo Fighters: But Here We Are (Roswell/RCA) ** [B-]
  155. Robert Finley: Black Bayou (Easy Eye Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  156. Mike Flips/Nord1kone/Seize: Life Cycles (SpitSLAM) ** [B+(**)]
  157. Sue Foley: Live in Austin Vol. 1 (Stony Plain) ** [B+(**)]
  158. Miya Folick: Roach (Nettwerk) ** [B+(**)]
  159. Ruthie Foster: Healing Time (Blue Corn Music '22) ** [B]
  160. Fred Again/Brian Eno: Secret Life (Text) ** [B]
  161. Romulo Fróes and Tiago Rosas: Na Goela (YB Music) ** [B+(**)]
  162. The Front Bottoms: You Are Who You Hang Out With (Fueled by Ramen) ** [B+(*)]
  163. Fruit Bats: A River Running to Your Heart (Merge) ** [B+(*)]
  164. Peter Gabriel: I/O (Real World) ** [B+(*)]
  165. Gabriels: Angels & Queens (Atlas Artists/Parlophone) ** [B+(**)]
  166. Gel: Only Constant (Convulse, EP) ** [B]
  167. Rhiannon Giddens: You're the One (Nonesuch) ** [B+(**)]
  168. Vince Gill & Paul Franklin: Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & the Cherokee Cowboys (MCA Nashville) ** [B+(*)]
  169. Girl Ray: Prestige (Moshi Moshi) ** [B]
  170. Girl Scout: Real Life Human Garbage (Made, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  171. Gloss Up: Shades of Gloss (Quality Control) ** [B+(**)]
  172. Charles Wesley Godwin: Family Ties (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  173. Gorillaz: Cracker Island (Parlophone/Warner) ** [B]
  174. Laura Groves: Radio Red (Bella Union) ** [B+(*)]
  175. Grrrl Gang: Spunky! (Big Romantic) ** [B+(*)]
  176. Grupo Frontera: El Comienzo (VHR Music) ** [B+(**)]
  177. Laurel Halo: Atlas (Awe) ** [B]
  178. Hamell on Trial: Bring the Kids (Saustex) ** [B+(**)]
  179. Cory Hanson: Western Cum (Drag City) ** [B+(*)]
  180. Hardy: The Mockingbird & the Crow (Big Loud) ** [B+(**)]
  181. Jack Harlow: Jackman (Generation Now/Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  182. Jaimee Harris: Boomerang Town (Thirty Tigers) ** [B+(**)]
  183. PJ Harvey: I Inside the Old Year Dying (Partisan) ** [B+(*)]
  184. Hamish Hawk: Angel Numbers (Post Electric) ** [B]
  185. Mayer Hawthorne: For All Time (P&L) ** [B+(*)]
  186. Headie One x K-Trap: Strength to Strength (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  187. Heinali: Kyiv Eternal (Injazero) ** [B+(*)]
  188. Marina Herlop: Nekkuja (Pan) ** [B+(*)]
  189. High Pulp: Days in the Desert (Anti-) ** [B+(**)]
  190. Anna Hillburg: Tired Girls (Speakeasy Studios) ** [B+(*)]
  191. James Holden: Imagine This Is a High Dimensional Space of All Possibilities (Border Community) ** [B+(*)]
  192. Lonnie Holley: Oh Me Oh My (Jagjaguwar) ** [B+(*)]
  193. Home Is Where: The Whaler (Wax Bodega) ** [B+(**)]
  194. Homeboy Sandman: Rich (Dirty Looks) ** [B+(**)]
  195. Hope D: Clash of the Substance (Hope D) ** [B+(**)]
  196. Horse Lords: Live in Leipzig (RVNG Intl) ** [B+(*)]
  197. Heather Lynne Horton: Get Me to a Nunnery (Pauper Sky) ** [B-]
  198. Hotline TNT: Cartwheel (Third Man) ** [B+(*)]
  199. Ben Howard: Is It? (Island) ** [B+(*)]
  200. Hozier: Unreal Unearth (Island) ** [B+(**)]
  201. The Human Hearts: Viable (Open Boat) ** [B+(**)]
  202. Ian Hunter: Defiance Part 1 (Sun) ** [B+(*)]
  203. Ice Spice: Like . . ? (10K Projects/Capitol, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  204. Wata Igarashi: Agartha (Kompakt) ** [B+(**)]
