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
Bloodywood – Rakshak
Danilo Perez – Crisalida
Derek Sherinian – Vortex
Machine Head – Of Kingdom and Crown
Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – Variants of Vibe
Devin Townsend – Light Work
Joe Satriani – Elephants of Mars
Sabaton – The Symphony to End All Wars
Pimps of Joytime – Reachin’ Up
Tom Collier – The Color of Wood
The Jorgensens – Americana Soul
Mark Tremonti – Tremonti Sings Sinatra
Playing For Change Band – The Real Revolution
Old Crow Medicine Show – Paint The Town
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!
Early this month, independent music duo The Jorgensens released its latest album, Americana Soul through Paramour Records, which is distributed by none other than MVD Entertainment Group. The couple’s new, 33-minute album, is a joy from beginning to end. That is thanks to its diverse musical sounds and styles, and lyrical themes, each of which will be discussed in its own moment here. The sequencing of said content adds even more to the album’s overall appeal and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own right to this record. All things considered they make Americana Soul easily one of this year’s top new independent albums and potentially overall albums.
Americana Soul, the latest album from independent music duo The Jorgensens, is a record that will appeal to a wide range of audiences from the beginning of its 10-song run. The record’s appeal is due in no small part to the diversity in its musical arrangements. While the album’s title is Americana Soul, the arrangements present so much more than just Americana. Right from the album’s outset, ‘Old Black Crow,’ listeners get a simple arrangement that immediately lends itself to comparison to the blues rock stylings of the Allman Brothers Band, Derek Trucks Band, and others of that ilk, what with the guitar riffs and horns. ‘Miles,’ which immediately follows changes things up slightly with a touch of country blues. There is something about the horns and the arrangement’s overall swagger that also gives it a little bit of a soul touch, too. The whole makes it another Allman Brothers Band/Derek Trucks Band style work, but still holds its own identity separate from those acts’ work. ‘Boom Boom Boom,’ the album’s third entry, takes the album in a more distinctly blues/soul direction, conjuring thoughts of so much great Chicago style blues of days gone by while also giving the arrangement a nice modern touch in its subtlety. As the album continues to progress, things change again with the modern country blues tune, ‘Shake It.’ The use of the mandolin, cello, violin and drums makes this song its own engaging and entertaining composition. ‘Out Of My Mind,’ which immediately follows that song, conjures thoughts of so many great works from the likes of Carlos Santana and The Doobie Brothers. It is another great change of pace here that again is sure to keep listeners engaged and entertained. When all of this and the rest of the varied arrangements featured throughout the album are considered together, the whole makes for plenty of enjoyment for so many listeners.
The musical content featured throughout Americana Soul is just one part of what makes this latest offering from The Jorgensens so engaging and entertaining to so many listeners. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements makes for its own enjoyment. ‘Dark Road’ is just one of the songs featured in this record that shows the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. Vocalist Kurt Jorgensen sings in this song of not letting himself go down a metaphorical dark road, in other words, the wrong path. The mention of falling to his knees and making sure he won’t travel this dark road no more makes that clear. It is a straight forward message in a lyrical theme that is all too familiar in the blues realm. Early on, Jorgensen even mentions hearing the devil behind him and getting lost along the way. It is a serious topic presented in a fully accessible fashion. The addition of the fun, infectious musical arrangement makes the theme all the more accessible.
On another note, ‘Boom Boom Boom’ is just as accessible in a totally different way. In the case of this song, the theme is a man celebrating his woman because of the positive effect that she has on him. He says he may not have fancy things like a big penthouse apartment or flashy car, but he has his woman and she enjoys something as simple as the music. It is a great tribute that any man can make for his woman, especially if she accepts him despite being a simple man.
‘State Line,’ which closes the album and is really the only song in this record that is pure Americana in sound and style, is also an interesting contemplative piece in terms of its lyrical theme. Brianna Jorgensen sings against the gentle, flowing string arrangement, about the past. “There was a time/When we got it right/It’s expired/Like candlelight,” she sings. That the song’s subject is driving along, thinking so introspectively gives the song so much depth and enriches the emotion in the lyrics so much. The combination of the moving, introspective lyrical theme (and its delivery therein) alongside the equally simple, moving arrangement makes the song in whole yet another work whose lyrics will connect with so many audiences. When it and the other themes are considered alongside the rest of the album’s lyrical content, the whole shows clearly why the record’s overall lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as the musical content that accompanies the lyrics.
There is no denying that the overall musical and lyrical content featured in Americana Soul touches on so many levels in the best way possible. The sequencing of that content brings the content together and finalizes the record’s presentation. From beginning to end of the record, the songs’ energies change just enough to keep things interesting, the whole beginning on an up note in ‘Old Black Crow.’ ‘Hey Baby,’ which comes just before the album’s midpoint, changes things noticeably but still keeps the record’s swagger moving in the almost ‘Fever’ type approach. Even as the songs progress and styles change, the energy remains stable throughout, giving audiences so much more to appreciate. The result of the thought and time put into the sequencing is a positive general effect that puts the album a welcome final touch. All things considered Americana Soul proves to be a welcome addition to this year’s field of new independent albums.
Americana Soul, the latest offering from independent music duo The Jorgensens, is a fully engaging and entertaining new release from the married couple that is also a welcome addition to this year’s field of new independent albums. The album’s appeal comes in part through its diverse musical arrangements. The arrangements, at times, lend themselves to comparison to works from the likes of the Allman Brothers Band and Derek Trucks Band. At others, there is some pure blues, and at others, more of a country music vibe. That diversity gives audiences reason enough to hear the album. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements are accessible in their own right. That is because of their familiarity in terms of their content. The sequencing of all of that content rounds out the most important of the album’s elements. That is because it keeps the album’s energy stable from start to end as the album progresses from one song to the next. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of Americana Soul. All things considered they make Americana Soul one more of the year’s top new independent albums.
Americana Soul is available now through Paramour Records. More information on Americana Soul is available along with all of The Jorgensen’s latest news at: