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DrumBeat Picks: Editor Albums

As 2022 comes to an end it is safe to say this has been a tough year for my headphones. This year I listened to new music more than ever before, but you probably knew that based on my previous music articles. However, for one of my last articles of the semester, I wanted to get insight on other people’s input about music this year.  The editors at The DrumBeat present to you their favorite album from this year of releases.

Brooklyn Gundling: Avril Lavigne’s “Love Sux”

That’s right mom, it was not a phase. There was a sound pioneered in the early 2000s and late 1990s by a handful of artists, the sound becoming what we now know as pop-punk and the pioneers becoming the voice of a generation of teenage angst and pent up emotional tension. Avril Lavigne made a name for herself with her 2002 album “Let Go,” and 20 years later, she returns with her seventh studio album “Love Sux.” There are songs that make you want to tear up all those old pictures you have of distant memories, songs to drive aimlessly in somewhat of an existential crisis across the interstate highway and songs where you just can’t seem to stop singing an annoyingly catchy line. Lavigne is not known for pushing the envelope or seeing how far the boundaries of her music can go, but maybe she represents the fans who are stuck in this era where times seemed simpler, and music was an act of commercially sanctioned rebellion.

Santiago Nunez: Mitski’s “Laurel Hell”

Image courtesy of Dead Oceans

Mitski comfortably remains my favorite artist, so naturally I was incredibly excited when this record was released in February. This is a large departure from Mitski’s previous albums, and I can easily say this is her most ambitious. The loneliness she spoke so deeply about in prior works is no longer taking the role of antagonist in her life, she is instead haunted by the consistent change that comes with living and the inevitability of time. The album is starkly divided into synth pop and indie rock tracks, almost to display the constant shift in mood that a tumultuous period can cause to a person’s mind. The lyrics are poignant as ever, Mitski delivers consistently relatable and melancholic verses capable of bringing a tear to your eye if you sit and think too long about why it is relatable. I cannot honestly say that this is Mitski’s best work, or that it is the best album of the year, but by god I got some absolute mileage out of this album. 

Asia Johnson: Ari Lennox’s “age/sex/location”

Image courtesy of Interscope Records

My favorite album of the year would have to be “age/sex/location” by Ari Lennox. My general go-to music genre is rap and pop, however, I’ve been seeking to elevate and diversify my music taste as of late, and this album does just that. Lennox has a  calming and sophisticated aura about her and it translates seamlessly into her music. “age/sex/location” transports me to a highrise condo in New York on a rainy day, snuggled up in bed with my favorite guilty pleasure read. That sounds dramatic but Lennox’s voice creates vivid imagery that can feed one’s imagination. Lennox’s flow and energy are similar to Erykah Badu, which is  high, yet I believe a relevant claim. As life around me is chaotic, full of demanding and meaningless tasks, this album always grounds me and brings about a peaceful vibe that I look to as sort of self-care.

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