Albums From Across The Musical Universe Proved Themselves Among 2022’s Top New Albums

Courtesy: C Squared PR

As the final hours of 2022 tick away and all eyes and hopes look forward to 2023, there is still a little bit of time to look back on the year that is now ending in regards to the year’s top new albums.  This year produced so many impressive new albums across the musical universe, from rock to rap to jazz, blues, classical, world, and even family music, as Phil’s Picks has shown.  Looking at all of those genres, many of them have produced records that are clearly among the best of the best, and they are presented here in the last of this year’s new music lists.

This year’s list of the year’s top new albums includes Machine Head’s new album, Of Kingdom and Crown, percussionist Tom Collier’s new album, The Color of Wood, and even Pimps of Joytime’s new album, Reachin’ Up among so many others.  Between these and all of the other albums included in this final music list for the year, it is clear that this year’s overall field of new music was rich with enjoyable content.  It made creating this list so difficult, but the list was created, nonetheless.

As with each Phil’s Picks list, this one consists of the year’s top 10 new albums and five additional honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles.  The top 10 records are the best of the best and the honorable mentions are records that are appealing in their own right and deserving of attention, too, thus their inclusion here.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Albums of the Year.

PHIL’S PICKS 2022 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. Bloodywood – Rakshak
  2. Danilo Perez – Crisalida
  3. Derek Sherinian – Vortex
  4. Machine Head – Of Kingdom and Crown
  5. Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – Variants of Vibe
  6. Devin Townsend – Light Work
  7. Joe Satriani – Elephants of Mars
  8. Sabaton – The Symphony to End All Wars
  9. Pimps of Joytime – Reachin’ Up
  10. Tom Collier – The Color of Wood
  11. The Jorgensens – Americana Soul
  12. Mark Tremonti – Tremonti Sings Sinatra
  13. Playing For Change Band – The Real Revolution
  14. Old Crow Medicine Show – Paint The Town
  15. Bobby Watson – Back Home in Kansas City

That’s it for this year’s new music year-enders.  There is still time for at least a couple of TV pieces to go through before the year officially ends, so stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com

New Independent Albums Helped Make 2022 A Great Year For Music Lovers

Courtesy: C Squared PR

Today’s independent music act could very well be tomorrow’s hit name in the mainstream.  One never knows.  All it takes is the right support from radio and audiences and of course being in the right time and place to make it happen.  Even if an act does not make it to the mainstream masses does not mean said act is not worth hearing.  As a matter of fact, many independent acts are just as good as their mainstream counterparts if not better.  To that end, even they deserve their own attention at each year’s end, and that is why Phil’s Picks provides a list of the year’s top new independent albums each year, too.

This year’s list of top new independent albums bring together independent albums from the worlds of rock, pop, and even jazz, showing just how much great independent music continues to be released even this year.  This year’s list is topped by Indian nu-metal outfit Bloodywood.  The band is joined here by the likes of Mythosphere — which features former members of Fates Warning, Pale Divine, and Beezlefuzz — as well as jazz artist Kevin Cerovich and others.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s top 10 new albums plus five additional honorable mentions, for a total of 15 records.  These lists are never easy, so no disrespect is meant to the honorable mention titles.  They deserve just as much credit as the top 10 records considering their overall content.

Keeping that in mind, here without any further ado is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Independent Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2022 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

  1. Bloodywood – Rakshak
  2. Pimps of Joytime – Reachin’ Up
  3. Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – Variants of Vibe
  4. Ginger Wildheart and The Sinners – Ginger Wildheart and The Sinners
  5. Soraia – Bloom
  6. Mythosphere – Pathological
  7. Kevin Cerovich – Aging Millenial
  8. As Within, So Without – Salvation
  9. Artifas – Reflections
  10. Gill Brothers Band – Gill Brothers Band
  11. American Thrills – Parted Ways
  12. Standards – Fruit Town
  13. Kulick – Everyone I Know Will Die
  14. Dancing on Tables – Colour in the Grey
  15. The L.A. Maybe – Dirty Damn Tricks

One more down and one more to go before the attention turns to the realm of TV and movies.  Stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com

Established Acts Dominate Phil’s Picks 2022 Top New Rock Albums List

Courtesy: earMusic

This year was quite the interesting time for the rock community.  That’s because of the wide range of acts who produced new albums throughout the year.  Queensryche, Skid Row, and Joe Satriani all released their latest albums this year, all of which proved quite successful.  Rock super group Motor Sister also released their debut album, to its own acclaim, as did Slash, Scorpions, and Collective Soul.  Between all of these and so many others, the rock albums released this year gave audiences plenty to appreciate, thus the call for a list of the year’s top new rock albums.

This year’s list of top new rock albums serves as a reminder of all that is so good with the rock industry, proving yet again that as much as certain corporate entities would have people believe, rock is not dead.  Rather it is as alive as ever and as healthy, too.  As in years past, Phil’s Picks presents the top 10 records of the given category and five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Those five honorable mentions are no less engaging and entertaining as the other 10.  They just happen to be of their own note.

To that end here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2022 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Joe Satriani – Elephants of Mars
  2. Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – Variants of Vibe
  3. Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The conspirators – 4
  4. Motor Sister – Get Off
  5. Derek Sherinian – Vortex
  6. Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here
  7. Michael Schenker Group – Universal
  8. Fozzy – Boombox
  9. Ginger Wildheart and The Sinners – Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners
  10. Soraia – Bloom
  11. Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance
  12. The Dead Daisies – Radiance
  13. Ty Tabor – Shades
  14. Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate – Hell, CA
  15. Cleanbreak – Coming Home

That is all for this list, but there is still plenty to come including the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums list.  That list is coming tomorrow, so stay tuned.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music Presents 2022’s First Great New Indie Album In ‘Variants Of Vibe’

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music are scheduled to release the group’s new album, Vairants of Vibe next week through Wicked Cool Records.  Set for release Feb. 18, the 14-song record has already shown great potential through the singles that it has already produced.  They have shown greatly, how the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical content make the record so enjoyable.  They are just a small sample of how that content makes the record engaging and entertaining, too.  The record boasts plenty of other songs that do just that, too.  ‘Brave Old World,’ which comes late in the album’s 40-minute run, is another solid example of the record’s strength.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Loneliness,’ which comes a little earlier in the album, is another good example of what makes the album worth hearing.  It will be discussed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘Spanish Eyes,’ which comes even earlier in the record.  It will also be examined later.  Each song noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  When they are considered along with the album’s singles and with the rest of the album’s other songs, the whole makes the album overall the first truly great new independent album.

Variants of Vibe, the new album from Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music, is a truly promising offering from the group.  That is thanks to its featured musical arrangements, as its current singles have already shown.  They are just a sample of how that content makes the album so engaging and entertaining.  The record is full of interesting entries, not the least of which is the late entry, ‘Brave Old World.’  The musical arrangement featured in ‘Brave Old World’ is a great, catchy composition.  Leigh’s vocal delivery alone conjures thoughts of Tom Petty and Billy Joel.  Yes, that sounds like quite the odd pairing, but it really is evident here.  The Billy Joel comparison builds even more with the introduction of the saxophones and the way in which the rhythm section is accented here.  The subtle use of the piano alongside those elements builds even more on that comparison.  The thing is that even with such comparison, the less than two minute arrangement still boasts its own identity.  What’s more, even clocking in at less than two minutes, Leigh and company somehow manage to make the song feel more along the lines of a standard three-minute-plus work in the best way possible.  The group really makes the song last, which is certain to leave any listener fulfilled.  When the engagement and entertainment guaranteed by the arrangement pairs with the song’s lyrical theme, the song gains even more traction.

It is just this critic’s interpretation that the lyrical theme featured in ‘Brave Old World’ is that of someone just appreciating the world.  This is especially inferred as Leigh sings that “Nothing ever changes/But something changes every day/So I ain’t seen nothing like this/Brave old world.”  That brief statement speaks volumes.  It comes across as that old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Even as much as that is the case, the subject still seems to wonder at how much changes even as things stay the same.  It is a positive viewpoint that will resonate with audiences.  He continues, “Nothing’s here to stay/Except yesterday/And the day before that/Maybe true/But it’s not a fact/Still my heart/While you take another beat/Now don’t you feel smart/You better stand up/While you take your seat/They say that time is….But it never went away/I see the setting sun around me/In a brave old world.”  All of this collectively, with that final statement, paints a picture of someone who just seems to appreciate being alive, despite everything.  He is reminding others to make the most of each day.  Again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation.  When this seeming theme pairs with the equally upbeat, positive energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole makes the song a clear example of why the record’s musical and lyrical content makes it so enjoyable. 