  205. Gregory Alan Isakov: Appaloosa Bones (Dualtone) ** [B]
  206. Império Pacifico: Clubs Hit (Variz) ** [B+(**)]
  207. Kara Jackson: Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love? (September) ** [B+(*)]
  208. Boldy James/Rich Gains: Indiana Jones (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  209. Loraine James: Gentle Confrontation (Hyperdub) ** [B+(*)]
  210. The Japanese House: In the End It Always Does (Dirty Hit) ** [B+(*)]
  211. Jelly Roll: Whitsitt Chapel (BBR Music Group) ** [B+(**)]
  212. Mick Jenkins: The Patience (BMG) ** [B+(**)]
  213. Cody Johnson: Leather (Warner Music Nashville) ** [B]
  214. Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By (Ruf '22) ** [B]
  215. Jonas Brothers: The Album (Republic) ** [B+(*)]
  216. Durand Jones: Wait Til I Get Over (Dead Oceans) ** [B+(*)]
  217. Marc Jordan: Waiting for the Sun to Rise (Linus Entertainment) [B+(*)]
  218. Sass Jordan: Bitches Blues (Stony Plain '21) ** [B+(*)]
  219. Wesley Joseph: Glow (Secretly Canadian, EP) ** [B]
  220. JPEGMafia x Danny Brown: Scaring the Hoes (AWAL) ** [B+(*)]
  221. Larry June and the Alchemist: The Great Escape (Empire) ** [B+(*)]
  222. JustVibez + Negro Justice: Art of the Craft (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  223. K-Lone: Swells (Wisdom Teeth) ** [B+(*)]
  224. Kabeaushé: The Coming of Gaze (Hakuna Kulala) ** [B+(*)]
  225. Kabeaushé: Hold On to Deer Life, There's a Blcak Boy Behind You! (Monkeytown) ** [B]
  226. Kala Jula & Gangbé Brass Band: Asro (Buda Musique) ** [B+(**)]
  227. Faten Kanaan: Afterpoem (Fire) ** [B+(*)]
  228. Kate NV: Wow (RVNG Intl) ** [B]
  229. Tyler Keith & the Apostles: Hell to Pay (Black & Wyatt) ** [B+(**)]
  230. Kelela: Raven (Warp) ** [B+(**)]
  231. Ruston Kelly: The Weakness (Rounder) ** [B+(*)]
  232. Kesha: Gag Order (Kemosabe) ** [B+(*)]
  233. Kid Koala: Creatures of the Late Afternoon (Envision) ** [B+(**)]
  234. Kiko El Crazy: Pila'e Teteo (Rimas) ** [B+(**)]
  235. Kill Bill: The Rapper: Fullmetal Kaiju (Exociety) ** [B+(**)]
  236. Killer Mike: Michael (Loma Vista) ** [B+(**)]
  237. Kimbra: A Reckoning (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  238. King Kashmere X Alecs DeLarge: The Album to End All Alien Abductions (High Focus) ** [B+(*)]
  239. John Carroll Kirby: Blowout (Stones Throw) ** [B-]
  240. Knower: Knower Forever (self-released) ** [B]
  241. Lia Kohl: The Ceiling Reposes (American Dreams) ** [B+(**)]
  242. Kool Keith: Black Elvis 2 (Mello Music Group) ** [B+(**)]
  243. Sofia Kourtesis: Madres (Ninja Tune) ** [B+(**)]
  244. L'Rain: I Killed Your Dog (Mexican Summer) ** [B+(**)]
  245. Yazmin Lacey: Voice Notes (On Your Own/Believe) ** [B+(**)]
  246. Ladytron: Timie's Arrow (Cooking Vinyl) ** [B+(*)]
  247. Alex Lahey: The Answer Is Always Yes (Liberation) ** [B+(**)]
  248. Ella Langley: Excuse the Mess (Sawgood) ** [B+(*)]
  249. Lankum: False Lankum (Rough Trade) ** [B+(**)]
  250. Jessy Lanza: Love Hallucination (Hyperdub) ** [B+(*)]
  251. Lĺpsley: Cautionary Tales of Youth (Believe) ** [B+(**)]
  252. Mary Lattimore: Goodbye, Hotel Arkada (Ghostly International) ** [B+(*)
  253. Laufey: Bewitched (AWAL) ** [B+(*)]
  254. Jim Legxacy: Homeless N*gga Pop Music ((!)) ** [B]
  255. The Lemon Twigs: Everything Harmony (Captured Tracks) ** [C+]
  256. MJ Lenderman and the Wind: Live and Loose! (Anti-) ** [B+(**)]
  257. Jinx Lennon: Walk Lightly When the Jug Is Full (Septic Tiger) ** [B+(**)]
  258. Carin León: Colmillo De Leche (Socios/Oplaai) ** [B+(**)]
  259. Jenny Lewis: Joy'all (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  260. Lewsberg: Out and About (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  261. Lil Tjay: 222 (Columbia) ** [B+(**)]
  262. Lil Uzi Vert: Pink Tape (Generation Now/Atlantic) ** [B+(**)]
  263. Lil Wayne: Tha Fix Before Tha VI (Young Money) ** [B]
  264. Lil Yachty: Let's Start Here (Quality Control Music/UMG) ** [B+(*)]
  265. Lindstrřm: Everyone Else Is a Stranger (Smalltown Supersound) ** [B+(**)]
  266. Ivan Lins: My Heart Speaks (Resonance) [B+(**)]
  267. Liquid Mike: A Beer Can and a Bouquet (self-released '22, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  268. Aynsley Lister: Along for the Ride (Straight Talkin' '22) ** [B]
  269. Liv.e: Girl in the Half Pearl (In Real Life) ** [B+(**)]
  270. Logic: College Park (Three Oh One/BMG) ** [B+(*)]
  271. Loscil & Lawrence English: Colours of Air (Kranky) ** [B+(*)]
  272. Lydia Loveless: Nothing's Gonna Stand in My Way Again (Bloodshot) ** [B+(*)]
  273. Low Cut Connie: Art Dealers (Contender) ** [B]
  274. M(h)aol: Attachment Styles (Tulle) ** [B+(**)]
  275. M83: Fantasy (Mute/Virgin) ** [B]
  276. Baaba Maal: Being (Marathon Artists) ** [B+(**)]
  277. Mach-Hommy/Tha God Fahim: Notorious Dump Legends Vol. 2 (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  278. Machine Girl: Neon White Soundtrack Part 1: The Wicked Heart (self-released '22) ** [B+(**)]
  279. Machine Girl: Neon White Soundtrack Part 2: The Burn That Cures (self-released '22) ** [B+(*)]
  280. Tkay Maidza: Sweet Justice (4AD) ** [B+(**)]
  281. Mandy, Indiana: I've Seen a Way (Fire Talk) ** [B+(**)]
  282. Maps: Counter Melodies (Mute) ** [B+(*)]
  283. Gia Margaret: Romantic Piano (Jagjaguwar) ** [B+(*)]
  284. Ashley McBryde: The Devil I Know (Warner Music Nashville) ** [B+(**)]
  285. Nellie McKay: Hey Guys, Watch This (Hungry Mouse) ** [B+(**)]
  286. Melenas: Ahora (Trouble in Mind) ** [B+(**)]
  287. Memphis LK: Too Much Fun (Dot Dash, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  288. Greg Mendez: Greg Mendez (Forged Artifacts, EP) ** [B-]
  289. Vic Mensa: Victor (Roc Nation) ** [B+(*)]
  290. Hailu Mergia: Pioneer Works Swing (Live) (Awesome Tapes From Africa) **
  291. Metro Boomin: Heroes & Villains (Boominati/Republic '22) ** [B+(**)]
  292. Metro Boomin: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse [Soundtrack From & Inspired by the Motion Picture] (Boominati/Republic) ** [B+(*)]
  293. Haviah Mighty: Crying Crystals (Mighty Gang) ** [B+(**)]
  294. MIKE: Burning Desire (10K) ** [B+(*)]
  295. MIKE/Wiki/The Alchemist: Faith Is a Rock (ALC) ** [B+(*)]
  296. Militarie Gun: Life Under the Gun (Loma Vista) ** [B]
  297. Luiz Millan: Brazilian Match (Jazz Station) [B+(**)]
  298. Buddy & Julie Miller: In the Throes (New West) ** [B+(**)]
  299. Rainy Miller/Space Afrika: A Grisaille Wedding (Fixed Abode) ** [B]
  300. Blake Mills: Jelly Road (New Deal/Verve Forecast) ** [B]
  301. Kylie Minogue: Tension (BMG) ** [B+(**)]
  302. Joni Mitchell: Joni Mitchell at Newport (Rhino) ** [B]
  303. Mitski: The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We (Dead Oceans) ** [B+(*)]
