Feature Story New Music Reviews

OOPS! 50 of 2022: #30 – 26 / A Thief, A Boy and a British Pop Folk Icon

The OOPS! series keeps moving and keeps showing how much great music I missed. There was sooooo much great music this year. Some of the songs in this block were originally on the top 50 list, but were bumped off, while others are brand new to me.

30. Big Thief: Certainty

This track was originally on the top 50 list, but there was too much great music. So, we find it here on the OOPS! list. This track is a mix of indie rock with a Lucinda Williams country twang. This is a song about love and believing in someone and the ups and downs of life. In effect, there is no certainty when it comes to love and you are just in for the ride. A gorgeous track in tis simplicity.

29. Burna Boy: Last Last

I think this is a track I listened to for a review, or for the Hustler new music section, or something…and I thought to myself, “Wow. This should go no the top 50.” Then I listened to more music and just forgot to put it on there. Sorry Burna Boy. His mix of electro Afro-pop and trap is infectious and Last Last is no exception. You can get lost in the groove on this track as Burna moves in and out of the beat like you are floating in a cloud.

28. Steve Lacy: Bad Habit

Part hip hop, part funk and 100% psychedelic trip Bad Habit took the world by storm. It has a classic star crossed lovers song structure as Lacy laments missing his chance at hooking up with the love of his life. There is a positive energy in this track amongst the acoustic guitar, synth and mothership funk electro blips and beeps. They get together in the end and all is right with the world. This is a fun song that is a vibe.

27. Weyes Blood: It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody

A song about feeling alone in a crowd and unable to connect with those around you is prime material for a post COVID track. Her deep vocal reminds me of late Joni Mitchell and Weyes Blood has a singer songwriter folk vibe to it. She sings about feeling alienated from others, as well as feeling alienated from herself. Having said that, there is some comfort in how everyone is going through the same things together and the harp flourishes lets you know that not everything is lost and it will get better.

26. Beth Orton: Friday Night

Sometimes you need to hear a record a couple times before it sticks. That’s the case with the new Beth Orton record Weather Alive. Friday Night is a soaring track that shows both Orton’s fragility and her strength. At times her vocal wavers and is at risk of totally collapsing, but it quickly powers through the fog and you get glimpses of Stolen Car or She Cries Your Name. I think it is that contrast of vulnerable fragility and strength that really makes the track. You can feel the journey Orton has been on and how she has reached peace. Beth Orton has always captured raw emotion in her vocals and that really comes through on this track.

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