‘Brave Old World’ is just one of the many songs that shows the album’s strength.  ‘Loneliness’ which comes a little earlier in the album’s run, is another example of how much that content has to offer audiences.  The song’s musical arrangement is a stark departure from that of ‘Brave Old World’ and the album’s other entries.  Where ‘Brave Old World’ presented a blend of influences from the likes of Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, ‘Loneliness’ presents clear influence from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.  Leigh himself even somehow manages to make his voice morph into a blend of the two what with the drawl and gritty delivery style.  That, paired with the reserved guitar line and steady, plodding tempo points the finger to the noted influences even more.  When considered alongside the arrangement in ‘Brave Old World’ and in the album’s current singles, it is one more example of the diversity in sounds and styles in the album’s musical arrangements.  It is fully engaging and entertaining, too because of its richness.  When the depth in the arrangement pairs with the song’s lyrical theme, the song in whole becomes that much more engaging and entertaining.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Loneliness’ is about exactly that.  It is sung from the standpoint of someone who is all alone.  Thanks to the drawl that Leigh incorporates into his vocal delivery, some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference.  However, enough can be understood that listeners can infer this is literally about someone who is alone.  There is no direct reference about a broken relationship or anything of the sort.  It is, plain and simple, about being alone and the mental and emotional impact thereof.  The way in which Leigh delivers the seeming theme paints a picture of someone sitting alone at a table, glass and bottle in hand at one point.  At others, images of people just being alone in various situations arise.  It is all so rich, it makes for a perfect chance for a single and video.  Yes, that is a blatant recommendation to Leigh and everyone at Wicked Cool Records.  When the song’s lyrical theme and musical arrangement are combined, they make the song in whole yet another key example of what makes the album so enjoyable, and hardly the last, too.  ‘Spanish Fly,’ another of the album’s early entries, continues to show the album’s strength.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Spanish Fly’ is another change in sound and style for the album.  The arrangement, in this case, finds Leigh morphing his vocals yet again, this time making himself sound like none other than Billy Idol.  The production and the instrumentation adds to that comparison to works from the famed rocker, especially the pairing of the bass and drums with Leigh’s vocals.  The mid-tempo composition is another change in style, too.  It further adds to the arrangement’s overall uniqueness and in turn interest.  When the engagement and entertainment ensured through the song’s arrangement pairs with the song’s accessible lyrical theme, the whole becomes that much more enjoyable.


The lyrical theme featured in ‘Spanish Fly’ comes across as being sung by a man who is rather entranced by a woman.  This is inferred as Leigh sings, about the woman looking at him “with those Spanish eyes”.  He even sings in this song about the woman being his first love and being breathless from that first kiss.  In other words, this song is a love song.  It is just presented musically in a unique way that makes the all too familiar theme bearable.  When the song’s musical arrangement and lyrical theme are paired together, they make the song yet another example of just how much the song has to offer.  What’s more, when the song is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the album’s singles and other songs, the whole makes Variants of Vibe in whole a complete success.

Variants of Vibe, the new album from Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music is a solid new offering of rock for fans of said genre. The album’s success is due to its musical and lyrical content.  All thee of the songs examined here do well to make that clear.  When they are considered along with the album’s current singles and with the rest of its songs, the whole makes the whole makes this record the first truly great new independent album of 2022.

Variants of Vibe is scheduled for release Feb. 18 through Wicked Cool Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of the latest news from Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music at:

Websitehttp://mickeyleigh.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MickeyLeigh

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music Debuts New Single, ‘Standing In The Dark’

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mutated Music debuted their latest single this week.

The group debuted the new single, ‘Standing in the Dark‘ Thursday. The song is the latest single from the group’s forthcoming album, Variants of Vibe, which is scheduled for release Feb. 18. ‘Standing in the Dark is the eighth (yes, eighth) single from the 14-song record. Audiences can pre-order the album here.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Standing in the Dark’ is an instantly infectious composition. The upbeat tempo and harmonies immediately lend themselves to comparison to some of the best works from Tom Petty. At the same time, the song manages to maintain its own identity along the way.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing its debut. No lyrics are provided with the song on YouTube, either. What can be inferred from what can be deciphered without lyrics is that the song’s lyrical theme seems to focus on someone trying to find direction in life. That is just this critic’s interpretation.

More information on Mickey Leigh and Mutated Music’s new single is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://mickeyleigh.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MickeyLeigh

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mickey Leigh Announces New Album Details, Debuts New Single

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mutated Music will release their new album this winter.

The band is scheduled to release its new album, Variants of Vibe Feb. 18 through Wicked Cool Records. In anticipation of the record’s release, the band debuted the record’s latest single Friday in the form of ‘No Fun.’ The song is the record’s seventh single. Audiences can check out all seven of the record’s singles and pre-save/pre-order the album now here.

Leigh talked about the group’s new single in a prepared statement.

“It’s not uncommon for songwriters to steal bits and pieces from either their musical contemporaries or past influences,” said Leigh. “Not that I’m a big fan of his, but I decided to steal a line written by an old Roman Emperor. “Veni, Vidi, Vici” = I came, I saw, I conquered,” said Julius Caesar. The Queens (NY) interpretation – or, at least, mine – is: I came, I saw, you’re no fun anymore. Whatever it might be: if you realized something was a danger to you and left it behind -before it kicked yours – fair to say you “conquered” it. In this song, it’s a healthy conquering. You came and saw it was time to conquer that demon. Don’t sue me, Caesar!”