  304. Mokoomba: Tusona: Tracings in the Sand (Out Here) ** [B+(**)]
  305. Victoria Monét: Jaguar II (RCA) ** [B+(**)]
  306. Money for Guns: All the Darkness That's in Your Head (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  307. Bonnie Montgomery: River (Gar Hole) ** [B+(*)]
  308. Gurf Morlix: Caveman (Rootball '22) ** [B+(**)]
  309. Van Morrison: Moving on Skiffle (Exile/Virgin, 2CD) ** [B]
  310. Van Morrison: Accentuate the Positive (Exile/Virgin) ** [B+(**)]
  311. The Mountain Goats: Jenny From Thebes (Merge) ** [B+(**)]
  312. Mozart Estate: Pop-Up! Ker-Ching! and the Possibilities of Modern Shopping (West Midlands/Cherry Red) ** [B+(*)]
  313. MSPAINT: Post-American (Convulse) ** [B+(**)]
  314. Estee Nack: Nacksaw Jim Duggan (Griselda) ** [B+(*)]
  315. Nakhane: Bastard Jargon (Star Red/BMG) ** [B+(**)]
  316. Nakibembe Embaire Group: Nakibembe Embaire Group (Nyege Nyege Tapes) ** [B+(**)]
  317. Nas: Magic 2 (Mass Appeal) ** [B+(**)]
  318. Nas: Magic 3 (Mass Appeal) ** [B+(**)]
  319. Graham Nash: Now (BMG) ** [B-]
  320. Nation of Language: Strange Disciple (PIAS) ** [B+(*)]
  321. Meshell Ndegeocello: The Omnichord Real Book (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  322. Ndox Electrique: Tëd ak Mame Coumba Lamba ak Mame Coumba Mbang (Bongo Joe) ** [B+(*)]
  323. Neak: Die Wurzel (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  324. Tracy Nelson: Life Don't Miss Nobody (BMG) ** [B+(**)]
  325. Willie Nelson: I Don't Know a Thing About Love: The Songs of Harlan Howard (Legacy) ** [B+(**)]
  326. Willie Nelson: Bluegrass (Legacy) ** [B+(*)]
  327. Ivan Neville: Touch My Soul (The Funk Garage) ** [B+(**)]
  328. The New Pornographers: Continue as a Guest (Merge) ** [B+(*)]
  329. NewJeans: Get Up (ADOR, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  330. Nickel Creek: Celebrants (Thirty Tigers) ** [B-]
  331. Billy Nomates: Cacti (Invada) ** [B+(**)]
  332. Nondi_: Flood City Trax (Planet Mu) ** [B+(*)]
  333. Nourished by Time: Erotic Probiotic 2 (Scenic Route) ** [B]
  334. Lisa O'Neill: All of This Is Chance (Rough Trade) ** [B+(**)]
  335. Octo Octa: Dreams of a Dancefloor (T4T LUV NRG, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  336. Offset: Set It Off (Motown) ** [B+(*)]
  337. Dave Okumu & the 7 Generations: I Came From Love (Transgressive) ** [B+(*)]
  338. Old Crow Medicine Show: Jubilee (ATO) ** [B]
  339. Angel Olsen: Forever Means (Jagjaguwar, EP) ** [B]
  340. OMD [Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark]: Bauhaus Staircase (100%) ** [B+(**)]
  341. Oneohtrix Point Never: Again (Warp) ** [B]
  342. Rita Ora: You & I (BMG) ** [B+(**)]
  343. Orbital: Optical Delusion (London) ** [B+(*)]
  344. Bill Orcutt: Jump on It (Palilalia) ** [B+(*)]
  345. Joell Ortiz & L'Orange: Signature (Mello Music) ** [B+(*)]
  346. Kassa Overall: Animals (Warp) ** [B+(*)]
  347. Overmono: Good Lies (XL) ** [B+(*)]
  348. Genesis Owusu: Struggler (Ourness/AWAL) ** [B+(**)]
  349. Palehound: Eye on the Bat (Polyvinyl) ** [B+(**)]
  350. Paramore: This Is Why (Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  351. Parannoul: After the Magic (Top Shelf) ** [B]
  352. Pardoner: Peace Loving People (Bar/None) ** [B+(*)]
  353. Graham Parker & the Goldtops: Last Chance to Learn the Twist (Big Stir) ** [B+(**)]
  354. Joel Paterson: Wheelhouse Rag (Jalopy) ** [B+(**)]
