This was a hardest list to build for me. The truth is I don’t listen to “albums” anymore. Back in the day, when you purchased an album from your favorite artists, it was like an event. You’d expect to have an experience– listen to the music take you on a journey from start to finish. And if you didn’t have to skip over any joints, that was an epic win. But the state of the business, thanks to streaming release have been about bundling 3 or 4 singles with a bunch of other content. These days it’s all about the ‘singles’.
But still, if you dig a little deeper, there still are releases that feel like the projects of old. So with the help of Spotify and iTunes analytics, these are the ‘albums’ that I (apparently) listened to the most in 2022. I hope you discover something new here.
Black Star – No Fear of Time
It’s funny that my favorite album of the year was something I couldn’t find easily in the sea of new music out this year. Released exclusively on the podcast app Luminary, No Fear of Time marked Black Star’s first collaborative album in almost 15 years. Excluxively produced by Madlib, the 9 track album was tight, thoughtful and laced with the best lyrical skills from Yasim Bey and Talib Kweli.
A lot of the complaints were that this album felt more like a mixtape; it sounded like Bey and Kweli just jacked some old Madlib beats. And I’d agree. But that sounds like heaven to me! It sounded so good, I bought a subscription to Luminary just to be able to get the album (as well has here the boys along with Dave Chapelle release the podcast The Midnight Miracle.
I wish I could post a Spotify and iTunes link to make it easy for folks to hear the album, but at this moment it’s still behind a paywall. I have no problem with that. Artists should have 100% say in how they distribute their content. And hopefully true fans will go the extra mile to support them. Enjoy!