In regards to the album, Leigh had the following to say:

“Like every organic entity, music is perpetually re-adapting itself in order to survive = mutating. As we know, things we create also variate as they mutate. Mutated Music is what we are. Our new album presents a Variant of Vibe. This may sound complicated, but, it’s only rock n roll. and we love it and don’t want to see it become extinct! Mutated Music = Rescuing Rock ‘n Roll, One Song At a Time.”

The musical arrangement featured in Leigh and company’s new single is a direct throw back to the rock and pop rock songs that formed the foundation of today’s rock industry. There are hints of The Who here as well as influences from Huey Lewis & The News. Yes, it seems like quite the contradiction of sounds, but it is there and it works well here.

More information on Mickey Leigh and Mutated Music’s new single and album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://mickeyleigh.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MickeyLeigh

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music Debuts ‘Little Cristine’ Video

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mutated Music debuted the video for their latest single over the weekend.

The group debuted the video for its new single ‘Little Cristine‘ Friday.  The video features the group performing its new single against a CG created backdrop of a subway alongside footage of the band in studio.  Additional video effects are incorporated, such as multiple clones of Leigh himself in some scenes.

 

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

 

The song’s musical arrangement presents a sound that is easily comparable to works from the likes of The Ramones.  That should come as no surprise since Leigh’s brother is none other than Joey Ramone.  On another even more intriguing note, Leigh’s own vocal delivery conjures thoughts of fellow famed singer Huey Lewis, as do some of the song’s guitar riffs.  It sounds like an odd combination, but it works very well here.

“For all the blabbering about politics and messages, I haven’t lost sight of what attracted me to rock ‘n’ roll and why it was love at first sight — the fun,” he said. “I miss fun rock ‘n’ roll songs. So, I was inspired enough to write one about a guy and his girlfriend having fun. Can you imagine that? It’s called “Little Cristine,” and we did have fun. It’s Mutated Music. I’m working on rescuing rock n roll — one song at a time.”

The debut of ‘Little Cristine’ and its companion video comes less than a month after Leigh and company debuted the video for their then latest single ‘Two Kinds Of Law.

Leigh talked about the song’s topic in a recent interview.

The concept that there are “two kinds of law- one for the rich, and one for the poor,” is not exactly one that came about recently,” he said.  “I first heard those words many decades ago, in a book and film called “In Cold Blood”, and, though said in different words, in a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. I just, recently, felt compelled to write a song about it. Very compelled.”

“The importance of “equality” and “justice for all” has come to the forefront of our lives like never before and, it’s a message that needs to be repeated…repeatedly,” he added.  “There aren’t many ways to repeat a message repeatedly without boring people to tears, aside from immersing it in a catchy chorus and irresistible rhythm.”

Much as is the case in the group’s new single, the musical arrangement at the center of ‘Two Kinds of Law’ features its own throwback sound.  It takes listeners back to the rock and roll from the golden age of the genre, the 1970s.

More information on Mickey Leigh and Mutated Music’s new single is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://mickeyleigh.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MickeyLeigh

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mickey Leigh And Mutated Music Address Judicial Inequality With New Song

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mutated Music are taking on judicial inequality in the group’s new single.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Two Kinds of Law’ Wednesday.  The video features the band performing its new single in a studio style setting and crosses that with footage of a man being tazed by a police officer and a black woman telling children why their father will not be coming home. The imagery is used to help illustrate the song’s lyrical theme that focuses on the different ways in which people are treated by law enforcement.

Leigh talked about that theme in a recent interview.

The concept that there are “two kinds of law- one for the rich, and one for the poor,” is not exactly one that came about recently,” he said.  “I first heard those words many decades ago, in a book and film called “In Cold Blood”, and, though said in different words, in a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. I just, recently, felt compelled to write a song about it. Very compelled.”

“The importance of “equality” and “justice for all” has come to the forefront of our lives like never before and, it’s a message that needs to be repeated…repeatedly,” he added.  “There aren’t many ways to repeat a message repeatedly without boring people to tears, aside from immersing it in a catchy chorus and irresistible rhythm.”

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Speaking of music, the song’s musical arrangement is a catchy work that exhibits a classic rock and roll vibe that reaches back to the 1970s.  That is especially evidenced through the song’s guitar line and through Leigh’s own vocal delivery style.  The song’s time keeping and bass line deepen its presentation and make it that much more engaging and entertaining.

More information on Mickey Leigh and Mutated Music’s new single is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://mickeyleigh.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MickeyLeigh

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.