  355. Vinnie Paz: All Are Guests in the House of God (Iron Tusk Music) ** [B+(**)]
  356. Grant Peeples: A Murder of Songs (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  357. Pere Ubu: Trouble on Big Beat Street (Cherry Red) ** [B+(**)]
  358. Pest Control: Don't Test the Pest (Quality Control HQ) ** [B+(*)]
  359. Kim Petras: Feed the Beast (Island) ** [B+(*)]
  360. Phiik & Lungs: Another Planet 4 (Tase Grip/Break All) ** [B+(*)]
  361. P!nk: Trustfall (RCA) ** [B+(**)]
  362. Yunč Pinku: Babylon IX (Platoon, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  363. Pipe: Pipe (Third Uncle) ** [B+(**)]
  364. Rozi Plain: Prize (Memphis Industries) ** [B+(*)]
  365. Peso Pluma: Génesis (Double P) ** [B+(**)]
  366. Caroline Polachek: Desire, I Want to Turn Into You (Perpetual Novice) ** [B]
  367. Polobi & the Gwo Ka Masters: Abri Cyclonique (Real World) ** [B+(**)]
  368. Pony: Velveteen (Take This to Heart) ** [B+(*)]
  369. Dougie Poole: The Rainbow Wheel of Death (Wharf Cat) ** [B+(*)]
  370. Iggy Pop: Every Loser (Gold Tooth/Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  371. Popcaan: Great Is He (OVO Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  372. Shelton Powe: Shelton Powe (Music Maker '22) ** [B+(*)]
  373. Pretenders: Relentless (Rhino) ** [B+(*)]
  374. Margo Price: Strays (Loma Vista) ** [B+(*)]
  375. Prince Kaybee: Gemini (self-released '22) ** [B+(**)]
  376. Princess Nokia: I Love You but This Is Goodbye (Arista, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  377. Prins Emanuel: Diagonal Musik II (Music for Dreams) ** [B+(**)]
  378. Public Image Ltd.: End of World (PIL Official) ** [B+(*)]
  379. Purelink: Signs (Peak Oil) ** [B+(*)]
  380. Quasi: Breaking the Balls of History (Sub Pop) ** [B-]
  381. Queens of the Stone Age: In Times New Roman . . . (Matador) ** [B-]
  382. Priya Ragu: Santhosam (Warner) ** [B+(**)]
  383. Reneé Rapp: Snow Angel (Interscope) ** [B]
  384. Raw Poetic: Away Back In (Def Pressé) ** [B+(**)]
  385. Amy Rigby: Cut & Run (Southern Domestic) ** [B+(**)]
  386. Amy Rigby: Cut Two (Southern Domestic) ** [B+(**)]
  387. R. Ring: War Poems, We Rested (Don Giovanni) ** [B+(*)]
  388. Rae Sremmurd: Sremm 4 Life (EarDruma/Interscope) ** [B+(*)]
  389. Raye: My 21st Century Blues (Human Re Sources) ** [B+(**)]
  390. Chappell Roan: The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess (Amusement/Island) ** [B+(**)]
  391. Smokey Robinson: Gasms (TLR) ** [B+(**)]
  392. The Rolling Stones: Hackney Diamonds (Polydor) ** [B]
  393. Rome Streetz: Wasn't Built in a Day (De Rap Winkel) ** [B+(*)]
  394. Dex Romweber: Good Thing Goin' (Propeller Sound) ** [B+(*)]
  395. Caroline Rose: The Art of Forgetting (New West) ** [B+(*)]
  396. Esther Rose: Safe to Run (New West) ** [B+(**)]
  397. Frankie Rose: Love as Projection (Slumberland) ** [B]
  398. Jeff Rosenstock: Hellmode (Polyvinyl) ** [B+(*)]
  399. Jay Royale: Criminal Discourse (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  400. Bobby Rush: All My Love for You (Deep Rush/Thirty Tigers) ** [B+(**)]
  401. Rust Dust: Twere but It Were so Simple (Omad) ** [B+(**)]
  402. RVG: Brain Worms (Ivy League/Fire) ** [B+(**)]
  403. Ryuichi Sakamoto: 12 (Milan) ** [B]
  404. Samia: Honey (Grand Jury) ** [B+(*)]
  405. Sampha: Lahai (Young) ** [B+(*)]
  406. A. Savage: Several Songs About Fire (Rough Trade) ** [B+(**)]
  407. SBTRKT: The Rat Road (AWAL) ** [B]
  408. Screaming Females: Desire Pathway (Don Giovanni) ** [B]
  409. Travis Scott: Utopia (Cactus Jack/Epic) ** [B+(**)]
  410. Seablite: Lemon Lights (Mt. St. Mtn.) ** [B+(*)]
  411. Sexyy Red: Hood Hottest Princess (Heavy on It) ** [B+(*)]
  412. Shabazz Palaces: Robed in Rareness (Sub Pop, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  413. Nick Shoulders: All Bad (Gar Hole) ** [B+(**)]
  414. Sigur Rós: Átta (Krunk/BMG) ** [B-]
  415. Paul Simon: Seven Psalms (Owl/Legacy) ** [B]
  416. Guilty Simpson: Escalation (Uncommon) ** [B+(**)]
  417. Troye Sivan: Something to Give Each Other (Capitol) ** [B+(**)]
  418. Skech185 & Jeff Markey: He Left Nothing for the Swim Back (Backwoodz Studioz) ** [B+(**)]
  419. Skrillex: Don't Get Too Close (OWSLA/Atlantic) ** [B+(**)]
  420. Skrillex: Quest for Fire (OWSLA/Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  421. Slow Pulp: Yard (Anti-) ** [B+(**)]
  422. Slowdive: Everything Is Alive (Dead Oceans) ** [B+(**)]
  423. Chucky Smash: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (King of the Beats) ** [B+(*)]
  424. Sam Smith: Gloria (Capitol) ** [B]
  425. Smoke DZA & Flying Lotus: Flying Objects (The Smoker's Club, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  426. Cleo Sol: Heaven (Forever Living Originals) ** [B+(*)]
  427. Cleo Sol: Gold (Forever Living Originals) ** [B+(**)]
  428. Son Volt: Day of the Doug: The Songs of Doug Sahm (Transmit Sound) ** [B+(*)]
  429. Kate Soper Feat. Sam Pluta: The Understanding of All Things (New Focus '22) ** [B-]
  430. Sparks: The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte (Island) ** [B-]
  431. Speaker Music: Techxodus (Planet Mu) ** [B+(**)]
  432. Spectacular Diagnostics: Raw Lessons (Rucksack) ** [B+(**)]
  433. Speedy Ortiz: Rabbit Rabbit (Wax Nine) ** [B+(*)]
  434. Squid: O Monolith (Warp) ** [B+(**)]
  435. Chris Stamey: The Great Escape (Car) ** [B+(*)]
  436. Joe Stamm Band: Wild Man (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  437. Chris Stapleton: Higher (Mercury Nashville) ** [B+(*)]
  438. Steep Canyon Rangers: Morning Shift (Yep Roc) ** [B+(*)]
  439. Marnie Stern: The Comeback Kid (Joyful Noise) ** [B+(**)]
  440. Sufjan Stevens: Javellin (Asthmatic Kitty) ** [B+(*)]
  441. Tamara Stewart: Woman (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  442. The Streets: The Darker the Shadow the Brighter the Light (679/Warner Music UK) ** [B+(**)]
  443. Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives: Altitude (Snakefarm) ** [B]
  444. Stuck: Freak Frequency (Born Yesterday) ** [B+(**)]
  445. Sundy Best: Feel Good Country (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  446. Susanne Sundfřr: Blómi (Bella Union) ** [B+(*)]
  447. Superviolet: Infinite Spring (Lame-O) ** [B+(*)]
  448. Earl Sweatshirt & the Alchemist: Voir Dire (ALC/Tan Cressida) ** [B+(*)]
  449. Sweeping Promises: Good Living Is Coming for You (Sub Pop) ** [B+(**)]
  450. SZA: SOS (Top Dawg/RCA) ** [B+(**)]
  451. Tainy: Data (Neon16) ** [B+(*)]
  452. Dudu Tassa/Jonny Greenwood: Jarak Qaribak (World Circuit) ** [B+(*)]
  453. Willie Tea Taylor & the Fellership: The Great Western Hangover (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  454. Tele Novella: Poet's Tooth (Kill Rock Stars) ** [B+(*)]
  455. That Mexican OT: Lonestar Luchador (Manifest/Good Talk/Good Money Global) ** [B+(**)]
  456. Teddy Thompson: My Love of Country (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  457. Tinariwen: Amatssou (Wedge) ** [B+(*)]
  458. Tinashe: BB/ANG3L (Nice Life, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  459. Tiny Ruins: Ceremony (Ba Da Bing) ** [B+(*)]
  460. Tirzah: Trip9love (Domino) ** [B+(*)]
  461. TisaKorean: Let Me Update My Status (Jazzzy) ** [B]
  462. Titanic: Vidrio (Unheard of Hope) ** [B+(**)]
  463. Don Toliver: Love Sick (Cactus Jack/Atlantic) ** [B]
  464. MF Tomlinson: We Are Still Wild Horses (Prah) ** [B+(*)]
  465. Josie Toney: Extra (Like You Mean It) ** [B+(**)]
  466. Rian Treanor & Ocen James: Saccades (Nyege Nyege Tapes) ** [B+(**)]
  467. Truth Cult: Walk the Wheel (Pop Wig) ** [B+(*)]
  468. The Tubs: Dead Meat (Trouble in Mind) ** [B+(*)]
  469. Tanya Tucker: Sweet Western Sound (Fantasy) ** [B+(**)]
  470. Tujiko Noriko: Crépuscule I & II (Editions Mego, 2CD) ** [B]
  471. Yves Tumor: Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) (Warp) ** [B+(**)]
  472. Turnpike Troubadours: A Cat in the Rain (Bossier City) ** [B]
  473. Kali Uchis: Red Moon in Venus (Interscope) ** [B+(**)]
  474. Uncle Waffles: Asylum (Kreativekornerr) ** [B+(**)]
  475. U.S. Girls: Bless This Mess (4AD) ** [B+(**)]
  476. Veeze: Ganger (Navy Wavy) ** [B+(*)]
  477. Ally Venable: Real Gone (Ruf) ** [B+(*)]
  478. VHS Head: Phocus (Skam) ** [B+(*)]
  479. Ramana Vieira: Tudo De Mim (All of Me) (self-released) [B+(*)]
  480. Pabllo Vittar: Noitada (Sony Music) ** [B+(**)]
  481. Pabllo Vittar: After (Sony Music) ** [B+(*)]
  482. Katie Von Schleicher: A Little Touch of Schleicher in the Night (Sipsam) ** [B+(*)]
  483. Waco Brothers: The Men That God Forgot (Plenty Tuff) ** [B+(**)]
  484. Rufus Wainwright: Folkocracy (BMG) ** [B]
  485. Joe Louis Walker: Weight of the World (Forty Below) ** [B]
  486. Morgan Wallen: One Thing at a Time (Big Loud) ** [B+(*)]
  487. The War and Treaty: Lover's Game (Mercury Nashville) ** [B+(**)]
  488. Wednesday: Rat Saw God (Dead Oceans) ** [B+(*)]
  489. Westside Gunn: And Then You Pray for Me (Griselda/Empire) ** [B+(**)]
  490. WiFiGawd & Soudiere: 36 Chambers of Pressure Vol. 2 (Purple Posse, EP) ** [B]
  491. Sam Wilkes: Driving (Wilkes) ** [B+(*)]
  492. Hank Williams IV: Honky Tonk Habit (Lone Star Reserve, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  493. Jaime Wyatt: Feel Good (New West) ** [B]
  494. Yaeji: With a Hammer (XL) ** [B+(*)]
  495. YMA & Jadsa: Zelena (self-released, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  496. Yonic South: Devo Challenge Cup (Wild Honey, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  497. Neil Young: Before and After (Reprise) ** [B+(**)]
  498. Young Nudy: Gumbo (RCA) ** [B+(*)]
  499. Young Thug: Business Is Business (Atlantic) ** [B+(**)]
  500. Youth Lagoon: Heaven Is a Junkyard (Fat Possum) ** [B+(*)]
  501. Yungmorpheus: From Whence It Came (Lex) ** [B+(*)]
  502. Yungmorpheus & Real Bad Man: The Chalice & the Blade (Real Bad Man) ** [B+(**)]
  503. Bailey Zimmerman: Religiously: The Album (Warner Nashville/Elektra) ** [B+(**)]
  504. Zulu: A New Tomorrow (Flatspot) ** [B+(*)]

Additional reissued/archival non-jazz records rated B+(**) or below (listed alphabetically by artist).

  1. Ruth Anderson/Annea Lockwood: Tęte-Ŕ-Tęte (1974-2020, Ergot) ** [B+(*)]
  2. As-Shams Archive Vol. 1: South African Jazz, Funk & Soul 1975-1982 (As-Shams Music) ** [B+(**)]
  3. Atmosphere: Sad Clown Bad Dub II (2000, Rhymesayers Entertainment) ** [B+(**)]
  4. Roger Bekono: Roger Bekono (1989, Awesome Tapes From Africa) ** [B+(**)]
  5. William Bell: Never Like This Before: The Complete 'Blue' Stax Singles 1961-1968 (Kent Soul '22) ** [B+(**)]
  6. William Bell: The Man in the Street: The Complete 'Yellow' Stax Solo Singles 1968-1974 (Kent Soul) ** [B+(**)]
  7. Clairvoyance Is the Dance (Huveshta Rituals) ** [B+(*)]
  8. Julee Cruise: Floating Into the Night (1999, Sacred Bones) ** [B]
  9. Ernesto Djédjé: Roi Du Ziglibithy (1978-82, Analog Africa '22) ** [B+(**)]
  10. Dream Dolphin: Gaia: Selected Ambient & Downtempo Works (1996-2003) (Music From Memory, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  11. The Frustrated Bachelors: In the End It Wasn't Enough: All the Good Ones 2003-2006 (Money for Guns) ** [B+(**)]
  12. Ibrahim Hesnawi: The Father of Libyan Reggae (Habibi Funk) ** [B+(*)]
  13. Holy Church of the Ecstatic Soul: A Higher Power: Gospel, Funk & Soul at the Crossroads 1971-83 (Soul Jazz) ** [B+(*)]
  14. If You Want to Make a Lover: Palm Wine, Akan Blues & Early Guitar Highlife, Pt. 1 (1920s-50s, Death Is Not the End) ** [B+(*)]
  15. If You Want to Make a Lover: Palm Wine, Akan Blues & Early Guitar Highlife, Pt. 2 (1920s-50s, Death Is Not the End) ** [B+**)]
  16. Los Mohanes: La Tumbia (2017, Moli Del Tro) ** [B+(*)]
  17. Galcher Lustwerk: 100% Galcher (2013, Ghostly International -22) ** [B+(**)]
  18. Malombo Jazz Makers: Malompo Jazz (1966, Strut) ** [B+(*)]
  19. Malombo Jazz Makers: Malombo Jazz Makers Volume 2 (1967, Strut) ** [B+(*)]
  20. Money for Guns: Dead Tracks (2007-20, Money for Guns '22) ** [B]
  21. Nkono Teles: Love Vibration (1982-84, Soundway) ** [B+(**)]
  22. RP Boo: Legacy Volume 2 (2002-07, Planet Mu) ** [B+(*)]
  23. Arthur Russell: Picture of Bunny Rabbit (1985-86, Audika) ** [B+(**)]
  24. Tolerance: Anonym (1979, Mesh-Key) ** [B+(**)]
  25. Tyler, the Creator: Call Me if You Get Lost: The Estate Sale (2021, Columbia) ** [B+(**)]
  26. Muddy Waters Blue Band Featuring Otis Spann: Live Paris 1968 (Lantower) ** [B+(**)]
  27. Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers: Somewhere Under the Rainbow: Nov. 5, 1973 (Reprise) ** [B]


New non-jazz records I haven't heard estimated to have a 2% (or better) chance of making the A-list if/when I finally hear them (limited sampling grades appear here, but 2% chances drop significantly under ++):

Reissued/historical non-jazz records I haven't heard estimated to have a 2% (or better) chance of making the A-list if/when I finally hear them:

  1. Jimi Hendrix Experience: Los Angeles Forum, April 26, 1969 (Legacy/Experience Hendrix '22)
  2. Joni Mitchell: Archives, Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972-1975) (Rhino)